Decision to Make: Cut Calories or Gain Muscle?

I appreciate that!

Gonna be starting a log on here to hold myself more accountable. If I could pick your brain for just a second:

What would a good rate be for gaining weight? I was originally going to go with 1lb a week, but thinking about it now I’m not even sure where I got that number.

Most are concerned with body composition. If that is something you will eventually be concerned about, I’d recommend staying at 200lbs for you height, for the next couple years.

Now if you post a pic that indicates you have excellent genetics, I’d be open to gain 10 to 20 more pounds.

If you stay at 200lbs and get stronger, you will become more muscular and drop some fat. Most people find this difficult to do.

Is competition a quest that you are interested? Either powerlifting or bodybuilding?

I haven’t paid much attention to it, but body comp will probably be a bigger priority later on. In terms of genetics, my dad has an inch on me and is a beefcake without any weightlifting, except for moving heavy things. My brother and I got his chest. My brother packed on muscle without any planning, but he has a few inches on me and a faster metabolism.

In regards to staying at the same weight and simultaneously gaining muscle while losing fat, I’ve always gotten the idea that this was the equivalent of going 1/2 throttle in both directions. It’s seemed that full throttle in just one direction would yield better results, but now that I think about it I couldn’t give you a source for that idea either.

I’ve never given much thought to the last question. Ideally, I want to lift heavy AND look good, because of course. I don’t think I want to compete with bodybuilding. Competing in powerlifting would be awesome, but I think my mind is in the wrong place to be eating for it. I still have too much of the old fear of being too big. That will hopefully change in the future, but for now I don’t want to be any fluffier than I already am.

Writing that out verified your recommendation, but I’m definitely curious about the gaining muscle while losing fat idea. Is it feasible?

Look it from a powerlifting perspective. Let’s suppose you will be competing in the 198lb class. How much over 200lb would want to get off season? That is, how much weight are you willing to lose to make weight?

A fairly respectable 198lb powerlifter is totaling around 1,500lb.

What I am saying is that you can get very much stronger without gaining weight.

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That makes sense, gonna try it out. Thank you for the responses!