T Nation

To Cut or Bulk?


Hi, I've been lurking on the boards for a while, and I just got my first shipment from Biotest, renewed my gym membership, and I'm in the startup weeks of the anabolic diet. Currently I weigh 240 pounds, but can only bench 135 for 8 reps and squat 185 for 10 reps. I'm at 28% BF according to a skin fold test.

Basically, my question is after the start up phase of the anabolic diet, should I go into the mass phase to build a foundation of muscle before losing weight, or go directly to the cutting phase and drop the excess fat? I'm leaning towards building mass first since I've been overweight for a long time and a few more months won't matter. What I've read suggests it's easier to lose bodyfat when you have more lean mass increasing your metabolism.


If youre 240 and bench 135, you are in no position to bulk OR cut.

Eat clean/keto, log your calories, do cardio, learn exercise form/technique, train to get stronger and faster and aim for a weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week.




Get stronger


I've been eating clean, and I track all calories as well as grams of protein/fat/carbs in a spreadsheet so I can make sure I'm following the diet correctly every day. As for lifts, I bought Starting Strength and have been doing the lifts 3x a week, with a few added exercises (calf raises, barbell curls, shrugs, etc.).


what tribunaldude said... Learn how to workout properly/eat clean and you'll get some newbie muscle gain and fat loss. To put things into perspective, there are plenty of girls in the figure athlete forums putting up your numbers at 130lbs.

Don't see why a bulk is even an option. Near 30% and want to bulk (and with those numbers)? You'll probably just end up getting fatter.


keep at it, get stronger, then consider bulking or cutting.
(try to get at least 1-1.5x bodyweight on your squat reps)
walk/jog more too.


Follow this advice, and nothing else for several months, then you can worry about specifically trying to add some LBM.



stu is made of clay apparently


At this point and for some considerable time you will be able to add strength and muscle while losing fat.

Provided the fat loss is at a modest pace. If you starve yourself then of course strength and muscular size won't improve at the same time.

"Bulking" to aid muscle growth is called for when enough muscular and strength development has occurred that muscle and strength gains are slow or non-existent when eating maintenance. Stick with it and some time down the road then such a dilemma will come up, but for now you can and should lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.


Ok, thanks for clearing that up Bill. I was under the impression that for most people gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time wasn't usually possible. I guess that's just for guys that have been lifting for years? Also....

I'm well aware of that, I was browsing the "How much can you Lift" thread in the muscle sorority forums earlier..... and ouch.


I can only echo what Bill Roberts stated earlier. If you're a relative newby you may be in that envious position when you can actually gain lean tissue and lose fat at the same time - provided you adopt the correct approach.

This is one of my biggest regrets since getting back into the iron 4 years ago after a decade-long sabbatical. Ridding myself of flab was my main interest, and I was pretty successful. However, body comp analysis showed I lost quite a bit of lean mass in the process - no doubt due to insufficient diet and training protocols.

Good luck and keep us posted with your progress.