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  1. #1
    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    Would it be effective to lean bulk and minicut for the skinny-fat trainee?

    I am currently 5'6 and 154 lbs (https://imgur.com/a/7SSvvv8). I've been cutting since November and dropped down to my current weight from 169 lbs (https://imgur.com/a/YLOXueH). I haven't lost much if any strength and I can see my chest and back more. However, the cut made me realize that I am disappointed in the size of my muscles and I am considering going back to bulking. Prior to my cut, I made the mistake of going to the gym too frequently and I wasn't recovering enough even with the extra calories. In addition, I focused too much on improving my "one rep max" while deep down I just wanted hypertrophy. For instance, my max squat (parallel) is 365 lbs but my legs hardly grew. I am looking back into my logs and I was gaining a pound weekly.

    Would lean bulking (i.e a pound every other week) be beneficial for me or am I better off saving a bulk until I am more lean? If I do bulk, can I do it for about 2 months and rotate it with a 3 week period of "minicut" so I avoid going back to my fluffy state?
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  2. #2
    Registered User safcpaul's Avatar
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    Recomp mate. Eat around maintenance/slight deficit and aim to increase your lifts. If lifts continue increasing keep the calories how they are. If you stall, then add in 200 calories and repeat. Don't go in to a full blown bulk. You've made good progress so stay patient and don't yoyo between cutting and bulking
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  3. #3
    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by safcpaul View Post
    Recomp mate. Eat around maintenance/slight deficit and aim to increase your lifts. If lifts continue increasing keep the calories how they are. If you stall, then add in 200 calories and repeat. Don't go in to a full blown bulk. You've made good progress so stay patient and don't yoyo between cutting and bulking
    Thanks for the advice, repped.

    I was originally losing 2 lbs/week and I felt fine in the gym, though I got occasional hunger pangs and mood episodes. It has slowed down probably due to a lower BMR though I feel better (despite not adjusting my activity or food intake).
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    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by safcpaul View Post
    If you stall, then add in 200 calories and repeat.
    In the event this happens, how long should I keep up this? Do I just stay consistent with this minor surplus or do a "mini-bulk"
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Odifududix View Post
    In the event this happens, how long should I keep up this? Do I just stay consistent with this minor surplus or do a "mini-bulk"
    You've done this before - when you cut you think you're too small and when you bulk you think you're too fat.

    Eat at maintenance for a while and do a program without all the low rep stuff - don't worry so much about stalling and go by what you see in the mirror. Give it a little time. 5-6, 155 is plenty heavy enough to have both muscle and definition. Once you like what you see, then lean bulk.

    Recomp isn't necessarily the most efficient way to build muscle but you're spinning your wheels right now anyway going back and forth, so you won't really be losing any time.
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    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post

    Eat at maintenance for a while and do a program without all the low rep stuff - don't worry so much about stalling and go by what you see in the mirror. Give it a little time. 5-6, 155 is plenty heavy enough to have both muscle and definition. Once you like what you see, then lean bulk.

    Recomp isn't necessarily the most efficient way to build muscle but you're spinning your wheels right now anyway going back and forth, so you won't really be losing any time.
    Holdup, so burning fat + building muscle isn't BS? Or is it just less effective for trainees who are closer to Advanced/Elite?

    I'm well aware I've asked similar questions to my original post, though that was at a time where my hormones were holding me back
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    Originally Posted by Odifududix View Post
    Holdup, so burning fat + building muscle isn't BS? Or is it just less effective for trainees who are closer to Advanced/Elite?

    I'm well aware I've asked similar questions to my original post, though that was at a time where my hormones were holding me back
    There are literally 100's of studies that have shown this to be true now, anybody who say's no simply dose not value scientific evidence, its been shown in untrained, trained and advanced lifters that you can build muscle while in a deficit let alone while at maintenance, the further you are from your genetic potential the faster it will happen. Further more there is no evidence that eating in a surplus rather than maintenance is even more efficient. Muscle building is a slow process people think just because their shirts are fitting tighter and the scales moving up that they are gaining muscle faster than they do at maintenance when the scales not moving and clothes aren't feeling smaller week to week.

    So many people gain 20lbs of mostly fat thinking its mostly muscle then go through hell again to loose 20lbs and end up netting a small % of that being muscle, all of that time and energy spent gaining 20lbs then losing 20lbs could have been put towards eating at maintenance for the entire time in a permanent state of slowing gaining and ending up with a larger net gain in mass and a lower bodyfat than they started with.
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  8. #8
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Odifududix View Post
    Holdup, so burning fat + building muscle isn't BS? Or is it just less effective for trainees who are closer to Advanced/Elite?

