T Nation

Do I Have Enough Mass to Cut?


#1


Hey all, I'm looking for some constructive ciritism regarding my physique, and your opinion on whether or not I should cut. I have been lifting seriously for around a year and a half now, but previosuly had worked out for football (though I kinda slacked off on the lowerbody). In 2 and a half years I have went from a skinny fat 155 plder to a semi lean 175 pounder to now an overbulked 205. I have just finished my first bulk real inteded bulk, and while I did add on a lot of mass, I personally think I just look fat and would like to know whether or not you guys think I have a good enough base to cut for the summer (spring break is only a month and a half away! yes it sounds douchy, but im 17 I wanan fuck some bitchs)

Some stats to accompany the few pics

Age 17 (in a few days 18 though)

5'7
155 (at start of training at 15) to 203 (after bulk)
I'm guessing my bodyfat right now is around 16-18%

Bench: Max ever was 320 summer of 09, but broke my wrist and havent maxed out heavy recently.
Most I've put up recently was 225 x 13 and 275 x 6

Squat 315 (yeah like I said my lower body is absoloute shit, but fastly improving).

Deadlift: The gym I go to don't allow deadlifts so I never get to work them that much unless I got to a powerhouse but I have put up 315 x4. I still get a lot of back work though in forms of rows and pull ups.


#2

I wouldn’t necessarily “cut.” At your age, I wish I had gained as much mass as I could.

I would just make sure you’re getting veggies/fish oil at every meal, eat a carb-free meal as your last meal of the day, and add a session or two of cardio per week and see what happens.

I feel like, at your age, if you had the mindset of ‘cutting’, you’d be the next Artem around these parts…


#3

Maybe cut was a poor word to chose, what about “lean up”. I was a naturally stocky kid due to being severly overweight as a child, and evne when I was skinny fat had relativily broad shoulders. I don’t know, I know I’m not huge by any standards, but I’d like to think of myself as making good progress for my age… but I just am tired of being smooth. I have never once in my life had anything close to abs, and I’m thinking if I do a nice little cut to 185, and then just clean bulk the rest of the way it would come easy.

I have very good genetics for gaining size in my opinion and I’d like to see what I could look like being 205 lean rather than pudgy.

Would you be agaisnt me prob shedding mainly fat and dropping to say 185 and then just clean bulking? I never really want to be much bigger than 215 since I’m a short guy, so even if I just add 10-15 plds of muscle a year, as long as its clean in a few years I’ll have the physique I’ve always dreamed of. In your opinionw ould dropping the weight be a hidnerance and a disservice towards me in the long run?


#4

Judging from your upper body shots you have most of the people posting in the ‘Bodybuilding Training’ beaten already. And that’s not taking your age into account.

At your age, I wouldn’t be too concerned about cutting, but I’m pretty sure you can get rid of that lower belly fat without really compromising lean gains; it just might take a bit longer than a radical diet.
There are many ways to do that - but what I wouldn’t do is to jump straight into a hard fat loss phase, since you could lose too much of your newly gained muscle by doing that.

Personally, I’d go with rrjc5488’s recommendations, maybe drop about 500 kcals / day, see what happens and adapt my approach accordingly. Would you consider your current diet ‘clean’? I’ve seen people lose fat by replacing sub-optimal food choices with better, usually less processed ones - without changing their daily energy input.


#5

If you’re that young I say plow ahead, keep lifting heavy and eating everything you can/want so long as you weren’t inhaling Oreos.

And damn it all bitches is spelled with an “E”! I was spelling that properly since grade 2!


#6

Considering you have different goals right now (spring break), it’s up to you which one you want to chose. Ideally, it would be better just to slowly trim (don’t drop calories by too much), and maybe do a little cardio…but if you wanted to be leanish (like outline of Abs showing) in only 6 weeks, that would take quite a drastic effort - strength/mass would take a back seat in favour of more cardio and less calories.

I don’t think it would help your long term goals by cutting so quickly right now, but at the same time, it’s not going to hold you back by much (unless you held onto the 6-pack mind set and didn’t want to bulk proper ever again). You’ll gain back any possible muscle loss in no time when you pick up the bulk again…and as Fatty Fat said, your upper body is already ahead of many on here lol. Plus, you said yourself, that you find gaining mass quite easy (which I believe is true).


