T Nation

Cut or Keep Bulking?


Hi guys I’m 19 years old 6ft tall and around 13-15%body fat weighing 190lb, I’ve been bulking for about 6 months and have gained a lot of strength and some size, my goal is to be big and built ideal for powerlifting With a relatively low body fat so I still look lean.
Shall I keep building a solid foundation on a clean bulk and then cut later on or cut a little now. Thanks
My lifts are currently 1x260lb bench 1x490lb conventional deadlift and 1x375lb squat


Don’t bulk or cut. Eat smart to grow without getting fat. Looks to me like you’re already doing it right. Stay the course.

Edit: Great base you have at 19. You’ll be a monster at 30 if you do it right.


Thanks for the advice and encouragement pal, it’s people like you that keep people interested in powerlifting/ bodybuilding.
I currently eat just over 200kcal over maintenance on off days to facilitate recovery and about 300-400kcal over maintenance on training days, especillay when doing the heavy deadlifts and squats, I guess I just carry on like this and track measurements and body fat ?


Great lifts and physique for 19 years old! Like has been said, just keep eating good quality foods slightly above maintenance so you keep getting bigger and stronger without too much fat. You seem to have a good handle on things.


Thanks Andrewe123, I shall carry on doing what I’m doing and trying to increase them lifts as much as possible, nothing better than the feeling of smashing a personal best


For perspective, what did you weigh 6 months ago and what were your maxes then?

Understand that, at your height, being “built ideal for powerlifting” means gaining plenty more bodyweight down the road. Try to be very clear about your priorities and specific with your goals. Everyone says they want to be big, strong, and lean. Put some actual numbers to it so you have something concrete to work towards.


6 months ago I was 180lb around the same body fat, bench was around 200lb, squat was around 300lb and deadlift was 400lb
So i have made good progress. When I first started training properly my biceps were 11.1 inches and now they are 15.4inches, my chest was 36inches and is now 41inches, waist was 34 and is now 32.5 so I am heading in the right direction, just need to keep building quality mass and keep tracking progress I’m awfull when it comes to keeping a workout journal


Wow! Very impressive progress so far. I’d say whatever you are doing is working. Keep doing what you’re doing. I would focus most of your efforts now on getting bigger and stronger just as you have been. Eating enough to fully recover without getting fat.

Don’t be too concerned with gaining a few extra pounds of flab over the next 6 months - 1 yr, as it can be easily trimmed off later, but eating responsibly in a surplus will benefit the majority of your goals.

You definitely aren’t in a position where I would ever recommend you to cut, you still have a hint of ‘skinny’ you need to get rid of first. :muscle:

Very strong lifts you have already though, so keep at it and the muscle will follow.


Thanks for the encouragement littlesleeper, I shall carry on hitting it hard and eating sensibly, I want to keep getting the lifts heavier because I’ve always dreamed of trying to win a powerlifting competition even if it’s just for my local area :muscle:


It might be worth it to start a log on here with what you’re doing training and nutrition wise and people will often chime in with pointers or comments to help you reach your specific goals.


Similar body stats (maybe a bit lighter and leaner), a few years older (23), and a bit stronger.

First, do strongman instead. Waaaaaay more fun.

Kidding (only slightly) aside, front squatting made the biggest difference for my deadlift and back squat. If you’re not already doing them, I’d highly recommend them.

Don’t worry too much about body comp. Eat to perform, listen to your body, follow a few basic tenants of healthy eating, and you’ll be on your way.