T Nation

Skinny Fat, Bulk or Cut?

Hi I weigh 210lbs and have quite a high bodyfat of 23%. I have the skinny fat look if you know what I mean ie my arms are only 14 and half inches and chest 42 inches and quads I’m not sure about so don’t have big muscles but have abit of a belly on me.

My question is whether to bulk till I gain the right amount of muscle mass I want but gain even more fat as a consequence or perhaps do a lean bulk which I would need advice about as I’m not sure how to do this or too cut bodyfat to a decent level and then bulk. Any advice would be well appreciated. Thank you.

Eat at a small surplus (anywhere from 300-500+, smaller if you’re not good at strict control) and follow a solid lifting plan (SS, Stronglift 5x5, or anything that is based almost entirely around the main compound lifts and have you increasing the weight frequently). Bulking in itself is a not a word anyone who’s not a bodybuilder or looking to be a bodybuilder should be using. It means very different things for bodybuilders and people who are just looking to get fit.

And focus heavily on form when you lift if you’re new. Form is far, far more important than the weight on the plate.

I’m beginning to hate the term “skinny fat”

Awesome. People giving advice without seeing what he looks like or knowing a damned thing about current training.

How can you tell someone who is 23% BF (probably even higher) to eat in a caloric surplus?

[quote]David 109 wrote:
Hi I weigh 210lbs and have quite a high bodyfat of 23%. I have the skinny fat look if you know what I mean ie my arms are only 14 and half inches and chest 42 inches and quads I’m not sure about so don’t have big muscles but have abit of a belly on me.

My question is whether to bulk till I gain the right amount of muscle mass I want but gain even more fat as a consequence or perhaps do a lean bulk which I would need advice about as I’m not sure how to do this or too cut bodyfat to a decent level and then bulk. Any advice would be well appreciated. Thank you. [/quote]

How tall are you?

What are you currently eating? Crap (and too much of it)?

For diet, what I use is a Low carb, moderate protein, and high fat program(5% carbs/35% protein/60% fat) called CKD. It has been a major blessing for me. You cut body fat, and can add lean muscle at the same time.
Eggs are your friend, not just egg whites, you want the yolk because of the cholesterol. Testosterone is created from Dietary cholesterol, blood cholesterol, on the other hand, is not a major concern, as less than 15% of blood cholesterol comes from dietary cholesterol.

Look through the routines, pick one, make sure your form is good and get to it and stick with it for 8 to 12 weeks. I know everyone says push the bar fast, but I still feel that for beginners, slow and steady with good form is far more important than being able to push the weight fast, or being able to put up big numbers.

TT

Anybody who weighs 200+ is not skinny fat but just fat (I’m obviously not talking about people with low bodyfat). Eat around maintenance with a decent part of it being protein and veggies; make your calories come from clean sources. Then, train hard. If you’re just starting out you can lose fat and build muscle at the same time.

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Anybody who weighs 200+ is not skinny fat but just fat (I’m obviously not talking about people with low bodyfat). Eat around maintenance with a decent part of it being protein and veggies; make your calories come from clean sources. Then, train hard. If you’re just starting out you can lose fat and build muscle at the same time.[/quote]

Well, his hub says he’s 6’1". A guy could absolutely look “skinny fat” as opposed to “fat fat” at 6’1" 210lbs, especially depending on what his frame is like. How is that different from a guy who’s 5’10" and 180lbs (or whatever the mathematically equal proportions would be)?

Like jskrabac said, there really isn’t enough information to offer much in the way of intelligent advice, IMO.

OP, this article provides some decent general concepts and food for thought:

That said, if you want much in the way of productive advice, you’re gonna need to give a little more.

[quote]jtownlax wrote:
How can you tell someone who is 23% BF (probably even higher) to eat in a caloric surplus?[/quote]

Exactly, that’s just fucking dumb advice.

OP, forget bulking vs cutting - think ‘recompose’. Just start doing things right, and your body will respond with more muscle and less fat.

Eat at maintenance or just below. But make sure you’re getting 1 gm of protein per pound of BW minimum. Adjust your carbs and fats as you go along. Look up Thib’s Nutrition for Newbies (or similar) series here.

Lift hard 2-3 times a week (Wendler’s 531, WS4SB, a BB split or whatever), sprint/run/swim/shag the neighbour’s wife 2-3 times a week, and you’ll be golden.

Given your initial condition, you don’t have to overdo it at the start - take 4-6 weeks to nail down your eating and build into full training.