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  • When to Cut...

    Hey guys so at the moment I'm ~195-198 lbs and probably 15% body fat. Some of my numbers

    95 lb DBs for sets of 5-7 on DB bench press
    205 lb for 5-7 on ATG Front Squat
    70 lb DBs for sets of 6-8 on seated DB shoulder Press
    90 lb for sets of 5-7 on Strict (back against wall) BB curl
    195 for sets of 7 on Close Grip Bench Press
    BW Pullups for sets of 8

    Basically I've never been under 12% BF..maybe in middle school or something...and I would love to get down to 10%. I'm 19 yo and in college so there are obvious reasons why I'd want to be at a lower body fat. I also want to be in better cardiovascular shape, I've been a smoker (not cigarettes) for the past 2 years or so and rarely do cardio so whenever I go play a game of basketball or something it takes a lot out of me.

    But...I feel like I'm too small to go on a major cut like that. I have a feeling I'd end up looking skinny as fuck. So my plan is to slowly bulk for the entire year and then cut next summer.

    I want to become a natural bodybuilder and for the first time in my life I am actually becoming serious about it. I'm willing to give up my smoking habit almost completely (might vaporize occasionally). As a natural trainee, I feel like I'd be better suited to staying in a BF range of 10-14% year round as opposed to 15-18%. I'd be healthier and look better.

    Anyway, I guess my question is do you think this is an appropriate course of action. Get my numbers up, get bigger/stronger, then cut down so I can finally be ripped and really assess my physique and how to balance it so perhaps one day I could even compete in a show.

    Or do you think I should just cut asap and then start the bulking process. See the thing is I'm already around 15% body fat so its not like I can bulk that aggressively.

  • #2
    I have a feeling if I cut to a desired body fat at my current weight I'd end up weighing in the high 170's. At a height of 6 ft, thats kinda skinny.

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    • #3
      I know how you feel. I am 6'2" and was at a similar strength and bf as you for too many years. At 15%, you are holding a bit too much fat to bulk imo. I think you'll be happier and have more success doing a cut for 12 weeks or so to get down to a true 10%, then do a lean bulk.

      BBing is more about an illusion and you'll look bigger when more cut.

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      • #4
        Undertow, you make an excellent point. Here is the problem...Starting September I will be going back to school and thus be at the mercy of the school cafeteria. I can still get adequate protein/calories, however, the food selections are not ideal for a "cutting" diet. I won't be able to consistently get clean food sources that I might want such as:

        oatmeal, sweet potato, yam, chicken breast, fish (tuna/salmon), broccoli, other non cruciferous vegetables

        In light of this...perhaps I should just tough it out for one more year. Its hard though because while my romantic life is not absolutely nil, I definitely get more female attention at a lower body fat. I tend to hold a decent amount of bloat in my face (not just from fat but from creatine too) and I def. look dramatically better at a lower bf when my face is more "cut".

        Sorry didn't mean to get too metro on you lol

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        • #5
          Some pictures would help people to assess your situation.

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          • #6
            I didn't read anything you've wrote for one reason, it doesn't matter. You cut when your appearance is no longer acceptable to YOU. About two, two and a half weeks ago I looked in the mirror and wasn't happy with what I saw. I was happy with my muscle size and balance then I looked at where my abs are supposed to be and decided it was time to man up and lean out. There in lies my advice
            For Training Inquiries go see the HNIC [email protected] anything else is uncivilized

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DCBliever View Post
              I didn't read anything you've wrote for one reason, it doesn't matter. You cut when your appearance is no longer acceptable to YOU. About two, two and a half weeks ago I looked in the mirror and wasn't happy with what I saw. I was happy with my muscle size and balance then I looked at where my abs are supposed to be and decided it was time to man up and lean out. There in lies my advice
              listen to this dude.

              Also, sometimes you gotta just nut up and make do with what the cafeteria serves or go to the damn store and get some precooked chicken, or...you could get a mini foreman/rocket grill and cook some chicken in your room...and along with some almonds and uncle ben's precooked parboiled rice packets or instant rice and a microwave, you are good to go. I've never heard of a dorm w/o a microwave. Or raw oats and just eat them. Sure it is going to be more expensive and not perfect since it isn't covered by your meal plan, but chances are you can do it.

              Also, chances are your cafeteria serves grilled chicken breast burgers or some form of grilled meat at least most of the time. Or it has a salad bar where you can get salad toppings (including chicken and turkey) OR it has a sandwich station where you can get meat from a sandwich. If you just take the meat off and don't get a bunch of mayo/other stuff on it, it won't be that bad. Not ideal, but its more of a micronutrient than a macronutrient problem at that point. Also, back to that salad bar comment: hard boiled eggs for protein and veggies. That's two more things you can get there. Nuts of some sort should be easy to come by somewhere on campus; one of those convenience/snack type stores always has them.

              And buy some quality protein powder.

              And if you're not in the dorms, cook your damned food in your apartment/house kitchen! I've been in this exact situation...it isn't perfect but its better than just throwing up your hands and saying, well fuck it, I'mma be fat.


              From all that alone, you can make a reasonable amount of your diet from these things:
              Some form of meat (meal plan)
              Hard boiled eggs (meal plan)
              Veggies (meal plan)
              Oats (store)
              Protein Powder (TN)
              Nuts (meal plan)

              If you want it, you will find a way to get it done. It might not be ideal, but you can cut without perfect, anal retentive control over every detail. Contest prep shape won't happen, but you could probably get it done. Just trying to let you know from someone who's been in college that it really isn't the end of the world (usually).

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              • #8
                I think I'm first going to just get my diet squeaky clean and also start doing fasted cardio in the morning every day (I'll take BCAA's before). That alone will probably help me drop a BF% or 2 after a couple months. And I'll be able to get in cardiovascular shape.

                What do you guys recommend for fasted cardio? Incline treadmill walking at 60-70% of Max Heart Rate?

                I think I need to put my dues in for one more year probably.

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