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  • Posted On: 07-01-18, 8:50 pm (EDT) #1

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    July 1, 2018, 8:50 pm

    Hey Scott, hey guys!

    First time posting, and to cover all important information, this is going to be a lengthy one.

    The names Joe, 30y old dad, wanting to be a superhero for his daughter. Currently 172cm (5,6") and 64kg (141lb). Im pretty small and skinny-ish.

    I was doing sports all my life, wrestling as a kid, MMA as a teenager, hitting the gym as an adult. So I always had that kinda base muscle tone once you start to workout.

    My past

    2007-2016 was mostly homeworkout, because all gyms were 60mins+ away.

    I mostly did chest, biceps, back and triceps with the same weight, lol.

    I never had many muscles, always light weight, but a good figure.

    This is me before going to the gym https://imgur.com/a/S3zWEvK

     

    I started going to the gym Nov 2016, doing a 4 day split, 2-3 times a week, yeah, pretty badly.

    I also wanted to bulk at that time because I was sick of beeing skinny, and went from 128lb to 150lb, eating unhealthy food without tracking it (about 3000-3500kcal / day).

    So, Nov 2017 I looked like this https://imgur.com/a/5ilVDVN

    18% body fat to be exact.

    I decided to start working out the right way, full body workout, 3 times a week, eating healthy 2750kcal, writing everything down.

    I soon started to realize that the fat I have gained still is there, so I wanted to cut.

    February 2018 I went from full body to a push pull program, 4 times a week, so I can train two days in a row. I ate (and still do) 2000kcal with 206g carbs, 52g fat and 174g protein. This is a calculated 350kcal deficit!

    I am also doing HIIT training 2-3 times a week (20-30min).


    Now I  do look like this https://imgur.com/a/gaz8SOY

    14% body fat.

    Its not much of a difference, but I can see less fat in the mirror, also feel less fat.

     

    My future

     

    My goal is someday to be ofc more muscular, around that 150lb mark but not at 18% bodayfat, 10-12% would be fine.

    My plan was to cut until im at 8-10%, so when I bulk back up (slowly this time), I will hit the 150lb at around 12% bodyfat, so that I dont need to do another cut. 

    Also I want to go PushPullLegs for bulking, always wanted to try that!

     

    Now, many of my friends, gym fellows, other fitness maniacs at other forums tell me that I need to forget about the cut and start bulking right now.

    When I asked why, they told me that

    a) the last few percentages of cutting are going to take ages, wasted time they say because I will have to cut at the end of my bulk anyways

    b) despite my age and experience, my body looks like untrained, my squatting (137lb), deadlifting (159lb) and benching (88lb) is way to low, beginner low, and beginners should bulk for some time and ignore the fat, and first build their strength before worrying about anything else

     

    While I agree that my strength is not the highest, I think I can definitely crank up the numbers once Im in a caloric surplus again, currently at my deficit of 350kcal, when I put 10lb extra weight on, my form breaks down, i.e. not worth it.

     

    My question

     

    So, I dont mind taking it slow, cutting or bulking, my daughter is 2yrs old, so for me to fight off guys wanting to date her, I got plenty of time!

    Would you recommend a slow bulk? Or is cutting til 10% bodyfat also an option.

     

    Other people had me so confused because it seemed like bulking now is the right way, the only way, thats why Id like your opinion too.

     

    Thank you, Ill be here for any criticism / questions.

    I appreciate any answer given, I want to improve myself and therefor am willing to listen to your feedback and take your advice!

  • Posted On: 07-01-18, 11:05 pm (EDT) #2

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    July 1, 2018, 11:05 pm
    Posted by: Vyse

    Hey Scott, hey guys!

    First time posting, and to cover all important information, this is going to be a lengthy one.

    The names Joe, 30y old dad, wanting to be a superhero for his daughter. Currently 172cm (5,6") and 64kg (141lb). Im pretty small and skinny-ish.

    I was doing sports all my life, wrestling as a kid, MMA as a teenager, hitting the gym as an adult. So I always had that kinda base muscle tone once you start to workout.

