I went on out-of-control bulking cycle (binge) late last year and ballooned up to 245lbs at 20%+ body fat. I convinced myself that I would be a lean 210lbs after cutting, but here I am now eight months later at 200lbs and still around 12.5-13.0% body fat. I lost most of my strength gains due to the long cutting period required after a 3 month dirty bulk + 6 week maintenance period.
I have learned that this is not the right approach to making lean gains.
Since I began lifting, I’ve been at a higher body fat percentage than I ever was in the past. I considered the fat gain a sacrifice to make when building mass. I don’t regret it since I’ve put on much more muscle than friends who refused to put on fat for any length of time. But, I want to reap the benefits of my efforts and look fit for once.
The last two years, I cut down to 13% body fat and started bulking to 18-20%. I’m now at 13% this year and I think this is the highest I want to be at the END of a bulk. 13% seems to be the magic number for me. I get a lot more attention and just feel healthier once I get down to this level of leanness.
My current plan is to cut down to 8-9% and then bulk up to 13% as slowly as possible. Then, cut back down. I like the bulk/cut cycle because I’ve never made gains with any sort of recomposition diet plan. Does this sound like a reasonable plan? I’ve never been below 11% body fat, so I don’t know how viable this will actually be.
I’ve been on creatine for a long time (a year?). I started when I bulked, but I’ve been scared to get off while cutting since I know my lifts will drop 5-10%. My current plan is to get off once I start bulking since the caloric surplus will possibly make it easier to hold on to muscle despite lifting less weight. Does this make sense?
I’ve neglected cardio entirely while bulking and cutting. It was becoming noticeable during sex, walking long distances, and doing simple tasks, so I finally convinced myself to start last week. I loathe cardio, but I can deal with getting on the treadmill for a bit. I only do 2 miles a session and go 2-3 times per week. I try to do a mile as fast as my cardiovascular system allows (185-195bpm heart rate) and then do walk/run cycles for the second mile. I’ve gone from 11 min mile to 8 min mile in a week, so I think it’s sufficient for what I want out of it (going from pathetic to average endurance). If I should be approaching cardio differently, let me know.
Thanks for any advice or constructive criticism.