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View Full Version : Please help. What do I do? Cut/bulk? HELP!!



johny12345
03-08-2007, 10:47 PM
I'm 22 years old, as some of you know...I used to be 230 lbs. when I was younger. I lost most of the fat about 3 years ago and now I just have a little flab left. Now, I'm 6'2 187lbs. My goal is to get in shape, and look the part. I'm sick of the flabby chest and pecs. I play sports and I feel like it slows me down.

Here are some pics so you know what I'm talking about. I feel like I have been making progress lately by bulking and lifting (i'm new). I was thinking maybe I should cut and do cardio to lose more fat first. What do you think? Maybe I should keep bulking and my fatty areas will firm up and cut later?....I don't know.

I really need an outside opinion from people who know what they are talking about. I am very dedicated and by reading this board I am starting to realize what to do/not to do and how to eat. I appreciate the help and am looking forward to the critisism.


Thanks a lot.

P.S. when I started lifting, I **** you not....I could not do a push up. Now, I can do multiple sets of 20. I bench 2 sets of 8 at about 120.

tdotteg
03-09-2007, 06:04 AM
you'll be a stick if you cut.. I think you should do a clean slow bulk. get your diet in check and pick a routine. Get your body filled in then u can cut. Good luck

Bohizzle
03-09-2007, 06:05 AM
you'll be a stick if you cut.. I think you should do a clean slow bulk. get your diet in check and pick a routine. Get your body filled in then u can cut. Good luck

:withstupi

eat very slightly above maintenance, eat clean and lift heavy. everything will come together.

Detard
03-09-2007, 06:28 AM
I would say maintain for a while or do a very slow, clean bulk. Lift heavy and keep at it!

ianewilson
03-09-2007, 06:42 AM
I agree with everyone here. Keep the protein up and the junk food down and you can lose fat as you build muscle.

ederon
03-09-2007, 06:43 AM
i would suggest just keeping a high protein diet around 187grams* per day
train hard and heavy

johny12345
03-09-2007, 08:34 AM
good, thanks guys. anyone else? This helps a lot.

also, just so you know....I am doing the wbb #1 routine with a little bit of HIIT cardio

sharkall2003
03-09-2007, 08:42 AM
Eat berries if you can afford them, lean meat, some fruit, and drink water. Lift heavy, about 3 or 4 days per week and don't eat a lot.

johny12345
03-09-2007, 08:44 AM
Eat berries if you can afford them, lean meat, some fruit, and drink water. Lift heavy, about 3 or 4 days per week and don't eat a lot.

Don't eat a lot? Everyone else says eat slightly above maintanance. Also, why berries?

Behemoth
03-10-2007, 04:37 PM
Eat berries if you can afford them, lean meat, some fruit, and drink water. Lift heavy, about 3 or 4 days per week and don't eat a lot.

berries and fruit really aren't that optimal of foods cutting or maintaining...

CODmasterJYK
03-10-2007, 09:32 PM
Aright, maybe cuz I'm a wrestler. But you look a little overweight... Maybe a cut. My coach would shoot me if I looked like that. But then again, that's a wrestling coach. lol. All these guys say that you should bulk and they're more experienced than me. So I gues you should follow them.

8.8
03-10-2007, 10:03 PM
im with the guys in the begining eating clean and slightly above mantinence should keep you making some prety good size/strength gains while keeping the bodyfat in check - if your bodyfat goes up while doing this your diet is not clean enough!

Behemoth
03-10-2007, 10:08 PM
I personally would diet. Too many people fall into the trap of getting too bulked and will never shed it. If you can lean youreself out you'll never have to worry about being able to do it again. just my opinion though...

johny12345
03-11-2007, 12:07 AM
Well....I am on a "diet," I am eating best as I can. If by "diet," you mean low cal, well, I think I should listen to everyone else. I appreciate your opinions very much, but as tdotteg said...If I cut, I am going to be a stick. I am pretty lanky as it is, I don't want to be a string bean. I plan on going at 3000 cal's about 80g of fat per day. I am eating very very clean. NO junk, cookies, pastries, pop, cheese, candy, chips, any crap like that. I think that If I keep lifting hard, I will "fill out," and then I can cut later.

