When do you know it is time to Build, Cut, or Maintain?
Here is the situation... I have been building for the last 3 months gaining 20 pounds (150 to 170 pounds at 5' 10"). I have put on some fat in the process but overall I am fairly satisfied with the size gains. I am still pudgy around the middle and would like to harden it up (Love Handles) but I am afraid of losing size if I cut (Other body areas). I estimate my body fat to be somewhere around 15 - 17%. As I see it, I have 3 options...
1. Cut - Means I will loose fat (good), muscle (sucks), and size (really sucks). If I cut 10% of my body fat I would be back down around 150 pounds which is where I started (Not good in my opinion).
2. Keep Gaining - Gain fat (Bad), muscle (good), and size (good). I am taking Myoplex Mass, ZMA, Creatine, and a MutiVit
3. Maintain - Will I continue to replace body fat with muscle if I am at maintenance or will the fat remain as I also put on muscle?
I guess bottom line is this... How does one that starts out a little pudgy gain muscle mass, loose the fat, and still get bigger (Weight and Size)?
I would like to hear from people who have been in the same situation and overcame it. I was not big to start with but did have some fat love handles even at 150 (Even more so at 170). I am small boned so fat and muscle stand out on me. I can gain weight easily but I seem to put on fat along with the muscle.
I realize I am rambling but I am attempting to organize the thoughts in my head. I could really use some advice as I am dedicated to doing whatever it takes...
I definitely think that its possible to maintain your current size while dropping a little bit of bodyfat. For example first of all make sure that KEEP your strength. For example when your chest size increased from 150 to 170 lbs., so did your chest strength. Lets say when you weighed 150 lbs. you could do 135 for 10 reps. Now at 170 you can do 185 for 10 reps. When you start to train and diet for fat loss STICK to sets with 185.
It took 185 to get the muscle that you now have, and it will definitely take 185 to KEEP the muscle. I hope you understood that. Anyway I would suggest not dropping calories too much. Maybe dropping them something like 300-400 below maintenance and adjust accordingly. Honestly fat-loss can be achieved, and not accompanied by muscle loss. I have lost around 18 lbs. so far and havnt lost any muscle I dont think. My strength levels are all increasing.
Thanks MonStar, I am really struggling with it right now. I think it is partly because I want it all right now and I have to realize it takes time. If you are out of shape, a lot of time!
I am in the same boat as you. I am trying to cut the fat but keep the muscle. I am trying to lose the fat through diet alone, I am keeping my routine like I would be bulking, heavy weight low-mod reps. I haven't been on this too long so I can't give you results but it sounds like it would work, just take a long time to cut down to the 10-12% bodyfat i'd like to have.