The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    cutting and bulking

    Brief bio: I am 26, 6'1', about 173 lbs. The past 4 years or so I had gotten up to 205 lbs due to bad habits, especially way too much hard drinking. Then I started biking and eating healthy and got down to around 165, but still with a little bit of a gut from the past years that I can't get rid of.

    Last month I joined a gym and started working out for the first time in years. My upper body always seems to respond well to weight training (my legs are a different story, that's another post). I am starting to see some arms and chest.

    As I read and try to put together a diet, I notice almost everyone now speaks of a bulking phase and a cutting phase. If I start strict "bulking" it seems I will still have to deal with the gut. Summer is upon us and I can't even throw on a t-shirt without the gut showing through. There's got to be diet/exercise where I can do a little bit of both, keep putting on the muscle while losing that last bit of gut, at least to where you can't see it through a t-shirt. Any experience/general principles would help, in terms of diet or exercise. Thanks.

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  3. #2
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    Eat less.

    Move more.

    It's going to be tough to gain muscle AND lose fat.. so pick one, focus on it, and if the other happens, its a bonus. Sounds to me you want to get a little leaner, so do it. Keep after the weights and work hard.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  4. #3
    Wannabebig Member
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    Thanks for the reply, I was beginning to think that this forum your typical "let's be snobs to the newbie." I saw other questions that were much much more stupid than mine get many replies, so I couldn't help but think otherwise.

    My question is basically: "What is the logic behind a separate cutting and bulking phase." I am not at all lazy and have been all over the net looking for the science behind this. I guess I am beginning to see that no-one will explain it, but everyone knows it works, so I accept it. So my next question is, which one should I start with, cutting or bulking. I guess that's a personal decision though.

    As far as your "eat less, move more." I can't tell if you are serious or if you are trying to be glib and condescending. Of course I am eating much less. I don't eat that much anyway. And from my bio you can see I am "moving more." I need real, experience-based, scientific answers.

  5. #4
    "Tuna Boy" NateDogg's Avatar
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    To cut, or bulk is totally a personal decision. As for being able to do both at the same time...

    The basic reason you can't do both at the same time:

    Cutting = need calorie deficit
    Bulking = CAN NOT have calorie deficit

    ND
    "damn...can't beat logic like that.
    NAte is exactly right." - Tryska

  6. #5
    Wannabebig Member
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    You don't have to bulk to gain muscle either.

    What I do is eat at maintenance and do cardio. I am losing weight pretty nicley right now. Also, I think if you eat the right things pre and post WO it will help your WO's and muscle healing therefor help promote strength. It IS going to be hard to gain a lot of muscle, but if you are just starting in the gym than you will be able to do it.

    The more muscle you have the more energy your body uses. The more energy the more cals. I always thought that the theory of no cutting and gain muscle theory was kinda of specialized towards long time BB's.

    If you are new to the gym than the muscle will grow and the fat will burn.

    Also, it depends a lot on your diet as well. If you eat at your maintenance level, but before you were eating say 500 cals above than you will lose weight and if you get a good ratio of pro/carbs/fat you will be able to burn that fat and gain some muscle.


    NateDogg......Oh ya...go Sox
    Last edited by Bobarell; 05-25-2002 at 02:24 AM.

  7. #6
    Ecoli die
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    I'm a believer that you can bulk and cut at the same time. It's not an impossible thing especially if you are not well developed as far as your muscle goes (i.e. the more fat you have, the easier it starts to come off and the less muscle you have, the faster it is to get the growth started).

    I think it takes a clean diet, slight deficit in calories and hard work at the gym.
    Now in pain, only working out the walking sticks.

  8. #7
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    Originally posted by NateDogg
    To cut, or bulk is totally a personal decision. As for being able to do both at the same time...

    The basic reason you can't do both at the same time:

    Cutting = need calorie deficit
    Bulking = CAN NOT have calorie deficit

    ND
    The formula doesn't lie NateDogg, you are absolutely correct. You may begin to look bigger if you lose bodyfat, but if you take measurements before and after you will find that you didn't actually grow.

  9. #8
    Ecoli die
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    Actually, I said that you can bulk and cut at the same time, I should have said I believe that you can gain muscle and strenght while cutting fat. To add mass to your body, you definitely need an intake of excess calories.
    Now in pain, only working out the walking sticks.

  10. #9
    Wannabebig Member
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    Tiare that last reply confused me a little. You say that you believe I can gain "muscle and strength" while still cutting fat, but not "add mass" to my body.

    I guess I always thought that "gaining muscle" was adding mass. How you can you gain muscle without adding mass. I am confused.

  11. #10
    Shock Therapist Shocker's Avatar
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    i guess that it is possible to not put on too much fat while still gaining muscle as long as you teeter the balance of calories in surplus and dont let it get out of control.

    you will need to be very calculated about your calories and exercise.

  12. #11
    Hot as FCUK Shark's Avatar
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    I am currently cutting and gaining muscle mass. I am operating at a caloric deficiency and dropping a few pounds a week. Since i started this diet, My biceps have increased 1/8 of an inch and my waist has dropped from a 36 to a 35. I plan on maintaining my diet and hopefully cutting off my excess pounds while still gaining strength and muscle. I am also increasing in most all of my lifts by either reps or weight.

