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View Full Version : Bulk then cut vs. linear weight gain



endeavor
07-25-2008, 01:16 PM
Hi all,

First post here. This seems like it should be a really basic question, but search/Google didn't find many threads addressing it directly.

It sounds like the generally accepted wisdom to gain lean mass the best way is to bulk up--gaining some body fat in the process--then cut down. Why is this better than a steady, linear progression, eating enough food to gain some muscle mass while keeping your body fat constant.

Relative to linear weight gain, bulking will give you bigger gains in the gym, and cutting will make things slower. But if you do bulking then cutting is that necessarily faster than going up at a steady rate? Put another way, say I want to gain 20 pounds of lean mass in 6 months. Why is gaining 30 in 5 months then losing 10 pounds in 1 month quicker than just gaining 20 in 6 months? (just pulling numbers out of my arse.)

Thanks for the help guys.

markdk86
07-25-2008, 01:18 PM
You are going to gain fat either way.

kevowamo
07-25-2008, 01:34 PM
its not quicker, its the same. but i understand what you're asking. my answer would be; if you steer away from linear weight gain and gain "more fat", then need to cut...you probably will be stronger. more calories make a better platform for muscle building. so if you take the two approaches you mentioned and compare them, all else held constant (training, rest), then the one where you bulk for 5 months and cut for 1 would give you 'stronger' results. i.e. you could put more weight in the air

JWick
07-27-2008, 06:45 PM
really wish this thread would get more in depth.great question ive been wondering about this as well

Gable
07-27-2008, 08:56 PM
I used to worry about this as well.. and had a similarly difficult time finding threads directed at this "versus" question directly.

However.. my completely uneducated, unqualified thoughts on it are as follows.

If you have more lean mass (muscle), this requires more calories to maintain, therefore you can burn more calories and lose the fat easier.

Like I said, completely unqualified answer, but it seems to work for me.

Good luck,
Gable

TopCat
07-27-2008, 11:51 PM
Hi all,

Relative to linear weight gain, bulking will give you bigger gains in the gym, and cutting will make things slower. But if you do bulking then cutting is that necessarily faster than going up at a steady rate? Put another way, say I want to gain 20 pounds of weight in 6 months. Why is gaining 30 in 5 months then losing 10 pounds in 1 month quicker than just gaining 20 in 6 months? (just pulling numbers out of my arse.)

Thanks for the help guys.

First, LBM does not equal weight. You need to replace the terms...
Basically, you just described two options... assuming at the end you have the same BF%:

A) A quicker bulk with maybe less control about surplus calories over maintenance with a cut afterwards to correct.

B) A slower, controlled bulk with no cut

Best option...

C) A slow controlled bulk followed by a controlled cut (too fast and you will be dropping muscle)