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Cutting Before Bulking?

Okay let me introduce myself. i’m asian and i’m 16 years old currently. i was always quite fat since young and i started training(though not the proper way) since 14, and recently just managed to get myself right with a good split and a training system i like.

i’ve been doing this split for about 3 months
monday - chest/arm
tuesday - legs
wednesday - rest
thursday - back(thickness)/tricep
friday- rest
saturday - back(width)

the reps and sets are simple. my biggest mistake in the past was to program hop, and this time i’ve stuck to this scheme pretty well. for everyday bodypart i’ll do an exercise ramping up and a all-out set of 4-6reps(for the compounds like deadlifts and dips) and 8-12reps(for the smaller muscle groups like lateral raises and curls). i’ve managed to increased my weight every session.

i’ve just read Dan John’s article http://www.T-Nation.com/testosterone-magazine-638?s=indexTitle#tips-to-get-more-mass and under tip #3 it said to lean out before going for mass. now this has been bugging me a LONG time(i’m 5’11 and 230lbs, estimating 25% body fat) and i’ve always wondered if i should lean out first,maybe lower it to just visible abs before i start gaining some mass again, or should i just hit it as hard as i can and bulk up now.

i’ve always had the idea to bulk up but this has been at the back of my head for a long time. since this article came up i’ve been wondering whether i should lean up now

Note: the rep/set schemes are similiar to the ones in bodybuilding bible and worked well, so the question is should i continue to pile on some weight to my lifts and risk getting fatter( i’m kinda soft) or should i lean up now and then focus on building mass. i’m in a dilemma now :frowning: hope you guys can help me.

Pick something and go full force at it. If you want to lose fat, go for it and don’t stop. IMO if you stick at maintenance calories (where you can still gain strength a bit but not weight) your body comp WILL change over time since muscle is very metabolically demanding.

25% is too high. I would lean down to probably 12-14%, which would put you at about 195-200lbs, and start back up again.

I had good results the one time I re-comped using the G-Flux method. Keep your lifting schedule the same, and add metabolically demanding exercises in with it. Cut calories just a bit, or clean your diet up some, if you feel you need to. I dropped from 17% to 12% in a month by adding sprints, barbell complexes, and heavy bag work to my existing program. I didn’t lose any strength at all, and had a nice rebound to boot.

I don’t recommend sprints for just anyone, though. Make sure you’re fit enough to run. Hamstring and groin pulls are a bitch to get over.

[quote]K-Man32 wrote:
IMO if you stick at maintenance calories (where you can still gain strength a bit but not weight) your body comp WILL change over time since muscle is very metabolically demanding.[/quote]
Speaking of long-term progress, it is much, MUCH faster to go on an all-out fat-blasting blitz, then get back to bulking hard.

Keeping Cals at maintenance and trying to lose fat while getting stronger is the road to nowhere

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]K-Man32 wrote:
IMO if you stick at maintenance calories (where you can still gain strength a bit but not weight) your body comp WILL change over time since muscle is very metabolically demanding.[/quote]
Speaking of long-term progress, it is much, MUCH faster to go on an all-out fat-blasting blitz, then get back to bulking hard.

Keeping Cals at maintenance and trying to lose fat while getting stronger is the road to nowhere[/quote]
Yeah at his body fat i agree, i wouldn’t agree in bulking hard after he gets down to that body fat though. Increase calories and every 5-10lbs (depends on what your body wants to gain) increments you stay at that weight to solidify it. One month to gain 5lbs then one month (or less) to solidify it (so you know it’s not just water retention and too much fat) adds up quick.

It’s really not that predictable. Muscle gain is not linear. I think it’s really more of a matter of just how ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ YOU need to eat to gain muscle optimally. Someone who puts on fat faster than average is obviously going to have to eat cleaner, and someone who doesn’t put on weight easily needs to dirty it up some.

You are still going to gain some fat, though. It’s inevitable. Every now and then you have to blast your fat level down to lower numbers, and then keep right on bulking.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
It’s really not that predictable. Muscle gain is not linear. I think it’s really more of a matter of just how ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ YOU need to eat to gain muscle optimally. Someone who puts on fat faster than average is obviously going to have to eat cleaner, and someone who doesn’t put on weight easily needs to dirty it up some.

