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Cut, bulk, recomp, maintenance?

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  • Cut, bulk, recomp, maintenance?

    I am trying to figure out what to do now regarding my diet.
    I lost 12-15 kg (around 30 pounds) from September to December 2018 and 10 cm (4 inches) waist circunference. I decided to maintain this weight and I kind of did it, I lost 1-2 kg in the last 3 months and 3 to 4 cm waist circunference.

    I am planning on increasing my kcal to maintenance or a slight surplus to put some muscle while keeping my fat under control (it would be great if goes down actually).
    Does this make sense? I am waisting my time doing this? It would be better to lose some more fat first and get in a real bulking phase when I am leaner than now?

    I am currently 84 kg (185 pounds) at 1,75cm (5,8 fee) and 91-93 cm ( 36 inches) waist circunference. 37 years old and just started the 3 day hypertrophy program.

    I would consider myself as a novice or closer to novice than to intermediate at least. I have been training for 4 or 5 years but never more than 3 - 5 months in a row.

    My current lifts look like this:
    Squat: E1RM 115kg (250 lbs)
    Bench: E1RM 90kg (200 lbs)
    Deadlift: E1RM 135kg (300 lbs)
    Press: E1RM 54kg (120 lbs)

    What do you guys think I should do?
    Last edited by Manu; 03-27-2019, 06:35 AM.

  • #2
    What are your current lifts and what are your long term goals? Also how tall are you?


    • Manu
      Manu commented
      Editing a comment
      Good question, I will edit my post to add this information.
      I am not sure what my long term goals are, been healthy is the main goal for sure but it would be great to put some more muscle in the short term and keep gaining strength as well.

  • #3
    If I were in your shoes, I'd probably eat at maintenance and see if your waist size goes down at all and if your lifts go up.


    • Manu
      Manu commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, that is what I have been doing for the past few weeks. I was eating at maintenance and my waist went down a bit and my lifts went up while doing the bridge. This is the reason why I was thinking to try a different approach now and experiment a little bit.

  • #4
    I'd probably try to eat above maintenance slightly and see what happens -- shooting for 0.5 lbs/wk. If your waist goes up significantly (more than an inch) at the end of this template, then you'll probably have more luck leaning out more first either by "recomping" (eating slightly less than maintenance) or leaning out aggressively.

    But given your lifts and stats you'll probably be able to put on some muscle without a whole lot of fat on this template.

    I asked about your long term goals because if you're really interested in getting stronger as the first priority then I'd recommend the above. If however, you're really interested in the body strength training gives you (which is perfectly cool) I'd probably cut more first.


    • #5
      That's what I was thinking FredM , try to find my maintenance and go maybe 100 kcal above and see how it
      ​​​​works. I am weighing myself daily and taking measures of my waist every 4 weeks ​​so I will stop if the waist goes up more than 2,54 cm in the next 8 weeks.

      I also think that it should be relatively easy to put some muscle without much fat because I am pretty low on muscle and strength.

      I am interested in getting stronger and gain some muscle in the long term, something that It's already happening since I started with the BBM templates.
      For the past years I have been doing 5x5 stronglifts, after 2 or 3 months my lifts stalled and I didn't knew what to do so after a couple of deloads I give up for a while and started again from with empty bar some months later. In this years I never squat above 90kg and since I started with the bridge in January I had been able to squat 100kg for the first time, so I am pretty happy with that.

      So, I will try to do that: eat slightly above maintenance, check my waist regularly and keep running the 3 day hypertrophy template once or twice at see what happens.


      • FredM
        FredM commented
        Editing a comment
        100kcal over maintenance is probably too low. If you want to gain .5 lb/wk, which is generally the minimum recommended during a "bulk," then you probably need to double that (200kcal over maintenance). I'm eating about 600 kcal over maintenance to gain 1 lb/wk currently. Your body can generally adjust your metabolism to accommodate such low calorie changes so that it can do what it really wants to do -- not gain or lose weight.

      • Manu
        Manu commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Fred, I will take that in consideration.

    • #6
      I would measure your waist more frequently than once a month. Personally I do it daily and track an average, but I’ve seen plenty who suggest a weekly measurement at a consistent time/day.