T Nation

Continue Cut or Start Bulk?

I am currently 5’ 9",160 lbs and still in the beginning phase of lifting. My programming is strength based and my long term goal is to get build strength while staying (relatively) lean; I’m not seeking 6-pack abs or anything, I just don’t want to carry around an excessive amount of body fat. I let myself go during the holidays and decided to start a cut in January, when I was 178 lb. My original goal was to drop down to ~160lb, which I reached today. I’ve also lost a fair bit of muscle and strength during my cut. Looking at my physique, I would guess myself to be in the 13-15% BF range (images included below). I am trying to determine whether it would be better to cut for another 6 weeks and fairly lean out before starting my bulk, or to begin it today where I’m at. Adding to this debate is that for the 2nd and 3rd weeks of June I won’t be able to train or get much in the way of proper diet and sleep. I can either keep cutting and start my bulk towards the end of June when I can resume training, or start bulking today, take a brief pause one month into my bulk and eat to just maintain, and then resume bulking in the end of June.

I think this cut was pointless, honestly. You should probably bulk and then cut again when you have stuff to cut

you lost 18 lbs over the course of about 18 weeks. 1 pound per week. That’s a pretty damn slow cut. Which means you should not have lost one bit of strength/ muscle. You dieted wrong, trained wrong, or both. Probably a terrible diet approach. There is absolutely no reason to lose any strength or muscle on such a slow cut, particularly when you weren’t even approach single digit bodyfat.

So that’s problem number 1. You should do as much reading as you can on nutrition. I really like Stan Efferding’s Vertical Diet, but there are many other good approaches out there. You need to figure this out if you’re going to make good long term progress in the gym, no matter if you’re bulking, cutting, maintaining, whatever.

Don’t keep cutting. You suck at it. End the cut, get back to eating enough to support growth. Try a cut again when you’ve learned how to do it properly.

why? maybe we can give suggestions to get through those weeks if we know your situation better. People get big and strong in prison. You can get strong anywhere.

When I started my first bulk a book that really helped me gain lean muscle mass was Power Eating. You’re at a perfect point where doing a long term bulk wouldn’t hurt you. Just take it as serious as your cut. Don’t bulk with Wendy’s burgers and fries. Steadily increase calories over a specific amount of time and watch yourself grow!