Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 35

Thread: Really unsure if I should bulk or cut at this point in the scheme of things

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    453

    Really unsure if I should bulk or cut at this point in the scheme of things

    I need some powerlifters opinions.

    I haven't even had one powerlifting meet under my belt. Once was training for one and cut my hand so I decided to cut bodyfat, and never made the opportunity to do it again.

    Currently 5'8" 228 lbs 26.8% bodyfat. I was up to 236 about 8 weeks ago and my strongest then, pretty flat since then since my calories have been under maintenance. lifts, bench 345x5, squat 415x5, deadlift 445x3, reverse band box squat 495x3 all beltless and without wrist wraps on bench.

    Really kind of wanted to work towards a 2x bw squat and 3x bw S/DL, or more importantly even hitting 400 bench and 600 S/DL at any weight. I was thinking it would be fun to compete somewhere between 198, 220, or 242 weight classes at any given time.

    The bodyfat seems to be a bit excessive, but every time I cut I feel too weak to continue, I have done long term cuts and maintained a lot of strength, and fast ones but in the end as I get smaller I still end up feeling weak and gain more weight. I mean I imagine if at some point my body is most competitive heavier at like 264 and that is primary goal I will go with what works for me. But at this point never competing I hate to carry excess weight if it is unnecessary and isn't even a large portion lean body mass.

    I know many bodybuilders try to keep the fat gain to a minimum and cut more often to stay at a certain range. But do I really honestly need to do this? I can't decide which way to go with this. I mean if I cut now and then bulk I will obviously be bulking from a weaker starting point. If I bulk first at least I could break some records, but then cutting afterwards could be an issue.

    I also get some advice where they say not to worry about my main lifts and do more cardio and circuit based routines and get below 20% in a short time period like 2 months. I know that would hurt my lifts, but at the same time help to keep me from hurting myself while on a deficit. But then I imagine most of the bulk would be getting back the strength that I lost not getting actually stronger, I mean in the end it will net a positive in some way or another.

    Feel free to ask questions about my goals or whatever to give me decent advice. Not sure what's best right now.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ehubbard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,304
    I would just change my diet up and try and recomp at the same bodyweight. Unless you're unhealhy or give a crap about being jacked and tan, then I would change your diet first and not try and do anything extreme over the short term. Eat cleaner and at the level you need to maintain your weight. I did a diet with Brandon Lilly, and recomped a bit over the course of 6 months. I wasn't looking to get ripped I just wanted to put on some muscle and get my bloodwork a bit cleaned up. I don't have percentages or anything else, but I definitely lost fat and maintained my weight. The diet is pretty high in healthy fats. I'v seen some other guys lose 30 lbs and get shredded and stronger on carb cycling. But I think this only works for certain people and you have to be a bit OCD about it.

  3. #3
    Dr. Subtotal
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,370
    At your height, 220 is a good longterm weightclass and over time you could reduce your bf% and still train around 230 and just keep getting leaner with time. For your first meet though, just do it and don't worry about weight class.

    You can reduce your bf% without your lifts getting destroyed in the process. You just need to be patient and take things slow. Also, monitor your levels of assistance work, carb intake, and GPP work. If you try to cut calories, increase your conditioning, and get stronger at the same time, typically something gives within a week or two. Plan something out and follow that plan, monitoring your progress.

    The old saying was to gain weight until your DL went down (or as some now would say, your wilks). Then get leaner.
    Trample the weak, hurdle the dead
    http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=132318

    Satisfaction is the Death of Desire...

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    453
    Thanks for the input, I've basically been losing weight and trying to get stronger from april ish 2010 to december 2011. Went from 230 to 193, but really it was after I got below 210 that I started getting weaker. So since december I have slowly come up to 236 then last two months down to 228 from diet changes. Thing is it's really hard to get stronger without food. I'm really hesitant to maintain as that long term weight loss resulted in less gains than I would hope for, and was brutal. I imagine eating closer to maintenance calories I could make some decent progress over time, it just seems slower, I mean I should have plenty of patience it's taken me many years to even get to here. But I also tend to shift goals over time.

    So the advice given is stick somewhere close to where i am at weight-wise. Which I think 220 at my height is great, would be more great if I was 15% bodyfat however, and could keep increasing strength.

    When I was about to prep for my first meet I weighed about the same, didn't want to bother cutting to 220 as a newbie so I figured it was 242, so I was going to eat enough that I was never hungry and made consistent gains even if it meant gaining a few lbs. I probably would have come in in mid upper 230s. I could prep in a similar fashion, thing is I do want to increase my GPP because this year I have been lax on it trying to focus on my main lifts and it has resulted in more focus being on them, but it's to a point they are falling behind again, and when I was doing it consistently it was too much but I was in great shape as far as doing things and not getting winded.

    I do appreciate the advice, but still trying to piece together my game plan.

