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Need Help with Cutting Before Bulk

Hey guys need some help with getting to low bodyfat before I start my bulk, I want to know what you guys think I should do to get shredded without losing much muscle mass, my age is 21,height is 5’9, weight 150lb, workout 6 days a week PPL routine and very sedentary lifestyle, not much moving around apart from the gym.

I tried to cut down and started on October 3rd with 1950 calories because online TDEE showed my maintenance to be around 2350-2400 and since October 3rd till today I dropped to 1700 calories but my stomach is still flabby, haven’t done much cardio except for 2 days of HIIT. And that’s about it, would really appreciate the help.

I do not think you should cut.

I do not think you should bulk (in the traditional sense of that word).

Instead, lift hard, lift consistently, and eat in a slight surplus. Aim to gain 1-2#/month. If you’re gaining less than that, you’re not eating enough. If you’re gaining more than that, you’re eating too much.

And be patient. The gains will come, but not overnight.

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Basically figure it what your body needs to make quality lbm gains and not pudge up too badly and so that for a while.


Thanks a lot bro, I didn’t expect such fast replies, appreciate it, I just have to stay more consistent and be patient

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Will do bro, I was also thingking about body recomp but wasn’t sure because I just wanted to lose the gut, but now I’ll up the calories and train harder, thanks bro

Remember, you don’t need to “up” them a crazy amount, just be smart about what you’re doing, and always remember that muscle growth is a slow process that takes time. You;'d be amazed how many people do recomps and the scale never changes, and yet 12 weeks later they look remarkably different!


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I checked my TDEE to be about 2250, I want to outline my approach for the body recomp, would be awesome if you guys take a look and let me know what you think, I’m setting calories around 2260, 268C/150P//65F and training is PPL, focusing on progression every week and do you guys think I should add some cardio to speed up the recomp a little bit and another thing what do you guys think about lowering calories from carbs to 2000 on rest days?

Not everyone will agree with me, but unless someone is working towards a contest or specific date to be “in condition”, I like to see how they do with little to no cardio at the onset. Some people surprise themselves when they find out that their preconceived notions of needing to do cardio everything couldn’t be further from the truth.


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How long have you been down to 1700 calories? If you’ve been there for a bit then you might not jump to 2200 calories right away.

I’m currently cutting some excess body fat before I go into a very, very, very slow gaining phase. Once I’m happy with my body fat then I only intend to add 50-100 calories per day and then slowly increase from there. I see no reason to rush. It will only make me fat again.

I’m guessing you’re saying you have a gut because you can’t see your abs. I do weighted crunches and treat my abs like any other muscle. I use heavy weight and do sets off 10-12 reps. The idea is to get them to hypertrophy which will make them appear more defined.

Don’t do it with obliques, though. They’ll grow but you end up looking wider and getting a rectangle physique.

I started to cut on October 3rd 1st week average calories were 1920 then 2nd week 1820 then 3rd week 1720 then last week of October 1700 calories and no cardio over these weeks then after that I didn’t see any abs maybe just a little upper abs coming in but my arms were getting vascular. I want to give some background info, I did my first cut back in December 2 2016 to January 3rd and I lost 10lbs 150 to 140lbs while all of my lifts went up it’s probably because I’m still a noob, I followed a carb cycling diet with 6 days really low carbs around 50-70g some days 30g while fats were high and calories were around 1500-1600 and 1 day 280-300g carbs while fats were low and calories went to 2000-2100 and throughout the whole cut protein was 135-145g and I did that from December 2nd to January 3rd.
Here’s some picture from that cut

Even though I saw some abs during this carb cycling diet, I was never really lean like 10% bodyfat and my lower abs were still covered in fat during that cut and I felt I lost some muscle and my stats right now since October 3rd 175 for 7 reps on incline barbell, 75 for 6 reps on incline dumbbell, squats 225 for 7 reps, rack pull from knee level 380 for 4, I don’t do deadlifts, dips with 65 for 6, chin ups 40 lbs for 4 reps, after the first cut which ended on January 3rd, from January 25 2016 to June I didn’t workout that much had some problems going on and from June till end of September worked out on and off never really consistent and now I just want to get back on track with consistency before the year ends and get to low bodyfat by end of January before I start eating on a surplus at end of January

You have two choices and this will be the case for the rest of your life.

  1. cut
  2. bulk (or gain)

Google “Thib Army Cut or Gain” and read his article on the topic and then make your decision.

If you’re truly a “noob” then you can be more aggressive with your gain phase. If you’re not then it’s easy to just get fat (old school bulk).

Hey thanks a lot man for the article, I used to read Christian Thibaudeau’s article on T Nation but never knew about the thibarmy website, thibarmys articles look good and straight to the point, I think I know what I need to do, thanks again

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