T Nation

Does Anyone Still Bulk and Cut If You're Natural?


Hi there,

I just recently finished a cut in which I got quite a lot leaner but also look a lot skinnier. It’s kind of a situation where if I take my shirt off people are like wow you have a good body but didn’t really realise before I took my shirt off which is not really what I want.

So I am going to bulk for a bit but after reading a few of the articles on here they say to slow bulk up over the year, is this what most people do now? I am completely natural and don’t plan on taking anything.

The articles on here are saying you should eat clean foods, time your macros and so on but I have read in a lot of places that all this is broscience? Like that it doesn’t matter if I eat carbs before bed, or if the carb is sweet potato or white pasta and so on. Should I listen to all of that or is that outdated and a bit brosciencey? When I was on my cut I ate ice cream in the evenings for example and still lost weight.



bulking and cutting is fine, assuming you don’t just use it as an excuse to be a fat bastard


There are a lot of opinions on nutrient timing such as eating before bed. There are also a lot of opinions on carbs–intermittent fasting, low carb, spread evenly, etc. That’s proof that there’s more than one way to reach your goals. In regards to bulking/cutting I think the clean/slow bulk is the better option.

It’s not the newest article on the topic but it makes sense and helps keep reality in check. It’s helped me to ditch the dirty bulk and cut cycle.


I think in general the concept of “bulking and cutting” is backwards. People are fixating on food as the determinant of anabolism and paying zero regard to training, when it should honestly be the other way around.

Nutrition is an aspect of recovery. You use it to recover from training. Training, in turn, tends to occur in blocks due to your ability TO recover. When you increase the volume of training, you increase the food intake to facilitate recovery. You’ll be able to sustain this for a period of time (several months) before, eventually, the volume becomes too much to practically recover from. This would be your “bulk”. Once you can no longer recover from training volume, you drop volume and increase intensity. During this period of time, greater recovery is not required, so food gets scaled down to match. This would be the cut.

Instead, what we witness is people that train in the exact same manner and only manipulate calories. They end up putting on the same amount of fat and taking it off over and over again


What do you weigh and how tall are you? I think for one to be noticed in clothing, he has to be pretty damn big.

What are we considering a bulk: wreckless eating or eating a few hundred calories over maintenance?

And yes, weight gain can be gradual considering muscle gain is painfully slow after the second year of training!


Excellent Post!

You can’t out-diet your training!


Hi, I weight about 175lb atm and am 5’11.

I was cutting on about 1900 calories and now eating 2700 calories, so not much over maintenance.


I understand what you are saying but how do you judge if you are recovered or not? I train one body part per week so I am pretty much always recovered by the time the next one comes around.


You are recovered if you are continuing to make progress. When you stall, regress and find yourself with constant small injuries, you are under recovering.

The volume and food manipulations should be gradual in all instances. Don’t go full tilt right out of the gate.


How does a guy on a “body part split” increase volume?

I don’t think 2 more sets of Pec-Dec and 2 more sets of hamstring curls are going to make a dramatic difference.

Would you switch up days? Like arms day is out and back day is in twice?

Or do 20 rep squats or something?


intensity techniques. Drop sets and such.

  • and that’s why Doggcrapp is for the “Off-Season?”

I’m learning a lot today.


On top of that, conditioning work is a sneaky way to get in more volume. Prowler can do a lot of damage for the whole body.


Freaking quote of the year… always felt that way!!! Happy someone else shares my view point!!! :thumbsup:


@T3hPwnisher One of my pet peeves is when I see beginners who cant figure out why they are not gaining who are fixating on every little bite they eat and every damn macro to the letter. Yet completely ignore what they are actually doing in the gym itself.

Love your point of view regarding the role nutrition plays on recovery. Most are too narrow minded and only look at the weight loss and weight gain dynamic.


How do I work in the Ice Cream-Cut?

Because that sounds good.


I appreciate it dude. I was a victim of that thought process myself. Took a LONG time for me to figure it all out. Too much noise out there about “eat big, get big”, not enough talking about how it actually works.


I just counted my macros and lost consistently, I do shed weight pretty easily though, gaining is my hard part.


Throw in a couple of cans of tuna and 20min. of HIIT every day before practice. Then a few hundred push-ups before bed.

I used to do that during wrestling season.

Disclaimer- I don’t know how well that works for adults that don’t have a wrestling season.


It’s cool you mention wrestling practice.

I’ve been trying to make my workouts more like that. More bodyweight moves, more circuits, less laying down.

I even got ring-worm.