  13. #12
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    Originally posted by crussow
    I am currently cutting and gaining muscle mass. I am operating at a caloric deficiency and dropping a few pounds a week. Since i started this diet, My biceps have increased 1/8 of an inch and my waist has dropped from a 36 to a 35. I plan on maintaining my diet and hopefully cutting off my excess pounds while still gaining strength and muscle. I am also increasing in most all of my lifts by either reps or weight.
    Could you please post your diet either here or make a new thread. I'd be interested to know what you are eating that is allowing you to gain muscle mass while cutting.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Fudomyo's Avatar
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    Cooper, it is easiest to add muscle first (which burns a lot of calories on a daily basis), and then lose that remaining gut.

    I'm having the same "luck" as Vido.

    I can gain strength and at least keep the same muscle mass. I dropped 20 lbs and I'm +/- one lb of muscle. This is after working out for 6 mo's. Just adding muscle in the very beginning will start to eat up a good amount of fat.

    I'm 185, 6' tall. I'm at 2000 or less calories a day. Yesterday was 21g fat, 169g carbs, and 281g protein. Strangely at 3000 cals I hold steady (fat wise). 2,200 I hold steady. 2,000 drop the weight off like mad.

    Supplement wise, I take an ECA stack, CLA, and GABA.

  15. #14
    Wannabebig Member
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    All the answers are definately helping shed some light and definately have some usefulness to them.

    BUT it is bothering me that I can't find any info that proves it from a physiological prespective. In other words, an answer that "goes inside the body" and shows the different processes it does with the nutrients we give it, and proves conclusively and scientifically based on the latest evidence that it can't do both. I guess I am looking for an answer that talks about what is going on inside the body as the best answer. If you think about talking about a calorie deficit or a calorie surplus is still just skimming the surface. It doesn't actually take a look inside the body and prove that it really can't do both.

    But anyway, aside from all the science, which will be suspicious to me until I get an answer, I do find alot of practical information out of all of this.

    Conclusion based on above answers and my own experience/research so far: continue on with slight calorie surplus, but not too much of one. Based on what everyone is saying, newbies lose the fat and build the muscle easily anyway.
    I won't worry too much about the proof behind the cutting/bulking right now (although knowing the way my mind works, it will keep at it until it gets an answer).

  16. #15
    ...fattest...fatter...fat. WannaBeStrong's Avatar
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    It's not too hard to see: Here is a "not very scientific" yet "all you need to know" answer.

    Your body burns X number of calories throughout the day on normal body functions. This is sometimes referred to as your Basal calories. Then your body burns Y calories from general activity.

    Say you ingest Z calories a day.
    if X + Y > Z your body will be searching for calories to use for these activities. If you've eaten too many high GI carbs, there may be excess glucose in your system, which will be used in lieu of fat. Otherwise, it searches for something efficient to breakdown and use for energy. If you're lucky this is fat.

    if X + Y < Z your body has excess calories in your system. These calories can be used for muscle repair or [fat] storage. The muscle repair comes in more if you actually lift weights! There are a lot of factors involved, but you will more than likely get a little of both.

    if X + Y = Z (roughly) you will have exactly enough calories you need to do your activities and live throughout the day. If you lift weights, you are introducing another factor of muscular repair to the equation, which is where it gets sketchy. Will your body repair muscle before other activities? Will it create the calorie deficit necessary to breakdown fat? For some people, it sure does. For others, not so much.

    The best "attempt" to do both at once would be maintenance calories + lifting and no cardio or cardio on an empty stomach in the morning (when glucose levels are low, there is a better chance of using fat). No gauruntees, and it won't be as quick as +/- 500-1000 calorie change, but if you stick with it long enough, you'll see if it is working for you.

    This is all provided you know what your maintenance calories are, without weight lifting or unusual cardio activities.

  17. #16
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    Building muscle is both an adaptive response, and a matter of tissue repair. I don't see where a caloric excess is *required* to do either. A caloric deficit might result in loss of existing muscle mass, but if not extreme you are likely to still gain muscle. At perfect maintenance, with low carefully planned cardio, I would imagine you could "bulk" quite nicely while losing fat. Even without the careful calculations you should be able to do it though, maybe just with not as much success because of the lack of extremes in either direction (as most have noted).

    Also, Keep in mind that if you just gain muscle, your BF% will drop without you doing a thing.

  18. #17
    Hot as FCUK Shark's Avatar
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    Vido, all of my info is posted in the journal section.

  19. #18
    Senior Member Fudomyo's Avatar
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    Well you should recall that the day is not an atomic even. I eat as much as a can in the following 3-4 hrs after working out. I might steal some from this "reserver" later, but perhaps it is what helps so much in the long run.

  20. #19
    Wannabebig Member
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    This is a short and easy to read article. This bodybuilder is saying he gave up "bulking then cutting" and now he just stays lean all year, and he his gives reasons why. Just food for thought for anyone who questions the cutting/bulking idea which is so widely accepted.

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ryanm6.htm

    Hopefully the link will work.

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