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Question about bulking and bf%

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  • 28-04-2011 5:31pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,127 ✭✭✭


    Hey Folks,

    I've been training for a few years and read the forums here all the time.
    I've heard a lot of different answers for the following question but just wondering what your long term plan would be if:

    You are 86kgs and 17% bf and the longterm goal is to get to 89kgs and 10% bf

    One strength coach who seems to know his stuff said you're better off trying to drop the fat first as its easier to put on lean muscle when you are at a lower % bodyfat.

    Some people seem to think it's better to just keep bulking bulking to like maybe 93kgs and then try and drop the fat.

    Anyway just want to hear a few opinions on the best method....
    thanks...


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,368 ✭✭✭cc87


    id say keep the fat then drop it when you are happy.
    The added weight will help you lift heavier as well.

    By dropping weight now, you will lose some strength which wont help you put on muscle.

    But it would be important that you dont go crazy and have your BF increase. Obviously 17% at 86kg and 17% at 93kg means you have gained some fat as well.

    But thats just my opinion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,762 ✭✭✭jive


    If it was me I'd aim to lose ~5% then bulk back up. If you are going to be gaining more weight by the time you reach your target before cutting down you will be in the 20% bodyfat range. That's a lot of fat to lose. If you lose a bit now then it will be easier at the end of your bulk to cut down to 10% because you will be coming from a lower body fat. Also it's true that it's easier to gain at a lower body fat but I wouldn't read too much into it. It's up to you but personally I'd rather be floating around in the mid teens instead of hitting 20%+ and trying to cut back to 10%. Also it will be easier to lose weight initially instead of going on a long cut where your cutting progress will slow and dieting needs to become more complicated and is both mentally/physically more difficult.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,302 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    I'd work all out to get stronger, eat big and worry about dropping bf later.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,695 ✭✭✭King of Kings


    If it was me - I'm lose the fat now and bulk later - considering I did the bulk first and lose fat later thing I think I should have gone the other way.

    Primarily cos I felt i was carrying too much weight - its' easier to be active carrying less weight than too much.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,127 ✭✭✭colman1212


    Thanks for all the opinions guys. I've always wondered which was the best way of doing it and everyone seems to have differing opinions. I've being travelling for the last four months around asia, arriving in oz in a couple of days so its going to be back to working and gyming, and trying to figure out which one I'll do. I'll prob do starting strength for a month or so again just to get some of my strength back and then see about cutting fat.

    I'm going to keep a log on here once I get to Oz. Thanks.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 39,339 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    jive wrote: »
    If it was me I'd aim to lose ~5% then bulk back up. If you are going to be gaining more weight by the time you reach your target before cutting down you will be in the 20% bodyfat range.
    What are you basing that on?
    If the mass he puts on is less than 175 fat, his bf% goes down, more than it goes up slightly. To increase to 20% it would have to be mostly fat.
    colman1212 wrote: »
    I've being travelling for the last four months around asia, arriving in oz in a couple of days so its going to be back to working and gyming, and trying to figure out which one I'll do. I'll prob do starting strength for a month or so again just to get some of my strength back and then see about cutting fat.

    I'm going to keep a log on here once I get to Oz. Thanks.

    Where in Oz you landing, out of curiosity.
    in general gyms here are a lot more assessible, better equiped, but cost more. i'm sure there are cheap gyms around too, but I just mean in general.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,762 ✭✭✭jive


    Mellor wrote: »
    What are you basing that on?
    If the mass he puts on is less than 175 fat, his bf% goes down, more than it goes up slightly. To increase to 20% it would have to be mostly fat.

    Because he's already 86kg @ 17%. If he wants to cut to 89kg @ 10% then he's going to have to gain ~10kg. He's going to be bulking. Muscle gain goes hand in hand with fat gain. You can't gain one without the other. Bulking = caloric surplus = muscle and fat gain, no two ways about it. If he's going to gain at least 10kg more before cutting down to try and hit 89kg @ 10% then he's going to gain more fat. He's not going to get to the mid 90kgs without hitting 20%+; Unless he is bulking extremely slowly which would take a much longer time but that IMO is basically maintenance as some days you will end up in a calorie deficit depending on your activity levels. Bulking slowly is a slow process and it's difficult to do consistently with minimum fat gain - you really want to know your macros / calories which the vast majority of people wouldn't unless they've been training years. The fact that he had to ask this question suggests that he's no at that level.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "less than 175 fat" (175 what? I don't know if that's a typo or I'm being a retard due to being wrecked!). If he's bulking his body fat will rise and not decrease.


  • Registered Users Posts: 39,339 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    jive wrote: »
    I'm not sure what you mean by "less than 175 fat" (175 what? I don't know if that's a typo or I'm being a retard due to being wrecked!). If he's bulking his body fat will rise and not decrease.
    175 = 17%
    Didn't press the shift key :mad:

    His bf will only increase if the mass he puts on is more than 17%.
    It probably will bit, but it will jump a small bit.
    I'm not suggesting he puts on nothing but lean mass, I jsut don't agree that it has to be mostly fat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,762 ✭✭✭jive


    Mellor wrote: »
    175 = 17%
    Didn't press the shift key :mad:

    His bf will only increase if the mass he puts on is more than 17%.
    It probably will bit, but it will jump a small bit.
    I'm not suggesting he puts on nothing but lean mass, I jsut don't agree that it has to be mostly fat.

