View Full Version : Overweight - bulk or cut first?

Justin R
02-07-2007, 09:48 AM
Fist post, woot! I have my first question for you guys.

I have always been athletic. I played soccer, basketball and track and field through elementary-middle, and in high school I spent a considerable amount of time skateboarding and doing some fairly serious lifting, as well as a few years of karate and kung fu. At the end of high school, I could still run a mile in about 6 minutes, and had decent lifting numbers.

At that time (18 y/o) I weighed probably 200, fairly lean, at 6'2" with a very large frame- Then came college. In college I had class in the evening from 5-10 and I picked up some really bad habbits. I rarely worked out, stopped skating, and ate TERRIBLE. I would eat fast food literally 3 times a day at times, and drank to much. This went on for about 2 years till I moved back home. I still ate bad, out at restaurants most of the time, but at least not fast food. For a long time I still felt fairly good, from being in shape most of my life, but recently at 22 y/o It started taking its toll and I and realize I'm really out of shape.

I'm now 260 lbs. Though I'm big, I carry the weight well (no huge pot belly) but I realize I'm way overweight. I would like to get down to 220-230 lean , so I want to gain about 20lbs of muscle over where I was last time I was lean.

My question to you all is: should I bulk and gain the muscle I want before a huge cut, or, get back into shape and then start bulk/cut cycles? I realize its probably healthier to get in to shape first, but I also know it will take a lot longer to get where I want to be by cutting first.

I will be making a post in the journals section soon to chart my progress. Thanks for any advice in advance.

edit: forgot to mention that I am currently eating a balanced diet, using AtLarge's fat loss stack for supplements, and working out on my bench/freeweights and heavy bag and speed bag at home. I am joining my old gym again next week.

02-07-2007, 09:59 AM
You don't need to "bulk" to gain muscle.
It's just a bit harder to make size and strength gains while on a "cut" because the negative caloric balance hinders things a little.
I would say, don't actively try to bulk or cut, just try to make healthier choices in what you eat for now.... and obviously, LIFT.

I am 6'2" and I currently weight about 215 lbs. I don't want to dissappoint, but I could probably stand to lose 10lbs, perhaps more.
But here is the good news. Even if you don't actively try to 'cut', in the long run, the more active lifestyle along with the added muscle mass will both help you lose weight. Adding activity (lifting) expends calories.... so if you don't eat more, this can help over a period of months in reducing your weight, even though you aren't cutting.
And bigger muscles consume more energy, even at rest. This means that in the long run, you may well lose some weight without actively trying to be on some huge diet.

Now, if you are impatient, and you want to lose weight fast, well, then you can also reduce your caloric intake along with making better food choices. This DOES NOT mean that you wont make strength gains. It only means that it will go a bit slower. If you have recently returned to lifting weights more seriously again, then you will make gains regardless.

02-07-2007, 10:00 AM
"The biggest stimulus for muscle growth comes from nutrition" - Built


Justin R
02-07-2007, 10:18 AM
Thanks for the replies guys.

Zen, I'm defiantly eating a good diet and lifting a lot as well as some cardio. I'll just stick with it, and see how it goes. I will stick with this balanced approach and see how it goes. Though I dont think it will be hard to be lean for me at 220ish, I really do have a *huge* frame. Looking at pics of me at 200, I was reaaaly skinny looking for my size.

02-07-2007, 10:24 AM
The best of luck, Justin