Originally Posted by always_losing
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.
Short answer from me on this one, Daniel may have a different view. If you are training as a 210lbs 8% you have to increase your conditioning work to accomodate being the larger athelete, which in turn puts you in a further caloric deficit. And then you have the factor of having more muscle mass that burns more calories just by 'being there', instantly putting you in a further deficit.

I think a goal of 10lbs of lean muscle in half a year is a little bit of bad example on this theory, as its more addressed to smaller people wanting to get into the average definition of 'big'. I also believe it applies to me at 240lbs to 308lbs.