T Nation

Should I Bulk or Cut?


#1

Hi! I'm new here so I'll give you a quick rundown of my situation.

I'm 21 years old, 120lbs and roughly 20% BF. I started training back in April of this year, so I'm going on my sixth month of training. The routine I've been following has been a four day split that looks like this:

Sunday: legs
Monday: biceps and shoulders
Wednesday: off
Thursday: Chest and triceps
Friday: Back

After each work out I've been doing 40min of LISS cardio, and 1 day a week I've been doing HIIT cardio.

I just recently switched up my diet to this:

157 g protein
87 g clean carbs
46 g healthy fats

Total calories 1390

Two days a week (on my heaviest lifting days) I do this:
137 g protein
174 g clean carbs
36 g healthy fats

Total calories 1568

My problem is this: As I said i've been training for about 6 months now, and i really dont feel like I LOOK it. I feel like i'm an ectomorph sometimes since i've hardly put on any muscle in the last 6 months but I feel like this fat just wont budge! Possibly a lack of carbs? During these 6 months i've been doing a macro breakdown of roughly 50/30/20, so i'm here's what i'm wondering. Even though my BF is "higher" should I go on a slow bulk to aim on getting more muscle? Or should I continue down this path trying to get around 16-18% BF before trying to bulk? I read somewhere that unless you're 18% or below you shouldnt bulk.

I've attached a photo that I took two days ago, so you can see where I stand now. I know I need more muscle, but I'm afraid of putting on more fat and then just in the end ending up...well fat. Any advice I can get will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


#2

I’m pretty sure folks are going to want some more details about the diet. Understanding the total macro ratio will only get you so much advice.

If I were you I’d follow up with a post of a typical day…actually two days would probably make sense here, since you are doing some carb cycling. Post an example of a low carb day and a high carb day. Just run it down detailing your meals and timing.

Once folks can see how you are spreading those macro nutrients out during the day and what your diet actually consists of…they will be able to provide more specific advice.

Not all calories are created equal. For example fructose and glucose, while both carbohydrates, elicit different metabolic responses. Without knowing the details of what actual makes up your diet, one doesn’t know where those carbs are coming from.


#3

Okay good idea! Here’s a couple days of my diet, first low then high:

LOW CARB DAY
meal 1: 10:30am
1/2 cup of oatmeal = 150 cal
1 scoop of mass gainer protein powder = 155 cal
.35 tablespoon of peanut butter = 70 cal
total: 375 calories
20g of protein
51g of carbs
12g of fat

meal 2: 1:30pm
buffalo burger = 93 cal
1 whole egg = 77 cal
total: 170 calories
20g of protein
10g of fat

meal 3: 4:00pm
1 scoop of mass gainer protein powder = 155 cal
1 egg white = 16 cal
total: 171 calories
15g of protein
24g of carbs
3g of fat

meal 4: 6:00pm
buffalo burger = 93 cal
1 whole egg = 77 cal
total: 170 calories
20g of protein
10g of fat

meal 5: 8:30pm
buffalo burger = 186 cal
1 whole egg = 77 cal
total: 263 calories
35g of protein
13g of fat

meal 6: 10:30pm
1.25 scoops Optimum Whey protein = 162 cal
total: 162 calories
36g of protein
8g of carbs
2g of fat

total: 1346 calories
44% protein
31% fat
25% carbs
1163

HIGH CARB DAY:
meal 1: 11:30am
1/2 cup of oatmeal = 150 cal
1 scoop of mass gainer protein powder = 155 cal
.35 tablespoon of peanut butter = 70 cal
total: 375 calories
20g of protein
51g of carbs
12g of fat

meal 2: @ 1:45pm
buffalo burger = 93 cal
1 scoop of mass gainer protein powder = 155 cal
1 egg white = 16
total: 264 calories
29g of protein
24g of carbs
7g of fat

meal 3: @ 4:45pm
buffalo burger = 93 cal
1 cup whole wheat pasta = 210
total: 303 calories
22g of protein
41g of carbs
5g of fat

meal 4: 7:30pm
1.25 scoop of Optimum Whey Protein = 162 cal
1 cup of whole wheat pasta = 210
1 egg white = 16 calories
total: 388 calories
40g of protein
41g of carbs
0g of fat

meal 5:
buffalo burger = 93 cal
2 Whole Eggs - 140 cal
total: 247 calories
27g of protein
15g of fat

total: 1579 calories
36% protein
22% fat
42% carbs

Hope this helps!


