T Nation

Maintaining or Bulking Until Cut?

Ok, screw this summer. I’ll add in some cardio and see how it goes. Shouldn’t ruin a good thing as you say. And who knows? Maybe that G-flux thing actually works :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: Just to clarify, When I do decide to cut (probably next year, 19 if I get strong enough for competing at 18) Would there be a need to maintain before starting a cut, or can I just jump into it while in the middle of a bulk? Answers for both a long slower bulk and a quicker short bulk would be appriciated. I’m here for knowledge.

[quote]shoo wrote:
Ok, screw this summer. I’ll add in some cardio and see how it goes. Shouldn’t ruin a good thing as you say. And who knows? Maybe that G-flux thing actually works :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: Just to clarify, When I do decide to cut (probably next year, 19 if I get strong enough for competing at 18) Would there be a need to maintain before starting a cut, or can I just jump into it while in the middle of a bulk? Answers for both a long slower bulk and a quicker short bulk would be appriciated. I’m here for knowledge.[/quote]

If you just reached a heavier body weight and immediately start dieting, your body is very likely to dump the extra muscle mass you gained.

Muscle is expensive for your body to maintain. It uses more calories even at rest. Given a choice, your body would rather hold onto some body fat than more muscle mass because fat is a storage medium. Therefore, it will only hold onto muscle mass during a caloric deficit if you are able to hold that size comfortably and you take in enough overall calories and protein to maintain what you built while dropping weight (assuming you are lifting heavy…which actually needs to be included lately when discussing this stuff).

All of those guys “bulking” for two months and then dieting are running in circles and will make the least progress in the long run.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
shoo wrote:
Ok, screw this summer. I’ll add in some cardio and see how it goes. Shouldn’t ruin a good thing as you say. And who knows? Maybe that G-flux thing actually works :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: Just to clarify, When I do decide to cut (probably next year, 19 if I get strong enough for competing at 18) Would there be a need to maintain before starting a cut, or can I just jump into it while in the middle of a bulk? Answers for both a long slower bulk and a quicker short bulk would be appriciated. I’m here for knowledge.

If you just reached a heavier body weight and immediately start dieting, your body is very likely to dump the extra muscle mass you gained.

Muscle is expensive for your body to maintain. It uses more calories even at rest. Given a choice, your body would rather hold onto some body fat than more muscle mass because fat is a storage medium. Therefore, it will only hold onto muscle mass during a caloric deficit if you are able to hold that size comfortably and you take in enough overall calories and protein to maintain what you built while dropping weight (assuming you are lifting heavy…which actually needs to be included lately when discussing this stuff).

All of those guys “bulking” for two months and then dieting are running in circles and will make the least progress in the long run.[/quote]

Obviously I would be lifting heavy, one of my dream goals at the moment is competing at a national level in powerlifting. Even if I’ll have to compete in the 125kg+ class where there’s no competition (I know, chicken) I’ll do that.

I think I get what you’re saying also, if your body remembers being much lighter it is more beneficial for it to drop comfortably back to where it was, opposed to being bone dry at starting weights. Probably because being huge and ripped wasn’t the best way to survive when we were evolving right?

So where do you stand on how to build muscle? I know you’ve probably aswered that several times and the subject is beaten to death, but would you say bulking more slowly over a long period of time limiting fat gain or just focusing on gaining muscle for a long time and then shedding the fat when you have your desired level of muscle and your body has grown used to a higher bodyweight? Or regular bulk/cut cycles (obviously not due to your last post but didn’t want to leave it out).

[quote]shoo wrote:

So where do you stand on how to build muscle? I know you’ve probably aswered that several times and the subject is beaten to death, but would you say bulking more slowly over a long period of time limiting fat gain or just focusing on gaining muscle for a long time and then shedding the fat when you have your desired level of muscle and your body has grown used to a higher bodyweight? Or regular bulk/cut cycles (obviously not due to your last post but didn’t want to leave it out).[/quote]

My recommendation is if you plan to be as big and strong as possible, then spend a good 3-4 years simply working on size. If you diet down at all during that 3-4 years, make it only to undo times that you go overboard on gaining weight and use it to get back to a comfortable level of body composition/fitness.

Yes, you should try to limit fat gains. None of us are in this to become obese. However, some of us simply understand that in order for our bodies to grow the most during the years of life that allow it, carrying some extra body fat should simply be expected.

That does NOT mean gaining body fat is the goal.

The goal is to gain muscle. Anything that allows that to happen optimally is what we use to reach that goal.

I understand that fat gain is not a goal, but more of a necessary evil. I would not let myself get obese due to the fact that I’m a teenager quite insecure and would not have the motivation to get truly obese even if it would help my gains.

I will put up a couple of pictures of what I think is the upper limit of what I would be comfortable walking around at. Then you say if you think that is out of control, too low to expect maximum muscle gain or a pretty good image of what to shoot for at the peak of a bulk.


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Other picture too big to load, but you get the idea. Not at all obese, just big and bulky.

[quote]shoo wrote:
Other picture too big to load, but you get the idea. Not at all obese, just big and bulky.[/quote]

That’s about how I look right now only a little leaner through the upper body. That is generally what I let myself get to…but you need to understand that the guy in that pic is probably close to 20% body fat. He is simply carrying enough muscle to where he doesn’t look “fat” carrying that much.

The more muscle you have, the more fat you can carry and still not look fat.

