T Nation

Shall I Bulk or Cut

Aye guys. i am a 17 year old looking for some direction. Tell me a little about myself 5’11, 165, 18.9% bodyfat. Looking to gain an extreme amount of muscle, but defined muscle! also i want to eliminate that high BF%, get rid of the love handles and reviel my abs. I was wondering what I should do first, bulk up, or cut down to a good bf% and work from there. However if you guys tell me which phase to do first, id also like maybe a training routine/eating/cardio routine to go by. so if you could point me to a good one that gives results that would be great. thanks guys. oh one more question bulking is eating the same foods as cutting right? just eating a lot more. thanks again

well heres wat u do, my advice is cut first since its summer time :slight_smile: as for diets, search on the side bar for diets, i havent cut yet, but a good place to start is the 7 rules or somethihg, its just a guideline for bulking or cutting. then ive heard the t-dawg 2.0 is good, or the fat fast if u can stand it. as far as a program look at ABBH 1 and 2, and go from there. some1 more experienced can help u more than me, but thats juss my 2 cents

Beach- I recommend “The Mutation Series” by Christian Thibaudeau. It is a 12 week program. The first phase lasts 3 weeks & the goal is to put on as much muscle as possible while maintaining the same amount of body fat or less. During weeks 4-6 you will lose as much body fat as possible while maintaining your muscle mass. He just posted weeks 4-6,so I don’t know what the next phase will be but I know I am happy with my results so far. I think he has a nutrition chart also that goes along with phase 1.

Beach -
In addition to above, if you do have any questions about the Mutation Series just ask and I will try to answer them for you,if I can’t, I’m sure somebody who knows way more than me(which is almost everyone on the forum) will.

I take some issue with the idea of novice lifters ‘bulking’ and ‘cutting’.

Trade chips and soda for beef jerky and milk, lift with intensity three or four times a week, and you will see results.

When you stall out in two or three years, then let’s talk about more advanced programs. I find the biggest problem with those new to the iron game is a lack of consistency and desire. You won’t bolster either by drowning in details right now.


If your goal is to gain an extreme amount of muscle, but defined muscle, I’d cut first. The probability is high that you’ll be gaining additional fat as you go into the bulking phase. If I were you, I would definitely look at getting down to 12% or lower BF before starting a bulking phase. I think that you’ll find it easier to go from 14-15% BF down to the single digits in order to get your abs to show. If you bulk now you may well get above ~20% BF. Take a look at the FAQ, plenty of cutting programs there.

Gotta go with Knight here. lovinthebeach, lemme ask you; how many girls have you heard say " Wow, look at that guy’s bird chest and skinny arms. Man, is he cut! Those abs were really worth it!" I guess they’ll just be staring at your abs anyways while they give you head, but that’s beside the point. At 17 your body is full of anabolic chemicals that many people in this forum pay good dollars for. Take advantage of them. If you eat clean and lift like hell I bet you’d drop down to about 13% while throwing on slabs of muscle. Tell you what, keep a food log of EVERYTHING you eat for the next week. Post it on the site. Do not change your diet or lie for this log. The more accurate your accounting of your current food intake, the better advice you will receive! Holla at ya in a week!

I’m probably gonna get flamed for this, because this in no way contributes to the question…but, did anyone else look at those numbers closely? 5’11…165…18.9%??? Is that even possible to have that much fat with such a small bodyweight (and at that height, no less)? 165lbs at 5’11’’ is SKINNY in most cases…

Sorry, just had to point that out. Oh and hey I’m not raggin’ on you or flamin’ ya pardner, I wish you luck in your quest…those numbers just threw me for a curve…

Those numbers are realistic. He’s only 17.

If he dropped 9% bodyfat that would put him at approximately 149 lbs at 10%. Think of how many 17 year olds fit that description at that weight and height. There’s a ton. Most would be higher than 10% bodyfat too.

My personal opinion…take how ya want it…but I think at 17yrs. old and 165lbs. you would be better off bulking what you can since your at the perfect age to take advantage of your T-levels…just make sure you’re eating clean protein and trash the junk food. BUILD A BRICKHOUSE…THEN REARRANGE IT…just my 2 cents ;] Stay motivated.

How long you have been training? If you are a beginner then I think you can gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously.

I don’t buy what some say about taking advantage of your adolescent test levels and go for bulking phase. Those same levels will also help while cutting. IMO aim for 10-12% then look at eating a surplus.

I second the food log idea. In fact I would say that if you are serious then it is imperative; otherwise you are just guessing. Get yourself a food or postal scale, some measuring cups, and write it all down.