    My past

    2007-2016 was mostly homeworkout, because all gyms were 60mins+ away.

    I mostly did chest, biceps, back and triceps with the same weight, lol.

    I never had many muscles, always light weight, but a good figure.

    This is me before going to the gym https://imgur.com/a/S3zWEvK

     

    I started going to the gym Nov 2016, doing a 4 day split, 2-3 times a week, yeah, pretty badly.

    I also wanted to bulk at that time because I was sick of beeing skinny, and went from 128lb to 150lb, eating unhealthy food without tracking it (about 3000-3500kcal / day).

    So, Nov 2017 I looked like this https://imgur.com/a/5ilVDVN

    18% body fat to be exact.

    I decided to start working out the right way, full body workout, 3 times a week, eating healthy 2750kcal, writing everything down.

    I soon started to realize that the fat I have gained still is there, so I wanted to cut.

    February 2018 I went from full body to a push pull program, 4 times a week, so I can train two days in a row. I ate (and still do) 2000kcal with 206g carbs, 52g fat and 174g protein. This is a calculated 350kcal deficit!

    I am also doing HIIT training 2-3 times a week (20-30min).


    Now I  do look like this https://imgur.com/a/gaz8SOY

    14% body fat.

    Its not much of a difference, but I can see less fat in the mirror, also feel less fat.

     

    My future

     

    My goal is someday to be ofc more muscular, around that 150lb mark but not at 18% bodayfat, 10-12% would be fine.

    My plan was to cut until im at 8-10%, so when I bulk back up (slowly this time), I will hit the 150lb at around 12% bodyfat, so that I dont need to do another cut. 

    Also I want to go PushPullLegs for bulking, always wanted to try that!

     

    Now, many of my friends, gym fellows, other fitness maniacs at other forums tell me that I need to forget about the cut and start bulking right now.

    When I asked why, they told me that

    a) the last few percentages of cutting are going to take ages, wasted time they say because I will have to cut at the end of my bulk anyways

    b) despite my age and experience, my body looks like untrained, my squatting (137lb), deadlifting (159lb) and benching (88lb) is way to low, beginner low, and beginners should bulk for some time and ignore the fat, and first build their strength before worrying about anything else

     

    While I agree that my strength is not the highest, I think I can definitely crank up the numbers once Im in a caloric surplus again, currently at my deficit of 350kcal, when I put 10lb extra weight on, my form breaks down, i.e. not worth it.

     

    My question

     

    So, I dont mind taking it slow, cutting or bulking, my daughter is 2yrs old, so for me to fight off guys wanting to date her, I got plenty of time!

    Would you recommend a slow bulk? Or is cutting til 10% bodyfat also an option.

     

    Other people had me so confused because it seemed like bulking now is the right way, the only way, thats why Id like your opinion too.

     

    Thank you, Ill be here for any criticism / questions.

    I appreciate any answer given, I want to improve myself and therefor am willing to listen to your feedback and take your advice!

    Hey @vyse.

     

    Looks like you have leaned out a bit after that second image, and packed on a bit more mass than the first image - good job! You were actually pretty lean in those first images, so I'm guessing you want to get to around that kind of status again, just with more muscle mass, right?

     

    I can see the reason behind the other @forum suggestions about going straight into a bulk. Really it's a personal choice you have to make - you're probably past the newbie stage so can't quite do both at once.

     

    But if strength isn't that important to you, having average numbers on your main lifts doesn't really matter. In which case cutting down to that 10% mark wouldn't be a bad option at all. But if you DO want to increase those lifts, then obviously bulking would help that (though with the right program, you could gain strength while cutting).

     

    The other thing about cutting more is that it can be easier for you to gain muscle and have higher testosterone levels when your body fat is a bit lower (without being too low). BUT, you would still be in a good position to bulk now, and if you do it right, you can keep the gains nice and lean and probably only gain 2-4% body fat.

     

    Ultimately it's about what you prefer - it's probably going to take the same amount of time either way you do it, it's just a matter of which order.

     

    You say you're at 14% body fat currently - what's your current weight?

