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ChrisBeck15

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So I started going to the gym about 4 months ago. I am 5'9 and now weigh between 165-170. I lost 31 pounds in those 4 months from cleaning up my diet completely and going to the gym 5 days a week. Now my question is how do I begin to have a shredded body? I would love to have abs and a nice chest but don't know if I should cut or bulk? My friend said I should start bulking then cut again to get abs but what do you guys think? Thanks for your time

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I can help you out with this question, Chris. Regarding whether to cut or bulk. Cut until you are down to 10% and bulk until you are 15%. That's the short answer. The more fat you have the less sensitive to insulin your body becomes. That means you will neither build muscle nor lose fat as efficiently. That's why it is said to be best to do your body work between 10 and 15 percent body fat.

 

Other than that, make sure you eat about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day, restrict your calories to a 20% deficit of your daily energy expenditure for losing fat, and do a program that hits the four major lifts (squats, deadlifts, military press, benchpress) once a week, your abs three times a week, and you should be pretty good. That's like a summarized version of what you would be doing anyway. Does that help you at all?

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Yes

22 hours ago, The Legendary Zoltan said:

I can help you out with this question, Chris. Regarding whether to cut or bulk. Cut until you are down to 10% and bulk until you are 15%. That's the short answer. The more fat you have the less sensitive to insulin your body becomes. That means you will neither build muscle nor lose fat as efficiently. That's why it is said to be best to do your body work between 10 and 15 percent body fat.

 

Other than that, make sure you eat about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day, restrict your calories to a 20% deficit of your daily energy expenditure for losing fat, and do a program that hits the four major lifts (squats, deadlifts, military press, benchpress) once a week, your abs three times a week, and you should be pretty good. That's like a summarized version of what you would be doing anyway. Does that help you at all?

Yes, this does help! Thanks bro!

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On 24/09/2017 at 5:05 PM, The Legendary Zoltan said:

I can help you out with this question, Chris. Regarding whether to cut or bulk. Cut until you are down to 10% and bulk until you are 15%. That's the short answer. The more fat you have the less sensitive to insulin your body becomes. That means you will neither build muscle nor lose fat as efficiently. That's why it is said to be best to do your body work between 10 and 15 percent body fat.

 

Where abouts does this 10-15 rule come from? If you have a good article/book on it, then I'd gladly read it to find out more.

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7 hours ago, james452 said:

 

Where abouts does this 10-15 rule come from? If you have a good article/book on it, then I'd gladly read it to find out more.


I have heard this idea before also, but it mostly relates to insulin sensitivity and nutrient partitioning. However, a quick look through the first page of google scholar search for nutrient partitioning body composition did not turn up any articles that are in any way helpful. I'll keep an eye out for it if it shows up in my regular internet trawling and post a link if I find anything relevant.

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7 hours ago, Juni0r83 said:


I have heard this idea before also, but it mostly relates to insulin sensitivity and nutrient partitioning. However, a quick look through the first page of google scholar search for nutrient partitioning body composition did not turn up any articles that are in any way helpful. I'll keep an eye out for it if it shows up in my regular internet trawling and post a link if I find anything relevant.

 

I've seen a similar rule, but nothing that low.  I usually see bulk at 15~18%, up to maybe 25%, and then cut again.  And some people do bulks at much higher BF% and still see results.  So it's definitely a guideline, not a strict rule.

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On 9/26/2017 at 8:19 AM, james452 said:

 

Where abouts does this 10-15 rule come from? If you have a good article/book on it, then I'd gladly read it to find out more.

Hey, guys. Sorry for the lateness of my reply. I got that from the book Bigger Leaner Stronger by Mike Matthews. He cited a scientific study or three in the book. It basically came down to, the more fat you have, the easier it is to get fat and the harder it is to build muscle. So do it low. I think that's why he said 10%. I'm still cutting. I'm at about 18% right now. So I still have a way to go, but I'm totally seeing progress so I decided to put in my two cents.

