Long-time T-Nation reader, lifter, cook, but rarely a poster. I am 5'7, 170 lbs and have decent relative strength (245 bench, 275 squat, 315 dead - had a bad knee but fixed my form, now squatting 3x/week to bring up the legs). Over the last 6 months I have finally figured out and have been absolutely nailing my nutrition. I'm confident that whichever course I decide on I can accomplish with my nutrition/lifting regime.
I VERY MUCH want to get bigger but have been reading a couple of contradictions from different coaches here and elsewhere. One school states that a clean bulk is best started from 8-12% body fat because the body can handle nutrients better. The other school suggests that no cutting should be done until you are basically huge.
In 2-4 weeks I can probably cut down to 160 @ 10%. I would like to hear personal experience about how well a bulk has gone starting from 15-20% bf vs. 8-12%. Has anyone tried both and noticed a difference in the results?
As a side question, what is a good goal weight for a guy my height? I'm always hearing about the magic 200lb number for a guy with an average frame (5'10 or so). It seems like 180 and lean would be large enough to put up some big #s and achieve a balanced look.
I'm well aware that a lot of this stuff is based on the individual. Tell me your experiences. Thanks guys.