I would appreciate any more advice/critisism anyone else has. What do you guys think of my plan?

also....as I am getting used to using fitday, I can see how I was eating poorly and too much fat, etc. I think my new eatin will really help shape me up.

PoutineEh
03-11-2007, 02:56 PM
I personally would diet. Too many people fall into the trap of getting too bulked and will never shed it. If you can lean youreself out you'll never have to worry about being able to do it again. just my opinion though...

still fighting this problem, but i royally screwed myself since i went months w/o gaining weight, and then over a period of 2 months, i ate everything in sight just to gain weight for the sake of gaining weight. I gained about 20 lbs... haha, almost all of it fat. it has taken a year, but im about where i started w/ alittle more muscle/less fat than this time a year ago. It was a big set back

sorry for talking about myself, but im proof of what behemoth said. if you bulk, be wary. best tips i can give is
1) watch the scale. weigh your self at the same time (ie when you wake) and keep track of your weight. make sure you arent gaining more than ~1lb a week
2) eat tons of protein. you dont have to keep track of every single macro. you can if you would like to though. id say just keep a list of your daily protein intake. carry a small pencil and piece of paper and jot down each gram of protein you get, that way you know if you hit your dialy protein goal. i say you dont have to track every macro assuming you are gaining a lb a week while keeping track of your protein btw.
3) hard work in the gym will be rewarded

good luck with whatever you decide

Behemoth
03-11-2007, 06:09 PM
Well....I am on a "diet," I am eating best as I can. If by "diet," you mean low cal, well, I think I should listen to everyone else. I appreciate your opinions very much, but as tdotteg said...If I cut, I am going to be a stick. I am pretty lanky as it is, I don't want to be a string bean. I plan on going at 3000 cal's about 80g of fat per day. I am eating very very clean. NO junk, cookies, pastries, pop, cheese, candy, chips, any crap like that. I think that If I keep lifting hard, I will "fill out," and then I can cut later.

I would appreciate any more advice/critisism anyone else has. What do you guys think of my plan?

also....as I am getting used to using fitday, I can see how I was eating poorly and too much fat, etc. I think my new eatin will really help shape me up.


I dont see why you want more opinions. You only want to hear one thing.

Regardless, what you have laid out is the slow road there. Is it healthy? sure. Will it work? Sure, if you make it.

I'm just more of a person to commit to something. If I want a better body I'm going to do whatever it takes to get there from where I'm at. Not take the middle road that might shed a lb or two of fat and maybe gain 2 or 3lbs of muscle over 6 months.

I'm not knocking you. You have obviously come a long way and people do things differently. I just want you to understand where I am coming from. I do believe if you continue this lifestyle long enough what I am saying to you will at some point become an epiphany to you.

Davidelmo
03-12-2007, 02:36 AM
I would cut. You're fairly fat already - yes you are a beginner but I just don't see you adding SIGNIFICANT muscle and losing SIGNIFICANT fat at the same time. Gaining 5lbs muscle and losing 5lbs fat won't make much difference to how you look.

Might as well work on losing the 20lbs of fat first, and THEN bulking. I would rather start off skinny than skinny-fat. By trying to do such a long body recomp I think you're setting yourself up for failure.

McIrish
03-12-2007, 08:23 AM
Well....I am on a "diet," I am eating best as I can. If by "diet," you mean low cal, well, I think I should listen to everyone else. I appreciate your opinions very much, but as tdotteg said...If I cut, I am going to be a stick. I am pretty lanky as it is, I don't want to be a string bean. I plan on going at 3000 cal's about 80g of fat per day. I am eating very very clean. NO junk, cookies, pastries, pop, cheese, candy, chips, any crap like that. I think that If I keep lifting hard, I will "fill out," and then I can cut later.

