Bulk/cut, rinse and repeat?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2012 11:44 PM GMT
    I started a new strength training/ weight gaining routine a month ago.

    In just the first month, I've noticed I've gained a little bit of weight but I'm not happy that my abs are disappearing. My question: is the whole bulk THEN cut really the only way to gain a lean muscular body? I hate seeing my belly getting bigger.

    If so, how long do people bulk for then how long do they cut? I used to think that you could just gain muscle and not have to do the whole cutting thing, and leangains didn't look very appealing (fasting doesn't sound fun). Once you get a defined and muscular body, is there a way to keep it looking that way or do you have to constantly cycle bulk/cut?

    I'm naturally an ectomorph, and I swim on top of weight lifting. I eat pretty healthily and avoid heavy carbs unless after a workout. I manage to hit my calorie goal every day and am pretty consistent with the gym and pool. I workout in gym 4 times a week and swim at least twice. Heavy weights, and strong swims when I can. FYI I'm now 150 at 5"10' (was 145 a month ago) and eating 3000 cals a day.

    Thanks for your input <3
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    Nov 09, 2012 12:31 AM GMT
    Delephant said... Once you get a defined and muscular body, is there a way to keep it looking that way or do you have to constantly cycle bulk/cut?
    That depends on how you feel about your own body.

    If you reach a point where you're happy with your body, it's quite easy to maintain.

    If you're one of those who's never happy, you'll be sentenced to a lifetime of bulking and cutting.
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    Nov 09, 2012 2:37 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    If you reach a point where you're happy with your body, it's quite easy to maintain.


    Oh yeah? How does one generally maintain? High protein and maintenance cals? That basically it?
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    Nov 09, 2012 2:42 AM GMT
    I'm in the EXACT same position. I want to get bigger, but since I'm an ectomorph I need to eat exorbitant amounts of food to get bigger (and it's tough for me to stuff it all in!). I also really want abs, and I feel that these two goals do not go hand in hand at the same time. Or do they? In order to bulk up, I'd need to eat more carbs. Yet to get more abs, I suppose I need to cut back on them. Dilemmas...
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    Nov 09, 2012 6:44 AM GMT
    Delephant said
    paulflexes said
    If you reach a point where you're happy with your body, it's quite easy to maintain.


    Oh yeah? How does one generally maintain? High protein and maintenance cals? That basically it?
    Maintain by making your fitness and food into hobbies that are fun. The moment it stops being enjoyable is the moment you'll lose interest and go back to your original body shape.
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    Nov 09, 2012 4:33 PM GMT
    Hey.
    I get the exact same dread every time I see my belly get a little larger (I'm new to this too) but I hear it's particularly difficult to gain muscle without gaining any fat. To gain muscle you need a calorific surplus at the end of each day, which can also lead to gaining a bit of a belly.

    It's important to think about this sort of stuff in the long-term and not just the short-term. Get an idea of a long-term goal and remind yourself that it's alright to fluctuate body fat % before you reach it. I'm sure your knowledge of training and nutrition is good enough that you can get back your abs once you've packed on some muscle.

    Keep up the good work!
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    Nov 09, 2012 4:42 PM GMT
    In my experience, the bulk and cut routine is a good way to put on mass quickly though it seems to take about twice as long to lean out as you spent bulking (i.e., one month bulking, two months leaning out). That's what's worked for me in the past.

    I also believe that I can gain mass without putting on much body fat but that it'll take a lot longer. It's hard to eat clean and eat enough to put on weight for me, but logically it should be possible. I'm just not sure I have the patience.
  • Rowing_Ant

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    Nov 09, 2012 5:15 PM GMT
    imasrxd saidIn my experience, the bulk and cut routine is a good way to put on mass quickly though it seems to take about twice as long to lean out as you spent bulking (i.e., one month bulking, two months leaning out). That's what's worked for me in the past.



    Tell me about it!! I put on muscle and fat really easily so I spend more time cutting than bulking cos I find it really hard to shred the fat.

    Anyone got anytips or hints?????
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    Nov 10, 2012 4:01 AM GMT
    Rowing_AntTell me about it!! I put on muscle and fat really easily so I spend more time cutting than bulking cos I find it really hard to shred the fat.

    Anyone got anytips or hints?????


    I get the feeling that it should take longer to lean out than bulk up. I guess the worry is that if you lean out too quickly you'll lose some of that hard earned muscle. I'm not a biologist, and I am fairly new to this, but the more I read the more I find that getting a body you're happy with is more about being patient than anything else...
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    Nov 10, 2012 4:03 AM GMT
    Damn... was hoping sex was somewhere in there... icon_neutral.gif
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    Nov 10, 2012 6:07 AM GMT
    Some relevant reading material:
    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_truth_about_bulking

    TLDR: Bulk/cut isn't necessary, and isn't effective for most guys.
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    Nov 11, 2012 12:09 AM GMT
    xrichx saidSome relevant reading material:
    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_truth_about_bulking

    TLDR: Bulk/cut isn't necessary, and isn't effective for most guys.


    Xrichx thank you! That was a great article, very informative read.