To Bulk or to Cut, That is the Question - or is it? by Daniel Roberts
If you spend any time on the Wannabebig Forums, you’ll run into that perennial plea for help - ‘Should I bulk or cut?’ In fact, it is probably one of the most commonly debated questions.
And, the answers you get, more than often will be contradicting. Bulk like crazy and eat anything and everything in sight... Keep a clean diet and be patient with a slower, leaner weight gain.
Perhaps there is another way to go about things? Maybe even a much simpler way?
Be really interesting to hear peoples thoughts on this one as it's a much debated subject. Also, feel free to share with as many people as you can!
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That was an interesting read...I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.
If a guy is 220 lbs, and starts eating as a 250 lb guy, what are the stages he'll go through?
1).I'm guessing he'll start off gaining a good ammount of fat (along with muscle)because of the increased calories.
2). At some point (in the middle let's say) he'll kind of even out the gains between fat and muscle.
3). Twards the end, he'll be maintaining his muscle and decreasing fat because he'll be using more calories to support the added muscle.
Am I anywhere near understanding this?
Great article guys!!
answers a lot of questions!
Taking it a step further...
Say that I weigh 240 lbs...I continue to eat as a 240 lber...I will continue to gain muscle and loose fat on a maintenance eating schedule (provided that I continue to get stronger)?
Given you're at maintenance there's only so much surplus (bodyfat) to fuel any increase in lean body mass.
You will simply hit homeostasis (the balance point) and you might be able to eek a pound of lbm and lose a % bf but that's where you'll stay unless you change activity levels - drop an activity and you free up a surplus, increase and you create a deficit.
But again your margins are quite small. If a change is required, set a new goal and eat/train accordingly.
Awsome article. I need to start eating a heck of a lot more lol.
Last edited by given'er; 08-12-2009 at 10:16 AM.
I am currently at 165 lbs and 15% BF...about 140 lbs of Lean Muscle..
So my realistic goal in 6 months should be to gain about 15 lbs of lean muscle...
So my goal should be to eat the calories that an 180 lb person would eat?
180x14= 2520 calories
Did I do this math right?
Question: Does this mean I will be very fat for 6 months, until I reach that goal?
Last edited by Eric Cartman; 08-12-2009 at 11:45 AM.
awesome article... so in the case of wanting to lose 10 lbs of fat and gaining 10lbs of muscle say at 200 lbs... you still end up at 200lbs just leaner? I mean thats pretty much perfection.
When I die. I want to be frozen. And if they have to freeze me in pieces, so be it. I will wake up stronger than ever, because I will have used that time, to figure out exactly why I died. And what moves I could have used to defend myself better now that I know what hold he had me in.
yay ive totally thought this for a while. good read.
400(335) Bench Press
600(520x3 2xBW) Dead Lift
500(495x1) ATG Squat
365 Front Squat
consistency and intensity.
Really good read. I agree most of us make this more complicated than it needs to be (myself included).
I think this is possibly the all-time best response on WBB. - Jorge Sanchez
"you're an animal eat like one damn it!" - Wikked1
"Now we're finally getting to the chicken or the egg question," I grinned. "Did I eat all that food because my size gives me more of an appetite, or did I get to be this big because I've been forcing myself to eat like this for years?"
From A Body Builder is Born
i knew you were a beast but not that kinda of a beast that eats grown men and children.. lilmase
Ok I'm like 210 right now, so if I wanna get to 220 I would take 220 and times it by 16? Bc I do about 7 hours worth of work
Will you be fat for 6 months until you reach that goal, it depends entirely on whether all your muscle gains come at once on the final day!
Thing is your current maintenance isn't actually too far from your target, which means you're not drastically increasing your intake such that it would result in huge fat deposition, especially as you're increasing muscle mass.
Incidentally, it is highly unlikely that all your muscle gains will arrive at once - it is more likely to be small gradual increases with a few spikes of greater increases over the duration.
Daniel, thanks for the article.
I think the results of following this have been pretty well covered.
The timing could not have been better for me. A few weeks ago while out camping for 3 weeks, I was thinking about this very topic. I decided to come home and try it ... no better way to know if something works or not.
Since getting your article yesterday, I am more convinced than ever that this is the way to go.
Great article Daniel. Thank you.
5'8" 177 (meet PRs) ALL RAW
Bench - 290 (291) Pause reps Dead - 500 (479.5) Squat - 446 (430)
Total - 1236 (1168.4)
Goals: Bench - 280 met 1/19/09 new goal - 300 Squat - 435 met 11/28/09 new goal 475 Dead - 500 met 1/23/10 new goal 525
Great article and interesting read. The one thing that has to be re-inforced is that to be what you want to be at your goal weight, you also have to TRAIN like that guy, not just eat like that guy.
- Slave & Master At The Same Damn Time -Hoping To Compete Natty Early 2011
This method will work for the heavier guy looking to lose but I'm not sure the other way. In the example of the 250 lb guy targeting 235 makes sense.
I'll use myself as an example. 130 lbs @ 10% BF. Goal is 150 lbs 8% BF. I could simple eat the maintenance calories of a 150 lb man and will gain weight till I hit 150 lbs, only thing is I highly doubt I will be at 8% body fat when I get there. At that point I will be at 150 lbs, lets say 15 %BF. See I'm still short of my goal. My only option would be to do a traditional cut, which would put me under 150 lbs in the end, than I would need to bulk, so it's right back to the traditional approach.
Food for thought though - if you're goal is 150lbs @ 8% bf and you've worked out the maintenance for a man @ 150lbs @ 8%bf and you're eating that every day and training appropriately, why when you hit 150 @ 15% bf (almost double the target figure - your example) do you think you'd stay that way if you're eating for a man at 8%?
Last edited by Daniel Roberts; 08-14-2009 at 03:46 AM.
Ummm, being doing some maths concerning this.
I don't think this works. You need to seriously doctor numbers to get anything like the appropriate results.
I'll give an example:
I weigh 200lbs at about 10% bodyfat. Lets set my 1 year goal at 210lbs with 8% bodyfat. This seems very reasonable to me.
So my maintenance is 3200 calories and my 'as if' consumption is 3360 calories.
This gives me an initial surplus of 160 calories which my body will use to build muscle and gain fat. I need to gain 1.1lbs of muscle per month to reach my goal, this translates to 0.03666 lbs per day.
So now I can work out my new bodyweight, and hence maintenance and surplus calories for each day. It will take 187 days before this will become a caloric deficit (equivalently I reach 210lbs, 186.78 lean 23.22 fat). Now we need to make an assumption about the continued rate of lbm increase. Even if we assume it remains constant, which is very unlikely, I don't reach the goal set initially. By the end of the year, 168 days later, I am still only at a caloric deficit of 75 calories, definitely not enough to incite the weight loss I need to reach 8% bodyfat.
Eventually I reach the expected lbm, since we gained this at a fixed rate, but I still have 10% bodyfat. If we relax the 'lbm gain' especially after we reach maintenance I get ever further away from my goal. Halving lbm gain after maintenance is reached changes the final picture to my weighing 212lbs at 11% BF.
Personally, I think bulk cut is more efficient.
Last edited by always_losing; 08-14-2009 at 04:42 AM.
200lbs @ 10%
Dude... wow... i'm drunk. Flabbagasted at your choice of decision. Should i call you in 30 min when we are en route, come, oaks are for fun.