I would appreciate any more advice/critisism anyone else has. What do you guys think of my plan?

also....as I am getting used to using fitday, I can see how I was eating poorly and too much fat, etc. I think my new eatin will really help shape me up.

Listen, I don't want to be a naysayer here, but for one week, I think it would help you to do the following exercise. Record EVERYTHING you eat (on fitday, as I see you've started using... nice). After recording literally every bite of food, put that stuff into this thread and we'll critique it. I really think people over-estimate how healthy they're eating, and if you really honestly do have a tight, clean diet, your physique will naturally tighten up (with the proper exercise, but WBB #1 is a great start). I don't see that so far in your physique.

Record it allllllllll and let's have a look?

johny12345
03-12-2007, 09:59 AM
I don't know how to post a journal of my fitday foods on here.

I guess now I don't know what to do. More people say to cleanly bulk than cut. I don't know what to do. If I decide to cut, do I continue to lift just as much?

I'm starting to lean towards the cut.....should I continue my cardio/lifting routine?

Mon
AM: HIIT
PM: Legs

Tues
OFF

WED
AM: OFF
PM: Chest & Back

Thurs
AM: Slow & Steady Cardio
PM: OFF

FRI
AM: HIIT
PM: Shoulders/tris/bis

SAT
AM: Hills
PM: OFF

SUN
OFF

Unholy
03-12-2007, 10:08 AM
I would also say a nice slow clean Bulk. Lift heavy eat ever so slightly above maintenance and it should all come together.

Unholy
03-12-2007, 10:11 AM
You are the same height as me, and about 15-20% BF, hard to tell from the pics. That puts you at about 150-160lbs of LBM at 6'2" if you cut down to 12ish% BF you would be a twig. You need a foundation to sculpt. I would put on some lean body mass if I were you. Worry about that chiseled look after you have the foundation down.

Cirino83
03-12-2007, 11:23 AM
You need a foundation to sculpt. I would put on some lean body mass if I were you. Worry about that chiseled look after you have the foundation down.

I agree...Nicely said. :smoke:

stepto180
03-12-2007, 12:08 PM
im sorry this whole teter totter of buliking then cuttuing then bulking again I just dont get it...why does someone need to gain fat when they bulk??? (unless they are competing and were already unhealty ly low)
sure a little fat will come but you DONT have to gain a significat amount of fat to gain muscle
personally I went form 165lb to 175 in about 9 months and I dont look fatter...it can be done

sharkall2003
03-12-2007, 12:14 PM
im sorry this whole teter totter of buliking then cuttuing then bulking again I just dont get it...why does someone need to gain fat when they bulk??? (unless they are competing and were already unhealty ly low)
sure a little fat will come but you DONT have to gain a significat amount of fat to gain muscle
personally I went form 165lb to 175 in about 9 months and I dont look fatter...it can be done

Was that when you first started training? I can't see a lot of women gaining 10 lbs of PURE muscle in 9 months. That's nearly 13 lbs in a year of solid muscle. I gained 25 lbs in a year and half and gained maybe 3% bodyfat. Now after I gained the next 18 I gained a lot of bodyfat, and that was a huge mistake.

HahnB
03-12-2007, 12:15 PM
I agree with stepto, to a certain point. I put on 40lbs with very little fat gain, but everyone has different genes. Some people can't put on lean weight like others, so you can't give the same advice to every person. If you plan on significantly changing your body (lets say adding 60lbs over time) you're going to have to bulk AND cut unless you have amazing genetics.

stepto180
03-12-2007, 12:22 PM
nope that was from aprox may till december of 06 ...when I first started I gained aprox 5lbs a year but I was still growing up and I never ate enough or right (ive been lifting seriously since 02)

This gain in my opnion came from for the first time in my life i ate clean (with one cheat meal or day a week) and I finally ate ENOUGH food to gain muscle...

sharkall2003
03-12-2007, 12:24 PM
nope that was from aprox may till december of 06 ...when I first started I gained aprox 5lbs a year but I was still growing up and I never ate enough or right (ive been lifting seriously since 02)

This gain in my opnion came from for the first time in my life i ate clean (with one cheat meal or day a week) and I finally ate ENOUGH food to gain muscle...

