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  1. #1
    Registered User LazerTag's Avatar
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    To bulk or maintain

    I’m 45, intermediate lifter after 3 years, 200lbs, male, 15% body fat.

    I’m trying to decide if I should bulk and cut or maintain. “bigger, leaner, stronger” by Mike Mathews says that each month you can gain 2lbs of muscle bulking, 0lbs cutting, and 0.5lbs maintaining.

    Using this: If I do a 6 month bulk, I could gain 12lbs muscle and it may take 6 months to lose the fat gain. So 12lbs of muscle for the year.

    If I maintain, I can gain 0.5lbs per muscle, so 6lbs of muscle for the year.

    Is this correct? Can I bulk for a month and cut the next month to keep my bf% low? How long do I need to bulk and then cut at a minimum?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Registered User LazerTag's Avatar
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    Internet research…

    1). most people aim for a 3-4 month. or even a 6 month bulking cycle, followed by a maintenance month (or couple weeks of maintenance) and then a cutting phase of 2-3 months. By doing this, in the long run, you can gain muscle while staying pretty lean. Especially if doing a clean bulk followed by a tapered proper cut that restricts muscle loss. This process works very well and most prefer it over just gaining a ton of muscle and fat over a couple years and then worrying about needing to shed off a lot of “sticky” fat that comes with keeping that fat on for so long.
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  3. #3
    💙💙💙💙💙🪳 snailsrus's Avatar
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    Is your avi current? Cause that’s not 15%

    How tall are you?

    Losing body fat is not an exact mathematical equation. You simply can not say you’ll gain exactly x amount from bulking or maintaining. If you are maintaining at 10% bf, you won’t be putting on muscle unless un-natty, beginner level or a teenager. Even maintaining at 15% bf you’re going to have some difficulty putting on muscle. Also, you can bulk and put on no muscle and just fat. I mean if your routine sucks, you’re not going to put on any muscle. Also, if you bulk like crazy high calories, work out a ton, you could put on more muscle than 2lbs, but also fat. No matter what when you bulk you’ll gain fat and muscle and there is no way to say what the ratio of fat to muscle gain will be.


    All that said, if your avi is current, I would cut…. Your body fat is 20-24%ish
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  4. #4
    Registered User LazerTag's Avatar
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    LazerTag is offline
    Originally Posted by snailsrus View Post
    Is your avi current? Cause that’s not 15%

    How tall are you?

    Losing body fat is not an exact mathematical equation. You simply can not say you’ll gain exactly x amount from bulking or maintaining. If you are maintaining at 10% bf, you won’t be putting on muscle unless un-natty, beginner level or a teenager. Even maintaining at 15% bf you’re going to have some difficulty putting on muscle. Also, you can bulk and put on no muscle and just fat. I mean if your routine sucks, you’re not going to put on any muscle. Also, if you bulk like crazy high calories, work out a ton, you could put on more muscle than 2lbs, but also fat. No matter what when you bulk you’ll gain fat and muscle and there is no way to say what the ratio of fat to muscle gain will be.


    All that said, if your avi is current, I would cut…. Your body fat is 20-24%ish
    Thanks! My pictures are 2 or 3 years old, so not current.

    I really don’t like bulking and cutting. I’m thinking of just doing a long slow clean bulk to gain muscule slowly without gaining fat. Or maybe a 3 month bulk 2 month cut cycle. I don’t like the 6 month bulk 4 month cut. I look fat pretty much all the time…
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    💙💙💙💙💙🪳 snailsrus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LazerTag View Post
    Thanks! My pictures are 2 or 3 years old, so not current.

    I really don’t like bulking and cutting. I’m thinking of just doing a long slow clean bulk to gain muscule slowly without gaining fat. Or maybe a 3 month bulk 2 month cut cycle. I don’t like the 6 month bulk 4 month cut. I look fat pretty much all the time…
    How tall are you?

    Can you put up a current photo?
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    In search of V-Taper ectoBgone's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LazerTag View Post
    I’m trying to decide if I should bulk and cut or maintain. “bigger, leaner, stronger” by Mike Mathews says that each month you can gain 2lbs of muscle bulking, 0lbs cutting, and 0.5lbs maintaining.

    Using this: If I do a 6 month bulk, I could gain 12lbs muscle and it may take 6 months to lose the fat gain. So 12lbs of muscle for the year.
    I'm only vaguely familiar with him, but I'm still going to guess that you are misunderstanding him here. The 2lbs per month likely refers to a general guide for rate of weight gain, not muscle gain. If he meant muscle gain, that's probably for an untrained individual. If you're gaining 2lbs per month of muscle after already training hard for 3 years then I'd like to hire you as my personal trainer. Also, by definition, adding 0.5lbs of muscle per month is not maintaining. In all honesty, just throw those numbers out the window. They are meaningless for you personally and more likely to mislead you than help you.

    I'm assuming you are doing this recreationally for overall health and aesthetics. IMO, very short bulking cycles really don't make a lot of sense. If you're going to dedicate time to adding muscle, I would give it 4-6 months at least, and keep the rate of weight gain modest given your training history. The gains are going to come slower now. You need to learn to trust the process over longer periods of time. Whether or not that means bulking or cutting for you right now is up to you and how comfortable you are with your current composition keeping those things in mind. My $.02
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  7. #7
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Have you reached your mass and strength goals?
    Are you cutting to compete or find work as an underwear model?

    If you replied “no” to those questions…beef up, train hard and heavy and grow. Enjoy life living large and in charge.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Darkius's Avatar
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    Essential fat is not just a %. It is also a weight. Don't try to hit 10% if you are small. 15% is fine. Testosterone levels drop above and below certain body fat amounts.

    I have heard that 25% bf and up is unhealthy cardiovascularly. That is one reason I'm cutting. The other is to take weight off my joints. I'm aiming for 15%. I hear you on not wanting to gain aa lot of fat, though my arms are tiny.
    Novice lifter who sticks to the basics 3x per week but likes to theorize about improvements while recovering.
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