T Nation

Bulking/Cutting Questions for Prof X


I'm asking Prof X these questions for his honest opinion not to argue. I'm sincerely trying to learn and improve. I'm not a newbie either.

  1. Do you do cardio only when you are cutting? What kind of cardio do you do?What do you think is more effective for cutting fat off of your body more quickly? low intensity longer duration cardio or shorter duration higher intensity?

  2. I tried to "bulk" up a few years ago and did but gained a little too much fat. I know that in order to build muscle you have to put on a little bit of fat unless you are a genetic freak or on roids so I understand that part.

Do you not agree that you can gain strength (even a significant amount of strength) without bulking? I mean look at Eric Cressey. He's 165-170lbs and can deadlift 601, squat 5 something and bench mid 300's. I know you hate the word but truly that is high relative strength. Maybe he's more of the exception to the rule?

  1. Do you not think that genetics play a VERY important role in all of this? I mean when I gained weight (I'm an ectomorph), I gained most of it in my face and stomach.

The truth is, I'd love to be huge and have minimal bodyfat but I don't want to be what I call a "skinny fat guy".

  1. I know you lift 6 days a week but don't you ever worry about overuse/repetitive injuries especially with muscles like forearms/shoulders that might get taxed daily or near daily? For example: you may work shoulders directly on day 1 but then they get hit again indirectly when you do chest or back on days 2 or 3 so in reality your shoulders and forearms don't get to rest.

  2. I know that you train for strength and eat for size, but do you ever do singles? If not, what's the lowest rep range you use? 4 or so?


I would also like to add that when I bulked up and gained too much fat before that I wasn't as knowledgeable as I am now, hardly ever did cardio and ate fast food way too much.

This time when I start bulking, I'm going to still add a little fat which is necessary but not go too crazy.

Can you pm me some pics Prof X? I missed the ones you sent a while back I guess. Thanks.


Prof X-couple more questions.

  1. What's your opinion of the importance of sleep for recovery?

  2. What about power cleans/power snatches for overall body strength and size?

  3. Are you still interested/do you follow martial arts competitions (UFC's/Pride/Boxing)?

  4. Is static stretching necessary for recovery/injury prevention?

  5. Obviously, you are not a big fan of supplements correct? In your opinion, eating correctly and training is the most important right?

  6. Do you train abs while bulking?

  7. Who is a better bodybuilder in their prime? Arnold or Ronnie?

  8. Do you ever get burned out/bored w/only training a certain way?


No, I don't do cardio only when dieting. I base my cardio on what I see with my own body. If I start feeling sluggish or if I feel I need to control my body weight, I add in more cardio. Some of you need to get out of the concept of simply "using a program". I don't write out what I will do like that. I did cardio Saturday and Sunday. I didn't do any yesterday.

As far as what is most effective, again this is individual. I have dieted down before doing high intensity cardio for longer period of time (as in 45min). I lost muscle mass and body fat, both in almost a 1:1 ratio. I have tried long duration low intensity cardio (like walking on an incline) and I kept my muscle mass. Now, I tend to focus on my food intake more than anything and use low intensity cardio. I worked too hard for the muscle I have to diet it away on a treadmill. I tried HIIT before but not long enough to be able to notice that much of a difference between that and Low intensity long duration cardio.

Yes, you can gain strength without bulking. That has never been an issue disputed. You can also gain muscle without bulking. Will you gain as much strength and as much muscle as someone who goes ahead and puts the extra weight on with intentions of dieting further down the road? Not in my opinion. You also won't gain as fast. In that aspect, I can only go by my own experiences and I know very few people who have increased their lean body mass in excess of 80-90lbs without ever bulking up. Your goals determine what you do. You have guys on this forum with 12" arms who think 15" arms are big. I started training with 15" arms and compared to the guys around me growing up, that was pretty small. There must be far more weaklings walking around lately.

Also, why do some of you keep mentioning Cressey? If my goal was to weigh 165lbs, perhaps he would be someone to keep pointing out. That is not my goal and he COMPETES in a certain weight class. How many other guys do you see walking around at 165lbs lifting anywhere near that? One exception to a rule does not mean you follow the exception. Isn't he a power lifter? Why then do people bring him up to "bodybuilders"?