Congratulations, then. Those are some amazing gains for a woman after gaining five pounds a year the previous and so on.

stepto180
03-12-2007, 12:37 PM
thank you I cant claim for all of the 5 lbs evey year or even to 10lb this last time to be all muscle Ive also grown a little prolly and just became a woman i was always a little behind...but I am very proud of my my most recent gains so thank you :)

Behemoth
03-12-2007, 02:32 PM
You are the same height as me, and about 15-20% BF, hard to tell from the pics. That puts you at about 150-160lbs of LBM at 6'2" if you cut down to 12ish% BF you would be a twig. You need a foundation to sculpt. I would put on some lean body mass if I were you. Worry about that chiseled look after you have the foundation down.

I don't know why I'm voicing my opinion in this matter so much but one more time.

You're right if he cuts successfully to a low bodyfat he will be a "twig". But picture him going the opposite direction... which would be healthier/better look and give him the optimistic mindset to continue his healthy lifestyle? If puts off shedding his fat now and opts to gain weight, fast or slow... he's not only prolonging what should be done now to become a healthier individual, but making it worse and harder in the future.

stepto180 is dead on with what she is saying. When I first came to this site, I was dieting, but lost and confused. Shortly after I shed my fat I heard about this rage around here called "bulking" where you "bulk" up. In theory it is relatively good. But people (except those who have no desire to be lean) need to learn how to ahieve and maintain leaness before they should EVER be introduced to bulking or more often than not they will never return from it. IMO gaining weight slowly from a lean state is the optimum way to a 24/7 healthy lifestyle.

sharkall2003
03-12-2007, 03:10 PM
I'm with Behemoth. He needs to do a huge cut. He has way too much bodyfat for his size and he'll be MUCH healthier at a lower bodyfat. Everyone is worried about being big, but he needs to worry about being HEALTHY.

johny12345
03-12-2007, 09:41 PM
behemoth, I really appreciate your input....so by cut....what exactly should I do? Just reduce my cals and macros down? like maybe 2500 cals? and keep doing the same lifting and cardio? or should I change that too?

Thanks

Behemoth
03-12-2007, 09:59 PM
Don't just reduce your cals. I can't stress enough the importance to SLOWLY reduce cals. I've done diets where I just jumped into and I wanted to blow my head off 4 days in.

If youre not counting just clean your diet up a little this week. and count what you ate. Even if you think it's not a good diet don't change it all at once. Say your lunch was a a footlong subway sandwhich and a glass of water. maybe cut the dressing to spare some cals, if dinner was roast beef and mashed potatoes skim some of the portions from your normal amount. slowly start incorporating more healthy foods that are more filling. And I do mean slowly.

If you go from one drastic to another both on terms of how much you eat and what you eat it is going to be overwhelming. slowly start switching things over and slowly start reducing them.

I think a general baseline for losing weight is 12x bodyweight for calories. If you 2k over that.... so be it, slowly drop it. drink lots of water. READ LOTS, learn all about nutrition. keep yourself active. I tend to get hungrier when i dragging around the house doing nothing. the more activities i do throughtout the day (physical or nonphysical the easier my diet is).

I'm really not the best at giving advice for specific diet information. there are people on this site that are incredibly knowledgable in these areas. certain things will be helpful to you. certain things (though true and scientifically proven) will not work for you. you may have to play around with it, but keep at it.

