Bulking and cutting

Over the summer my goal was to lean out so I could bulk up. Ideally, one should bulk from 8 to 15% bf, but what happens after you get to 15%bf? Do you begin to cut or what?

I would think after a successful bulking cycle you may want to maintain for about a month to establish a “set point” then cut (but not drastically) till you get within 8 or 10% then maintain to establish a new “set point” once again, hopefully you will have several pounds of new muscle (since the last time you were at the 8 to 10 % BF) to show for you efforts, then start the process over again. Just remember it is a long trip so enjoy the journey.

I don’t agree with the whole concept. There
is no good reason to gain fat faster than
one half pound per week and certainly no
more than one pound per week. Nor is there
any point in continuing this process to
a high bodyfat percentage like 15%. It
is better to alternate shorter periods of
intended gaining, intended fat loss, and
if applicable intended maintenance. If for
example not planning to get leaner than 8%,
there’s no reason to get fatter than say 11%
and really no reason to allow even that much
though it is not too bad to have a 3% increase (as a function of total bodyweight; which is really an increase of about 38% in total amount of bodyfat if you
stop and think about it.)

What constitutes a “short period”? Six weeks, ten days? I’ve been doing six week each mass/cutting cycles for almost 2 years. I’ve changed my body composition but I haven’t come close to dropping to 8% and its going to be a real bitch achieving that. I’ve stayed under 15% for the last year though and last 7-point caliper I had done was 11.2%. I think I’ve gotten down to 10% for a while but every mass cycle I gain fat rapidly at way under JMB calorie recommendations. A lot of us have probably never seen single digits and maybe never will. For the ‘fat’ hardgainer is there a different strategy? I’m 5’10", 184#, 38 yr, and I just can’t cut and add mass like a pro.

Bill, what do you think is a good bf% to bulk and a bf% to cut?

Do you suggest something like the ABCDE program?

The ABCDE program as originally described in Muscle Media 2000 was I thought far too high in calories in the bulking weeks. If one gains fat too rapidly (more than a pound per week is too rapid, and really half a pound per week is preferable), the time required at low calories to diet far outweighs whatever increased rate of gains might be achieved by the greater caloric intake compared to something giving only half a pound per week of fat gain.

I don’t think it’s so much an issue of
what bodyfat percentage is appropriate
for bulking or cutting. Someone at 12%
who has been dieting down and wants more
muscle could well benefit from a short
period of bulking with fat gain kept
under good control, whereas another who is
8% but has not been dieting recently and
would like to be more cut, could do well
with cutting at that point.

The length of time depends pretty much
on the individual, his preferences, and
training program. Probably as an average
answer, two weeks is an excellent time
frame for either. With dieting there’s
also the maintenance option. I like
the approach of dieting heavily for 2 weeks
then having a week of maintenance (no fat
gain allowed!) and then repeating and many
that I’ve advised on dieting have liked this also. Others have a different psychology and
would rather buckle down for a hard 6 or 8
weeks straight to accomplish their goal. In terms of fat loss per week when on reduced calories, the alternating plan is more efficient, and is fairly close in terms of results after so many total weeks as well; but depending on the psychology of the individual, 7 off days may turn into 8 which turn into two months; or “maintenance days” may turn into pig-outs, whereas staying on the same dieting program every day gives excellent results for these individuals. So there is no one rule for everyone.

bill roberts, your saying to bulk for 2 weeks? then maintain for 2 then cut for 2?

how drasticly would u change ur diet in these periods?

The ratio of time gaining muscle to time
losing fat depends on the relative needs
and goals. For example, someone who already
had a pretty satisfactory amount of muscle
but needed to lose quite a bit of fat, might
prefer dieting heavily for 2 weeks, then
spending one week at maintenance, then
resume dieting, etc. and only occasionally
have a 2 week period intended for substantial
muscle gain (with the training program
periodized so as to make this a particularly
likely gaining period) with only small fat

Another person who needed to lose rather little fat but wanted to gain a great deal
of muscle might use an alternating 2 and
2 approach but diet only very moderately
for those two weeks, or might prefer one
week of heavy dieting and one week of
maintenance depending on his psychology.

Or if he was able to make continued steady
progress while gaining the gaining periods
might extend for many weeks, or if he were
following a specific training program, e.g.
an 8 week specialization program for some
body part of bodyparts, he might choose to
keep diet sufficient to support these gains
with no or little fat gain for that entire time.

With androgen use if someone prefers heavy dieting I like 8 cal/lb LBM/day with 1 g/lb LBM protein and the rest from carbs and fats (which may be done in an alternating style.)

Without androgens less than 12 cal/lb LBM/day is often too low, resulting in excessive LBM loss.

Without androgens 1.5 g/lb LBM/day protein
is fine. With, 2.5 or at least 2 grams. In either case, total calories should not be so much as to give excessive rate of fat gain when gaining muscle. This will vary
according to the individual.

I know this question seems pretty stupid, but it’s something I was just making sure on. I take in about half my calories for the day for pre and post-workout, and those count just the same as all the other calories, even though they’re replenishing the body after working out?

If im a grappler who wants to have the most strength at the least possible body weight(weight classes) and have a much easier time gaining then losing weight, what would be best for me? I wanted to try massive eating, would it be a good plan for me to do something like-2 weeks bulking, 1 week maintence-2 weeks cutting? When bulking in the past i easily put on a substantial amount of bodyfat. Right now im 11.2% and have been dieting hard. I planned on getting down around 8%, then bulking for a planned 8 weeks.However if i ever reached 15%, i was going to cut down. Thanx

Your plan sounds good.

I think you’d be a lot happier not ever
getting anywhere near 15%, once you succeed
in getting to 8%. Anywhere much over 10%
would be good reason to start fat loss again.
It’s more or less like any problem: easier to deal with if you don’t let the mess get too bad in the first place, and if you do let the mess get so bad that it takes a great deal of time to deal with, you’ll wish you hadn’t once it’s time to clean up.