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  1. #1
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    Do I continue to cut or start bulking?

    So, I started a cut back in January at 219lbs (pictures included) and have managed to reach 175lbs (pictures of me now also included), this past month I have gotten a little lazy with my gym visits and my eating has been quite inconsistent, I think I've gotten a little tired of cutting now, especially with Winter starting and feeling cold a lot.

    I think I'm around 16% body fat right now, maybe 15% but I could be being optimistic, I just feel like any more cutting now won't show much and that slow bulking over the next 5 months could help me stay motivated and reach my goal (look more muscular at a lower body fat percentage), I'm going away to Portgual in June next year so I'd like to have a lower body fat percentage for then.

    Am I going in the right direction by bulking now, or should I continue my cut for a month or so more before starting my bulk?
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  2. #2
    Registered User geom114's Avatar
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    i cut for awhile and dropped from 315lbs to 185 primarily lifting weights. Got down to about 11% body fat. I have some friends that are very high level pros(compete at the olympia type pros) and what I got from them was that a bulk if you are over 10-12% BF wont be nearly as effective and you will end up putting on more fat than you planned.

    what I mean is you can expect to gain some fat with any bulk but try to keep it as clean as possible. That said would you be comfortable sitting at 18% BF? I mean the mass gains you made wouldn't be nearly as noticable if your bulk took you from 10%BF to 12.
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  3. #3
    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by geom114 View Post
    a bulk if you are over 10-12% BF wont be nearly as effective and you will end up putting on more fat than you planned.
    That couldn't be further from the truth, you can gain muscle at any bodyfat percentage, and most people just getting into lifting do not have the muscle mass required to get down to 10-12% without looking like a skeleton. OP is very likely in this camp of people.

    That being said I think OP is probably underestimating his bodyfat right now by a bit, its probably still in the high teens/20%-ish zone. OP how tall are you?
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    That couldn't be further from the truth, you can gain muscle at any bodyfat percentage, and most people just getting into lifting do not have the muscle mass required to get down to 10-12% without looking like a skeleton. OP is very likely in this camp of people.

    That being said I think OP is probably underestimating his bodyfat right now by a bit, its probably still in the high teens/20%-ish zone. OP how tall are you?
    I’m 6’ bang on.

    My estimation is taken from the body fat estimation thread, realistically it’s not something I focus too much on considering losing weight will mean losing body fat percentage if I keep my protein at 0.82g per lb of body weight minimum and 0.4g of fat per lb of body weight minimum and fill the rest with carbs.

    It’s a number I keep an eye on from time to time just to see how I’m doing. If you think I’m higher than 15% I will probably continue my cut for another 10lbs or so.
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  5. #5
    Registered User RapidFail's Avatar
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    Now you've lost the fat your body is quite similar to mine. My profile pic was taken at the end of my last cut at 165lb (6'1") and an estimated 15% bf. I'm comfortable bulking up to 17-18% before I start feeling too fat, so for me starting bulking at 15% is probably the highest I want to go. Ideally I'd like to get to the point that I'm cutting to 12% and bulking to 15%, but I'm a little while away from that and building muscle is a higher priority.

    I'd estimate your bf to be in the 17-18% range, so I tend to agree you could stand to continue cutting for another 10lb before bulking.

    Oh, and congrats on the excellent progress!
    Age: 35
    Height: 185cm (6'1")
    Weight: 76.6kg (169lb)

    Current working weights:
    Bench - 10 x 47.5kg (105lb), 5 x 55kg (121lb)
    Front squat - 8 x 55kg (121lb)
    Back squat - 5 x 65kg (143lb)
    RDL - 8 x 75kg (165b)
    Deadlift - 5 x 85kg (187lb)
    Overhead Press - 8 x 37.5kg (83lb)
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    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    I tend to be a little less optimistic on my bodyfat estimations than others, but at the end of the day it doesn't change my opinion that you could just just a bit more. I agree with RapidFail above that you could absolutely stand to lose another 10 lbs before bulking. I don't think cutting down to 10-12% is a possibility for you at this stage, you're probably a few bulk/cut cycles away from being able to do that.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  7. #7
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Continue cutting and training on a proven weightlifting program. You still have a bit longer to go before reverse dieting. Nice job on the loss BTW. Just have patience and go a bit longer cutting
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Really appreciate the feedback from everyone, I've been taking every piece of advice I can from you all in regards to workout and diet and it's shown results - I'll continue to lose until I hit 165lbs, maybe 160 depending how I look and then go from there.

    Thanks again for all the help guys, I honestly could not have done this without any of your help. Your advice to others in this forum has also indirectly helped me whenever I needed to find out anything previously asked.
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    Registered User Arun2904's Avatar
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    Congratulations OP. Can see a lot hard work gone there, in the gym and in your diet. I started my cut in July at 177 lbs to 154 lbs now i.e for about 5 months and would start reverse dieting in a weeks time. I am sitting at about 15% Bf but as people have already said, lack the muscle mass and cant go lower to 10-12%.
    Based on your pictures, I agree you could loose 10lbs before you start reversing however, since you have been dieting hard since January, motivation to carry on could be an issue. Cause after 5 months i kinda stalled on dieting for about two week and had to push super hard to get back and finish the cut. Set yourself a weight goal and give yourself sometime or you could also get to maintenance for a week or two in case you are mentally fatigued to continue your cut.
    Hope this helps.
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    GingeyBreadDev is offline
    Originally Posted by Arun2904 View Post
    Congratulations OP. Can see a lot hard work gone there, in the gym and in your diet. I started my cut in July at 177 lbs to 154 lbs now i.e for about 5 months and would start reverse dieting in a weeks time. I am sitting at about 15% Bf but as people have already said, lack the muscle mass and cant go lower to 10-12%.
    Based on your pictures, I agree you could loose 10lbs before you start reversing however, since you have been dieting hard since January, motivation to carry on could be an issue. Cause after 5 months i kinda stalled on dieting for about two week and had to push super hard to get back and finish the cut. Set yourself a weight goal and give yourself sometime or you could also get to maintenance for a week or two in case you are mentally fatigued to continue your cut.
    Hope this helps.
    Thanks I appreciate that, it can get really tiresome - I really feel proud for those who start at a higher weight than me and make it to their goal. I am currently in the middle of moving house so I'm a little distracted and with all the stress my first thought is to eat more, but I am keeping in control and even when I do overeat, I am still logging it in MyFitnessPal to keep myself accountable and to physically "see" the damage I'm doing, it's really keeping me motivated to go back and don't make this an every day habit.

    I might have to take your advice and eat at maintenance for the next week or so until I've officially completed my house move and then I'll be back onto it, thankfully where I am moving to is a 5 minute drive from my gym so I'll have 0 excuses to use for not getting the job done and keeping up with my calorie deficit (hate using the term diet, hence why I'll rarely use it).

    I'm going to give rep as much as I can to everyone for their feedback, thanks again to all of you and good luck to you all with your goals and motivations to.
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