Behemoth
03-12-2007, 10:04 PM
As for lifting, keep it intense. A thing I have found personally helpful in the past is to break my split up so im in the gym more shorter days. I have more energy for shorter workouts and energy can be a problem. but even more importantly when i kill a great workout i just feel great about myself and its a HUGE mental boost. if youre getting that 5 days a week as opose to 3 it can be that much more helpful. this is a personal thing with me though, you may find this doenst work with you.

cardio can do the same thing. historically speaking ive never been a huge advocate of it. but i will certainly not discredit it as useless. you may find it VERY useful for yourself. play it by ear. ask more questions dont view this as a quick fix then you get to eat again. view it as a slow gradual change in your lifestyle.

johny12345
03-12-2007, 10:14 PM
Here is a copy of todays fitday journal. I'm starting to think a cut may be right. I would rather have no fat than be big. I really really hate the fat that I have and I would do anything to get rid of it.

grams cals %total
Total: 2618
Fat: 78 705 27%
Sat: 21 191 7%
Poly: 18 160 6%
Mono: 30 269 10%
Carbs: 261 968 37%
Fiber: 19 0 0%
Protein: 228 911 35%
Alcohol: 0 0 0%



Today's Foods
Food Name Servings Serving Size Cals Fat Carb Prot
Grapefruit, raw 106 0 27 2
Chicken breast sandwich, on oat bran bun, with lettuce, tomato, spread 315 11 23 30
Egg, white only, cooked 82 0 2 17
Bagel, wheat 203 1 41 7
cherry yogurt 240 3 45 10
HORMEL, Cure 81 Ham 268 9 1 46
Cheese, cottage, NFS 159 6 4 21
Peanuts, dry roasted, salted 342 29 13 14
cherry yogurt 240 3 45 10
protein shake 178 1 4 40
Spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs or spaghetti with meat sauce or spaghetti with meat sauce and meatballs 485 15 57 30
Totals 2618 78 261 228

McIrish
03-12-2007, 11:21 PM
Today's Foods
Food Name Servings Serving Size Cals Fat Carb Prot
Grapefruit, raw 106 0 27 2
Chicken breast sandwich, on oat bran bun, with lettuce, tomato, spread 315 11 23 30
Egg, white only, cooked 82 0 2 17
Bagel, wheat 203 1 41 7
cherry yogurt 240 3 45 10
HORMEL, Cure 81 Ham 268 9 1 46
Cheese, cottage, NFS 159 6 4 21
Peanuts, dry roasted, salted 342 29 13 14
cherry yogurt 240 3 45 10
protein shake 178 1 4 40
Spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs or spaghetti with meat sauce or spaghetti with meat sauce and meatballs 485 15 57 30
Totals 2618 78 261 228

K, if this is a representative sample of what you're eating, here's some suggestions.

1) You're incredibly low on fiber - ditch the spaghetti and replace it with broccoli (I'm totally stealing Built's advice on that, but good grief, what a great idea!). Still eat the meatballs and sauce, if you want, but the broccoli is great for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a hayoooge dearth of veggies in your diet.
2) Yogurt (particularly the fruity kind) is probably not *ideal* as I'm guessing it is laden with sugar that you don't really need.
3) Replace Hormel (canned, right?) ham with something fishy. Heck, tuna's cheap. You could even put the tuna on your bagel and add cheese sparingly for a tuna melt. That sort of tasty/healthy food will keep you on this diet track for sure.

Otherwise, looking good... but seriously, get some veggies in there. Throw down a bowl of spinach with dinner next time - you can even season it with a little something (think olive oil/vinegar, for one).

I'm 100% of the opinion that if you get your diet solidly down and you keep up with WBB #1 you will see excellent bodily recomposition (gaining muscle while losing fat) at least in the short-term.


