T Nation

Time to Choose: Bigger or Leaner?

  Alright, my first post here.  I'm having a struggle with  what to do.  I have been lifting on more of a bodybuilding level for most of my 20's.  I have managed to put on some good size from doing 10-12 rep range work.  I just recently about 2 months ago started lifting heavy and doing alot of compound Olympic lifts and my strength has gone through the roof and I have put on about 20 lbs as well.

I feel huge now and all my cloths are tight in my chest, shoulders, and arms. My body has really responded to this kind of training. I LOVE the size and strength I have gained, BUT I have also gained some BF and size around my midsection that I HATE. I am 6'2" tall and weighed in today at 261 lbs. I am torn here....Continue to lift heavy and hard and keep the calories and protein pouring into me, I think I could be a 275 lb monster if I kept this up. OR cut my calories and loose the excess BF.

I LIKE being bulked up but I wouldn't want to take my shirt off. I'd like to be able to take my shirt off and feel good about myself, but I'm worried if I reduce calories and reduce my heavy lifting I will loose this new size that I have gained that I like. WHAT TO DO?.


Lose some fat. It's simple--you wouldn't take your shirt off now and you "HATE" the midsection fat, but you're contemplating getting larger? This wouldn't work because you'd be increasingly less self-confident as far as physique goes. Plus if you keep gaining weight, and fat, it may be much harder in the future to lose it all while still staying sane.

I'd much rather lose a smaller amount of fat twice per year than losing a lot more of it once per year, but this will depend on how you feel about dieting. While you will lose strength, you will lose a ton of fat and your strength:weight ratio will likely greatly improve.

Plus if you diet now you will be primed to gain a ton of muscle when you bulk again. For the majority of people you will gain more muscle and less fat while bulking the leaner you are. You will gain more fat and less muscle the more fat you already have.


Thanks man, that makes sense to me. I guess half the reason I train hard is to feel good about myself and confident, If I'm at a point where I don't even want to remove my shirt then I guess the whole reason to train hard is out the window and for nothing.