I have no idea what your stats are. To some skinny kid weighing 130lbs, it is more than easy to misunderstand what is fat and what is simply their body changing as they grow. Your face filling out doesn't mean you gained too much body fat, especially if you were extremely lean to begin with. Without seeing what you are talking about, no one can jump to any conclusions. Other than that, YES genetics are an issue. If you are obese, you shouldn't be "bulking up". If you have a slow metabolism, you eat according to the progress you are making. Don't think so hard about this. You make changes based on what you see, not what someone wrote down for you to follow specifically unless you are such a rank beginner that you don't know anything about how your body responds.

If you are lifting weights, why would you think you would be a "skinny fat guy" at all for very long? What are your stats? If you still qualify as skinny, perhaps you weren't gaining as much as you thought you were.

No, I don't "worry" about things like that. I train to avoid injury. I know how my muscles work and what exercises will put them at risk. I know not to bring the bar down until it touches my neck on behind the neck presses. I know this because I understand how my body works. I stop the weight at about ear level. No one had to teach me this. I picked that up on my own from all of the other reading I have done and simply watching, listening, and talking to others. Training this way has taken me from about 150lbs to where I am at currently at about 265lbs. I understand that everyone won't pick up on things like that. I know that I recover fast. I don't have the issues that some people seem to have. I don't get injured easily. I am just being honest with you. The only issue I have ever had is my knees and that is because of an accident I was in as a kid. I won't go into detail but it screwed up that joint.

If by singles you mean "one rep maxes", I haven't done that since high school. It is useless in terms of strength gains in my opinion. It is simply a test of where you are, not a way to get there. There is no specific number. If I write "3", then everone will think I go as low as 3 reps all of the time. The same if I write "4". It varies. People who have been lifting for a while don't do things that specifically as to ALWAYS do 4 reps or ALWAYS do 3 reps. If I move up in the weight used and I get that shit 2 times, so be it. I will keep going up to that weight on the last set until I can get it up enough times to justify adding even more weight.


Not a problem. I will have to rescan the one I had of me in high school. I deleted that one and don't have it back up yet.


It is important in terms of needing adequate calories, rest and significant training resistance to grow. However, considering the other variables, I have found that limited sleep can be compensated for if the other two are on point. I know this because in school there were many days that I got about 3 hours of sleep. I still grew. That pic of me at 210lbs was taken while I was in school.

Necessary? No. Good? yes. Do I do them? No. Have I done them before? Yes.

I just bought that "KOTC Uprising" dvd showing "underground" matches that they don't show on pay per view (on sale at Walmart for like 25 bucks). I have always been into martial arts even though I don't train for it anymore. My dad started me in it as a little kid but then we moved for a while. In college I got back into it working with this guy who knew Aikido. He wasn't but like 2 years older than me, but he taught me more technique. We would spar after classes. I haven't done anything "formal" since I was little though. I have always been one of those people who wanted to know a little about everything. I would follow and ask questions of everyone who seemed to know more about something than me and most people seemed to have no problems teaching me what they knew. In fact, I was EXTREMELY inquisitive and still am for the most part. I follow docs around in the clinic just asking them shit. I may not be able to deal with someone who is truly well trained, but it isn't like I am easily overtaken in a fight. I know enough to get by, that's about it.

No. Warming up is.

Yes. It isn't that I am not a big fan of supplements, I just know that I should be making progress regardless of supplements...so when I see someone write that they took Supplement A and gained 5lbs, I start asking why they think they couldn't gain 5lbs without it or why they think they only gained 5lbs because of it.

Not in the past but I will. Do I recommend it? Yes.

Irrelevant. Two different time periods. Both took what they were given, ignored those who said they weren't good enough and made some decent money and ended up on top in spite of all of that. That makes them both better than everyone who thought they weren't good enough.

No. I train. It is what I do. I wouldn't know how to be any other way.


Thanks for your responses.

Makes sense regarding the cardio.

Again makes sense w/the Cressey/bulking point. Good point.

I'm 6'1 1/2 to 6'2 and 185 lbs currently. I got up to 205-210 when I was in Japan. I was eating a little too much Burger King, not doing hardly any cardio and didn't really know shit.

My training knowledge is much more well rounded as is my food intake discipline. I'm about to start bulking. I noticed that when I was heavier I was absolutely stronger just not relatively:) :slightly_smiling: