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View Full Version : Tried to cut, hit a brick wall, should I now bulk?



Eric Cartman
06-27-2011, 11:20 PM
Age: 39
Height:: 6 ft 1

I was 184 lbs at 24% body fat.... I went on a long cut for several months and got down to 164 lbs at about 15% body fat. I lost about 10 lbs of strength during this cycle also..

I look and feel a lot better, but I simply can't seem to lose anymore weight.... I might have hit that difficult plateau that many people encounter when trying to get their body fat to a very low number..

Would it make more sense to start hypertrophy cluster training now, or should I keep hitting my head against the brick wall trying to reach 10% bodyfat and looking very lean?

What do you suggest?

BallsWideDeep
06-28-2011, 09:15 AM
Age: 39
Height:: 6 ft 1

I was 184 lbs at 24% body fat.... I went on a long cut for several months and got down to 164 lbs at about 15% body fat. I lost about 10 lbs of strength during this cycle also..

I look and feel a lot better, but I simply can't seem to lose anymore weight.... I might have hit that difficult plateau that many people encounter when trying to get their body fat to a very low number..

Would it make more sense to start hypertrophy cluster training now, or should I keep hitting my head against the brick wall trying to reach 10% bodyfat and looking very lean?

What do you suggest?

I had similar stats to you a year ago, but I'm a decade younger.
Do you use fitday's calorie tracker?
What are your calories at?
What are you doing as far as working out?
Are you sleeping?

At 6'1" 164lbs. @ 15% bodyfat you need to be real careful about how low you go in weight. I went down to 160, and fucked myself up from lack of experience. I still don't calve raise what I did when I first started working out. A few weeks CONTROLLED bulk would probably be great for your metabolism and mind. You might also be body dysmorphic. When you say about 15% that might be 11% with no abs showing.

Eric Cartman
06-28-2011, 02:16 PM
I had similar stats to you a year ago, but I'm a decade younger.
Do you use fitday's calorie tracker?
What are your calories at?
What are you doing as far as working out?
Are you sleeping?

At 6'1" 164lbs. @ 15% bodyfat you need to be real careful about how low you go in weight. I went down to 160, and fucked myself up from lack of experience. I still don't calve raise what I did when I first started working out. A few weeks CONTROLLED bulk would probably be great for your metabolism and mind. You might also be body dysmorphic. When you say about 15% that might be 11% with no abs showing.

I use a calorie tracker and my maintenance calories are around 1700-1800 calories at the moment...

I do a 3 day upper-lower split, currently doing Hypertrophy Cluster training type model, but I've been trying to eat a calorie deficit and lose weight.

Getting plenty of sleep, sometimes even 10-12 hours...

So you're saying if I go too low in weight, I will lose too much strength and muscle and hurt my metabolism? Doesn't appear to be a problem, since I can't seem to lose anymore weight no matter what I do...

SDS
06-29-2011, 06:47 PM
I stop cutting at a specific weight regardless of what my BF% is. After doing about 4 cut/bulk cycles over the past 3 or so years, each time I hit that weight I have a lower BF%. You just have to keep at it, be consistent, and realize that these are long term goals.

Off Road
06-29-2011, 07:05 PM
I stop cutting at a specific weight regardless of what my BF% is. ... each time I hit that weight I have a lower BF%..
This is my plan too.

Dan Fanelli
06-29-2011, 08:38 PM
Ive removed "cut" and "cutting" from my vocabulary unless im referring to cutting a steak, or cutting the cheese. In all seriousness though, at 6'1 and 164lbs you dont need to be cutting at all. You should be able to make good progress by eating sensibly and lifting heavy weights. You are a prime candidate for a "recomp" or to at least "lean bulk".

Behemoth
06-30-2011, 09:55 AM
Ive removed "cut" and "cutting" from my vocabulary unless im referring to cutting a steak, or cutting the cheese. In all seriousness though, at 6'1 and 164lbs you dont need to be cutting at all. You should be able to make good progress by eating sensibly and lifting heavy weights. You are a prime candidate for a "recomp" or to at least "lean bulk".

Unless he wants to be leaner which I've pretty much gathered that he does and is just frustrated.

Behemoth
06-30-2011, 09:58 AM
Age: 39
Height:: 6 ft 1

I was 184 lbs at 24% body fat.... I went on a long cut for several months and got down to 164 lbs at about 15% body fat. I lost about 10 lbs of strength during this cycle also..

I look and feel a lot better, but I simply can't seem to lose anymore weight.... I might have hit that difficult plateau that many people encounter when trying to get their body fat to a very low number..

