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  1. #1
    Registered User Mrpb's Avatar
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    Are there minimum time frames for cutting and bulking to be effective?

    Are there minimum time frames for cutting and bulking to be effective?

    What I'm considering doing is cut until I'm 80.0 kg, and then start bulking until I'm 82kg and then cut again to 80kg, bulk again etc.

    This way I never get smaller or fatter than I want. The bulking would probably last 4 weeks, cutting 2 weeks.

    Do you think this would work well?
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  2. #2
    Registered User RubenOlivares's Avatar
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    Often results in people spinning their wheels.
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  3. #3
    Registered User michcoth1's Avatar
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    It will take much longer to do it this way. You shouldn't put on very much fat at all, especially in relation to the lean mass you put on, if you keep your calorie surplus low.
    Last edited by michcoth1; 10-31-2012 at 11:56 AM. Reason: typo
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  4. #4
    ( _)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RubenOlivares View Post
    Often results in people spinning their wheels.
    This, as muscle building is a much longer term undertaking that cutting fat. Typically more efficient to chase one goal or the other.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Mrpb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lee__d View Post
    This, as muscle building is a much longer term undertaking that cutting fat. Typically more efficient to chase one goal or the other.
    Well the idea is to chase one goal (bulking and getting stronger) for 4 weeks and then chase the other goal (losing fat) for two weeks.

    Why do you think this wouldn't work?
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  6. #6
    ( _)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Well the idea is to chase one goal (bulking and getting stronger) for 4 weeks and then chase the other goal (losing fat) for two weeks.

    Why do you think this wouldn't work?
    It would work, but over the much longer term. Typical a natty can put on 10lb or so of muscle in a year if lucky ( and not a total noob). Constantly shifting from bulking to cutting will extend the time in which it takes to put on muscle. This is really the major downside.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Mrpb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lee__d View Post
    Constantly shifting from bulking to cutting will extend the time in which it takes to put on muscle.
    Why is this?

    And what is the minimum time frame one should be cutting or bulking for it to be effective?
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  8. #8
    ( _)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Why is this?

    And what is the minimum time frame one should be cutting or bulking for it to be effective?
    Because bulking takes a caloric surplus, if you bulk 4 months on 2 months off 4 months on 2 months off, that's 8 total months of a surplus. If you bulk 12 months straight, that's 4 extra months of a surplus.

    There's no 'minimal' time frame. Personal goals and body fat % should dictate the time frame.
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  9. #9
    Registered User rakan92's Avatar
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    layne norton talks abt how the metabolic switches could be beneficial when cycling between cuts and bulks ....not sure of the time frame
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  10. #10
    ( _)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rakan92 View Post
    layne norton talks abt how the metabolic switches could be beneficial when cycling between cuts and bulks ....not sure of the time frame
    Layne used to speak of shorter cutting and bulking periods, not sure if he still supports it or not.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Mrpb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by michcoth1 View Post
    You shouldn't put on very much fat at all, especially in relation to the lean mass you put on, if you keep your calorie surplus low.
    As far as I know if one puts on 2 lbs of muscle per month one will also put on 2lbs of fat. Source:
    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/mus...mass-gain.html
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  12. #12
    ( _)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    As far as I know if one puts on 2 lbs of muscle per month one will also put on 2lbs of fat. Source:
    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/mus...mass-gain.html
    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/mus...potential.html

    Again a total noob MAY put on MAX of 2lb of muscle per month. Shooting for the high end of the generic spectrum usually isn't a good bet. Regardless of what you believe to be the genetic max of muscle gaining potential, the fact remains: you will put on muscle at a faster rate (over the long term) if you bulk for (arbitrary number) 12 months, rather than 4 months bulk/2 months cut, over a year.
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  13. #13
    Registered User Mrpb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lee__d View Post
    Because bulking takes a caloric surplus, if you bulk 4 months on 2 months off 4 months on 2 months off, that's 8 total months of a surplus. If you bulk 12 months straight, that's 4 extra months of a surplus.
    The person doing 12 months of bulking will end up much fatter, so the comparison isn't equal this way.

    To take an equal example:

    scenario A: 3 months bulking, 1 month cutting and then repeat two times.
    scenario B: 9 months bulking and then 3 months cutting.

    Why would A be better than B?

    Originally Posted by lee__d View Post
    Again a total noob MAY put on MAX of 2lb of muscle per month.
    Sure, my response was to michcoth, who seems to believe you can put on muscle without fat if the surplus is small.
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  14. #14
    ( _)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    The person doing 12 months of bulking will end up much fatter, so the comparison isn't equal this way.

    To take an equal example:

    scenario A: 3 months bulking, 1 month cutting and then repeat two times.
    scenario B: 9 months bulking and then 3 months cutting.

    Why would A be better than the other?
    Much fatter? I'm talking about gaining 2lb per month max, regardless of having mini bulk/cut cycles, or one long, slow bulk.

    You seem to just want your point of view justified. I will not do that, and I think I've stated my case quite clearly. If you want to do mini bulk/cut cycles have at it. I'm sure others share this viewpoint as well. I hold the stance that a longer, slow bulk will be more efficient (and a wiser choice) than mini cycles.
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    Registered User Mrpb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lee__d View Post
    Much fatter? I'm talking about gaining 2lb per month max, regardless of having mini bulk/cut cycles, or one long, slow bulk.
    Yes he will end up fatter, because the comparison isn't equal.

    You seem to just want your point of view justified.
    No. I'm just asking the simple question "why?". You've said it many times that longer periods are more effective but you haven't said why.

