Should I do a lean bulk some time during a cutting phase?

Micro Focus iotbw
Jul 21 36 Comments

I’m currently 5’9” 206 lbs. My goal is to cut down to 170 lbs (my original weight before I got fat). I’ve already cut down from 234 lbs just by calorie counting over roughly 6 months.

The goal is to lose 1 lb/week, which means it’ll take 36 weeks or 9 months to reach the target weight, which seems absolutely miserable to be in a such a long calorie deficit. So maybe not a sustainable plan. Should I try to do a maintainence phase or lean bulk at any point during this cutting process or just power through to the end? I lift 3 times per week and either run or taking boxing classes 2-3 times on non-lifting days. I’m strict on tracking calories, but not too mindful of macros as long as I eat a lot of protein.

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TOP 36 Comments
  • Oath Atinlay2
    You need to focus more on cardio, not starving yourself like that.
    Jul 21 12
    • Oath Atinlay2
      Ok fine. You should be doing a more modest diet instead of just a low calorie diet. Low calorie diets can disrupt your metabolism in the wrong direction. It can cause problems with digestion and weaken your bones. You’ll likely end up malnourished and at higher risk for things like gallstones and kidney issues. You’re also more likely to binge because you never feel satisfied and put all the weight back on quickly. You should be working with a doctor and dietitian to do this safely. A modest diet (well balanced with portion control) is a better way.
      Jul 21
    • Square PITp18
      Atinlay, in order for one to lose weight, a person has to take in less calories than they burn. So any diet that aims to lose weight is a low-calorie diet. His goal to lose a pound a week is perfectly within reason and not extreme at all. As long as he eats a variety of nutritious foods he’ll be perfectly fine.
      Jul 21
    • Amazon CeoExtra
      How about 18/6 or 16/8 intermittent fasting?
      Jul 22
    • Oath Atinlay2
      @Square you don’t know what he’s eating!
      Jul 22
    • Micro Focus iotbw
      OP
      Chicken, salmon, ground bison, egg whites, brown rice, sweet potatoes, whey protein, lots of vegetables and some fruits. I eat out once a week.
      Jul 22
  • Microsoft 🦍Ape
    Get taller not wider
    Jul 21 3
    • Facebook cuck
      Agree, my life changed when I started wear high heels
      Jul 21
    • Amazon SirLamorak
      Lol!
      Jul 21
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

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      Brazukamore
      Lmao
      Jul 21
  • Prudential flyingFi
    Do a 10 week — half marathon training program — you will drop weight. I did it
    Jul 21 5
    • Micro Focus iotbw
      OP
      I injured my ankle pretty severely years ago and it never went back to normal despite going through months of PT. In college I ran a few half marathons, but now it starts to flare up after around 4 miles. So I usually try to do 2-3 3 mile runs per week and that’s been a good balance of doing cardio and not causing ankle pain. Fortunately it doesn’t impact my weight lifting too much. Maybe when I lose more weight it’ll reduce a lot of the load on my ankles and allow me to run further distances.
      Jul 21
    • Prudential flyingFi
      Ah sorry to hear that — good luck in your weight loss — take ur time and do it the right way
      Jul 21
    • Pandora / Eng joystick
      Do 15-30 min HIIT training 4-5 times a week instead of traditional cardio. You can choose exercises that don’t depend on your ankles that much. 7-minute workout apps and freelitics worked well for me.
      Jul 21
    • Micro Focus iotbw
      OP
      Does it matter how long the work and rest intervals are?
      Jul 21
    • Pandora / Eng joystick
      The rest should be sufficient to achieve the needed intensity. Rest as much as you need at first and work your way up to shorter rest intervals.
      Jul 22
  • Facebook / Product xfnhero
    Each gram of fat has roughly 9 calories in it. You’d need to eat at a deficit of around 3500 cal to lose a pound a week.

    I’ve done this before and it’s doable if you keep disipline. Get an app like myappdiary or fitness pal to track caloric intake.

    Make sure you eat lean protein to maintain your muscle and keep you satiated longer. Should take you just a few months to hit your goal.

    Congrats on progress so far. Hmu if you need tips. Used to be 220 lbs in college but hover around 180 these days. I’m 6’1”
    Jul 21 3
    • Micro Focus iotbw
      OP
      Thanks! I’m addicted to ground bison for lean protein. I meal prep every week, and usually rotate between brown rice or sweet potatoes with some sort of vegetables. But ground bison has been the staple source of protein.
      Jul 21
    • Facebook / Product xfnhero
      Sounds like you have the right idea. Meal prep and consistency with food alone will get you there. Bet you’ll be down to 170 in time for the holidays or thanksgiving.

      Just be patient and remember abs come from the kitchen not gym. 1-2 lift days/week should be enough when cutting and don’t expect numbers to go up. Do some light cardio to ensure cardio health.

      If your willpower is strong you could speed things up by doing a 1k or 750 cal deficit but this was too much for me. Excessive deficits are hard on the kidneys and can atrophy your heart muscle so be careful about going hard in the gym if you have the exact calorie count figured out.
      Jul 21
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

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      Brazukamore
      Dafuk, 1lb per week is super easy if can minimally control Yourself. I'd recommend having 2lb per week target which is still totally doable.
      Jul 21
  • New BIvv71
    You need discipline. 9 month cut isn't very out of the ordinary. Bulking for a short time isn't going to help you in any way. After a while you get used to the lower calories. Make sure you recalculate every 5 pounds

    Also, 170 at 5'9, especially when you don't have much muscle is still pretty fat. I would suggest atleast 160 before you start gaining again.
    Jul 21 2
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

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      Brazukamore
      I guess it depends a bit on bone structure. For me 145-150lb is ideal, anything more and I'm fat but some people are physically different.
      Jul 21
    • Micro Focus iotbw
      OP
      At 170 I had a bit of excess extra flab, but I still looked really lean with a shirt on. Getting to 160 would probably be a better idea before bulking.
      Jul 22
  • Square PITp18
    I recommend sticking to your current plan. Weight training is the best approach, just understand that toward the end of your cut, you won’t be able to lift as heavy as you are now, so be mindful of injuries.

    If I were you, I’d tell myself I’m going to cut to the end of the year and aim to lose 1.5 pounds per month. I usually like to have a deadline to help me stay on track.
    Jul 21 3
    • Micro Focus iotbw
      OP
      Thanks, that’s good to keep in mind. As a novice lifter of course I want to gain strength, but I do realize it’ll be hard on a cut. Which is why I was wondering if it’s worth to maintain/bulk for a bit to break through plateaus.
      Jul 21
    • Square PITp18
      So if you’re a novice lifter, you will definitely gain strength for the first 4-5 months of the cut (exact number of months differ per person of course).

      So for a good portion of the cut, you’ll notice you’re able to lift more than the previous session (which is awesome!), but, at some point, that won’t be the case anymore, and this is where you have to watch out for injuries. You may find yourself pushing too hard to lift as much as the last session, but your body is not able to.

      I went through this last year. Wasn’t a novice lifter but took a few years off so my body was working as if I was. Did about a 7 month cut and lost 30 pounds, and have been gaining it back over the last 4 months. I actually enjoyed the cut more than the bulk.
      Jul 21
    • Micro Focus iotbw
      OP
      Thanks for the insight!
      Jul 21
  • Symantec GoRams
    Go Keto. Sucks but does wonders. Got my cholesterol down by 15%.
    Jul 21 0
  • Microsoft MSFTBRO
    Diet beats exercise. Just cut out the fast food and soda.
    Jul 21 0