#4

www.figureathlete.com

they’re more receptive to this kind of thing over there.


#5

[quote]CBear84 wrote:
www.figureathlete.com

they’re more receptive to this kind of thing over there. [/quote]

That’s kind of what I was thinking but I was waiting for you to say it. I knew I could cound on you. If I don’t see the word squat in the post, I have a tough time following along. It’s a good thing I’m cute.


#6

Here’s the deal on this little forum we are way more interested in training – diet, well kind of takes a back seat. If it is not putting more weight on the barbell, well heck then we really are not to interested. Diet is used as a recovery tool and such. We are not trying to be rude or run ya off, if you want to talk training and numbers we will be more than happy to help ya out. But as for diet…not really our best point.


#7

Okay no worries, I friend suggested that I post in this forum, but I guess that was the wrong move! I’ll try elsewhere.

Thanks!


#8

[quote]Firebug9 wrote:
…putting more weight on the barbell…[/quote]

With just 6 months training ^^^^ is what you need to do. You really shouldn’t be considering bulking/cutting at this point. Add weight to the bar and improve technique. Those two things will lead to improvements in physique. At that point you can adjust your nutritional intake accordingly towards your goals.

Good luck.


#9

[quote]loftisra wrote:
Okay no worries, I friend suggested that I post in this forum, but I guess that was the wrong move! I’ll try elsewhere.

Thanks![/quote]

Your Welcome! Like I said we are more than happy to help with your lifting…but that diet stuff, just not what we are best at. We do it and we know some…but you would be better off asking someone who really cares about what their BF% is. :slight_smile:

Good luck, and maybe you could try adding some weight to the barbell ;-). Might get ya where ya want to be.


#10

[quote]ouroboro_s wrote:
CBear84 wrote:
www.figureathlete.com

they’re more receptive to this kind of thing over there.

That’s kind of what I was thinking but I was waiting for you to say it. I knew I could cound on you. If I don’t see the word squat in the post, I have a tough time following along. It’s a good thing I’m cute.[/quote]

SQUAT!!!

as far as my personal opinion, OP, regarding aesthetics, I suggest bulk. SQUAT!!! and eat more. lots, lots more fat. I like fat bc it’s kcal efficient, satiating, and it’s what we’re genetically inclined to eat anyway.

SQUAT!!


#11

[quote]CBear84 wrote:
ouroboro_s wrote:
CBear84 wrote:
www.figureathlete.com

they’re more receptive to this kind of thing over there.

That’s kind of what I was thinking but I was waiting for you to say it. I knew I could cound on you. If I don’t see the word squat in the post, I have a tough time following along. It’s a good thing I’m cute.

SQUAT!!!

as far as my personal opinion, OP, regarding aesthetics, I suggest bulk. SQUAT!!! and eat more. lots, lots more fat. I like fat bc it’s kcal efficient, satiating, and it’s what we’re genetically inclined to eat anyway.

SQUAT!![/quote]

Plus, squatting is fun.


#12

Squat.

Yeah, people ask me about diet, and I just look at them funny and tell em to buy me a beer.


#13

I think if the women in the cardio section ever figured out what deadlifting and squatting do for the ass, we’d have to beat them off with a stick to get to the free weights ourselves…


#14

[quote]Chrysalis wrote:
I think if the women in the cardio section ever figured out what deadlifting and squatting do for the ass, we’d have to beat them off with a stick to get to the free weights ourselves…[/quote]

The women? I have to beat off the men. Wait. I don’t really have to beat them off do I? Damn. They tricked me again.


#15

[quote]pushmepullme wrote:
Squat.

Yeah, people ask me about diet, and I just look at them funny and tell em to buy me a beer.[/quote]

ME TOO!!!


#16

you look great…wtf are u talking about? lol, why are you trying to bulk? sports? competition? fitness model?