T Nation

Cut? Bulk? Part II


#1

I just turned 40, and I've decided to get back in shape after being slack since my early 30s (and kids came along), but I'm wondering where to begin my focus.

I'm 6'0", 195lbs, and body fat is probably 20-23%. My weight is definitely not a lot of lean muscle. So I need more muscle mass. But I also need to lose fat. I know I can't really do both well simultaneously, so which do I begin with?

I had been thinking I'd get down to around 185ish, so I'd be in a caloric deficit for a month or so and then I was thinking I'd work on adding muscle (and of course, switching to a caloric surplus) and then, finally, after getting more muscle, work on "cutting".

Does that make sense? Cut to a reasonable body fat %, then bulk, then cut again, while keeping the new muscle?

Or should I just try to add muscle even though I'm at 20%+ body fat and then cut?


#2

you won't like the way you look if you start adding muscle at 23% BF. You also won't really like the way you look once you start losing BF and realize you have no muscle mass! Its a shitty situation.

I was in a similar situation one year ago. At 6'5", I was 265 lbs at 25% or so BF (not exact, but it was high). Did the V-Diet last March for 6 weeks, then worked on a little bit more BF loss for the next month. I lost a ton of fat (was down to about 13% BF at 232 lbs), but realized how little muscle I had. Started "Starting Strength" in June, moved to 5-3-1 in September, and have been doing it since. I'm back up to about 275, but with only about 16-17% BF now and am much happier with the way I look.

IMO, this would be the idea scenario, but do what you feel is best for you man. Pics would help.


#3

Since you're relatively untrained now, I would just get your diet in order and train hard and consistently. Once progress stalls you can reassess.