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  1. #1
    Registered User crazz2323's Avatar
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    When to cut (if at all) when bulking?

    In a years time bulking, I have gained only 26 lbs. I went from 10% body fat to 17%. I had an uneducated start and had to experiment and learn how much I needed to eat. I also, had a surgery that set me back for about a month. It was slower progress but I stayed around 13% body fat while gaining weight.

    Anyway, I have been following the advice on this forum and used the TDEE calculator to get all my numbers right. Last month, I gained 4 lbs and from what I have read, that is more around normal to gain in a month (1 lb per week). Unfortunately, before I got on the right track, I was gaining too much fat vs muscle. I read you need to gain weight to lift more so maybe that isn't a bad thing?

    So my question is, at 17% body fat, should I just stay the course and continue to gain weight or should I stop bulking, switch to cutting to trim off some of the fat before it gets to be too much? How much body fat % should I expect to gain while bulking?

    Note for the most part, I eat right, protein and lean meats, whole wheat pasta, jasmine rice, oatmeal, eggs, fat free Greek yogurt, etc.
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  2. #2
    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    26 lbs in a year is actually pretty close to EXACTLY right, in a perfect world you should have gained around 24 (2 lbs per month for what is considered a "proper" lean bulk).

    For most naturals, you're not going to gain more than 8-12 lbs of pure muscle in a year, which means anything over that will be fat/water. If you're shooting for 4 lbs a month then almost assuredly about 75% of that will NOT be muscle.

    Generally people would stop bulking when they get up to around 18-20%, or less for some people that have more muscle mass and start off at a lower BF percentage.

    We usually ask people to post a photo for the best advice. But if you're at 17% now then I would probably stop and switch over to a cut and shed some fat.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  3. #3
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Your profile says 5' 11" and 154lb.... if that's accurate, you ain't done bulking.
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    Hard to say without seeing a photo but there would certainly be no harm in spending a month or two shedding some of that body fat before returning to your bulk. Ultimately it's up to you and how much body fat you are comfortable having.
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    What I plan to do is keep bulking until I hit both 225x8 bench and 315x8 squat at a minimum. Then depending on how fat I am ill probably want to cut a little bit but if im still not too fat I might keep bulking im just gonna wait and see how things go
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    Originally Posted by crazz2323 View Post
    In a years time bulking, I have gained only 26 lbs. I went from 10% body fat to 17%. I had an uneducated start and had to experiment and learn how much I needed to eat. I also, had a surgery that set me back for about a month. It was slower progress but I stayed around 13% body fat while gaining weight.

    Anyway, I have been following the advice on this forum and used the TDEE calculator to get all my numbers right. Last month, I gained 4 lbs and from what I have read, that is more around normal to gain in a month (1 lb per week). Unfortunately, before I got on the right track, I was gaining too much fat vs muscle. I read you need to gain weight to lift more so maybe that isn't a bad thing?

    So my question is, at 17% body fat, should I just stay the course and continue to gain weight or should I stop bulking, switch to cutting to trim off some of the fat before it gets to be too much? How much body fat % should I expect to gain while bulking?

    Note for the most part, I eat right, protein and lean meats, whole wheat pasta, jasmine rice, oatmeal, eggs, fat free Greek yogurt, etc.
    Do you have a picture of your 17% body fat?

    I'm asking because in the majority of times people underestimate their own body fat. When they say 17% it's usually closer to 20%.
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  8. #8
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    Thanks all! Glad to know I was originally on the right track. I have been using calipers since I started calculating. I know there is a good 3 -5% error rate with those but it has helped me track things from the start.

    I had received some bad advice on this forum in a previous post saying my gain was too slow, so I started trying to change things, increase calories etc. While messing around, I messed up my lean bulk and went from 13% to 17% body fat. I wish I had just stayed the course. Now I will need to cut. Too bad though, I was happy going up a pant size! I updated my weight, actually 163 atm, seems to have lost a pound this month for some reason. I will update my pic after I workout today.

    *Note I added the pic in my gallery. It is after a big meal and no flexing. Looking back at my progress photos, I really look like I went down hill lol. Should have stuck to what I was doing prior. So is this 17% or more like 20?
    Last edited by crazz2323; 11-10-2019 at 04:13 PM.
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  9. #9
    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by crazz2323 View Post
    I messed up my lean bulk and went from 13% to 17% body fat.
    You do understand that fat gain is a normal part of a bulk right? Even in a best case scenario you'll see about a 50/50 fat to muscle ratio during a bulk. So the fact that you went from 13% to 17% is completely normal.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  10. #10
    Registered User crazz2323's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    You do understand that fat gain is a normal part of a bulk right? Even in a best case scenario you'll see about a 50/50 fat to muscle ratio during a bulk. So the fact that you went from 13% to 17% is completely normal.
    Yes, but I only went up approx 3% in almost a year, then when I started messing around with things, I jumped to 17%. If it looks like I am still on track, I just wont mess with anything until I hit 180 or 200 lbs, then look at cutting.
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  11. #11
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    Crazz, I just had a look at your progress picture from the 28th of August. What do you think your body fat was there?

    (I'm asking Crazz, not anyone else).
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  12. #12
    Registered User crazz2323's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Crazz, I just had a look at your progress picture from the 28th of August. What do you think your body fat was there?

    (I'm asking Crazz, not anyone else).
    If I remember correctly, it was 13% or 14%. It was right before I started messing with my system and gained a bunch of fat. I was sticking to a 40/40/20 split.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by crazz2323 View Post
    If I remember correctly, it was 13% or 14%. It was right before I started messing with my system and gained a bunch of fat.
    yeah, you're simply obese
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    yeah, you're simply obese
    Yep I am now lol! I am back on my normal track without messing with the system that was working for me so I am going to go through the next two months as is and then cut in January to get back down to 15%. I hope that is a good plan.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by crazz2323 View Post
    Yep I am now lol! I am back on my normal track without messing with the system that was working for me so I am going to go through the next two months as is and then cut in January to get back down to 15%. I hope that is a good plan.
    Dude I was kidding... you're seriously delusional if you think at 5-11" and <160lb you could be anything but at least thin... I don't see why you'd try to be cutting right now...
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