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  1. #1
    Registered User ZhakirSetie's Avatar
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    Cut or Bulk for beginner ?

    Hello I've just recently gotten into bodybuilding after seeing how much my husband enjoys it and I've always been an extremely active person so I really decided I wanted to try and challenge myself. I do have a bad history of an eating disorder so the idea of bulking and putting on weight is pretty frightening to me but I understand it's necessity. However, I have already been pretty active and doing weights (not to the extent of a good bodybuilding program though) and have pretty good muscle mass. My BF is around 20-21%. I've been on a new program for almost 2 months now just trying to get used to lifting heavy, etc however I feel ready to try to take it to the next level. But I am not certain whether I should start by trying to lean bulk or if I already have adequate muscle, cut? I guess I'm just trying to figure out what the best progression is for someone in my circumstances. Any tips or personal experiences of what you did as a beginner would be helpful!!
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Pictures would help. If you are really 20%, you could go on a very slow cut and still gain muscle - but BF% is notoriously hard to measure and people are often way off.

    Really, if you are between about 15 and 20% BF, it doesn't really matter if you choose bulk or cut, the decision will not have a big long term impact because you'll have to do plenty of both anyway. The order you do them in is really not important.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Kimmilifts's Avatar
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    I understand your fear but I‘m thinking you should try to lean bulk at this point. You’re not starting out with a high BF% and the weight gain won’t be quick any way, which is good if you change your mind and decide to cut instead.

    When I was a beginner, after I’d gotten used to just working out and then doing the different lifting movements and routines with weights (whilst eating around maintenance calories), I wasn’t aiming to be particularly lean and wanted to try and maximise any beginner gains so I did a full on bulk. Put on a decent amount of muscle but ended up with more fat on my lower body than I wanted and probably not as much muscle as I could have gained if I’d upped the weights a lot more (especially after many months of lifting). Didn’t try to reduce calories though and just kept at it.

    Hopefully you won’t do what I did. I also eventually lifted on and off with quite long breaks and then stopped for 2 years before finally becoming dedicated for a longer period of time. When I worked out again, it wouldn’t take too long to gain back lost muscle.

    Lean bulking works out pretty well if the goal is to also minimise fat gain at the same time.
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