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  1. #1
    Registered User ovat0's Avatar
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    Lose more weight or try and gain more muscle mass?

    I am an 18 year old 5' 6" male. I've gotten my body composition scan 3 times just for some back story

    - 9/20/19
    - 191.7 pounds
    - 68.3 Skeletal muscle mass (pounds)
    - 36.8% body fat

    - 6/22/20
    - 164.3 pounds
    - 69.9 SKMM
    - 24.8% body fat

    - 2/23/21
    - 153.3 pounds
    - 67.5 SKMM
    - 21.8% body fat

    My goal is to drop my body fat percentage even more to get a defined shape so should I still be eating in a calorie deficit while lifting weights? I fear that if I try and get to a lower body fat, my skeletal muscle mass is too low to even show good muscle definition. I also just finished my first week of weightlifting, so some advice on if I should be eating more or less would be good and anything I should look out for on the numbers above.
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I would try to gain muscle at this point. You can aim to do this while keeping your weight level or maybe very slowly gaining mass.

    I wouldn't recommend cutting for where you are now. As you say, it will probably not result in definition, just looking really skinny especially in clothes (which is most of the time I assume).
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  3. #3
    Registered User ovat0's Avatar
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    Would it be possible to keep my current body fat % while gaining muscle mass?
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ovat0 View Post
    Would it be possible to keep my current body fat % while gaining muscle mass?
    Maybe but you need to be prepared to gain a little fluff or bloat along the way. If you keep trying to avoid this, it can be counterproductive.
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    Given your concerns, consider just eating at maintenance. If you're not in any particular hurry, you can prob lower your bf% while you gain some muscle. Then when you're happier with how you look, start increasing your cals gradually.
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    Originally Posted by ovat0 View Post
    I also just finished my first week of weightlifting
    It's easier under the bridge but you'd have been better off if you had been doing some sort of resistance training the entire time. For someone new to training, it's very possible to lose fat and put on muscle at the same time.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I would try to gain muscle at this point. You can aim to do this while keeping your weight level or maybe very slowly gaining mass.

    I wouldn't recommend cutting for where you are now. As you say, it will probably not result in definition, just looking really skinny especially in clothes (which is most of the time I assume).
    Isn't 21.8% bf still too high to not cut? I was thinking a calorie deficit for him while lifting to get leaner and even recomp along the way? I've always just heard to not worry about bulking until you get down to 12% or so first.
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    You are on a roll with your current weight loss program. It's working for you. I would continue to do what you are currently doing and then worry about putting on more muscle in the future. When? Maybe give yourself a target weight. When you hit that target, start putting on muscle. What target weight? How about 141.7 pounds. That's 50 pounds less than what you started. Or maybe 146.7. That's 45 pounds, which is also a common weight of the larger plates you use for the heavier lifts. Every time you pick up a plate, it will remind you of how much weight you lost.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    Isn't 21.8% bf still too high to not cut? I was thinking a calorie deficit for him while lifting to get leaner and even recomp along the way? I've always just heard to not worry about bulking until you get down to 12% or so first.
    Its high because of lack of muscle, not too much fat.
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    Plus..
    The much touted P-ratio theorys of making better gains when lean vs bit fluffy are bunk
    Last edited by MyEgoProblem; 02-24-2021 at 01:40 PM.
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  11. #11
    Registered User ovat0's Avatar
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    Thank you for your replies! So basically right now I'm still a bit chubby and bulking up a bit feels a little weird. I was thinking of cutting to about 15-17% then bulking back up to 20%?
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  12. #12
    Registered User RapidFail's Avatar
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    If OP was older and that BF % was accurate, I would recommend cutting. He should be in his prime muscle building years and could still be growing, so I'd lean more towards eating at maintenance and trying to recomp.
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  13. #13
    WOATbrah of peace :) sooby's Avatar
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    you can still gain muscle in a calorie deficit, not the ideal conditions but doable, or you can do more of a recomp where the weight on the scale doesn't move much, but you are basically shifting your body composition to less fat and more muscle.
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