T Nation

Powerlifter Going Back to Gym After 4 Months Off

To make a long story short I got cancer and had to take 4 months off from the gym because of the treatment, now im able to return from the gym and was wondering should I bulk to regain lost muscle and strength or will my strength and muscle return if I cut?

Weight went from 105kg to 93kg, height 187cm body fat 20% realistically

Before treatment
Deadlift 315kg
Bench 170kg
Squat 240kg

Any advice?

I’d suggest easing back into it. Put the weight back on slowly. Get in a lot of reps at this point and build back up to where you were over time. Take your time and be patient. Enjoy the process.

Thank you for your reply but I was asking about if I should cut or bulk first.



Surely this is a perfect opportunity to get strong in the 93kg class. Unless you think you lost only muscle during your treatment.

You don’t really want to bulk if you are already 20%bf, you will get too fat and then need to cut. Seeing as you haven’t been training for a while you could try recomping, which is basically losing fat while building muscle and maintaining bodyweight by increasing training volume and keeping calories at maintenance. This is not very effective if you have been consistently training with high volume, but if you have taken time off of training or even after a period of low volume (like peaking for a meet) it can work.

I’m currently cutting (too much fat) from 242 to 220. I’m about halfway there. What I found works is high intensity/low volume. I found high volume training to me more systemically stressful, water-retaining, and hunger inducing. I cut 500 cal/day and keep protein between 185 and 200 g/day, fat under 75g/day and roughly 200-230 g/day carbs.

Be careful cutting carbs too low, if you want to have energy to push intensity. After the cut is done then you would try to recomp by adding protein, upping the volume and cycling fat and carbs.

Talk to bodybuilders and study Efferding.

why don’t you just eat well and see how it goes with the gym come back ! and ajust your routine week after week for your needs

I agree with what others have said, I would just ease back into it–though at 20% that is high so I would just focus on eating healthy and letting the rest take care of itself.