T Nation

Lean Out? Bulk Up? Fluctuating Goals


This past summer I was down to about 6-7% BF. I LOVED how I looked and felt. With the onset of winter, I've been eating a lot more (clean) with intentions to really build muscle. However, as I've noticed myself losing my "cut" and definition I find myself constantly going back and forth with my goals. Psychologically, I just HATE seeing a flabby me in the mirror. At the same time, I want to look HUGE, but I'm in the camp that it takes extra cals to really build up the muscles.

My question: How does everyone else deal with this; how do you pick a goal and stick with it? BASICALLY: Can I have my cake and eat it...


I am not sure you understand the concept of goal setting. Stop dabbling, write your goals down and go for it.

Also, stop looking back with "what if....".

A goal takes time, patience, effort and dedication. Stop looking at the flab, and start looking at the muscle you are putting on. You want your cake and it too? Become a baker.


I've had this problem for many years myself, which has probably prevented me from making as great of gains as I could have. Now I've learned to just deal with it and be happy a little softer.


I see a couple problems here.

1) Goals are measurable. "really building muscle" is not a goal it is more like a dream of what you think would be nice to have. A goal would be X body weight or X lean body mass. Goals are specific and measurable.

2) It isn't that you don't want it but you seem to be lacking dedications. Try writing out your goals with a new you in the next 12 months. Then split it in half and say build muscle for 9 of those months then cut fat for 3 months. You can't chase to rabbits at once but you can decide which one is more important or which one needs to be caught first.

You need to sit down and be honest with yourself.
If you don't really want to be big and cut that is fine too.
If it were easy everyone would be doing it.


I went back and forth between bulk and cut cycles and had the same reaction. I think the age argument eventually won out for me, I just don't think it's healthy to ramp weight up and down like that. I decided to just get down to a good weight that's about 10 lbs. below the upper limit for my height and be satisfied with the muscle I have.

I'm pretty happy with what I see in the mirror and I've been able to drop all of my cholesterol medication and have healthy levels drug free.

Its ultimately a decision you make for your own reasons that will settle it for you.


No you can't have your cake and....
I delt with it by tying the towel around my waist after the shower when I was lean, and tying it under my pecs when I wasn't.


Basically just wear a sweater all the time and stop looking in the mirror.