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Is it Time to Start Cutting?

Hi, I recently started working out at the beginning of lockdown (~4m) and have been using Stronglifts 5x5, I’ve made good progress I think and am still progressing week by week.

I started in march at 175cm and 62kg and am now at 74kg. Using the visual charts i’d guess i was 12/13%bodyfat at the beginning and more like 19-20% now.

I know everyone says to bulk and cut, but I dont know when the right time to begin a cut is?

I dont want to continue gaining more body fat is my problem - partially from an aesthetic standpoint, but also because i have noticed myself being more out of breath generally (very mild though).

Is it possible to purely body recomp at this stage by eating maintenance calories while continuing to train, and then continue to bulk after getting to a BF% more acceptable to me? Or would it be better to continue to bulk regardless/do a cut?

Probably best ro throw up a pic. Relaxed.

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What does your ideal end goal look like? And how far towards that goal are you now?

unfortunately cannot get a full body rn.

I guess something closer to Jeff Cavaliere would be the long term goal, in which case I’m probably like 0.5% towards that. Something mid-term would be like zyzz (basic ik), and im still pretty far off it

It is 2020. Get a pic up.

Based on these stats and you following stronglifts I am guessing you fucked up on this “bulk”


3 kg/month? Ouch. 1 kg/month is probably a better target.

Who? Spend 5 min on this site or any reputable coach’s channel, and no one is advising that. Bros at your gym are telling you this, I assume?

Then stop gaining body fat. Out of breath is a huge red flag. Do you really want to be the guy who gets winded carrying groceries upstairs or chasing down a bus?

Just please get bulk and cut out of your vocabulary right now. Are you on gear? No? Then there’s absolutely no reason to get fat to gain muscle and strength. If you’re really at 20% bodyfat, recomping should be very simple at this stage.

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Alright ngl, i’m not gonna do this because I’m not there yet with my body; I’ve always been skinny so it’s just an insecurity of mine

As in, big overeaten, and undertrained?

Ah I see. I’ll have to note that for next time

Great, could you point me towards the best way to do this?

What are your current macros?

I havent been counting macros, i’ve been counting calories - and I’m just realising the mistakes ive been making
I get ~2g/kg protein (150g/day) and 2500kcal/day

I’ve worked it out for today and it’s 275g carbs, 150g protein, so that leaves ~87g in fat. Today would be quite a typical day

How many days a week are you lifting? What’s your current cardio, if any?

3 days, 1 day apart - no cardio

Then dont show your face…

FYI…your comment is going to be taken that you might be a Troll

So two things that stand out, I think your overall cal and carbs are too high, and protein too low. Pro is currently only 25% of your calories. This is not great if you’re looking for a leaner harder look. Pick a day to weigh yourself first thing in the morning naked after you go to the bathroom. For a week try 200/200/75 P/C/F. Do the same thing one week out and report the change in weight and how you feel/look in the mirror.

Are you open to lifting 4 days a week? Upper/lower? Do you have time in your schedule for a daily 30 min walk (very casual)?

Alright sound

And then adjust after this?

Yeah i was thinking about doing this already but felt like 4 months was too short to change to another program

Also yeah, the only reason i wasnt doing cardio is because stronglifts website was talking about needing massive calory surplus so I didnt want to ‘waste’ any because ive always found it hard to gain

Thanks for the help so far btw lad

Yeah, check back in on this thread. Then we’ll have more valuable info to work with! There’s nothing magical about those numbers. It’s just trying to establish a starting point that’s more balanced, if that makes sense.

For now, I’d say don’t change too much too fast. Think of it as a science experiment and you just want to modify one or two variables at a time. Stick with your current program and only change 1. the macros I recommended plus 2. daily 30 min walk. Walks are great for many reasons: 1. they burn calories obviously 2. they can help reduce stress levels 3. they’ll help you with feeling more in shape since you were worried about that, and 4. they won’t affect recovery like running or rowing would. We’re just making a little nudge to your current set up without flipping it on it’s head :smiley:

“Massive calory surplus” sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. The strong lifts program is not that metabolically demanding. There’s no conditioning component and no higher rep work, correct?

Also, don’t let anyone online ever pressure you into posting pics if you’re not comfortable. It’s one thing if you’re working one on one with a coach, but this is a public forum that anyone can see. Good on you for being honest about your insecurity. I, and many more others on here can relate. I trust you know what you want to work on, and will give honest assessment of changes after a week. And post pics when you’re comfortable.


@limiw70819 you’re now in good hands. Follow @jskrabac’s plan and don’t get confused and try 4 different things when a bunch of voices come on here. Not that 4 different things can’t work, they just can’t all work at the same time.
Go forth!


yeah that makes sense

awesome, it’ll take me a few days to get started as i have exams currently and then will be travelling back to uni, but I’ll come back and update this when ive done that week.

Thats what i thought too lol, but then i was like who am i to question it?

appreciate that bro

Time to fix up

I’d bet money Jeff Cavaliere is a fake natty.

Absolutely this.

Only thing I would add is that starting a training log on this site will be really useful for course correction and accountability


If your serious about the life changes you want to make. You’ll definitely do a lot more research here on t Nation. Most questions have been answered over the years so searching makes it real easy but most people are cool with answering questions that can be found in search, as long as its tailored to you personally. Saying that. It is 2020, boys are right. Get a pic and put an emoji over your face. And if you are certain we don’t need the pic id suggest based on your workout routine currently you switch it up entirely to lose that weight until your down, then focus on lean bulking.

Don’t change your three days, or change to much at all. Just add to the days off… you want to stay anabolic on anabolic days and your three days currently sound geared towards gets the basics and your starting point truly established. That said.

Get your body out of the anabolic state you put it in doing the main movements it sounds you do and get into a 4-5 day a week program with more HIIT and Cardio. Im not saying stop using weights. Im saying enter a metabolic state multiple times a week and stick with it the entire workout. You can do more reps less weight, stretching, full body movements, and change your diet to reflect the training. Don’t just show up and do new workouts expecting the results. You need to train like an athlete to look like an athlete. Add two days to your weeks to your workout. Eat to reflect and enjoy!

And most importantly. Don’t listen to the gym bros spotting you if they’re saying hop on clen(or other drugs) or giving you the bulk-cut-bulk cut advice. Its debunked. Its hardwork and diet 100%, and when you reach your peaks you can push yourself past those peaks later.