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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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Bulk or Cut first?

    I've lifted on and off for a few years now, but have never been really serious about it. I've decided I want to make my body grow a bit, but do I cut the fat or bulk up with some muscle first?

    6'2"
    200lbs
    12-14% bodyfat

    MAX-
    Bench-215
    Squat-315
    Powerclean-180

    I know, I'm pretty weak...haha What would you guys suggest I do right now?? BULK OR CUT?

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  3. #2
    Om. Avocado. MM's Avatar
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    What do you want more? To be really lean, or to gain a lot of size and strength? It's not a mathematical equation -- it's personal. If you want to get very lean, cut. If you care more about size and strength, bulk.

    I'd probably bulk. Your numbers aren't too terrible. Relatively similar to mine, and we have the same height and weight.
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  4. #3
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Neither, at first.

    Stay at maintenance cals, fix up your diet, and get your lifting working for you. You'll gain strength and muscle, and recompose a bit.

    Once you get this dialled in (probably in a couple of months), start your bulk, slowly. The leaner you go into a bulk, the better you'll partition, and you're really not training hard enough or dieting well enough at the very beginning to know how to do a proper bulk.

    My .02

  5. #4
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built
    Neither, at first.

    Stay at maintenance cals, fix up your diet, and get your lifting working for you. You'll gain strength and muscle, and recompose a bit.

    Once you get this dialled in (probably in a couple of months), start your bulk, slowly. The leaner you go into a bulk, the better you'll partition, and you're really not training hard enough or dieting well enough at the very beginning to know how to do a proper bulk.

    My .02
    I totally agree with this. Work on getting stronger and more muscular and cleaning up your diet. You'll probably find yourself looking bigger and leaner as a result.

    If you're not sure whether you should bulk or cut, then you probably just need to gain muscle and not worry so much about either.

    My .02

  6. #5
    Nasaan ang unggoy? bigsethmeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built

    The leaner you go into a bulk, the better you'll partition
    Can you back this up? Comments anyone?

    *Very* interested in this theory and am currently on a cut. If I can find enough data to support this claim I'll run my cut further than I'd planned.

    Thanks...

  7. #6
    Om. Avocado. MM's Avatar
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    It doesn't seem to me that the OP is going to have much in the way of body recomposition; he's been lifting for a few years.
    Don't hate the player. Hate the game.


  8. #7
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MM
    It doesn't seem to me that the OP is going to have much in the way of body recomposition; he's been lifting for a few years.
    Hardly:

    I've lifted on and off for a few years now, but have never been really serious about it. I've decided I want to make my body grow a bit, but do I cut the fat or bulk up with some muscle first?

  9. #8
    Om. Avocado. MM's Avatar
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    Wait. So lifting on and off for a few years is, in fact, not lifting for a few years? He's at a relatively low BF% and has decent max lifts -- what makes you think he's going to recompose? He's not at 17% BF with no muscle.
    Don't hate the player. Hate the game.


  10. #9
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MM
    Wait. So lifting on and off for a few years is, in fact, not lifting for a few years? He's at a relatively low BF% and has decent max lifts -- what makes you think he's going to recompose? He's not at 17% BF with no muscle.
    Exactly. Which is why I suggested he figures out his body a bit for a few months on maintenance calories, gets his diet cleaned up, conditions his body, puts on some muscle, then get started on a proper bulk once he's ready for it.

  11. #10
    Om. Avocado. MM's Avatar
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    ****, I probably can't power clean 180.
    Don't hate the player. Hate the game.


  12. #11
    Wannabebig Member
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    Well I'd eventually like to keep my body around 200lbs minus the extra weight in fat. Is it harder to put on muscle or just as easy with excess fat already on your body? I'd like to be able to put on some muscle starting from a leaner body type than what I'm at right now but you guys know which route to take would be better..since you all seem to just know everything.

  13. #12
    Om. Avocado. MM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDN
    Well I'd eventually like to keep my body around 200lbs minus the extra weight in fat. Is it harder to put on muscle or just as easy with excess fat already on your body? I'd like to be able to put on some muscle starting from a leaner body type than what I'm at right now but you guys know which route to take would be better..since you all seem to just know everything.
    If you want to put on muscle from a leaner body-type, then I'd suggest something similar to what Built it talking about. It also depends on how much leaner you want to get. It certainly sounds to me like you want to be cutting; your bodyfat goals sound somewhat more significant than working on maintenance calories.
    Don't hate the player. Hate the game.


  14. #13
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    You'll hear a lot of different opinions. Mine is the most moderate. If you're at all nervous about putting on any fat, but don't want to disappear, it's the path I would choose given your situation.

    My .02

    Are you tracking your food on www.fitday.com yet?

  15. #14
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    Well, like everyone else said this is a personal decision. But if it helps, my stats are similar to yours and I am cutting.
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  16. #15
    Senior Member bschatz88's Avatar
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    Just listen to Built. She knows all.
    20 years old
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    Current Weight:175 (10/28/08)
    Clean Bulk

  17. #16
    Senior Member
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    Here I'll say this so you can hear it again from someone else.

    Figure out what kinda diet you will be comfortable with. i.e. Foods to eat, portions, preperation...and so on. Find out what your maintenance calories are over the course of 1 month, tracking weight gain/loss and calorie consumption on a weekly basis.

    Once you figure out the deit/calorie/weight part, then you can get into how much will it take to get you in a calorie surplus to gain about 1-2lbs per week. Experiment with this for another month. By this time you should know how many cals it takes for you to gain weight, and how many cals it takes you to stay the same.

    Now you can start your bulk.

    Remember to keep lifting with the same routine that you plan to keep for the duration of the bulk, so you will know how many cals you burn and so on.

    Conclusion: Basically we are telling you to bulk, but it's best if you take the time to learn how to bulk successfully.

  18. #17
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    I say bulk.
    ...........||High School||.....||July '05||.......||January '09||
    Bench.........225x1...............275x1.................?
    Squat...........?.......................?....................365x5
    Deadlift........?.....................315x5...............435x5
    Weight........180...................192...................185
    BF%.............?......................12.....................12
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  19. #18
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    always bulk first. i would say that to anyone who isnt rediculously obese.

  20. #19

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