  5. #5
    Senior Member larsen540's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    572
    I would stay at 220 for a couple of meets. Just to get your feet wet. However, I would start researching carb backloading. And with ALN's supplements it is easy to follow the program. I went from 277 to 220 this year and it was easy.
    ADRIAN LARSEN
    #2 ranked All time 220lbs raw bench 585lbs
    www.fuelthedesire.com THE ALPHA PROJECT
    ELITE TRAINING EXTREME PERFORMANCE YOUTUBE VIDS
    AT LARGE NUTRITION
    ALN Supp Stack used - Nitrean Plus, BCAA, Multi Plus, Fish Oil, ETS
    Anderson Powerlifting
    Sling shot
    YOU CAN HAVE EXCUSES OR RESULTS, NOT BOTH

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    University at Albany
    Posts
    2,513
    Never cut! Why build all that beautiful strength and muscle and then lose it so you can see abs? Don't get fat, but stay big and strong.

  7. #7
    Powerlifter Bruiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    E-Town, WI
    Posts
    371
    First off, NEVER worry about the weight class for your first meet! Just train, eat and recover and go into the meet and get your first "official" total. From there, decide which is going to be more important of a goal for you... strength or visible abs. When you're first breaking into this sport (PL) it is VERY hard to have both. A perfect example is Mark Bell. One of the strongest guys around and one of the best trainers in the sport. After a few decades of powerlifting he decided to get into shape and drop some BF%. Now look at him! He's strong as fuck and ripped! But do you think he could've broke into this sport if he tried to be cut up AND strong at the same time? Probably not. Lift heavy, eat big and build a damn good base. Then worry about tightening it all up later.
    36 yr old novice PL

    Best lifts (non competition):
    Squat - 305
    Bench - 300
    Deathlift - 405

    My Training Log -
    http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...s-Training-Log

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    453
    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    Never cut! Why build all that beautiful strength and muscle and then lose it so you can see abs? Don't get fat, but stay big and strong.
    What if I already got fat, and need to drop 40 lbs of fat? could I do a quick cut? I think i will for a month or so, but I am really sick of these longer cuts because it keeps me from getting stronger and takes too much time, seems like such a waste.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    Never cut! Why build all that beautiful strength and muscle and then lose it so you can see abs? Don't get fat, but stay big and strong.
    I can safely say that I am much stronger at 210 pounds than I was at 295 pounds a year ago.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ehubbard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,304
    Quote Originally Posted by SEOINAGE View Post
    What if I already got fat, and need to drop 40 lbs of fat? could I do a quick cut? I think i will for a month or so, but I am really sick of these longer cuts because it keeps me from getting stronger and takes too much time, seems like such a waste.
    So you are saying that you would keep more strength doing a quick cut than a long cut? I am not a nutritionist and I have only lost weight during one period of my life, but that makes no sense to me. The more extreme the weight cut would seem to me to be the quickest way to lose muscle. I think there is also a correlation between your strength levels and the amount of strength you lose on a cutting diet. So the stronger you are, the more likely you will lose strength when you diet. If your 300 lbs and out of shape and start lifting that you could obviously get strong while cutting a lot of weight. For a powerlifter, I would think it would be more difficult, especially if you are in range and looking to hit 600 / 400 / 600 at 220-242 raw. This is a obviously a gross generalization, but I'm with Rhodes on this one.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    453
    Quote Originally Posted by ehubbard View Post
    So you are saying that you would keep more strength doing a quick cut than a long cut? I am not a nutritionist and I have only lost weight during one period of my life, but that makes no sense to me. The more extreme the weight cut would seem to me to be the quickest way to lose muscle. I think there is also a correlation between your strength levels and the amount of strength you lose on a cutting diet. So the stronger you are, the more likely you will lose strength when you diet. If your 300 lbs and out of shape and start lifting that you could obviously get strong while cutting a lot of weight. For a powerlifter, I would think it would be more difficult, especially if you are in range and looking to hit 600 / 400 / 600 at 220-242 raw. This is a obviously a gross generalization, but I'm with Rhodes on this one.
    I totally agree a short cut would reduce strength more than a long one. For instance I was up over 230 a few years ago and cut fast 15 lbs stabilized back up at 220, and lost a little strength, then I slowly over time brought myself down to 210 while getting stronger, then I cut down to 193 and felt fatter and worse than at 230, and weak as crap. But it didn't actually take that long to get back to where I was once I actually started eating again and performing a better routine with proper progression, and stop focusing on too many things.