  • Posted On: 07-02-18, 9:46 am (EDT) #3

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    July 2, 2018, 9:46 am

    Hey @scott_herman,

     

    first of all, thank you very much for the time you`ve taken out of your day to answer me, I really appreciate it.

     

    ""You were actually pretty lean in those first images, so I'm guessing you want to get to around that kind of status again, just with more muscle mass, right?""

     

    -yes, that sums it up perfectly

     

    ""BUT, you would still be in a good position to bulk now, and if you do it right, you can keep the gains nice and lean and probably only gain 2-4% body fat.""

     

    - thats what I keep hearing from other sources, and also tempted to do, since my first bulk didnt go right (2 times training / week, 3500kcal, unhealthy), a more controlled 2500kcal bulk with 5 times / week training should not send me right back into fatty town, at least that seems kinda logic

     

    ""Ultimately it's about what you prefer - it's probably going to take the same amount of time either way you do it, it's just a matter of which order.""

     

    - thats what I was thinking, Ill guess Ill keep cutting through summer, so I can be a bit more beach lean, once summers over and I maybe have managed to lose 1%-2% more body fat, I will be going hard again

     

    ""You say you're at 14% body fat currently - what's your current weight?""

     

    - the 14% is measured with calipers, jackson pollock 7 site method, 1 week ago with the help of my gf, right after waking up, before breakfast, this could vary depending on how hard you pinch those fat rolls I guess, my current weight is ranging between 141lb and 142 lb

     

    EDIT: I just measured my body fat again, this time with the 3 site method by jackson pollock since I dont have any help for the 7 site one, also I had my breakfast and a snack , and the result is 16%

     

    So I guess its inbetween 14 and 16%

  • Posted On: 07-03-18, 10:53 pm (EDT) #4

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    July 3, 2018, 10:53 pm
    Posted by: Vyse

    Hey @scott_herman,

     

    first of all, thank you very much for the time you`ve taken out of your day to answer me, I really appreciate it.

     

    ""You were actually pretty lean in those first images, so I'm guessing you want to get to around that kind of status again, just with more muscle mass, right?""

     

    -yes, that sums it up perfectly

     

    ""BUT, you would still be in a good position to bulk now, and if you do it right, you can keep the gains nice and lean and probably only gain 2-4% body fat.""

     

    - thats what I keep hearing from other sources, and also tempted to do, since my first bulk didnt go right (2 times training / week, 3500kcal, unhealthy), a more controlled 2500kcal bulk with 5 times / week training should not send me right back into fatty town, at least that seems kinda logic

     

    ""Ultimately it's about what you prefer - it's probably going to take the same amount of time either way you do it, it's just a matter of which order.""

     

    - thats what I was thinking, Ill guess Ill keep cutting through summer, so I can be a bit more beach lean, once summers over and I maybe have managed to lose 1%-2% more body fat, I will be going hard again

     

    ""You say you're at 14% body fat currently - what's your current weight?""

     

    - the 14% is measured with calipers, jackson pollock 7 site method, 1 week ago with the help of my gf, right after waking up, before breakfast, this could vary depending on how hard you pinch those fat rolls I guess, my current weight is ranging between 141lb and 142 lb

     

    EDIT: I just measured my body fat again, this time with the 3 site method by jackson pollock since I dont have any help for the 7 site one, also I had my breakfast and a snack , and the result is 16%

     

    So I guess its inbetween 14 and 16%

    Yeah man, if you are training more and bulking in just a slight surplus with 'clean', nutritious food 80% - 90% of the time, while also doing some kind of HIIT training, you'll see much better results from your bulk, and not as much fat.

     

    Nothing wrong with staying lean for summer, I get that! Haha.

     

    So with your current body fat percentage, that probably has you with around 20lbs of fat. So theoretically if you dropped 5-10lbs, that would have you around the 10% mark (some weight you lose will be water and some will be muscle, but you can minimize that with a high protein diet and intense training / strength training while cutting). And from there if you did a proper lean bulk up to 150lbs (ideally with only that 2-4% fat gained), you'd be at 150lbs around that 12-14% mark ๐Ÿ’ช 

  • Posted On: 07-06-18, 10:15 am (EDT) #5

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    July 6, 2018, 10:15 am
    Posted by: Scott_Herman

    Yeah man, if you are training more and bulking in just a slight surplus with 'clean', nutritious food 80% - 90% of the time, while also doing some kind of HIIT training, you'll see much better results from your bulk, and not as much fat.