#7

At your age, I would certainly prefer to lean up a bit myself, especially with spring break around the corner. I think the general mood of posts on here lately has been because of younger guys thinking that with the 10-15 lbs they’ve put on, now they need to cut up (but usually only weigh a buck fifty to start with!). The real issue I think is short changing yourself in the long run. That’s the point PX continually has to bring up. Hell, if I had a nickel for every young kid at my gym who has asked me about test boosters, or NO supps, or how they should go about ‘cutting up’, and MAYBE they weigh 140 lbs at the time (all ‘bulked out’ -lol). Yes it makes me sound like the old record repeating the ‘what’s your diet like?’, ‘how much protein are you eating?’, and the ever popular ‘your hormone levels are at their peak right now, in your late teens, you should be taking advantage of that!’ (this is something continually pointed on out these forums as well!)

My suggestion would be a nice carb cycling approach, with a very modest deficit on your medium days. Continue to train for size, and just let the next couple of months do their work.

S


#8

You can tell that you have some quality mass. Good job. Some good advice in these posts. If it is super important to you to have abs for spring break you may lose some lean tissue in the process. If you feel like you are too smooth, lean out a bit, but tailor the method you use to your long term goals unless it is more important to you to be cut up in 6 weeks.


#9

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
At your age, I would certainly prefer to lean up a bit myself, especially with spring break around the corner. I think the general mood of posts on here lately has been because of younger guys thinking that with the 10-15 lbs they’ve put on, now they need to cut up (but usually only weigh a buck fifty to start with!). The real issue I think is short changing yourself in the long run. That’s the point PX continually has to bring up. Hell, if I had a nickel for every young kid at my gym who has asked me about test boosters, or NO supps, or how they should go about ‘cutting up’, and MAYBE they weigh 140 lbs at the time (all ‘bulked out’ -lol). Yes it makes me sound like the old record repeating the ‘what’s your diet like?’, ‘how much protein are you eating?’, and the ever popular ‘your hormone levels are at their peak right now, in your late teens, you should be taking advantage of that!’ (this is something continually pointed on out these forums as well!)

My suggestion would be a nice carb cycling approach, with a very modest deficit on your medium days. Continue to train for size, and just let the next couple of months do their work.

S
[/quote]

x2. The general board consesus of discouraging kids from “cutting” is because most of the time, the subject is a skinny-fat 175 lbs. They haven’t really added any mass yet. You, however, at least look like you lift weights.

If you feel you need to drop some BF, by all means do so. But once you get to a level you’re comfortable with, get back to building mass. That’s the other reason the kids here get flamed for cutting: they are all about hawt abz and aren’t willing to do what it takes to add serious mass in the first place. But again, you appear to be different.

Personally, if I were taken back in time and could be put in your siuation at 17, I wouldn’t change much in my diet at ALL, maybe eliminate some carbs and handful of calories on non-lifting days. No, I would let G-flux take over, and I would be doing HIIT, cardio, playing basketball, etc, etc every damn day. Get super active and, at your age, you will lean up nicely pretty quick.


#10

I think that you have a decent frame, specially for your age, and you can lean out a bit, but don’t get caught in the game to try to look ripped after months and months of cutting and losing quite a bit of muscle in the process. I don’t know about your financial situation, but generally for guys like you I wouldn’t use the money to try to cut, it is as expensive, if not more than bulking, and you’re likely not getting the results you desire now.

Cut for like 6 to a max of 12 weeks a year, maybe 2 cycles of 6 weeks with a 2 week break in between. By breaks I don’t mean eating everything in sight, just to reincorporate carbs a bit. Don’t cut extremely, just add cardio, adjust diet and incorporate a burner gradually. I wouldn’t loose more than 20 pounds (if you see a diference loosing 10 pounds that’s excellent), and try to keep your strength levels during the cut. That is, if you decide to cut.

Good work and good luck!


#11

Keep doing what you are doing, but increase your activity alot - like others have said, play basketball etc. If you don’t like that, perhaps go swimming (for fun, with some friends maybe), cycling - just stay on your feet and keep busy.


#12

You are already bigger than 90% of the people posting in this forum.

Hard to believe, huh? I mean, you would think with all of the posturing and the ridiculous attempts by many to sound like rocket scientists explaining the inner working of a black hole’s event horizon that most here would be HUGE…but they aren’t.

Most here spend more time trying to sound smart than actually being smart in the gym…so be proud of what you have accomplished so far.

If you want to drop a little body fat, there is nothing wrong with.

There IS something wrong with trying to get ripped in a few weeks because all you will mostly lose is body water and muscle mass.

