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  • Did you bulk and cut?

    I understand the premise of bulk and cut, but just wanted to hear people's N=1s. After cutting, did your weight stay the same, or did you start to regain? Is there a sweet spot in timing vs training between how much you bulk, and when you cut?
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  • #2
    I've always just done the recomp route. Here is what I don't do. I don't do leangains. I don't count calories. And I don't give a shyte about switching up my macros.

    Here is what I do.... Lift weights. Lift heavier weight or more reps with same weight. Repeat for months-years while eating to satiety. When the scale reads the same but the weight I'm lifting continues to increase I know its working.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't bulk and cut. I don't cut. I don't bulk. I AM bulk and that seems to be all I will ever be. I can't seem to make myself eat so little as to lose any bulk no matter how I hard I try. I can keep it up for a little while (with very little results) but not for long enough to achieve anything.
      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

      Comment


      • #4
        I do bulk/cut, kinda.

        I never take it to the extreme like some do, where they overeat like crazy for a few months, end up a complete mess, and then cut (most often doing it wrong and losing a good amount of muscle mass).

        If I'm "bulking", I'll typically eat in a 200-300 calorie surplus, then I judge progress by the mirror/weekly weigh ins.
        My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

        Comment


        • #5
          Not really. If my abs are looking less defined I'll tighten things up a bit (as in not having wine/cheese/chocolate all the time). If I notice I'm not progressing on my lifts I'll eat more. That's about the extent of it. I've gotten very Zen about body composition, it seems.

          Sent via A-10 Warthog

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          • #6
            I read something recently about bulking and cutting for women... if I find it, I'll post it. The only thing I remember was the author saying women tend to start cutting too early.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by CiKi90
              Hey! I think this is a great question, however, I feel like you may get more responses from a site like Bodybuilding.com - Huge Online Supplement Store & Fitness Community!, or the like (which I'm a member of!)
              I'm scared of those sites! Wont they just tell me to go on a starvation diet whilst doing 100lbs deadlifts?

              Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
              I've always just done the recomp route. Here is what I don't do. I don't do leangains. I don't count calories. And I don't give a shyte about switching up my macros.

              Here is what I do.... Lift weights. Lift heavier weight or more reps with same weight. Repeat for months-years while eating to satiety. When the scale reads the same but the weight I'm lifting continues to increase I know its working.
              Two words: you're lucky!

              Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
              I don't bulk and cut. I don't cut. I don't bulk. I AM bulk and that seems to be all I will ever be. I can't seem to make myself eat so little as to lose any bulk no matter how I hard I try. I can keep it up for a little while (with very little results) but not for long enough to achieve anything.
              sbhikes, are you doing okay? Your posts lately seem kind of glum. I saw your pics and I think you look great!

              Originally posted by jakejoh10 View Post
              I do bulk/cut, kinda.

              I never take it to the extreme like some do, where they overeat like crazy for a few months, end up a complete mess, and then cut (most often doing it wrong and losing a good amount of muscle mass).

              If I'm "bulking", I'll typically eat in a 200-300 calorie surplus, then I judge progress by the mirror/weekly weigh ins.
              What do your cuts look like? Do you regain when you start eating normally?

              I'm kind of thinking of doing it, but for me, "bulking" will just be eating to satiety (which is between 2-3K a day for a 5'8 woman), and I'm not sure how to do the cut. I want to lose fat, but I can't sustain long term calorie deficits. Even a small deficit and I'm exhausted / lose sleep etc. I'm starting to think that a short cut aka crash diet might bet the only thing that works.

              Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
              Not really. If my abs are looking less defined I'll tighten things up a bit (as in not having wine/cheese/chocolate all the time). If I notice I'm not progressing on my lifts I'll eat more. That's about the extent of it. I've gotten very Zen about body composition, it seems.
              Ha - I would be Zen about my body comp if I had the female equivalent of yours! You can afford to rest on your laurels

              Originally posted by upupandaway View Post
              I read something recently about bulking and cutting for women... if I find it, I'll post it. The only thing I remember was the author saying women tend to start cutting too early.
              Was this it?

              Originally posted by Leida View Post
              I try to take to heart the wise words of bb.com saying that women tend to try to cut too soon. So, I will not cut till I see that deltoid pop.
              Came from the other thread I started, about what progress you've made
              "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

              In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

              - Ray Peat

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by YogaBare View Post

                Two words: you're lucky!
                Hahah. Maybe. We shall see. Honestly I use to come off wrestling season and put on 15-20 lbs in just a couple weeks. My program from there was to stay at that weight and continually lift more (always focused on strength in offseason) each week for 4 months till the next season started. Then I would "cut" for the season. So I guess it was actually a bulk/cut. Except I "bulked" all at once and stayed that weight... then cut. These days I'm just lifting more and more and staying at about 160lbs. I think if I wanna see my abs again I'd still have to cut though.

