T Nation

Bulking vs Definition?


So as of right now, among my many goals, i am striving to bulk up and become stronger, but at the same time, i want to further define my abs. im 17, 5"11, 180 lbs, and 6~10 BF percentage. my current progress with my abs is that i can see the general outline of the whole thing, i just have problems getting the line down the middle, and the 2nd horrizontal line across the abs.
sorry for my lack of terms, im not familiar with the specific names of these muscles.

Alot of my friends tell me i have to do one or the another, and that i cant do both, and that the best thing to do is to eat alot and gain alot of weight, then cut for the definition, but im not sure how accurate their advice is.

could anyone give some advice to a newbie?


You seem to have smart friends. You should listen to them.




losing weight is easy, gaining weight is not.



For you maybe. I seem to have the opposite problem, which isn't really a problem if you're into getting bigger and stronger.


First off, your not 6-10% body fat. Second, your 180 lbs, you are entirely too skinny to be worrying about your abs. Your friends are smart, and you should listen to them. Bulk.


that is old fashioned thinking. to say you have to do one or the other is complete garbage.


well what i'm wondering is if its possible to do both at the same time?


well what im wondering is if its possible to do both at the same time?


Also, what do you mean by that?


"I am 0-50% body fat"...."in 5 seconds".


Anything is possible everything is not probable. The chances of some skinny guy going from small to huge while trying to do both are very fucking slim. Once you build that bse of solid mass, you can do whatever the hell you want to and deal with the consequences. However, anyone recommending that to newbs is ass backwards.


I personally would recomend reading all of Shelby Starnes articles and training labs....and then listen to the peanut gallery.

There seems to be 2 very popular ways of thinking around here regarding your question:
1) Bulk until you're really fricken big (in terms of muscle), then cut
2) Bulk until you get to some arbitrary bodyfat or appearance (lose ab definition at 12%, 15%, 20%) then maintain your weight for some period of time, and then if you continue to possess too much bodyfat drop down back to the % at the start of your bulk or some other recomended level (12%, 15%, 20%)


Tell me about it. I'm extremely jealous. As much as I love force feeding myself to the verge of puking 5 times a day, I'd rather just be able to eat like a normal human being. C'est la vie!



Ok, so which is your preferred method after having worked with Shelby?


Guys that are new to lifting generally underestimate their body fat, Thibs wrote a livespill about this a little while back, its not a big deal, the mirror matters more, but as I wrote above, I would highly recommend a solid long bulk until you build a substantial amount of muscle before you worry about cutting back down. These other guys who posted know their shit, their veterans in this game, listen to them


holy fuck, you never give any constructive advise and always keep saying bs. go back to your cave.


You would have fully visible abs at 10%. If you cant see the second horizontal line or the middle vertical line, you could be anywhere from 13-17%


Unfortunately, I think he has internet access in there. And I'm not so confident he's ever been out, to tell the truth.


not saying you're wrong, perhaps the methods i was tested with are faulty, but i have done the body weight vs height thing at my high school, which came out to be 10% BF, and at a local YMCA there was a pinch test, where they pinched my quad, somewhere on my abs, and my chest, and that came out to be 6.1 BF...is it possible that most of my fat is on my stomach and thats why i dont have really defined abs? or could those methods be faulty?