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Bulk or Cut

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Hello, I am 18 year old male that is 5'8 around 152 with 19.7% body fat. I used to obese when I was 15 around 200 pounds being 5'3. I took up bodybulding and shredded a lot of fat and I could almost see my 6 pack. Everything went well until I tore 3 ligaments in my lab rum my teeth grade and everything went downhill. I became depressed went from 145 to 180 in matter of 6 months most of it fat because of inactivity of the shoulders thyroid, and immature cardiovascular problem. I then made another stupid mistake didn't lift but I just wouldn't eat a lot having college classes as a high schooler I only sleeped 4 hours a day. I eventually dropped to 155 pounds but I had lost a lot of muscle. Went back lifting, then ran cross country, and now I am this position deciding whether I should bulk or cut. I personally do not look fat just a little love handles and some nipple fat but overall I have good muscles overall. I can squat 300 pounds and I am really good athlete in spriting and preety much all sports. What should I do ?

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Don't do either - just keep lifting weights 2-3x a week, conditioning 1-2x a week, and get your nutrition dialed in. 


If your weight has yo-yo'd a lot recently, trying to lose OR gain probably won't work very well at the moment. Hormones get out of wack from extreme swings in either direction. Give yourself 6 months of consistency before making any decisions on fat loss or muscle gain.


Weight training will naturally help you to gain muscle at your age; no extreme 'bulking' necessary. Just remember to train safely, and don't add too much weight at once. You now have first hand knowledge of how much it sucks to injure yourself. 


Eat around 2,200-2,600 calories every day, with a minimum of 150-200g (600-800kcal) of that being protein (ie. 25-30% of your total calories from protein).  Don't aim for low carb OR low fat - name of the game here is balance, you need to eat both. Aim for a minimum of 5-8 vegetable servings every day, avoid added sugars and alcohol, and drink water.


Also try to get at least 8-10hrs of sleep every day - that's a minimum for healthy functioning at your age. If you don't sleep, your body releases signals to store extra belly fat, which will make it even harder to slim down in the future if you want to see your abs. Sleep is important!


Once you're stable, with good routines and habits as your baseline, THEN you can start to tweak training & nutrition to more specific goals. Be safe, don't forget to have fun! 

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