You are still going to gain some fat, though. It’s inevitable. Every now and then you have to blast your fat level down to lower numbers, and then keep right on bulking.[/quote]
Agreed. OP is obviously self conscious so 5-10lbs in a month then coasting for up to a month (granted strength is still going up, which is should be) is a good general guide so he doesn’t get discouraged. Just my opinion.

I think you should diet down to six-pack abz!

Seriously. I wish I had before I started “bulking”, because now I’m too worried about losing the strength gains/size I made to really cut… so it’s probably going to take awhile for my 8-pack to show…

Honestly, I think leaning out is good for a couple reasons, I’ll name a few and think of more later:

  1. It’s an ego booster. You feel better about yourself when you’re ripped, even if you’re small, than you do as a chunky, but stronger, guy. It will help keep your moto up.

  2. It lets you see where you really are. People constantly underestimate their body-fat, and how much they really have to lose before they look the way they really want to. Even now, take what you think you’d need to lose, and then drop another ten pounds of fat, and that’s probably closer to where you want to be.

  3. When you start putting muscle back on, you’ll actually see it, and the smaller size gains will LOOK larger i.e. the guy with 14" arms and 10% B/F will LOOK bigger than the guy with 16" arms and 25% B/F.

  4. when you’re lean, you get feedback from your body faster because just a couple pounds starts changing B/F %s pretty quick. When you’re heavy you can be sloppy and fluctuate a lot without really noticing: it’s easier to dial your food intake in, when you have faster responding feedback.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

Keeping Cals at maintenance and trying to lose fat while getting stronger is the road to nowhere[/quote]

Thanks for all the responses

i’ve tried that before haha failed TERRIBLY, maybe its just not meant for me. i decided to go on a cut as i think i would do better on a straight full-force cut followed by bulking.

but now i’m wondering is there anything i should do to my training. i’m going to lower my calories from this week onwards(currently 4000 and dropping about 500 a week to maybe about 3000 and i’ll see how it goes on from there). training wise do i continue to train the way as i am now, venturing into such a high(for me :slight_smile: ) frequency and volume (and i’m always striving for a PR in either weight or reps every session) i was thinking it might be overkill for me and i should switch to a more strength based approach(maybe something like 5/3/1).

also am i suppose to expect strength loss? that last time i tried to cut i suffered a huge strength reduction(my fault on that-dropped calories too fast) and i immediately ended the cut. sorry for asking so many questions thanks everybody

Look around in Thibs’ HTH forum about para-workout nutrition. Good stuff.

Read this, too: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/gflux_redux

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Look around in Thibs’ HTH forum about para-workout nutrition. Good stuff.

Read this, too: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/gflux_redux [/quote]

i’ve read the G-flux, sounds like a good plan to me. following this g-flux i’ll be
1)eating more ‘‘clean’’ food(was eating quite dirty)
2)keep my calories as it is, but increase my cardio and other metabolic activities
3)keep my training plan the same

i still have some questions though, would it be normal if strength dropped slightly? and also being a student i don’t have the funds for ANACONDA and MAG-10, but i currently do have a tub of EAAs+BCAAs, beta-alanine,whey protein and fish oil.

my periworkout would be 15g EAAs+BCAAs,5g beta-alanine and then 30 minutes after i’m done 20g of whey.

regarding the strength question, would the answer be - just do the damned plan and see how it goes? :open_mouth:

V-Diet, then report after that or a new post. You don’t need to bulk at this point if you’re 25% bf.
-or some kind of diet.

You don’t need MAG-10/Anaconda. You’re not at that level of intensity yet.
How hum beta-a do you use and how?

Your strength can plateau or drop on a serious cut, which is what you just may need. You’re 16, you should learn to drop the ego if that’s an issue about the strength in lifts (if it’s an issue, just putting it out there).
You won’t have a surplus of calories to get stronger or stay at that intensity, typically.
How many cal do you intake? what kind (roughly)?

Last comment would be, why would you keep the training plan the same? Maybe it’s just my thinking, but shouldn’t you focus all your resources/energy on cutting? I’m not saying do complexes 5 days a week (though it may not be a bad idea to do some light ones here and there).