    I'm well aware I've asked similar questions to my original post, though that was at a time where my hormones were holding me back
    Your body is capable of building muscle in diff ways. So far, bulking/cutting at low rep training isn't getting you the results you want on either end - I'd try something else.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SubWooferCooker View Post
    There are literally 100's of studies that have shown this to be true now, anybody who say's no simply dose not value scientific evidence, its been shown in untrained, trained and advanced lifters that you can build muscle while in a deficit let alone while at maintenance, the further you are from your genetic potential the faster it will happen. Further more there is no evidence that eating in a surplus rather than maintenance is even more efficient. Muscle building is a slow process people think just because their shirts are fitting tighter and the scales moving up that they are gaining muscle faster than they do at maintenance when the scales not moving and clothes aren't feeling smaller week to week.

    So many people gain 20lbs of mostly fat thinking its mostly muscle then go through hell again to loose 20lbs and end up netting a small % of that being muscle, all of that time and energy spent gaining 20lbs then losing 20lbs could have been put towards eating at maintenance for the entire time in a permanent state of slowing gaining and ending up with a larger net gain in mass and a lower bodyfat than they started with.
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  10. #10
    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SubWooferCooker View Post
    There are literally 100's of studies that have shown this to be true now, anybody who say's no simply dose not value scientific evidence, its been shown in untrained, trained and advanced lifters that you can build muscle while in a deficit let alone while at maintenance, the further you are from your genetic potential the faster it will happen. Further more there is no evidence that eating in a surplus rather than maintenance is even more efficient. Muscle building is a slow process people think just because their shirts are fitting tighter and the scales moving up that they are gaining muscle faster than they do at maintenance when the scales not moving and clothes aren't feeling smaller week to week.

    So many people gain 20lbs of mostly fat thinking its mostly muscle then go through hell again to loose 20lbs and end up netting a small % of that being muscle, all of that time and energy spent gaining 20lbs then losing 20lbs could have been put towards eating at maintenance for the entire time in a permanent state of slowing gaining and ending up with a larger net gain in mass and a lower bodyfat than they started with.
    My only point of clarification here would be that ‘maintenance’ in this context refers to bodyFAT% maintenance, not necessarily bodyWEIGHT maintenance.

    If you gain muscle while staying the same BF%, you literally can’t stay the same weight.

    It’s going to be very case-dependent..

    Someone who is 10% BF isn’t going to stay the same weight or not gain fat while gaining muscle...

    Someone who is 15% could gain muscle while losing fat, or maintain 15% while slowly gaining muscle, but likely trying to maintain BF% while also slowing gaining scale weight would be better.

    Someone who is 20% could abs should probably try to lose fat while gaining muscle.

    But even then, it depends on training age as well... so it really isn’t as simple as saying you can/can’t/should/shouldn’t take any one approach universally.
    Last edited by AdamWW; 12-30-2020 at 04:48 PM.
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  11. #11
    Registered User safcpaul's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Odifududix View Post
    In the event this happens, how long should I keep up this? Do I just stay consistent with this minor surplus or do a "mini-bulk"
    Don't bulk mate or do a minor surplus. Do a very small deficit and by small I mean 0.5lb a week. Some weeks you might just maintain your weight but that doesn't matter aslong as your lifts are progressing. You might stall on other lifts but if some lifts are progressing then still continue. Once every main lift stalls for a few weeks then add in 200 calories and repeat the process
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    My only point of clarification here would be that ‘maintenance’ in this context refers to bodyFAT% maintenance, not necessarily bodyWEIGHT maintenance.

    If you gain muscle while staying the same BF%, you literally can’t stay the same weight.

    I am in a similar boat as OP where I'm currently cutting, yet leaning on the side of "recomp". Would muscle gain for a cut give the impression one is "plateauing" for daily weigh-ins?

    I eat in a 300-500 deficit everyday and make sure to not partake in random bouts of snacking and account for cooking oils, yet every other week or so, the scale doesn't go down; on the weeks it does only by half a pound. I've been cutting for a while yet I even in weeks where I lost 0 lbs, I definitely look leaner in the mirror.
    Last edited by metallick; 12-31-2020 at 05:18 PM.
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