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I was actually drafting this topic thread just yesterday.  Thanks for the inputs...i think...back to cutting....(not self-injury :D)

 

 

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On 10/3/2017 at 1:05 AM, The Legendary Zoltan said:

Hey, guys. Sorry for the lateness of my reply. I got that from the book Bigger Leaner Stronger by Mike Matthews. He cited a scientific study or three in the book. It basically came down to, the more fat you have, the easier it is to get fat and the harder it is to build muscle. So do it low. I think that's why he said 10%. I'm still cutting. I'm at about 18% right now. So I still have a way to go, but I'm totally seeing progress so I decided to put in my two cents.

 

I'm gonna tag @MissoulaSquatch as a counter to this, since he did a bulk well above those levels and saw awesome results.  Bulking isn't impossible to do higher than 10%, just like it won't be easier just because you're at 10%.  Rules of thumb are guidelines, after all.

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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On 03/10/2017 at 4:05 PM, The Legendary Zoltan said:

Hey, guys. Sorry for the lateness of my reply. I got that from the book Bigger Leaner Stronger by Mike Matthews. He cited a scientific study or three in the book. It basically came down to, the more fat you have, the easier it is to get fat and the harder it is to build muscle. So do it low. I think that's why he said 10%. I'm still cutting. I'm at about 18% right now. So I still have a way to go, but I'm totally seeing progress so I decided to put in my two cents.

 

Awesome, I'll be sure to check that book out.

 

I agree with the statement that it is easier to build fat than it is to build muscle. It makes sense to only bulk and try to put on muscle when your body fat is low because you then have a bigger buffer for the amount of fat you can put on during a bulk before reaching unhealthy levels.

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On 10/4/2017 at 6:42 AM, RisenPhoenix said:

 

I'm gonna tag @MissoulaSquatch as a counter to this, since he did a bulk well above those levels and saw awesome results.  Bulking isn't impossible to do higher than 10%, just like it won't be easier just because you're at 10%.  Rules of thumb are guidelines, after all.

I'm a little late to the party, thanks for the tag @RisenPhoenix

I've been bulking a lot over the last 1.5 years, my bodyfat hasn't been below 20% in that time.  A little over a year ago when I started getting into bulking more, I could barely hold onto 135# when doing RDL's, I was doing goblet squats with 10kg and pushups were interesting to say the least.  Right now I can pull 400# on the trapbar for working sets and I'm fairly confident that if I went for 500# on it for a single I could do it with no risk of injury (my sumo dead is coming up quickly behind the trapbar).  I squatted 340# for one last week, and I had more in the tank.

So, do you need to have a specific bodyfat percentage to build muscle efficiently? Simple answer: Fuck no.

Hell, find me a Strongman putting up world record numbers with 10% bodyfat and I'll sign over everything I own to you.

Caloric Surplus + Lifting Heavy Shit = Muscle Growth

Yes, with lower bodyfat percentage your body will produce more testosterone, yes it will be better for your overall health, yes you can build muscle more rapidly..but you don't have to be completely leaned out to some random number just to start building muscle. 

I have done some small cuts along the way, I'm getting ready for my first deep cut in January which I'll be writing about here on the forums..mostly I'm doing it to see what's under the fat on my stomach and back..because from what I can see/feel right now..it's pretty damn impressive.

I should probably also note when I got into this whole fitness thing 3 years ago, I could barely get out of a chair.  I had almost no muscle mass to speak of, I've busted my ass for what I have.  And I built it all without being completely leaned out.

 

On 10/8/2017 at 4:33 PM, james452 said:

 

Awesome, I'll be sure to check that book out.

 

I agree with the statement that it is easier to build fat than it is to build muscle. It makes sense to only bulk and try to put on muscle when your body fat is low because you then have a bigger buffer for the amount of fat you can put on during a bulk before reaching unhealthy levels.

Honestly the amount of extra fat you put on is determined by how far above your tdee you go.

A clean bulk is approx. 300 calories over your tdee, a dirty bulk is considered 500+ calories over your tdee.

Regardless of how you go about it, if you are in a caloric surplus you will gain fat with muscle.  The goal is to eat enough calories to get as much muscle gain out of your workouts as you can while minimizing fat gain.  Since we tend to put the fat into our hips and stomachs first..just get a tape measure and keep an eye on those when bulking.  If those numbers start shooting up a bit too fast, cut back about 100 calories/day for a couple weeks and see what happens.

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