T Nation

Bulk or Cut


#1

So, unfortunately, I've been spinning my wheels through my entire 4 years in high school when it came to lifting. I started out sophomore year and believe me, I got no where; I look exactly the same, skinny fat. I discovered a real routine this year and what macros are. I'm currently training on a 5x5 routine trying to get stronger, but my question is whether I should stick with a bulk or stick with cutting. Here is some info on where I currently am in terms of fitness level:

5'10''
150 lbs
18 years old
Around 20% bodyfat

What should I do? I seek to be lean and vascular, my goal is to look good at the beach and if not this year, next year is just as good to as long as I get ripped.


#2

What does your current 5x5 routine look like?

What are your current working weights in each of those lifts? (Not 1RMs.)


#3

My routine is as follows, 3 days a week, non consecutive days.

Squat 5x5
Bench 5x5
Deadlift 5x5

I can squat 185 lbs for 5 reps, bench 135 lbs for 5 reps, and deadlift 225 lbs for 5 reps.


#4

Dude dont worry about cutting for the next few years, you weight 150lbs. I get that you want to look good and everything but cutting isnt the answer, work your way up to atleast 210-220 before you think about cutting. For reference, from 2011 to now I went from 195-275 and am just now doing my first cut.


#5

There is a thing called “body recomposition”. Google it.


#6

What does your idea of “looking good at the beach” look like? I know you think everyone has the same idea, but they really don’t.


#7

I’ve been trying what I see these guys recommend in these bulk/cut threads alot.

Body re-comp. It’s awesome for me. Subq fat is slowly going away and as muscles fill in the focus changes drastically.No abs yet but more muscle over shadows the soft stuff.


#8

[quote]relevant wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:
What does your current 5x5 routine look like?

What are your current working weights in each of those lifts? (Not 1RMs.)[/quote]
My routine is as follows, 3 days a week, non consecutive days.

Squat 5x5
Bench 5x5
Deadlift 5x5

I can squat 185 lbs for 5 reps, bench 135 lbs for 5 reps, and deadlift 225 lbs for 5 reps.[/quote]
I don’t think cutting at this point will bring you closer to your goals.

You have a lot of room to get stronger with where you are weight-wise. You don’t necessarily need to put on weight in order to get stronger and look better, but you do need sufficient protein to build that muscle and enough overall calories/energy to recover and grow.

I would focus on eating better (even more than you currently do), and just slowly pushing your bodyweight up. You’re eating to get stronger and to build muscle, not for the sake of putting on weight. If you’re getting stronger and you look better in the mirror and pictures, then you’re doing things right… regardless of what the scale says. I would suggest taking progress photos every few weeks, just so you can compare things better; memory can get fuzzy.

I would also think about adding some chin-ups into your routine, after your deadlifts, either supinated (hands facing toward you) or neutral (hands facing toward each other). From a physique standpoint, that will help your biceps and lats, and help you look broader at the shoulders over time. They’re also generally good at helping balance the shoulder joints.


#9

You should definitely cut, it’s difficult to see your bone structure at your current weight…

Lol, seriously just start lifting consistently. In a year or 2 you’ll chuckle at yourself for this thread.


#10

My idea of looking good is attaining a low body fat, and a decent, proportionate amount of muscle mass. A physique similar to that of a fitness model is the best I can describe it.


#11

I looked it up, does it really work? I’ve been told that recomps are not pointless, however, you can make much better progress with traditional bulking/cutting.


#12

Really? I’m tempted to start a cut but on a very small deficit, maybe even TDEE. Especially since summer is right around the corner, I know what you guys prolly saying, I don’t have any muscle to show off. But I’d rather be skin and bones at the beach than a meatball with a shirt on. Js. Just not sure if its ideal?


#13

Im going to cut first especially since I am going to dorm at my college in a couple of months from now and its going to be difficult to lose weight there.


#14

You don’t have enough muscle to cut.


#15

[quote]relevant wrote:
Thanks man, yeah going to try to get shredded first especially since I am going to dorm at my college in a couple of months from now and its going to be difficult to lose weight later on. [/quote]

Why will it be harder to lose fat later on?

Don’t take this the wrong way, but you can’t “get shredded” without some muscle mass. If you’re really 20% (debatable) your lean mass is down right scary low.


#16

We could argue endlessly about which is best, but honestly in your situation just pick one and stick with it for a while.


#17

And I have to much fat to bulk. Your point is?


#18

[quote]blue9steel wrote:
We could argue endlessly about which is best, but honestly in your situation just pick one and stick with it for a while. [/quote]
yeah I’m going to start a cut


#19

[quote]relevant wrote:
And I have to much fat to bulk. Your point is?[/quote]

Kid, if you’re going to post asking for advice, don’t get snippy when the answers aren’t what you want to hear.

If you want to cut…then cut, it’s a free country. Nobody here can FORCE you to do anything.

You came to a site populated by guys that list weights. Surprise, surprise, the answer to a skinny-fat “Whdt should I do?” in this environment is ALWAYS going to be “gain some muscle.”

But here’s the rub: you don’t have to get FAT on a bulk. Imagine your body with ten more pounds of solid mass on it by summer time (this is absolutely possible). That WOULD be noticeable. No, you won’t look like the cover of Muscle and Fitness overnight, but let me tell you a little secret: this board is littered with guys who have been lifting since you were in kindergarten, or younger, and most of us don’t look like that either.

Now here’s another thing:

If you want to look good for the girls…the answer doesn’t lie in “bulking” or “cutting” - but rather in a good personality, sense of humor, confidence. And something cool like playing guitar. Chicks love a guy that plays the guitar.

So don’t base the bulking/cutting decision on “getting girls” because ether answer is probably neither one of those.


#20

Eating well and training consistently will give you a “beach bod”. No need to classify it as a bulk or cut because with how untrained you are. You will likely be losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously, but it seems as though you have made up your mind before making this thread.