I would drop some BS in your plan, either reduce the volume or the little exercises kinda just jammed in there. Lift HARD still, deadlift, squat, bench, military press, row, etc. Use a 3-8RM and kill it. This will make sure you don’t eat up too much muscle on a cut with heavy lifts.

The rest of the volume? You guessed it, energy systems work. Or split it up a little and do some HIIT/complexes in the am after a light breakfast or just some supps then lift later.
(sorry for the essay, wanted to get out a lot so you can pick and chose)

[quote]fmaurice wrote:
V-Diet, then report after that or a new post. You don’t need to bulk at this point if you’re 25% bf.
-or some kind of diet.

You don’t need MAG-10/Anaconda. You’re not at that level of intensity yet.
How hum beta-a do you use and how?

Your strength can plateau or drop on a serious cut, which is what you just may need. You’re 16, you should learn to drop the ego if that’s an issue about the strength in lifts (if it’s an issue, just putting it out there).
You won’t have a surplus of calories to get stronger or stay at that intensity, typically.
How many cal do you intake? what kind (roughly)?

Last comment would be, why would you keep the training plan the same? Maybe it’s just my thinking, but shouldn’t you focus all your resources/energy on cutting? I’m not saying do complexes 5 days a week (though it may not be a bad idea to do some light ones here and there). I would drop some BS in your plan, either reduce the volume or the little exercises kinda just jammed in there. Lift HARD still, deadlift, squat, bench, military press, row, etc. Use a 3-8RM and kill it. This will make sure you don’t eat up too much muscle on a cut with heavy lifts.

The rest of the volume? You guessed it, energy systems work. Or split it up a little and do some HIIT/complexes in the am after a light breakfast or just some supps then lift later.
(sorry for the essay, wanted to get out a lot so you can pick and chose)[/quote]

hey thanks for your input! yep i’ve doing the G-flux diet(if you want to call it that, it can be used both ways). i wasn’t suggesting i was going to use MAG-10 and Anaconda but i was just stating my periworkout with the resources available. i take about 3-4g a day, about 40minutes before working out and on non-training days roughly just about anytime.

i see what you mean on the strength area, i never thought of it that way. puts it in a new perspective. i guess its kinda like taking 1 step back to take 2 steps forward? :slight_smile:

about my training, i just realized i got it the wrong way. haha when i finished typing that post i knew i was missing some details but i just couldn’t remember it. to make it easier to understand i’m going to train as per normal, but add in cardio maybe 2x a week, and slowly increase it to 4x a week.

i’m currently not doing much crap in the lifting programs, heavy compounds and slightly lighter(still heavy) isolation stuff so i would think that part is fine. i’ll be eating relatively ‘‘clean’’, and the ratio would be 33/33/33 (i find that i eat this way naturally already) and about 3500 calories

[quote]fmaurice wrote:
V-Diet, then report after that or a new post. You don’t need to bulk at this point if you’re 25% bf.
-or some kind of diet.

You don’t need MAG-10/Anaconda. You’re not at that level of intensity yet.
How hum beta-a do you use and how?

Your strength can plateau or drop on a serious cut, which is what you just may need. You’re 16, you should learn to drop the ego if that’s an issue about the strength in lifts (if it’s an issue, just putting it out there).
You won’t have a surplus of calories to get stronger or stay at that intensity, typically.
How many cal do you intake? what kind (roughly)?

Last comment would be, why would you keep the training plan the same? Maybe it’s just my thinking, but shouldn’t you focus all your resources/energy on cutting? I’m not saying do complexes 5 days a week (though it may not be a bad idea to do some light ones here and there). I would drop some BS in your plan, either reduce the volume or the little exercises kinda just jammed in there. Lift HARD still, deadlift, squat, bench, military press, row, etc. Use a 3-8RM and kill it. This will make sure you don’t eat up too much muscle on a cut with heavy lifts.

The rest of the volume? You guessed it, energy systems work. Or split it up a little and do some HIIT/complexes in the am after a light breakfast or just some supps then lift later.
(sorry for the essay, wanted to get out a lot so you can pick and chose)[/quote]

16 year olds SHOULD NOT BE V-DIETING.

Shit your posts suck balls.