EDIT: One more hting - is that "chicken breast sandwich on oat-brain bun" store-bought? Make your own stuff - you can cut down on unnecessary sodium and up the veggies on your own sandwiches, ya know?

johny12345
03-13-2007, 11:36 AM
ham is sliced from a loaf

PoutineEh
03-13-2007, 12:15 PM
diet looks pretty good. could use a few improvements. find out what does and doesn't work for you. if it were me, i wouldnt eat sphagetti. bleached/processed carbs are the death of me. i give in right away and have 2nd and 3rd helpings... but hey, if you can eat it and be satisfied, more power to you. best way to learn what works is to find out what doesnt work ;)
and good luck to you

oh and btw, a good way to stay motivated is to keep lots of progress markers
try and do a few or all of the following:
a) take the standard measurments of your chest/wasit/legs etc. etc. and write them down somewhere. be consistent with when you measure too, i recommend the morning soon after you wake. repeat again in a month or two and see how much many inches you have lost
b) take pictures. get a shot of your front, back, legs, and maybe a few flexing pics. its hard to see any changes that happen since you see yourself everyday, but when you compared a shot of now to a shot taken 3 months ago, its pretty easy to see the changes and keep going with it
c) if you havent, keep a log of your lifts. this will help keep you motivated in the gym

:hello:

Powdered_Power
03-13-2007, 12:50 PM
Definately another vote for a slow clean bulk, not being a dick but your body is definately lacking muscle mass. Keep a close eye on your daily fat and protein intake.

Keep at it and youll look great!

johny12345
03-13-2007, 08:01 PM
Well, I'm torn.

Keep in mind that within the last couple weeks I have learned a lot about eating right. Fitday is helping a TON! So i'm sure it will help that I am eating better.

Maybe the reason (dah?) that I haven't been seing results is because I pretty much put no effort into eating. Only thing I made sure I did is drink a protein shake after every w/o. I never went out of my way to eat real protein like eggs/meat. Also, my fat levels were way high, and I was eating lots of poor quality extra cals....I was eating chipotle, noodles and co, a little taco bell, etc.

If I decided to cut, should I just reduce cals, keep lifting, keep protein up, and do lots of cardio? is that the idea? any good threads on cutting? Someone said before, by doing a "clean" bulk, I am just staying in the middle....I really do not want to go another 4 months and still have the fat on me. I'm thinking I should cut now, get lots of the fat off, then go into a solid, clean bulk. I would rather be not fat then have some muscle and all the fat. Also, I don't have any probs with motivation, or sticking to a plan/eating right. I am very dedicated.

I am getting frusterated because of the fat that I have. :bang:


Here are my questions:
1)Why lift when you are on a cut? I thought you couldn't gain muscle when you are on a caloric defecit.

2) How do I determine the correct cal levels to: maintain, cut, bulk? I'm 6'2 180 22 years old.

3) If I bulk, should I do lots of cardio? If I cut, should I do tons of cardio? any cutting threads?

**Another reason to cut/bulk?**
Please note, I have practicly NO fat on my arms, neck, face, upper back, shoulders, legs. ALL my fat is in stomach, love handles and pecs....I NEVER lost this fat. Maybe I just stopped trying to lose weight a tad too soon and now this is what is left. Maybe I should just cut for a month or so and lose what I have left, then go back to bulking for lbm. I look like a string bean so I think I should probably bulk.


Thank you all so much. I really appreciate the help. I AM GOING TO make awsome improvements within the next couple, 3-4 months and I will post pics.

cwm
03-13-2007, 08:47 PM
Cut if you wanna get rid of your flab, end of story. The muscle can come later, your not gonna transform into your dream body over night. I would cut if I were you but its really up to you. No matter how much cardio you do when your bulking your not gonna loose the fat you have.

johny12345
03-14-2007, 08:52 PM
Okay, I decided to do the clean bulk. I will cut later. For now, I'm not going to be a string bean.

Is this okay?

Days when I am OFF Eat 2500 cals
Days when I either lift or cardio (1 or other) eat 2900 cals
days when I do cardio and lift eat 3400 cals.


What do you think?