    I say this because I think a long term one year cut would be worse, because in that year I could have done a short cut and then spent more time eating at above maintenance calories and progressing. I think I would lose more strength, but in the end still net a profit. I'm not an expert and haven't done this enough to know, but really think it's possible. Maybe I shouldn't bother with cutting for now I dunno, maybe it is a bit silly and I need to stop caring about other people. Seriously I am in pretty much my best shape ever, I may be bigger than your average person but could still outperform them even in endurance activities. They think in shape means how you look, but much rather be big and fat than skinny fat and unable to do anything. But comments I get lately really piss me off. Especially at work people see how much I eat and tell me outright I'm going to get fat, meanwhile person saying it is huge in a bad way, the worst part is I'm being told this while I am losing weight, so he is obviously wrong.

    The worst is relatives on my wife's side of the family, all they care about is p90x and who is the skinniest, and how many egg whites they ate, really annoying.

    Sorry for ranting, but the pressures sometimes make me want to just get shredded and tell them all to stfu.

    if I do cut for a while I would bulk right after then maintain and see how I am doing, I just would hate to not improve during the process. I dunno maybe I'm being retarded.

    I tried looking up powerlifting meets within 5 hours of where I live and only found one in november, and nothing listed for next year yet. I need better resources to find out more about meets so I can plan for one and at least semi prepare, get it on the calendar and have a goal to shoot towards. I really have made a lot of progress and want to get involved and be able to say i'm training instead of using the term "working out" or just "lifting."

  12. #12
    Senior Member ehubbard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,304
    Powerlifting Watch has a pretty thorough meet listing section.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    138
    Regarding the comments, you have to learn to ignore those. I have freinds who are legit fat (no muscle at all, just fat) or so skinny and weak they can't even bench 135 who somehow come up with a way to negate my strength (i.e "Who cares if you are strong if you dont have abs, it doesn't count).

    I think cutting is stupid, you are looking to compete, you are going to loose strength if you cut. You certainly have a higher bodyfat but I think thats a great opportunity to clean up the diet and try to recomp at your current weight while getting stronger.

    Worrying about what you look like is a great way to get nowhere, except for bodybuilding, what you look like does not matter. No professional athletes are concerned about their apperence, they're concerned about performance. Clean up your deit, do more GPP, but stop worrying about how you look when what you really want to do is perform.
    Best Gym Lifts:
    475 - 315 - 585

    Best Meet Lifts (220 Raw)
    435 - 295 - 555 (1285)

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by DontTakeEmOff31 View Post
    you are going to loose strength if you cut.
    That's false. I've been making more gains than I ever have while on a cut, while training fasted, AND while on low-carb. Obviously, that's just one person, but you CAN make strength gains on a cut. If you couldn't, then I have no idea how my deadlift went up 100 pounds while cutting 80 pounds...

  15. #15
    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    882
    I've done really well with my Carb Backloading diet. 8 weeks in and I am just as strong as I was at 320 and I'm down to 300#

    With that said, unless you are trying to break records in a weight class who cares what you weigh. If you are sick of being sloppy-looking just try to lose a little fat while lifting heavy but don't pay any attention to the scale.

    Keep your calories up but keep them clean calories and you'll get a good, slow change that won't kill your strength.



    Oh, and go do a meet.
    I went in to my last meet after trying to walk off pneumonia for a month and with a few broken toes from my wife dropping a dime on my foot ( lame, I know)..... I bombed out..... but I still gave it a fair shot. There's no reason to hold back and wait for some magical time when you'll feel ready.
    Meet PR's: 1008-750-750 - 2464

    Gym PR's... don't count ... time to do another meet!

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    453
    I think i'm going to do this short cut, then a few months of bulking, if I don't hit 405 bench during the bulk then I will know I screwed up and not to do it again.

    On PL watch I searched all feds, from now till december of next year for two states and it only brought up one meet. One is this november but I have an almost two year old and 3 week old twins to help take care of right now, can't really travel.

  17. #17
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    138
    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon63 View Post
    That's false. I've been making more gains than I ever have while on a cut, while training fasted, AND while on low-carb. Obviously, that's just one person, but you CAN make strength gains on a cut. If you couldn't, then I have no idea how my deadlift went up 100 pounds while cutting 80 pounds...
    What was your deadlift before cutting and then after cutting?
    Best Gym Lifts:
    475 - 315 - 585

    Best Meet Lifts (220 Raw)
    435 - 295 - 555 (1285)

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by DontTakeEmOff31 View Post
    What was your deadlift before cutting and then after cutting?
    It was 405 when I was 295 (AFTER I had already made my noob gains, so it was a true max). I got up 500 about a month ago at 215. Haven't maxed since, but I know I can get that still and I'm now 210.

    I mean, cutting obviously isn't ideal for strength gains, but you CAN gain strength when on a cut.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ehubbard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,304
    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon63 View Post
    It was 405 when I was 295 (AFTER I had already made my noob gains, so it was a true max). I got up 500 about a month ago at 215. Haven't maxed since, but I know I can get that still and I'm now 210.