Okay, I understand he is not carrying a big lot of fat. But since we both seem to have about the same cutoff point, how did you bulk up to reach the point you’re currently at?

[quote]shoo wrote:
Okay, I understand he is not carrying a big lot of fat. But since we both seem to have about the same cutoff point, how did you bulk up to reach the point you’re currently at?[/quote]

http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_training_performance_bodybuilding_alpha/gimme_an_bxb

Thanks, I’ll check them out.

This guy is carrying a noticeable, but not large amount more fat than I am at the moment.

I don’t do anything special to avoid getting fatter. I just make sure I’m making the gains I want (as if that’s ever really actually possible) and that’s where my body fat happens to fall. There were a couple times I boosted the intake got somewhat fatter, but didn’t gain strength or size any more efficiently so I just grew into that boost and then didn’t boost as much next time.

Another point though is that both you and Professor X, but especially you, are quite a bit younger than I am so you have much less to worry about than I do as far as precision is concerned.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
This guy is carrying a noticeable, but not large amount more fat than I am at the moment.

I don’t do anything special to avoid getting fatter. I just make sure I’m making the gains I want (as if that’s ever really actually possible) and that’s where my body fat happens to fall. There were a couple times I boosted the intake got somewhat fatter, but didn’t gain strength or size any more efficiently so I just grew into that boost and then didn’t boost as much next time.

Another point though is that both you and Professor X, but especially you, are quite a bit younger than I am so you have much less to worry about than I do as far as precision is concerned.[/quote]

I personally have a tendency to push for specific body weights because I use that as a guideline when it comes to “set point theory”. That is the only reason I am carrying more fat on me now. It takes effort for me to get as heavy as I am now in terms of body fat. But then, if no muscle was coming with it, I wouldn’t get that heavy…and may not again after I drop weight this next time.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Tiribulus wrote:
This guy is carrying a noticeable, but not large amount more fat than I am at the moment.

I don’t do anything special to avoid getting fatter. I just make sure I’m making the gains I want (as if that’s ever really actually possible) and that’s where my body fat happens to fall. There were a couple times I boosted the intake got somewhat fatter, but didn’t gain strength or size any more efficiently so I just grew into that boost and then didn’t boost as much next time.

Another point though is that both you and Professor X, but especially you, are quite a bit younger than I am so you have much less to worry about than I do as far as precision is concerned.

I personally have a tendency to push for specific body weights because I use that as a guideline when it comes to “set point theory”. That is the only reason I am carrying more fat on me now. It takes effort for me to get as heavy as I am now in terms of body fat. But then, if no muscle was coming with it, I wouldn’t get that heavy…and may not again after I drop weight this next time.[/quote]

Oh no doubt. Don’t forget you’re like I think 14 years younger than I am which gives you more leeway too.

I’m excited to see how you “turn out” once you start approaching single digits.

This guy here is being stung with the never ending misconception that you must gain fat in proportion to muscle forever which if true would have every large guy at 400 plus pounds eventually.

I read through both your threads. Really makes you realise how far you can go without overcomplicating things. I saw the pics in the alpha thread and if you feel like it I would really like to see some more pictures in between that skinny schoolkid and huge dentist.

Also, how do you view training for powerlifting to gain size? I know it isn’t optimal, but how effective would you think that is? It would be awesome if I could compete before 19.

Tiribulus, are you currently at your “sweet spot”(sounds silly but best I could think of) for bulking, and if so, I would really like to see a picture or two.

[quote]shoo wrote:
I read through both your threads. Really makes you realise how far you can go without overcomplicating things. I saw the pics in the alpha thread and if you feel like it I would really like to see some more pictures in between that skinny schoolkid and huge dentist.

Also, how do you view training for powerlifting to gain size? I know it isn’t optimal, but how effective would you think that is? It would be awesome if I could compete before 19.

Tiribulus, are you currently at your “sweet spot”(sounds silly but best I could think of) for bulking, and if so, I would really like to see a picture or two.[/quote]

I used to train more like a powerlifter in that we trained at a gym where a couple of well known guys worked out occasionally. We spent a good two years working mostly on our ability to move big weights…something that I truly believe most will have a mental block for unless they are surrounded by guys moving even bigger weights.

I doubt I would have ever benched 405lbs if I hadn’t trained there and seen so many other people do it. I would have made myself believe it was impossible.

Because of that, I consider that time period priceless but do not believe that simply doing a powerlifting routine will have the same effect.

Train around or with bigger stronger guys and your own progress will go through the roof…whether you be specifically “bodybuilding” or “powerlifting”.

Ok, I’ve got a guy repping out 4 with 160kg on the bench at my gym so no lack of motivation to get some big weights moving.
Also, could I get to see some more pictures of you bulking? I couldn’t see much more then the arms, traps and shoulders on the other pictures.

[quote]shoo wrote:
Ok, I’ve got a guy repping out 4 with 160kg on the bench at my gym so no lack of motivation to get some big weights moving.
Also, could I get to see some more pictures of you bulking? I couldn’t see much more then the arms, traps and shoulders on the other pictures.[/quote]

The last pic I posted in that thread is full body.

I was more interested how fat you would get while bulking and that’s hard to see with a shirt on. No homo :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]shoo wrote:
I was more interested how fat you would get while bulking and that’s hard to see with a shirt on. No homo :stuck_out_tongue: [/quote]

Well, that’s just too bad.