Why bulk and cut if you're not competing?

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by Ruhl, May 7, 2008.

  1. Ruhl

    Ruhl New Member

    I'm not sure I understand why people who aren't competing need to bulk and cut. I mean, the incredible condition displayed by bodybuilders on stage can not be kept for very long.

    Wouldn't it be healthier to eat somewhere between a bulk or a cut? Are there long term benefits to muscularity if you bulk and cut, more so than if you constantly eat around maintenance?

    I have read in several places of people speculating that weight cycling in athletes may lead to a permanently reduced resting metabolic rate and a greater tendency towards weight gain in later life. Can you tell me if this is true?
     
  2. Joe.Muscle

    Joe.Muscle Active Member

    Not sure if its true.

    However I think you are on the right track.

    I wouldn't say maintenance though as far as calories go.

    I would say a modest increase in calories maybe 250 more than maitenance a week would be decent to have gains.

    This is very individualized and many people may need way more than 250 calories over maintenance to cut.

    IMO...the best way is to just go by the mirror...general rule of thumb around here is to bulk from 10% and cut after you get to about 15% bodyfat.

    This is just a one size fits all advice though its very individulized!
     
  3. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    People who neither bulk nor cut invariably (aside from a few exceptions) show much less progress than people who do more traditional bulk/cut cycles. What is between cut and bulk? Maintenance. Recomping at maintenance is possible but not very likely if you aren't a newbie, and it is a very slow process. Very, very slow.

    You can try for a very small calorie surplus to try and do a "slow bulk" but I don't think it's a good idea. Calorie counting is only an estimation and your maintenance changes from day to day, it is also only an estimation. So... you never really know how much you are eating over maintenance. Therefore, attempting to place excessive control over that variable doesn't make much sense.

    I've seen people follow both plans time and again. I'm telling you, trying to avoid bulking and cutting doesn't work for normal people. It never works. The people who bulk and cut always make better progress. Sometimes they end up fatter in the end, but that is always because they aren't disciplined enough when it comes time to cut.
     
  4. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    <div>
    (Ruhl @ May 07 2008,2:56)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I'm not sure I understand why people who aren't competing need to bulk and cut. I mean, the incredible condition displayed by bodybuilders on stage can not be kept for very long.

    Wouldn't it be healthier to eat somewhere between a bulk or a cut? Are there long term benefits to muscularity if you bulk and cut, more so than if you constantly eat around maintenance?

    I have read in several places of people speculating that weight cycling in athletes may lead to a permanently reduced resting metabolic rate and a greater tendency towards weight gain in later life. Can you tell me if this is true?</div>
    I actually agree with you, and I am probably one of the few that will. You really have to be tight with your diet controls though because a few 100 calories can throw you in a different direction when you are working closer to maintenance levels.
     
  5. <div>
    (Ruhl @ May 07 2008,3:56)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I'm not sure I understand why people who aren't competing need to bulk and cut.  I mean, the incredible condition displayed by bodybuilders on stage can not be kept for very long.

    Wouldn't it be healthier to eat somewhere between a bulk or a cut?  Are there long term benefits to muscularity if you bulk and cut, more so than if you constantly eat around maintenance?

    I have read in several places of people speculating that weight cycling in athletes may lead to a permanently reduced resting metabolic rate and a greater tendency towards weight gain in later life.  Can you tell me if this is true?</div>
    Bulking and Cutting and BB on stage/competition are somewhat different things. I agree that the condition displayed in competitions is not maintainable and not even healthy since they drop body fat levels very low for maximum muscle definition.
    Bulking and Cutting on the other hand is a technique used to gain LBM and then lose fat. You don't necessarily have to got to extreme low body fat %s when cutting nor become a fat a$$ when bulking.
    Bulking is a easier way of gaining muscle the more you bulk (eat above maintenance) the faster you gain muscle. Of course you also gain fat. That's where the cut comes in, during the cut you try to maintain muscle (or lose as little as possible) while eating under maintenance to lose fat.
    As others have stated if you eat maintenance, unless you are a newbie, it is very hard to gain LBM since there isn't surplus energy/nutrients to create the muscle from.
     
  6. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    Without bulking, there is no bodybuilding. (can't gain muscle, if you are not gaining weight) And if you bulk, eventually you will have to cut in order to get lean again.

    If you don't want to bulk or cut, thats fine as long as you are happy with your current size and are just training to maintain the muscle you have.
     
  7. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    Sci said:
    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">If you don't want to bulk or cut, thats fine as long as you are happy with your current size and are just training to maintain the muscle you have. </div>

    True, but the OP isn't implying eating at maintenance, but closer to maintenance, i.e. slow cuts/bulks. This leads me to what Tot said...

    Tot said:
    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">You can try for a very small calorie surplus to try and do a &quot;slow bulk&quot; but I don't think it's a good idea. Calorie counting is only an estimation and your maintenance changes from day to day, it is also only an estimation. So... you never really know how much you are eating over maintenance. Therefore, attempting to place excessive control over that variable doesn't make much sense.</div>

    This is certainly true. There are a lot of estimations here (BMR, exercise, food intake) that can vary day to day. However, the window of a slow cut/bulk grows with time. The amount of calories to slow bulk (250/day) over a week's time is 1750 calories above maintenance. On a weekly basis, that is highly manageable.
     
  8. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I think what it would come down to is knowing very well how much you actually need to consume and keeping essentially the same diet from week to week, that way you can simply add in a small amount of food whenever you need to. This will also require very close observation of weight and body composition on a day to day and on a weekly basis.

    I still see a problem with it because even watching your weight and body composition... it's still estimations. There are a myriad of variables - water weight, carb depletion if you've exerted yourself, daily activities - you'd almost have to ensure that each day was identical to the previous with regards to diet and total activities over the day.

    However, if you don't need to be huge RIGHT NOW then this could be fine, especially if you are one of those people who prefers to stay relatively lean year round. Still, for this aim, I would prefer to follow other tactics rather than trying to keep a small calorie surplus...
     
  9. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">However, if you don't need to be huge RIGHT NOW then this could be fine, especially if you are one of those people who prefers to stay relatively lean year round. Still, for this aim, I would prefer to follow other tactics rather than trying to keep a small calorie surplus... </div>

    Tot, what other tactics would you follow? Calorie cycling/waving between bulk/cut days? Bulk and cut weeks?
     
  10. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, calorie cycling, alternating cut/bulk (which I used to think was a bad idea, but have found some limited success with) though mostly what I would pursue is probably an IF type diet with calorie cycling, higher calories after workouts, roughly maintenance on off days, etc. You get the idea.
    That's sort of what I am doing right now, though like I mentioned in my log, I'm not tracking calories at all. I'm not even tracking protein though I am sure it's close to 1 gram per lb of bodyweight. I eat a lot on training days and just go by hunger on off days, still roughly following a 16/8 IF scheme. As a result, weight has dropped slightly, waist has shrunken more than mere water weight would account for but strength has stayed the same (possibly increased.) Keep in mind that my hunger drive is messed up so if I only go by hunger on a day to day basis, I tend to lose weight, so this may not work for people who have limitless hunger. You'd probably have to track calories on non-workout days.
     
  11. lcars

    lcars New Member

    bulking and cutting are a necessary part of growth which most of us seem to agree on. the fact is its impossible to know exactly what your metabolic state is at any given time and know exactly the amount of calories you need in order to grow. so we have to bulk in order to make sure we are getting a good surplus of calories. then we cut to trim off the unwanted timber.

    i dont think you can screw your metabolism up to the point it slows down and you gain fat by altering your diet too much.yeah as you get older it does slow down,but in truth athletes can lower their insulin sensitivity which is a good thing and would go some way to keeping fat off.
     
  12. faz

    faz Active Member

    <div>
    (Totentanz @ May 07 2008,6:28)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I think what it would come down to is knowing very well how much you actually need to consume and keeping essentially the same diet from week to week, that way you can simply add in a small amount of food whenever you need to.  This will also require very close observation of weight and body composition on a day to day and on a weekly basis.

    I still see a problem with it because even watching your weight and body composition... it's still estimations.  There are a myriad of variables - water weight, carb depletion if you've exerted yourself, daily activities - you'd almost have to ensure that each day was identical to the previous with regards to diet and total activities over the day.

    However, if you don't need to be huge RIGHT NOW then this could be fine, especially if you are one of those people who prefers to stay relatively lean year round.  Still, for this aim, I would prefer to follow other tactics rather than trying to keep a small calorie surplus...</div>
    i agree with tot its very difficult,to even find out your maintanance level from day to day nevermind eating slightly above it.
    but it is possible to slow bulk which IMO is a healthier way to go.
    most people eat around about the same amount most weeks,so if your not gaining eat slightly more,then adjust from wk to wk.
    bbrs bulk up fast and diet fast because of there competative window,they have to gain as much muscle as they can before the seasons comps start and they have to start dieting,if they were normal people you would say they were yoyo dieters [​IMG] .
     

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