[quote]Fotress wrote:

[quote]fmaurice wrote:
V-Diet, then report after that or a new post. You don’t need to bulk at this point if you’re 25% bf.
-or some kind of diet.

You don’t need MAG-10/Anaconda. You’re not at that level of intensity yet.
How hum beta-a do you use and how?

Your strength can plateau or drop on a serious cut, which is what you just may need. You’re 16, you should learn to drop the ego if that’s an issue about the strength in lifts (if it’s an issue, just putting it out there).
You won’t have a surplus of calories to get stronger or stay at that intensity, typically.
How many cal do you intake? what kind (roughly)?

Last comment would be, why would you keep the training plan the same? Maybe it’s just my thinking, but shouldn’t you focus all your resources/energy on cutting? I’m not saying do complexes 5 days a week (though it may not be a bad idea to do some light ones here and there). I would drop some BS in your plan, either reduce the volume or the little exercises kinda just jammed in there. Lift HARD still, deadlift, squat, bench, military press, row, etc. Use a 3-8RM and kill it. This will make sure you don’t eat up too much muscle on a cut with heavy lifts. The rest of the volume? You guessed it, energy systems work. Or split it up a little and do some HIIT/complexes in the am after a light breakfast or just some supps then lift later.
(sorry for the essay, wanted to get out a lot so you can pick and chose)[/quote]

hey thanks for your input! yep i’ve doing the G-flux diet(if you want to call it that, it can be used both ways). i wasn’t suggesting i was going to use MAG-10 and anaconda but i was just stating my periworkout with the resources available. i take about 3-4g a day, about 40minutes before working out and on non-training days roughly just about anytime.

i see what you mean on the strength area, i never thought of it that way. puts it in a new perspective. i guess its kinda like taking 1 step back to take 2 steps forward? :slight_smile:

about my training, i just realized i got it the wrong way. haha when i finished typing that post i knew i was missing some details but i just couldn’t remember it. to make it easier to understand i’m going to train as per normal, but add in cardio maybe 2x a week, and slowly increase it to 4x a week. i’m currently not doing much crap in the lifting programs, heavy compounds and slightly lighter(still heavy) isolation stuff so i would think that part is fine. i’ll be eating relatively ‘‘clean’’, and the ratio would be 33/33/33 (i find that i eat this way naturally already) and about 3500 calories
[/quote]

You need to up the Beta-a. Mine is plain, straight beta-a. I add 1g in some water at every meal and during the day, getting at LEAST 8 grams. Get 8-10 grams or it’s not doing much of anything aside from giving you the tingles. There’s only good research (from what I have read here) showing benefits from that dosage. Also, you can just put the amount you need in a gallon jug and finish it by the end of the day. If you REALLY like the tingles, use the dose you need for that (2.5g maybe?) and use the rest during the day. That made a difference in my lifts.

Do you know how much cal you got before now? Seems like a lot for a cut I guess. Mainly high on the carbs. If you want to use ratios I would use half that percentage on carbs and add more to the fats (those are total cal, not grams, correct?). The lower carbs will help get your insulin sensitivity up some so that you can cut faster towards the end and and bulk with less fat later. I would take it down to 150g or lower (bc you’re getting about 300g carbs now if my math is decent).
On a related side note. You’re young, this is a lot of info too, especially bc you haven’t had a lot of experience in any of this. With that said, don’t make this seem like a diet. Eat meat, lots of it, get your veggies too. You’re going to eat like a king though, honestly. Oils on your meat, on your veggies (I even put coconut oil on my tea/coffee, it’s not bad I promise). You can have butter on everything, cream in your coffee. It’s not bad. Make it a habit, not a diet. It makes it easier to grasp and enjoy. If you need meal ideas and stuff look around for the anabolic diet ideas, they will help you with lower/no carb stuff and great meals that are FILLING.

[quote]BONEZ217 wrote:

[quote]fmaurice wrote:
V-Diet, then report after that or a new post. You don’t need to bulk at this point if you’re 25% bf.
-or some kind of diet.

You don’t need MAG-10/Anaconda. You’re not at that level of intensity yet.
How hum beta-a do you use and how?