     

    Nothing wrong with staying lean for summer, I get that! Haha.

     

    So with your current body fat percentage, that probably has you with around 20lbs of fat. So theoretically if you dropped 5-10lbs, that would have you around the 10% mark (some weight you lose will be water and some will be muscle, but you can minimize that with a high protein diet and intense training / strength training while cutting). And from there if you did a proper lean bulk up to 150lbs (ideally with only that 2-4% fat gained), you'd be at 150lbs around that 12-14% mark ๐Ÿ’ช 

    Hey @scott_herman,

     

    thanks for all the tips.

     

    I´ll be cutting through summer, going from 200g carbs to 150g carbs, just to squeeze out the extra bit.

    Then I am going Green Day style alás "wake me up when September ends", and start bulking again, maybe going +100kcal every 1-2 weeks, just to kinda

    get used to the feeling of eating more again.

     

    I wish you and your family a nice summer time, and I´ll be sure to get back to you once things change, so you can keep track of my progress aswell, reflecting your own advice given.

     

    Thanks!

  • Posted On: 07-06-18, 4:23 pm (EDT) #6

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    July 6, 2018, 4:23 pm

    Hey sir!

     

    Just anothe side note: as long as your kcals are equated to what your burn at rest and with training, you can up your carb levels and still stay lean. Increasing carbs doesn't have to mean the beginning of "Bulk" season!

  • Posted On: 07-06-18, 10:45 pm (EDT) #7

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    July 6, 2018, 10:45 pm
    Posted by: Vyse

    Hey @scott_herman,

     

    thanks for all the tips.

     

    I´ll be cutting through summer, going from 200g carbs to 150g carbs, just to squeeze out the extra bit.

    Then I am going Green Day style alás "wake me up when September ends", and start bulking again, maybe going +100kcal every 1-2 weeks, just to kinda

    get used to the feeling of eating more again.

     

    I wish you and your family a nice summer time, and I´ll be sure to get back to you once things change, so you can keep track of my progress aswell, reflecting your own advice given.

     

    Thanks!

    You're very welcome @vyse!

     

    That's a great method to slowly transition back into your bulk - it will allow you to hopefully avoid just gaining a bunch of fat right at the start of your bulk. Slow and steady is definitely the way to go!

     

    Thanks for the kind words! I hope you have a great summer too my friend, look forward to seeing how you look at the end of summer! ๐Ÿ’ช ๐Ÿ™Œ 

  • Posted On: 07-19-18, 5:54 pm (EDT) #8

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    July 19, 2018, 5:54 pm

    Hey @scott_herman,

     

    I hope moving goes well, I also moved to another country 5 years ago, and the paper work was a pain.

     

    I ran into two problems this week, a) I just cannot seem to lose more weight / bodyfat, and b) between work and hitting the gym 4x/week, paired with the caloric deficit of almost 500, I feel weak all the time. My muscles feel sore even on non training days, my legs hurt all the time, even when I wake up from sleeping.

     

    Im not saying im overtraining, but right now my current lifystyle seems more and more taxing.

     

    Yesterday when laying in bed trying to sleep I had an idea.

     

    Currently im training 4 times a week, push / pull, and doing a 15m HIIT session only once a week, because of work, etc. (12hr shifts, night shifts)

     

    My idea was to cut a little bit back on gym training, because its so freaking hard to not progress during a cut, and I feel like weight training like im doing now is simply too much, and cardio too little.

     

    So im thinking going back to 3 times a week, full body workout.

     

    So I keep doing compound movements, but cutting isolation movements like bicep curls and tricep push downs.

     

    This allowes me to do more cardio, which I think is the key. Because im sure as hell not going to lower my caloric intake further, but rather increasing my caloric expditure.