                Comment


                • #9
                  sbhikes, are you doing okay? Your posts lately seem kind of glum. I saw your pics and I think you look great!
                  It's probably the depression from 5 weeks of eating so little and seeing precious little in the way of results. I've gotten rather tired of being hungry all the time and this week the hunger has overtaken me and I have eaten too much cheese so now I'm looking forward to seeing myself get fatter in a few weeks when the cheese kicks in.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                    Hahah. Maybe. We shall see. Honestly I use to come off wrestling season and put on 15-20 lbs in just a couple weeks. My program from there was to stay at that weight and continually lift more (always focused on strength in offseason) each week for 4 months till the next season started. Then I would "cut" for the season. So I guess it was actually a bulk/cut. Except I "bulked" all at once and stayed that weight... then cut. These days I'm just lifting more and more and staying at about 160lbs. I think if I wanna see my abs again I'd still have to cut though.
                    Just wondering - after you cut, was it hard to sustain that weight? And when you bulked, was it intentional, or because you stopped training so hard? My ex played semi-prof rugby, and every time season would end he'd instantly get tubby

                    Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                    It's probably the depression from 5 weeks of eating so little and seeing precious little in the way of results. I've gotten rather tired of being hungry all the time and this week the hunger has overtaken me and I have eaten too much cheese so now I'm looking forward to seeing myself get fatter in a few weeks when the cheese kicks in.
                    I'm sorry to hear that... Well, all I can say is that you're not alone! Seems like I know about three women who are happy with their bodies.
                    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                    - Ray Peat

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm working on a bulk/cut routine that spans a year. I've been toying with it for almost 3 years and I think I finally am getting it dialed in.

                      My workouts consist of progressive bodyweight stuff, adding weight as needed. The trouble is, you can't keep progressing forever without taking steroids and turning into the Incredible Hulk at some point. I could see no evolutionary scenario where it would be healthy to keep progressing in strength year after year, but rather wanted to find a strength-point I was happy with and could maintain into old age.

                      Basically, it's come down to this: Starting around March, I start a progressive body-weight program consisting of pullups, dips, squats, pushups, sandbag drills, and sprints. I work up to where I can easily do 30 unweighted pullups in a set and do about 100 total 3Xweek, I'm also progressing similarly with weighted squats and the others. Then in September (6 months later), when I'm at my peak fitness, I start transitioning to more low intensity steady state stuff--slow jog, long walks, fewer pullups, no sprints, no extra weights...basically just a good, low-level fitness program over winter.

                      Doing this leads me to overeat in summer on things like homemade ice cream, watermelon, sweet corn, fruit, rice, sweet potatoes--summer goodness. It leads to a bit of fat gain and lets me put on some good muscle.

                      When fall and winter hit, I start buckling down the excess in my diet and quickly lose any flab I built up during the summer bulk--which has been maybe 5-10 pounds. Once I get down to an easily sustainable weight, I just maintain this until the next spring, going into the next bulking season at a very low bf%.

                      I think this is a more natural cycle and is completely opposite than what most typical northerners on the SAD do--the norm seems to be to gain weight and be lethargic all winter and try to lose it in the summer. It just seemed to me more logical to be the biggest and strongest going into winter, then do a long slow cut focusing on diet rather than exercise. In the summer, my focus is on strength and exercise eating to satisfy my increased activity.

                      I'm in the middle of my second summer on this and it seems to be pretty easy to keep up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by YogaBare View Post
                        Just wondering - after you cut, was it hard to sustain that weight? And when you bulked, was it intentional, or because you stopped training so hard? My ex played semi-prof rugby, and every time season would end he'd instantly get tubby
                        After cut was it hard to sustain weight.... YES! In fact it was damn near impossible. I would have to make weight about 1x/week sometimes 2x through highschool and then college. I would work very hard to make weight the fist couple months of the season. Then by the end of the season it was only a little easier. See and going through that hell is part of why I have no desire to ever try to achieve or maintain single digit leanness again in my life.... EVER!

                        The bulking up was simply a product of not starving myself to dealth and working out 3hrs/day. So yeah a bit of each. But the huge change over was how heavy I hit and focused on weights. During the season there just ain't enough left in the tank to hit the weight room hard after a killer workout AND while cutting weight. So in the offseason I would build the strength to carry me through the next season.... then try my best to maintain it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                          After cut was it hard to sustain weight.... YES! In fact it was damn near impossible. I would have to make weight about 1x/week sometimes 2x through highschool and then college. I would work very hard to make weight the fist couple months of the season. Then by the end of the season it was only a little easier. See and going through that hell is part of why I have no desire to ever try to achieve or maintain single digit leanness again in my life.... EVER!

