T Nation

Trim or Grow?

Hello. Currently I am 158lbs and 10.5%fat. I have been lifting for about 4yrs now. At 10.5%bodyfat my question to you all is can I still keep on trying to put on more mass or should I trim down some of the fat first. Personally, I’d like to keep on gaining (my goal is about 170 5%) but I want to make sure that my body is in the best possible environment for more muscle growth and not just fat growth. Thank you for your help and this site is tight.

Put “ideal body fat percentage” in the main search engine, not the one in the forum and click on issue 167 of appetite for construction. The last main article deals with the topic.

Simple answer: If you’re under 12 percent bodyfat, it’s okay to “bulk up” and gain LBM and some fat. If you’re over 12 percent bodyfat, it’s best to diet below that amount before bulking up.

Go ahead and bulk! 10% is still an extremely “controllable” level. Indeed if you are muscular, you probably still look pretty ripped right now. Good luck. SRS

I agree with the previous comments. Seriously, you’re at 10%BF…you can stand to bulk up a little and then worry about trimming off the excess fat you gained. You can very easily manage to keep your BF within a reasonable range. Just keep using the good ol “mirror” to gage your BF changes and modify your diet accordingly (if you see you’re gaining too much fat just modify your caloric intake). Go for It!

What is your training regimen and nutrition like? Do you do any cardio? 5% body fat is very dificult to achieve naturally. More than likely you will have to bulk up quite a bit. I am 185 at about 10%, and I think if I were to diet down to 5% bf that I should probably come it at about 170. If you do the math, I would technically be about 175 and 1/4, but would more than likely suffer some muscular atrophy on the sort of diet regimen I would have to follow to get my bf that low. So I guess I am saying bulk up. Bulk up but try not to go over 12 or 13% because you will more than likely get discouraged and think you look poorly. 10.5% is a respectable bf level. Good luck.

I read from other threads before that 10% BF is OK to bulk up for guys. BTW – if you feel like crap when you’re at 5%, it’s really not worth getting there. It’s just a number. As long as you look good, who cares what your BF% is? :slight_smile: Different measurement methods give you different BF% numbers anyways.

Okay, thanks everybody. I figured it would be okay to stay on a bulking phase. Just wanted to be sure.