     

    So from 4x gym and 1xHIIT / week im aiming for 3x gym and 2-3x cardio (HIIT and maybe running / biking) per week.

     

    This also enables me, once im finished cutting and going to bulk, to step back into gym training with progressive overload and a caloric surplus using the 3x/week full body workout, which is often recommended for beginners / large breaks from lifting.

     

    I can switch back to 4xgym (push/pull) and 1xHIIT later, once my body and mind is getting used to lifting heavy stuff again, and also beeing fueled properly.

     

    What do you think?

  • Posted On: 07-20-18, 11:15 pm (EDT) #9

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    July 20, 2018, 11:15 pm
    Posted by: Vyse

    Hey @scott_herman,

     

    I hope moving goes well, I also moved to another country 5 years ago, and the paper work was a pain.

     

    I ran into two problems this week, a) I just cannot seem to lose more weight / bodyfat, and b) between work and hitting the gym 4x/week, paired with the caloric deficit of almost 500, I feel weak all the time. My muscles feel sore even on non training days, my legs hurt all the time, even when I wake up from sleeping.

     

    Im not saying im overtraining, but right now my current lifystyle seems more and more taxing.

     

    Yesterday when laying in bed trying to sleep I had an idea.

     

    Currently im training 4 times a week, push / pull, and doing a 15m HIIT session only once a week, because of work, etc. (12hr shifts, night shifts)

     

    My idea was to cut a little bit back on gym training, because its so freaking hard to not progress during a cut, and I feel like weight training like im doing now is simply too much, and cardio too little.

     

    So im thinking going back to 3 times a week, full body workout.

     

    So I keep doing compound movements, but cutting isolation movements like bicep curls and tricep push downs.

     

    This allowes me to do more cardio, which I think is the key. Because im sure as hell not going to lower my caloric intake further, but rather increasing my caloric expditure.

     

    So from 4x gym and 1xHIIT / week im aiming for 3x gym and 2-3x cardio (HIIT and maybe running / biking) per week.

     

    This also enables me, once im finished cutting and going to bulk, to step back into gym training with progressive overload and a caloric surplus using the 3x/week full body workout, which is often recommended for beginners / large breaks from lifting.

     

    I can switch back to 4xgym (push/pull) and 1xHIIT later, once my body and mind is getting used to lifting heavy stuff again, and also beeing fueled properly.

     

    What do you think?

    @vyse thanks man! It has been a bit hectic with the move.. but things are settling down now! I can imagine it would have been difficult moving countries!

     

    a) If you aren't losing weight, it means you're probably not in a deficit anymore. I think adding more cardio, rather than reducing your calorie intake further, is a great idea! Just keep in mind that if you are going to take away 1 day of training, that takes away calories being burned. You'll be replacing it with cardio, which is fine. But if you added just 2 sessions per week, and took away 1 day of weight training, that probably means you are really only adding 1 extra session of calorie burning exercise. Because the first session would just be a straight swap. Keep that in mind.

     

    b) It's normal to feel weak while in a deficit, and lacking energy. Your body literally isn't getting what it needs, so it makes sense, but that's what you have to do to lose fat.

     

    If you want to cut back to 3 gym sessions per week, that's fine and up to you. If your legs are hurting all the time, are you sure you're getting enough protein? And are you training your legs everyday during these 3 days without doing too much volume that they can't recover from?

  • Posted On: 07-21-18, 3:12 pm (EDT) #10

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    July 21, 2018, 3:12 pm

    @scott_herman

     

    a) I would add 2 cardio sessions, making it 3, and deduct 1 weight training sessions, making it 3 also. So 6 training days a week.

     

    Monday - Full Body A

    Tuesday - HIIT

    Wednesday - Full Body B

    Thursday - HIIT

    Friday - Full Body A

    Saturday - HIIT or cycling / running / swimming

    Sunday - Off

     

    b) I only want to cut back to 3 gym sessions per week, so I can fit 1 more cardio session.

    I eat 188g protein every day, and I think my legs hurting has to do with my job too, because im a nurse working at an ICU, so I am walking / standing alot.