    Phew I thought I was going full retard I stared at the screen for a good 2 minutes trying to figure out what it was. :pac:

    Well realistically if he's bulking to gain ~10 kg you have to assume it will jump up. A good estimate would probably be a 3-7% increase depending on the time frame of the weight gain. If he did it extremely slowly he could stay in and around 17% but that would take a long time to get to 89kg and 10% as a result. IMO the results come faster if you bulk at a steady pace or cut at a steady pace. In between maintains a better physique year round but ultimately progress is slowed even if you spend less time cutting due to going slowly. Just my 2 cents, over the years I've found you're better off just doing 1 or the other, in between sees less change and you lack motivation as a result!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,127 ✭✭✭colman1212


    Mellor wrote: »
    Where in Oz you landing, out of curiosity.
    in general gyms here are a lot more assessible, better equiped, but cost more. i'm sure there are cheap gyms around too, but I just mean in general.



    Landing into cairns for two days and then flying to Brisbane. Hoping to contract/temp work in I.T there for four months before heading to the rugby world cup in NZ in sept.
    Four months of buckets & beer in se asia, I've never been looking forward to getting back into a gym routine more! I can't wait to be able to walk into a shop and buy some good quality meat!! This backpacker diet sucks!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 39,339 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    Hate to bring the bad news, but Oz ain't exactly beer free :D
    no buckets mind, and the meat is good.

    Kangeroo, high in protein and super lean and importantly cheap.


  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭mack32


    Lyle McDonald recommends 'cutting' once you hit 15% and going back onto a 'bulk' once you hit 10-12%

    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/general-philosophies-of-muscle-mass-gain.html

    1. First and foremost, for reasons outlined in my article Initial Body Fat and Body Composition Changes, trainees should not be starting out their muscle gaining phase too fat. Males should be ~10-12% body fat before even considering going on any kind of ‘bulk’ (fatter trainees can usually gain some muscle while losing fat with a basic recomposition plan; this is beyond the scope of this article). For a female, this would be roughly equivalent to 19-24% body fat.
    Bodybuilders with contest aspirations might even start out a little bit leaner, perhaps 8% for males and 17-20% for females; this is simply to facilitate getting into contest shape in less time. Any leaner than that and hormones and energy tend to suffer. And, yes, this means that many will have to diet first before they even consider putting on muscle. That’s life.
    2. It would be ideal, if, after dieting, the trainee took two weeks at maintenance to stabilize at the new body fat level. The reasons for this are numerous but revolve around letting some of the hormonal adaptations to dieting normalize. I’ve written about this endlessly on the site and my full diet break concept is outlined in detail in both The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook and A Guide to Flexible Dieting. Briefly, take two weeks at roughly maintenance calories with at least 150 grams/day of carbohydrate.
    3. Now you can start gaining weight. Assuming relative average partitioning (not superior or inferior), a weight gain of approximately one pound per week (of which half should be muscle) and half a pound per week for females (of which half should be muscle), or 4 and 2 pounds/month respectively should roughly maximize muscle gains without excessive fat gain. There will be some fat gain, of course, but, simply, any faster rate of weight gain (I’ve seen folks suggest 2-3 pounds per week) will only increase fat gain without increasing the rate of muscle mass gain.
    4. When the trainee hits a body fat percentage of approximately 15% for men (24-27% for women), the mass gaining phase should end. How long this take will depend on the size of the person but realistically, a 170 pound male trainee with 10% body fat could gain 16 pounds (8 pounds fat, 8 pounds muscle) before hitting the 15% mark. At one pound per week, that’s 16 weeks of gaining. Which, I’d note should be broken up into at least two separate training blocks.
    A female starting at 130 pounds and 19% body fat could realistically get to 154 pounds (12 pound fat/12 pounds lean) before hitting 24% body fat. For the female trainee, at one half-pound per week is nearly a year of training; again that would be broken up into distinct training phases.
    5. After finishing the mass-gaining phase, a consolidation phase of two weeks (this used to be called a ‘hardening’ phase) where calories are brought back down to maintenance levels (and cardio, if not being done, is brought in) should occur before actively dieting.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,032 ✭✭✭dave80


    Cut to 10 bulk to 15 is wat I always do!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,668 ✭✭✭marathonic


    That sounds good. I'm cutting at the moment cause I'd always get paranoid about fat and have wondered when I should start bulking.

    I'm at 74.5kg now but reckon I'll be at 10% by 70 - 71kg. I'm getting my bf% tested next week and will probably start bulking if I'm close to 10%. Otherwise, I'll keep cutting till the end of May.


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