Either do it right or don’t do it at all. At your stage, some all out “contest diet” would destroy your progress.


#13

[quote]FattyFat wrote:
Judging from your upper body shots you have most of the people posting in the ‘Bodybuilding Training’ beaten already. And that’s not taking your age into account.

At your age, I wouldn’t be too concerned about cutting, but I’m pretty sure you can get rid of that lower belly fat without really compromising lean gains; it just might take a bit longer than a radical diet.
There are many ways to do that - but what I wouldn’t do is to jump straight into a hard fat loss phase, since you could lose too much of your newly gained muscle by doing that.

Personally, I’d go with rrjc5488’s recommendations, maybe drop about 500 kcals / day, see what happens and adapt my approach accordingly. Would you consider your current diet ‘clean’? I’ve seen people lose fat by replacing sub-optimal food choices with better, usually less processed ones - without changing their daily energy input.
[/quote]

First off, I would like to thank everyone for their kind words of encouragement and advice. I’ve been lurking here ever since I started lifting seriously, and a lot of the notable posters here have the physique’s I dream of getting, and to hear praise from you guys makes me feel more confident about my situation and potential.

As for your question Fattyfat, I would be lying if I would say my diet is clean, though compared to most others my age Id imagine it is much more nutritional and protein filled. I know lots of bodybuilding advocates will look down on this, but I smoke bud and drink regularly, and as you can imagine I really think the munchies are the main reason why I’m smooth. Taco bell 3 times a week is not the recipe for abs. In the past few months I have cut down on smoking and drinking however, and received a noticeable decrease in fat.

Aside from the fast food munchies, I don’t really have a meal plan or count calories, as normally I dont get up in time to eat breakfast, but usually as soon as I wake up I have a protein shake in the shower (insert own porno joke here), to get my metabolism started. If I have time and if they’re available, normally I’ll take a few hardboiled eggs and an apple or two, and snack on them to my drive to school. My school has off campus lunch and so normally I’ll go to subway with my friends or qdoba and ask for something protein filled, and generally ask to hold out on the excess carb ingredients like cheese and dressings and all that, so essentially I have a plain chicken breast sandwich with tobasco sauce. On the days I don’t go out with my friends, I’ll normally just return home and have some turkey wraps or turkey burgers.

Dinner is where it normally gets tricky, as I have normally already worked out by then, and I don’t like having that many carbs post workout. I’m parts persian and italian, and so carbs are plentiful in my household with us normally having rice and pasta based differences 5 times a week. Lately I’ve been opting to get more veggies and meats in my dinner, but my parents are the stereotypical foriegners and all but cry if I “Don’t appreciate their cooking”, as I’m sure many of you have experienced. I’m really looking forward to next year in college though, as I’ll have an unlimited meal plan and assume there will be something like a salard bar where I can just load up on the chicken breast.


#14

[quote]doubleh wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
At your age, I would certainly prefer to lean up a bit myself, especially with spring break around the corner. I think the general mood of posts on here lately has been because of younger guys thinking that with the 10-15 lbs they’ve put on, now they need to cut up (but usually only weigh a buck fifty to start with!). The real issue I think is short changing yourself in the long run. That’s the point PX continually has to bring up. Hell, if I had a nickel for every young kid at my gym who has asked me about test boosters, or NO supps, or how they should go about ‘cutting up’, and MAYBE they weigh 140 lbs at the time (all ‘bulked out’ -lol). Yes it makes me sound like the old record repeating the ‘what’s your diet like?’, ‘how much protein are you eating?’, and the ever popular ‘your hormone levels are at their peak right now, in your late teens, you should be taking advantage of that!’ (this is something continually pointed on out these forums as well!)

My suggestion would be a nice carb cycling approach, with a very modest deficit on your medium days. Continue to train for size, and just let the next couple of months do their work.

S
[/quote]

x2. The general board consesus of discouraging kids from “cutting” is because most of the time, the subject is a skinny-fat 175 lbs. They haven’t really added any mass yet. You, however, at least look like you lift weights.

If you feel you need to drop some BF, by all means do so. But once you get to a level you’re comfortable with, get back to building mass. That’s the other reason the kids here get flamed for cutting: they are all about hawt abz and aren’t willing to do what it takes to add serious mass in the first place. But again, you appear to be different.