Would it make more sense to start hypertrophy cluster training now, or should I keep hitting my head against the brick wall trying to reach 10% bodyfat and looking very lean?

What do you suggest?

IMO 15% is closer to the upper limits of where one should allow their bodyfat and not the lower limits. Meaning it's better to get down to 8-10% and gain weight up to 15-16% than it is to gain and lose weight between 15% and 25%.

I would keep dieting. Maybe take one to two week and raise you calories by a few hundred and then reduce them back to where you're at now. But do NOT jump right into a bulk. When I say raise by a few hundred it's not a free pass to quit dieting. It will still feel like dieting in fact.

BallsWideDeep
06-30-2011, 12:43 PM
I use a calorie tracker and my maintenance calories are around 1700-1800 calories at the moment...

I do a 3 day upper-lower split, currently doing Hypertrophy Cluster training type model, but I've been trying to eat a calorie deficit and lose weight.

Getting plenty of sleep, sometimes even 10-12 hours...

So you're saying if I go too low in weight, I will lose too much strength and muscle and hurt my metabolism? Doesn't appear to be a problem, since I can't seem to lose anymore weight no matter what I do...

No I don't think a low body weight will hurt your strength or metabolism. I'm just concerned for you. As a former skinny fat dude I think it's easy to overestimate how fat you are when you may just need to gain 10 lbs of muscle to fill out a bit. You named yourself Eric Cartman. Probably reading in to nothing, but that seems pretty negative.

I went crazy trying to get below 10% BF. Now that I've put on just a little bit of muscle I like the way I look in the 10%-12%.

It sounds like your doing things correctly with diet, sleep, exercise. Some will probably scoff at me suggesting it, but have you thought of incorporating one or two 20min HIIT cardio sessions a week. It can help keep your nutrient levels up while increasing your caloric needs.

Eric Cartman
06-30-2011, 11:18 PM
IMO 15% is closer to the upper limits of where one should allow their bodyfat and not the lower limits. Meaning it's better to get down to 8-10% and gain weight up to 15-16% than it is to gain and lose weight between 15% and 25%.

I would keep dieting. Maybe take one to two week and raise you calories by a few hundred and then reduce them back to where you're at now. But do NOT jump right into a bulk. When I say raise by a few hundred it's not a free pass to quit dieting. It will still feel like dieting in fact.

Well lets just assume that I took this advice..

Okay, so if I get down to 10%, will I look like a bodybuilder or will I look like a total wimp who has lost all his strength?

I can only bench 135 lbs right now, I'm concerned I will get even weaker!

On the other hand, you have a good point.. I'm not all that lean at the moment.. if I jump into a bulk, I will get FAT like Eric Cartman!

Its a dilemma of sorts..

Behemoth
06-30-2011, 11:53 PM
Well lets just assume that I took this advice..

Okay, so if I get down to 10%, will I look like a bodybuilder or will I look like a total wimp who has lost all his strength?

I can only bench 135 lbs right now, I'm concerned I will get even weaker!

On the other hand, you have a good point.. I'm not all that lean at the moment.. if I jump into a bulk, I will get FAT like Eric Cartman!

Its a dilemma of sorts..

Really, neither. At your point gaining 10lbs won't make you look like a bodybuilder and neither will losing 10 pounds, it's a long process. My suggestion is that you learn the indefinitely hardly discipline (to learn how to be lean) and you will eventually look like a bodybuilder. Anybody can eat a bunch and gain some weight/muscle. If you want to stand out then learn how to make that muscle show and every pound (of real muscle) you do gain will be extrapolated in appearance.

Eric Cartman
07-01-2011, 01:25 PM
Really, neither. At your point gaining 10lbs won't make you look like a bodybuilder and neither will losing 10 pounds, it's a long process. My suggestion is that you learn the indefinitely hardly discipline (to learn how to be lean) and you will eventually look like a bodybuilder. Anybody can eat a bunch and gain some weight/muscle. If you want to stand out then learn how to make that muscle show and every pound (of real muscle) you do gain will be extrapolated in appearance.

Thanks for the advice..

I'm wondering what workout routine you recommend for me to get down to 10% BF ?

I find that when I do high volumes of training, it just makes me very hungry and its very hard for me to eat below maintenance...

Do you have a routine that will work for me?

Eric Cartman
07-01-2011, 07:01 PM
Here is a pic of me....

Everyone told me to bulk after seeing this pic:

Off Road
07-01-2011, 07:13 PM
Everyone told me to bulk after seeing this pic:
"Everyone" meaning "One Person."