    I mean, cutting obviously isn't ideal for strength gains, but you CAN gain strength when on a cut.
    OK, so the OP wants to powerlift which is all three lifts. What about your Squat and Bench?

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by ehubbard View Post
    OK, so the OP wants to powerlift which is all three lifts. What about your Squat and Bench?
    Bench went up 15 pounds after injuring both wrists, squat went up 20 pounds after yet another knee surgery (no rehab).

    Obviously, not as much as my deadlift, but I also had some injuries hold me back. Not trying to say that it's ideal, because obviously it's not, but you can make strength gains on a cut. Science probably disproves this, but my personal experience disproves that "science", because, obviously I made strength gains.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    453
    deadlift tends to be effected different with weight changes. Being heavier doesn't help quite the same. Also if you are a beginner it may be easier to make progress while losing weight.

    I know strength and muscle aren't perfectly related. But if you look at some of the studies with regard to increasing muscle mass, there's benefits to being lean.

    Personally I make great strength gains as long as I eat well, satisfy my appetite basically, it also usually results in some weight gain, at my height I don't want to really do it indefinitely.

  22. #22
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    138
    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon63 View Post
    Bench went up 15 pounds after injuring both wrists, squat went up 20 pounds after yet another knee surgery (no rehab).

    Obviously, not as much as my deadlift, but I also had some injuries hold me back. Not trying to say that it's ideal, because obviously it's not, but you can make strength gains on a cut. Science probably disproves this, but my personal experience disproves that "science", because, obviously I made strength gains.
    You can make strength gains on a cut, but the stronger you are the less likely that is going to be. It sounds like you weren't "cutting" as much as going from very overweight to getting in shape. That is far different from someone (me for example) cutting and trying to get stronger (and I am not that strong).

    Take a really fat guy and get him to start working out and eating healthier, he is going to loose weight and get stronger, he can even loose lots of weight and get stronger, I wouldn't consider that the same kind of cut the OP is talking about however.
    Best Gym Lifts:
    475 - 315 - 585

    Best Meet Lifts (220 Raw)
    435 - 295 - 555 (1285)

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by DontTakeEmOff31 View Post
    You can make strength gains on a cut, but the stronger you are the less likely that is going to be. It sounds like you weren't "cutting" as much as going from very overweight to getting in shape. That is far different from someone (me for example) cutting and trying to get stronger (and I am not that strong).

    Take a really fat guy and get him to start working out and eating healthier, he is going to loose weight and get stronger, he can even loose lots of weight and get stronger, I wouldn't consider that the same kind of cut the OP is talking about however.
    Well, I mean, obviously I was fat, but I was a college football player. Strongest incoming freshman, so I'd been in the weightroom for my fair share. I wasn't really a "beginner". Obviously, I wasn't on the level of the PLers here (and I'm still not), but I was stronger than the average lifter.

  24. #24
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Westside Barbell, OH
    Posts
    8,920
    Falcon anyone who got that much stronger while losing close to 100lbs really wasn't training super hard and focused prior to the cut.

    Any elite level powerlifter who were to drop that amount of weight would lose significant amounts of strength at some point.

    You're not disproving science or really anything. There are far too many variables here to make a general statement that will apply to everyone.


    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

    Superior Athletics - Northeast Ohio's Center for Athlete Training
    *Westside Barbell Certified Gym

  25. #25
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    138
    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon63 View Post
    Well, I mean, obviously I was fat, but I was a college football player. Strongest incoming freshman, so I'd been in the weightroom for my fair share. I wasn't really a "beginner". Obviously, I wasn't on the level of the PLers here (and I'm still not), but I was stronger than the average lifter.
    A 405 deadlift is still a beginner, I watch approx. 185lb high school athletes pull much more than that everyday. Now a 405 as a freshman in college isn't a terrible pull (much more than I could do back then) but it is hardly above average for athletes (especially football).
    Last edited by DontTakeEmOff31; 09-27-2012 at 01:46 PM.
    Best Gym Lifts:
    475 - 315 - 585

    Best Meet Lifts (220 Raw)
    435 - 295 - 555 (1285)

Similar Threads

  1. at what point do you bulk or cut
    By bails024 in forum Bodybuilding & Weight Training
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-20-2008, 09:49 AM
  2. What should I do at this point? (Continue bulk or cut)
    By ray34iyf in forum Diet and Nutrition
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-17-2007, 12:30 PM
  3. Percentage body fat - on target? (And advice on bulk end-point)
    By Crawf in forum Bodybuilding & Weight Training
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 01-27-2007, 04:20 PM
  4. So I got sort of a workout schedule, but I'm still unsure on things.
    By FlyingDeathPig in forum Bodybuilding & Weight Training
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-29-2002, 02:04 PM
  5. So I got sort of a workout schedule, but I'm still unsure on things.
    By FlyingDeathPig in forum Bodybuilding & Weight Training
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-22-2002, 06:51 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •