Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by Champalex, Aug 3, 2010.
Does cutting have any influence on strength gains?
During a cut, it's understood you'd be in a caloric deficit, so you'd never have as much energy as you should have. That by itself tells you that strength-training alone will be more effective than strength-training while cutting. This is especially evident when you consider that even while under "strength training", people hypertrophy. You just can't get any stronger significantly without getting bigger, and getting bigger is something you can't count on while in a caloric deficit. There are other factors to strength aside from bigger stronger muscles, but when you take away one of the components, it just won't be as effective as it could be.
Not saying you can't or shouldn't do it. It's certainly better than: doing nothing while cutting, or doing just cardio, or even attempting to build muscle while cutting.
There used to be a lot of strength training experts loitering around this forum. I am not sure where they've gone. They seemed to have taken a vacation or something.
So this would be best: Bulk till 200 lbs, cut to 7-10% body fat, then continue clean bulking if wanted or do strength training?
Yes, that's a great plan. Body building is really a never-ending cycle of bulking until you are satisfied or bodyfat% gets too high (usually, you start to have your abs disappear), then entering into a round of cutting cycles until you reach a satisfactory body fat %, then you might feel the need to do a bit more bulking to recover some of the mass you lost during a cut (unavoidable) or you just want to be bigger still... and the cycle goes on.
It's not as bad as it may sound. For one thing, most of the time you'd still look huge and scary. And another, you can time the cutting cycles such that you are at your "best" (most cut physique) during the time of the year that you want to show off or have to show off - for example, summer when you spend time at the beach.
do you think its possible to keep 7-10% year round? while clean bulking
Nope. "Clean bulking" is really more a fantasy ideal than a tangible reality. Even if you eat 90% protein, bulking denotes caloric surplus, which will lead to fat gain no matter what. Whenever you gain a pound of mass, it's always part muscle and part fat. If you don't workout, it will be mostly fat. If you work out right, the fat part will be lessened, but never zero. This ratio is your partitioning ratio and it's genetic.
Everytime you bulk, you just have to accept you'll be gaining fat. So that the fat gain won't go overboard, we try to target a slow bulk (1-2 pounds per week), since fat can "grow" (they don't really grow since they're deposits, but you know what I mean) faster than muscle, and by slowing our bulk, we give the muscles a chance to grow more, while giving fat less chance to deposit some more.
It's not impossible to maintain 7-10% body fat all year round. But it won't be through "clean bulking". You'll just be alternating bulking and cutting cycles faster. If you are perfectly satisfied with your muscle development already, then you can do cutting cycles only, then when you hit your desired weight, continue working out but eating at maintenance. You can't eat "exactly" at maintenance, so eventually you'll either have to do a real cut, or do a real bulk. In short: alternating bulking and cutting cycles. All year round, your cycles may end up as : bulk, bulk, cut, cut, cut, cut, bulk, cut, bulk, cut, cut ,cut, bulk, cut, cut... you get the picture.
but lets say when clean bulking the muscle/fat ratio is 90/10 (if thats possible).. doesnt that mean that you'll stay at 10% bodyfat?
kind of sounds like it could be fun, constantly switching between bulking and cutting.
No partitioning ratio is that favorable towards muscle. It's actually a lot less favorable. Even under the best mix of diet, training, and genetics, the p:ratio will always have significant fat ratio, probably more than the muscle. Well, maybe except when steriod usage is in play.
wow, the 7 pounds i gained where all muscle and i even lost some fat
and i keep reading that for every 10 pounds you gain, only 8 is muscle
wouldnt gaining 50 pounds make you fat then, cause that would mean you would gain 25 pounds of fat
Hard to say really. It's a whole different thing when you are fat (high body fat, let's say >30%) versus lean (say 5-7% bodyfat). In high bodyfat trainees, it has been shown that it is possible to build muscle and lose fat (since there is an abundance of fat deposits) simultaneously. Unfortunately, this is not something that is reproducible when the subjects are already lean ( <12%)
For trained/experienced lifters (this assumes not high body fat), when you gain 10 pounds, for example, you won't really know how much is fat, versus how much is muscle. You'd need to measure your bodyfat % as well, and have the reference "before" figure, to start to figure out what part of that 10 pounds is muscle vs fat. However, as long as bodyfat% is not high (around 10-15%), small increases in bodyfat% aren't easy to detect, but changes in musculature are, and this leads many people to believe that most of what they gained are lean muscle rather than fat. Hence, people all over forums worldwide would swear they were lean when they started, and the regimen was so good that they gained ALL muscle, and they were clean (no steroids) - this is not true, since you can't gain all muscle (unless the subject started out very fat - this is something that's seen often in "the biggest loser" shows) and no fat when you start out lean in the first place, but the results looked good nonetheless.
For example, if you started out at 7% bodyfat, you gained 15-20 pounds, and your bodyfat% increased to maybe 10-12% (but this, bf%, is something you don't see, unless you also always take your bf% whenever you measure your weight), when you look in the mirror, you won't look fat, in fact you'd look great (and huge, probably), so as far as you are concerned you gained mostly muscle and you end up telling all your friends (real world and forum alike) that your training was so productive and you gained all muscle. It's not exactly true, but that's the perception, and this myth perpetuates itself over and over. It's especially seductive and easy to believe because, deep down, this is what everybody wishes were true - that muscle can be built without getting fat, some sort of holy grail.
Yep. Bulking makes you fat. But it also increases your muscle mass. It's unavoidable. That's why bulking and cutting cycles exist. If it's possible at all to always just build muscle and very little, insignificant fat, then cutting cycles would not exist at all.
It's a mix of genetics, diet, training, starting bodyfat%, and "state" (untrained / trained, conditioned/deconditioned). When all factors are in your favor, you can gain a lot of muscle while even losing fat (in case of high bodyfat%) or gain a lot of muscle while not getting too fat too fast. Most of the time, most people just have to do bulking and cutting cycles alternately as needed.
thanks for clearing that up. now that i have all the info i need on bulking, ill be looking for cutting diets-supplements-routines etc. as well as for strength.. any sites to recommend?
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/ has everything you've ever wanted to know about dieting. Lyle McDonald (the author of that website) also has many articles on the partitioning ratio that jvroig mentioned. Like this site, BR.com is science-based. There are also weight training programs on that site. Of course, those of us on this board generally believe HST to be a better training program, but it all depends on what you want.
That's Lyle's site, it's one of those must-read resources you should often check. They also have a very active forum there. Naturally, with lots of active participants, it can easily get heated, and some threads I've followed there a few years back (circa 2006) went on and on for several pages. I haven't been there since 2006, so I don't know what changes may have happened, but it's definitely worth going through. Also, sometimes they don't necessarily "hold a noob's hand", if you get what I mean, so sometimes the discussions can be quite hard to follow especially when post after post argues using technical/scientific jargon and you don't know anymore what science/research to believe.
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