    I'm not saying one is better than the other. I'm asking why is one better than the other. I'm sure someone will be able to tell.
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    Without getting into shorter bulk/cut cycles based around a timeframe, I do think that basing it on weight, "bulk to 82, cut to 80" would be a bad idea. In units my brain understands, 4 and a half pounds difference. Weight fluctuates so much in the short term due to water retention, un-expelled waste, etc, that you would constantly be over-reacting to current weight. I started eating at maintenance to +100 cals just a couple days ago (from a cut), and already gained 4 pounds, most definitely water and waste, and certainly not time to cut again.
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    ( _)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post

    I'm just asking the simple question "why?". You've said it many times that longer periods are more effective but you haven't said why.

    I'm not saying one is better than the other. I'm asking why is one better than the other. I'm sure someone will be able to tell.
    Now you must be trolling me:
    Originally Posted by lee__d
    Because bulking takes a caloric surplus, if you bulk 4 months on 2 months off 4 months on 2 months off, that's 8 total months of a surplus. If you bulk 12 months straight, that's 4 extra months of a surplus.
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    ❚█══█❚ EjnarKolinkar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    What I'm considering doing is cut until I'm 80.0 kg, and then start bulking until I'm 82kg and then cut again to 80kg, bulk again etc.
    No gains? So you want to cycle at a stasis weight and do a loop?

    It's great on paper in practice I would not do it. When I drop to 2500 my cut point it takes me a week or two to move the scale and another two to get 2 lbs off, my experience thus far. I am aware of others that have similar dead zones when bulking or cutting. My mini cut takes a month.

    Don't want to waste the time I could be bulking. Not anything wrong with a corrective cut. I don't think most bodies will turn on a dime. For advanced athletes trying to make small gains maybe it works better?
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    Registered User Mrpb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lee__d View Post
    Now you must be trolling me:
    No I'm definitely not trolling you. But if I haven't been able to explain it so far it probably won't happen now.

    Originally Posted by EjnarKolinkar View Post
    No gains? So you want to cycle at a stasis weight and do a loop?
    The gains would be I'm leaning out. My fat percentage would be dropping lower over time.
    Last edited by Mrpb; 10-31-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Blackjack68 View Post
    Without getting into shorter bulk/cut cycles based around a timeframe
    Why not?

    ps. I agree on your other point.
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    I dont think your mini-bulk / cut idea is in any way a downside. Bulk for 6-8 weeks, cut for 2. If you keep it lean you should be able to gain around 2/3 pounds in the bulk and then in the 2 week cut loose around 2/3 pounds. I think that chasing a scale number would be a bad idea but if you stick to 6-8 bulk / 2 week cut, you will end up with good results. A lot of people who lean bulk take this approach.

    -On the other side if you bulk for a long period of time you will also have to cut for a long time, this could end in a much greater strength loss. Your best bet is to try both ways and see what you like better.
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    ❚█══█❚ EjnarKolinkar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    The gains would be I'm leaning out. My fat percentage would be dropping lower over time.
    Got it stasis weight, more muscle goal.

    Seem like your dead set on trying it. Go for it, run a log and share your results. It's only 6 weeks.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Why not?
    Only because I don't have much experimenting under my belt for cycle length. I try to not overstep my knowledge with things I don't have direct experience with.
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    I assume you are asking this because you are afraid of putting on fat during a bulk. Good luck OP.
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    Originally Posted by EjnarKolinkar View Post
    Seem like your dead set on trying it.
    Not really. I want to learn about these things, this is why I'm asking questions.

    Originally Posted by SayMilesAway View Post
    I assume you are asking this because you are afraid of putting on fat during a bulk. Good luck OP.
    Nope. I know during bulk one gains and fat. I've just bulked to 17% and am now cutting.
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  26. #26
    Chasing cats since 1967 WonderPug's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    This way I never get smaller or fatter than I want.
    You'll also never get bigger or more muscular.
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    You'll also never get bigger or more muscular.
    Oh that's interesting. Why is that? Is four weeks not enough for bulking?

    What if one does two months of bulking, would that work?

    I'm trying to find if there is a minimum time frame for these things to work.
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    Personally, my biggest reason for not doing something like this is "mindset." Set a goal and stick with it. You want to be bigger and stronger, then get bigger and stronger...eat+lift+rest, repeat. If you are constantly worried about putting on small amounts of fat (the amount of fat gain should not be that large if you slow bulk properly)...you will just end up spinning your wheels as others have said.

    Hundreds of members on these boards who are/were skinny fat or were former fatties had the same concerns about gaining too much fat once starting a bulk but once you get out of that mind set and focus on long term goals, things will go much better for you.

    Also, when switching into your bulk, you will likely increase your carb intake and that 2kg gain that you have set for your buffer may get hit in 3-4 days because of water/glycogen stores.
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    Chasing cats since 1967 WonderPug's Avatar
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    Why don't you simply bulk until you have as much muscle mass as you want or until you have more fat than you are confortable with, then cut?
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  30. #30
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    Why don't you simply bulk until you have as much muscle mass as you want or until you have more fat than you are confortable with, then cut?
    Well I'm now 80kg with 16% fat. I want to look good naked but I don't right now. Too much belly fat. Of course I could cut to 12%, but then I would look small, especially when wearing my clothes.

    So I'm considering the several options I have now, which is why I'm asking these questions.

    Most likely option now is to continue my cut until about 78kg and then start slowly bulking again.

    I'm still interested in my original question: Are there minimum time frames for cutting and bulking to be effective?
    Last edited by Mrpb; 10-31-2012 at 01:49 PM.
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