T Nation


Hi I was wondering im about 5’9 160 pounds and about 18% body fat. I havent been able to work out for a while because of injury. My goal is to gain about 10-15 pounds of lean muscle, and also reduce my body fat. My question is what phase should I begin with cutting or bulking. A brief explaination of why would also be helpful. Thanks!

At 18% bf, you should get rid of some of that fat, then try bulking. Leaner people tend to put on less fat when bulking. If you start from 18% bf and bulk, you are just setting yourself up for a lot of cutting later.


Cut first… http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/167app.html

Sorry hit submit too early. Look at JMB’s reply to the last question, this will answer you question that you should drop you body fat first. Then Also in the article is JMB’s Don’t Diet Diet, I highly recommend this diet for you.

You should definately cut first. There is no reason to be above 12-13% bf at any time if body composition is an important goal, which it is in your case. Look at it this way. You are presently carrying around about 30 pounds of fat and only 130 lean pounds on a 5’9" frame. Add 10-15 pounds of muscle and your up to 140-145 lean pounds, which is still low for your height. By wanting to add 10-15 pounds, I’m assuming you mean you want to get up to 170-175lbs, but much leaner, say 8-10%(which is the range abs start to become visible on most males). That would mean a lean body weight of around 155-160lbs, so you would need to put on around 25-30lbs of muscle on top of what you have right now. If you started to try to put on that kind of muscle at your present bf%, probably 70% of the weight would be fat. Not good! Lean down to around 10% bf slowly as to preserve your muscle and then start bulking from there but never allow your fat levels to go up by more that 3-4% before trying to lean down again. At 10%bf, around 50-70% of the weight you put on will be muscle, therefore this is a much more efficient means of acheiving your goals.