Your strength can plateau or drop on a serious cut, which is what you just may need. You’re 16, you should learn to drop the ego if that’s an issue about the strength in lifts (if it’s an issue, just putting it out there).
You won’t have a surplus of calories to get stronger or stay at that intensity, typically.
How many cal do you intake? what kind (roughly)?

Last comment would be, why would you keep the training plan the same? Maybe it’s just my thinking, but shouldn’t you focus all your resources/energy on cutting? I’m not saying do complexes 5 days a week (though it may not be a bad idea to do some light ones here and there). I would drop some BS in your plan, either reduce the volume or the little exercises kinda just jammed in there. Lift HARD still, deadlift, squat, bench, military press, row, etc. Use a 3-8RM and kill it. This will make sure you don’t eat up too much muscle on a cut with heavy lifts. The rest of the volume? You guessed it, energy systems work. Or split it up a little and do some HIIT/complexes in the am after a light breakfast or just some supps then lift later.
(sorry for the essay, wanted to get out a lot so you can pick and chose)[/quote]

16 year olds SHOULD NOT BE V - DIETING.

Shit your posts suck balls. [/quote]

You’re right about the V-Diet. A 16 year old shouldn’t do it, but if you want to be healthy you need something to get you away from 25% bf. What do you suggest, enjoy life and say fuck it bc he’s 16? I also suggested something else as well. He needs something to help b/c statistically he’s fucked at his age if he doesn’t.
What’s the age difference have to do with it man? please, explain this one to me.

yeah i keep the calories(and carbs too) on the higher side since i’m doing more activities, as following the g-flux principles. i wouldn’t v-diet anyway(doesn’t make sense to me financially and physiologically for now), i don’t see the need for it any time soon. i’m just a chubby guy looking to lean up a little so i can start some quality mass gaining. i’ll be starting this on monday

Calories - 3500(35/30/35)
Protein - 306g
Carbs - 300g
Fat - 140g

i’ve got my mind set on this and i’ll work extremely hard towards this.

monday - chest/arm
tuesday - legs
wednesday - rest
thursday - back(thickness)/tricep + Steady state cardio
friday- rest
saturday - back(width)
Sunday - Rest + Steady state cardio

i’ll increase the cardio once i work my way up. thanks guys

This is one of the better articles I’ve read on fat loss: http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1499282

I think everyone tends to agree that 25% body fat is too high for a bulk. I would recommend getting down to about 10% before focusing on packing more muscle on. I have gone from 25% to sub-10% body fat and here are a couple of tips that I can give you:

  1. Lose weight slowly. I lost weight too quickly, and ended up screwing up my metabolism and developing bad eating habits. I think a 500 calorie deficit is plenty per day. Set if you want to lose 40 lbs, set your target at 10 months (1 lb of fat per week).

  2. Stay busy. One of the problems I ran into when dieting is that I focused way too much on food. Basically, planning out my next meal and sitting around thinking about the food I couldn’t eat. Once you reach your goal, you’ll end up with a bunch of time on your hands, so you may as well start coming up with new hobbies while your dieting so that you don’t fill the void with unhealthy eating.

  3. If you start really craving something unhealthy, go eat it. For example, if you are dying for a candy bar, just eat the candy bar. Otherwise you’ll end up thinking about it for 4 days and then going and eating 10 candy bars. It’s way better to just eat the damn thing and get it out of your system.

  4. If you screw up a meal, don’t give up your entire diet. Just pick up where you left off.

[quote]BONEZ217 wrote

16 year olds SHOULD NOT BE V-DIETING.

Shit your posts suck balls. [/quote]

x2

Some people should gain more real-world experience before giving advice.

[quote]Fotress wrote:
i’ve got my mind set on this and i’ll work extremely hard towards this.

monday - chest/arm
tuesday - legs
wednesday - rest
thursday - back(thickness)/tricep + Steady state cardio
friday- rest
saturday - back(width)
Sunday - Rest + Steady state cardio

i’ll increase the cardio once i work my way up. thanks guys[/quote]

Why not train more frequently if your goal is to increase energy expenditure?

I really don’t see the need for a split like this for someone your age. Are you really pushing yourself hard enough to require a week for each body part to recover? Do you really need 3 days off weight training each week? Do you really need separate training days for back thickness and width?

It seems like you pulled this routine from Muscle & Fiction.