Personally, if I were taken back in time and could be put in your siuation at 17, I wouldn’t change much in my diet at ALL, maybe eliminate some carbs and handful of calories on non-lifting days. No, I would let G-flux take over, and I would be doing HIIT, cardio, playing basketball, etc, etc every damn day. Get super active and, at your age, you will lean up nicely pretty quick.[/quote]

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement and advice guys. I was thinking of doing maybe a 2-4 week quick Keto diet, but both of you are advocating carb cycling, so I will look into that more seriously. I assume without much beforehand knowledge that I will keep more gains this way?

As for other forms of activity, ever since football ended I really haven’t done much cardio, but I will try to incorporate some more into it in terms of some pick up games and what not. Also I have a pair of 20 plds dumbbells that I think would be Ideal for some tabata method thrusting.

Thanks again for the Advice


#15

[quote]Professor X wrote:
You are already bigger than 90% of the people posting in this forum.

Hard to believe, huh? I mean, you would think with all of the posturing and the ridiculous attempts by many to sound like rocket scientists explaining the inner working of a black hole’s event horizon that most here would be HUGE…but they aren’t.

Most here spend more time trying to sound smart than actually being smart in the gym…so be proud of what you have accomplished so far.

If you want to drop a little body fat, there is nothing wrong with.

There IS something wrong with trying to get ripped in a few weeks because all you will mostly lose is body water and muscle mass.

Either do it right or don’t do it at all. At your stage, some all out “contest diet” would destroy your progress.[/quote]

Thanks for the compliment Prof X, comming from you it means a lot. As for leaning out in a steady and resonsible manner, would dropping say 200-300 calories daily and cutting out a lot of excess carbs be enough to give me a somewhat noticible increase in leanness?

In your eyes would being able to get an ab outline and maybe down to drop to say 12-14% bodyfat justify the loss in muscle in the time given?


#16

[quote]Professor X wrote:

Either do it right or don’t do it at all. At your stage, some all out “contest diet” would destroy your progress.[/quote]

specially the last weeks of that kind of dieting need everything to be in order, so it’s very likely that just for that reason, at this stage, more damage than benefits can come.


#17

This is off topic but where do you live in Michigan? I saw you mentioned powerhouse, but where do you train that you can’t deadlift? not to derail the topic but if you’re in the east side of detroit area I know a couple gyms that are pretty cheap that might suit you better


#18

You seem to be honest about your situation. That’s a plus.
I’d simply start by cleaning up my diet: there’s a lot of cleaning-up potential in your diet. The perk of this approach is that you’re not going hungry and you’ll be learning how to eat better. That’s gonna come in handy as soon as you’re going to move to your own place (I take it you’re still living with your parents).
To be honest, I doubt you’ll be able to down as many cals with clean-ish food as you’re currently ingesting. So, I’m pretty sure you’ll lose fat by cleaning up your diet without (severely) compromising muscle gains. By the way: clean-ish could be implemented as 80%& clean, 20% dirty-ish.

Farsi harf mizhani?


#19

It depends on your goal.

I’m currently cutting, at 185lbs @ 12% bf something right now, at 5’10". 16" arms, 26" legs, 47" chest. My aim is to drop a little further, e.g “get lean” despite being still considered somewhat small on here.

I have had great progress the last 1,5 years very much because of this forum, gained in total 50lbs without really getting noticeably fatter, and of course much stronger (145lbs to 195lbs at my heaviest).

I know I will get flamed for cutting at this point, but my goal never was to become absolutely monsterous. That does not mean I am going to stop building mass when I am done though.

I don’t understand how dropping into 10% area will suddenly make all the muscle mass that I have aquired over the last 1,5 years suddenly disappear and kill all my future progress for life, which some of you make it sound like, especially when I manage to keep and even gain strength during the cut. I’m 18 years old and will still be 18 years old in 1-2 months time when I am done, ready to start bulking properly again.

I know this thread isn’t about me and I apologize for that, but I’d gladly take other more experienced peoples opinion on what I am doing, which hopefully also can be helpful replies for you too.


#20

[quote]wward wrote:
This is off topic but where do you live in Michigan? I saw you mentioned powerhouse, but where do you train that you can’t deadlift? not to derail the topic but if you’re in the east side of detroit area I know a couple gyms that are pretty cheap that might suit you better[/quote]

Northville Novi Area. Currently I go to the Novi and Canton Lifetime Fitnesses. I am a diagnosed insomniac and on the nights I don’t take my ambien, it is useful and convient to have a 24 hour Gym.