                          The bulking up was simply a product of not starving myself to dealth and working out 3hrs/day. So yeah a bit of each. But the huge change over was how heavy I hit and focused on weights. During the season there just ain't enough left in the tank to hit the weight room hard after a killer workout AND while cutting weight. So in the offseason I would build the strength to carry me through the next season.... then try my best to maintain it.
                          When you cut, how severe was your deficit? From what I'm reading it seems that it's recommended to bulk over six months, then do a slow, sustained cut with a smallish calorie deficit. I don't think that would work for me...

                          Originally posted by otzi View Post
                          I'm working on a bulk/cut routine that spans a year. I've been toying with it for almost 3 years and I think I finally am getting it dialed in.

                          My workouts consist of progressive bodyweight stuff, adding weight as needed. The trouble is, you can't keep progressing forever without taking steroids and turning into the Incredible Hulk at some point. I could see no evolutionary scenario where it would be healthy to keep progressing in strength year after year, but rather wanted to find a strength-point I was happy with and could maintain into old age.

                          Basically, it's come down to this: Starting around March, I start a progressive body-weight program consisting of pullups, dips, squats, pushups, sandbag drills, and sprints. I work up to where I can easily do 30 unweighted pullups in a set and do about 100 total 3Xweek, I'm also progressing similarly with weighted squats and the others. Then in September (6 months later), when I'm at my peak fitness, I start transitioning to more low intensity steady state stuff--slow jog, long walks, fewer pullups, no sprints, no extra weights...basically just a good, low-level fitness program over winter.

                          Doing this leads me to overeat in summer on things like homemade ice cream, watermelon, sweet corn, fruit, rice, sweet potatoes--summer goodness. It leads to a bit of fat gain and lets me put on some good muscle.

                          When fall and winter hit, I start buckling down the excess in my diet and quickly lose any flab I built up during the summer bulk--which has been maybe 5-10 pounds. Once I get down to an easily sustainable weight, I just maintain this until the next spring, going into the next bulking season at a very low bf%.

                          I think this is a more natural cycle and is completely opposite than what most typical northerners on the SAD do--the norm seems to be to gain weight and be lethargic all winter and try to lose it in the summer. It just seemed to me more logical to be the biggest and strongest going into winter, then do a long slow cut focusing on diet rather than exercise. In the summer, my focus is on strength and exercise eating to satisfy my increased activity.

                          I'm in the middle of my second summer on this and it seems to be pretty easy to keep up.
                          That's a very interesting protocol Otzi! It sounds like it would be good for really bulking out and building heavy muscle. Might work better for men than women...
                          "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                          In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                          - Ray Peat

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by YogaBare View Post
                            When you cut, how severe was your deficit? From what I'm reading it seems that it's recommended to bulk over six months, then do a slow, sustained cut with a smallish calorie deficit. I don't think that would work for me...
                            Well you are reading a lot of bodybuilderesque protocols. I was a competitive athlete in a weight division. We don't aim for sustainable weight loss. In fact the more we could manipulate glycogen and water stores the better, as it really did not effect our body comp and we could put the weight back on quickly before the match. Anything for a competitive edge.

                            So my protocol was to diet down a bit.... like a month at most to lose 5-10lbs (never put on so much fat to where 5-10 was the max needed to lose). This coincided with beginning wrestling conditioning/camp for 1-2 months before the first match. So increased muscular endurance work, sprinting, live bouts, and even low level running with eating a bit less. Then fasting.... eating next to nothing for 3-5 days then you stop drinking water and sweat out anything you can for the last 24-48 hours. This of course will also lead to some fat loss over the course of the entire season, which is why it gets a little easier near the end....

                            Interesting tidbit is that we always worked out fasted for those 3-5 days leading up to the match and in a glycogen depleted state. Never really thought about this while I was doing it, but looking back I have all sorts of observations on how this helped. Most of them can be summed up by "train low race high".

                            And there you have it. The wrestlers weight loss program in a nutshell. Did that for about 10 years and near the end I could even bench press twice my weight which is actually impressive even by some power lifter standards. Problem is I didn't do enough leg work back then, and did zero deadlifts. Oh well.....lifting someone your exact bodyweigt to a little heavier AND who is trying to make sure you don't lift them off the ground a couple hundred times a week has to count for something.
                            Last edited by Neckhammer; 07-21-2013, 09:01 AM.

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                            • #15
                              I'm interested to see the results as well, I am currently doing a somewhat dirty powerlifters "bulk" while I finish up the novice period of Starting Strength. Started at 6'3 225lbs 26% bf, a few months later I am 245lbs and not sure on the bodyfat-- just hoping it is around the same (meaning I gained muscle and fat). My goal right now is just to get as strong as possible, and when I've exhausted my daily progressions I'll cut down. I recently just quit drinking beer regularly and cut out all grains (I'm a terrible blue printer).

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