    I have been training legs 2 times a week (with squats and leg curls), so def not too much.

  • Posted On: 07-27-18, 1:03 am (EDT) #11

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    July 27, 2018, 1:03 am
    Posted by: Vyse

    @scott_herman

     

    a) I would add 2 cardio sessions, making it 3, and deduct 1 weight training sessions, making it 3 also. So 6 training days a week.

     

    Monday - Full Body A

    Tuesday - HIIT

    Wednesday - Full Body B

    Thursday - HIIT

    Friday - Full Body A

    Saturday - HIIT or cycling / running / swimming

    Sunday - Off

     

    b) I only want to cut back to 3 gym sessions per week, so I can fit 1 more cardio session.

    I eat 188g protein every day, and I think my legs hurting has to do with my job too, because im a nurse working at an ICU, so I am walking / standing alot.

    I have been training legs 2 times a week (with squats and leg curls), so def not too much.

    a) Yeah that's what I thought. So really you're only adding one extra day of training - because you were already training 5 days before. It's just that you are replacing a weight lifting session with cardio - so the calories burnt will probably be roughly the same. However many calories you burn on the 6th day with your cardio will be how much extra calorie burn you are getting overall to your week.

     

    b) It probably is because you are on your feet a lot. Just make sure you are stretching them after training, and maybe foam rolling them at the end and/or start of your days! That might help!

  • Posted On: 08-24-18, 11:19 am (EDT) #12

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    August 24, 2018, 11:19 am

     Hey @scott_herman,

     

    the time has come, Ill end my cut and start on bulking next week.

     

    I just couldnt get any lower in weight (currently 136 lbs), and I was already down to ~1600kcal.

     

     

    I just wanna ask you about my training routine, because I was thinking about maybe changing things around slightly.

     

     

    This is is little spreadsheet https://i.imgur.com/yGuBHW7.png

     

    I was bored with my routine (green), and wanted to switch some things up, so I came up with a new routine (yellow).

     

    Im just not sure if intensity and frequency is enough, so I decided to come up with two more plans with more volume,

    one focusing more on the upper body (red), one more on the lower body (orange).

     

    If volume and variety of exercise is fine, I´d like to keep it simple and just go with my new routine (yellow), if thats something you can agree to.

     

     

     

    I hope you doing well and your new house is soon ready to enter.

     

    Have a good one, thank you for help.

  • Posted On: 08-27-18, 6:52 pm (EDT) #13

    Cutting still worth? Help wanted

    August 27, 2018, 6:52 pm
    Posted by: Vyse

     Hey @scott_herman,

     

    the time has come, Ill end my cut and start on bulking next week.

     

    I just couldnt get any lower in weight (currently 136 lbs), and I was already down to ~1600kcal.

     

     

    I just wanna ask you about my training routine, because I was thinking about maybe changing things around slightly.

     

     

    This is is little spreadsheet https://i.imgur.com/yGuBHW7.png

     

    I was bored with my routine (green), and wanted to switch some things up, so I came up with a new routine (yellow).

     

    Im just not sure if intensity and frequency is enough, so I decided to come up with two more plans with more volume,

    one focusing more on the upper body (red), one more on the lower body (orange).

     

    If volume and variety of exercise is fine, I´d like to keep it simple and just go with my new routine (yellow), if thats something you can agree to.

     

     

     

    I hope you doing well and your new house is soon ready to enter.

     

    Have a good one, thank you for help.

    @vyse Wow you did get pretty low on the calories.. definitely not worth going lower than that. You probably got to a point where your body felt it needed to hold onto as much weight as it could.

     

    I think your new plans in RED are the best you have. Looking at your first couple of set-ups, I was going to say I think more volume might do you some good, and you made that happen with the newer routines. The only thing would be to probably add your leg extension to your PUSH day, but keep the leg curl on your PULL day.

     

    At the end of the day, if you can make progress with your YELLOW routines for now.. that's fine, because you can use that to make gains for as long as possible, and then increase volume with the RED routines maybe once you hit a plateau.

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