Mark!
07-01-2011, 07:20 PM
It's hard to tell because you're wearing a sweater. I kid.

Follow behemoths advice.

Eric Cartman
07-01-2011, 10:45 PM
It's hard to tell because you're wearing a sweater. I kid.

Follow behemoths advice.

I'm getting a lot of contradictory advice in this and other threads...

My decision is to try a CLEAN BULK for a while and see how it goes.. if I can "recomp" or keep off the fat, it might be worth it..

I'm gonna start a journal soon as well, so hopefully you guys can help me keep on track with my goals..

Thanks..

SDS
07-02-2011, 12:24 AM
Shit man, this scenario is simpler than you're thinking it is.....just eat and lift heavy weights. Check your weight on Monday mornings.....if you ain't gettin heavier, eat more. When January 1 rolls around ease back on the food till you're 500 kcal below maintenance and keep lifting heavy weights. By Memorial Day 2012 you'll be leaned out right nice I predict. Do that 2-3 years in a row and you'll have a better physique than you do now, and that's what you're after, right?

Eric Cartman
07-02-2011, 12:29 AM
Shit man, this scenario is simpler than you're thinking it is.....just eat and lift heavy weights. Check your weight on Monday mornings.....if you ain't gettin heavier, eat more. When January 1 rolls around ease back on the food till you're 500 kcal below maintenance and keep lifting heavy weights. By Memorial Day 2012 you'll be leaned out right nice I predict. Do that 2-3 years in a row and you'll have a better physique than you do now, and that's what you're after, right?

Yes, a 6 month clean bulk sounds possible for me,...

You suggest I cut till Memorial Day in May? Thats like a 5 month cut... not sure I agree with that part of things..

Like I said, I am gonna post a journal to make sure I'm doing it right, making the most gains, and not turning too fat again...

My bulks in the past have been sloppy and counter-productive... I want to avoid that this time..

Dan Fanelli
07-02-2011, 12:55 AM
I don't think your problem has anything to do with whether you are bulking or cutting and for how long. IMO it's clear that your training and diet are the problem. I'll get to that tomorrow as I promised

SDS
07-02-2011, 09:41 AM
You suggest I cut till Memorial Day in May? Thats like a 5 month cut... not sure I agree with that part of things

Yep, 7 on and 5 off. There are transition periods in between where you'll be ramping up or down with the food, and it'll take time for your body to adjust from the hyper-caloric state to the hypo-caloric, and vice versa. You're not digital......there's a bungee effect when transitioning, plus if you're like me your BMR will go up a few hundred calories in the summer, and drop off a little in the winter.

Eric Cartman
07-02-2011, 01:16 PM
Yep, 7 on and 5 off. There are transition periods in between where you'll be ramping up or down with the food, and it'll take time for your body to adjust from the hyper-caloric state to the hypo-caloric, and vice versa. You're not digital......there's a bungee effect when transitioning, plus if you're like me your BMR will go up a few hundred calories in the summer, and drop off a little in the winter.

Cycles of this length might be right for some, but not sure its right for me....

Eric Cartman
07-02-2011, 01:18 PM
I don't think your problem has anything to do with whether you are bulking or cutting and for how long. IMO it's clear that your training and diet are the problem. I'll get to that tomorrow as I promised

Ok thanks, looking forward to seeing what you have to say...

LIke I said, I'm choosing HCT-12 as my new program, that should fix the "training" part of the equation hopefully...

Behemoth
07-03-2011, 11:55 AM
There's really no question about this. You're sitting somewhere in the rough ballpark of 20% bf. If you want to have a muscular physique it simply is not a good place to start from. If you want to gain muscle you really should be leaner before doing so, unless your goals are just to be bulky big and/or strong. But if it's to look muscular the only direction you should be going right now is down. No question about it IMO.

Eric Cartman
07-26-2013, 09:22 AM
There's really no question about this. You're sitting somewhere in the rough ballpark of 20% bf. If you want to have a muscular physique it simply is not a good place to start from. If you want to gain muscle you really should be leaner before doing so, unless your goals are just to be bulky big and/or strong. But if it's to look muscular the only direction you should be going right now is down. No question about it IMO.

It took me 2 years to realize you were right!

Thank you for this!!!

FearFactory
07-26-2013, 10:28 AM
It took me 2 years to realize you were right!

Thank you for this!!!

Well, that's good. Better late than never.


Here is a pic of me....

Everyone told me to bulk after seeing this pic:

Because they're idiots.