To cut or to Bulk? That is the question

To cut or to Bulk? That is the question
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So I’m 5’8 around, fairly athletic playing basketball and going to the gym 3-4 times a week. I’m currently 200 lbs with some body fat- 22-25 percent. I’m gearing up to try this- https://youtu.be/oicrX_DQrgA

With this in mind-Gain 20-25 lbs of Muscle
Time Frame of January- March

Then after, do a cut using keto, plyo and weight training with the goal of going to 12 Percent Body Fat.

Any thoughts? Would it be wiser to cut down first and then bulk considering I have so much body fat( especially around my midsection?)

Personally, I would aim to get to 14-15% body fat before trying to gain any mass. You’re likely in need of a reset in regards to your insulin sensitivity. You run the risk of putting on substantial body fat - and by cutting time, you could be closer to 30% bodyfat - which would take a solid year to bring down in a fairly moderate manner.

In the most respectful way possible, there is no way you’ll gain 20-25lbs of muscle before March 2020. Without knowing your age, training history, etc… it’s impossible to give you good advise on this. If you’re mature though and have been training over a few years and are older than 25, you won’t even gain 20-25lbs of muscle over the next 2 years. It just doesn’t work that way. If you’re between 18-25 years old, then I think you could gain that muscle over a few years naturally. But if you’re judging the 20-25 lbs by the scale, you’ll step on the scale in March and 90% of that weight you gain will be fat and water.

Being said, I have no clue what your current diet is, macros, or calories. Can you provide that info?

If you are 22-25% there is 0 point in bulking
your insulin sensitivity will be way too high, you will add more fat then muscle, and it won’t be of any benefit to yourself.

Cut down to at least 12-15%, reset insulin sensitivity (Check your BG in the morning upon waking and around meals), and see where it is. If you are in the high 90’s or 100’s then you need to back down and get it under control.

You will not gain 20-25 pounds of muscle in 3 months. Especially if you have been lifting for a while (muscle is harder to put on as you age and get more experience under the iron). That is just not possible unless you are intaking a lot of dark side supplements, gear, and running a massive cycle

Why do you want to cut instantly with keto? Why? Carbs are very beneficial once protein and fat minimums are met, they help keep leptin, hormone, and t3 levels high when in a dieting phase and are more protein sparing once your minimums are met. If you can tolerate them there is 0 reason to go stricly keto besides losing some water weight. The human body is very diverse. Just because you see people preach a certain lifestyle doesn’t always mean its applicable to you. If you respond well to carbs, your digestion is good, there is no reason to fully cut them out.

You should start here with dieting


I highly suggest you read here regarding your diet:


Exercise & Weightloss:


Fundamental Principles of Dieting:

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I’m a firm believer that the word “cutting” is used far too interchangeably with “dieting” but honestly it’s an inconsequential gripe.

Definitely cut down. Anywhere from 10-15% shouldn’t be too bad. I originally dieted down to maybe 8%? 3 years ago. Complete guess, ab and lat veins though. Been on a respectable caloric surplus ever since and haven’t needed to diet to maintain low 10’s BF%. So I’d say diet hard for a few months, maybe a year. If you could throw in cardio during your off days, that may help. Since you’re naturally active, I don’t think it will be that hard to drop some fat. Just start tracking and restricting calories

IIRC that 34 pounds of muscle was regained, not gained first time. To make a long story short gaining muscle the first time around is much harder then regaining it due to something called satellite cells.

As for your question, I would say cut.

Copy cool bro’s. I think I’m going to follow your directions. But what I’m going to do after I get the body fat down is this


If you have time to watch this, let me know your thoughts on this program and it’s advised supplement intake.

Also, I’m 32. I’ve been working out since around 22. I took it seriously from 25-27

Supplement wise none are really necessary.
Creatine is good, I would suggest R-ALA over normal ALA.(doctors best has some for ~8$ on amazon atm)
You can substitute NO-XPLODE for any preworkout.
Bodyquick doesn’t seem that good, not sure what its there for.
The niacin, chromemate and policosanol are just there for cholesterol I think, and aren’t needed IMO.

Nothing in the program or supplements are revolutionary. I wouldn’t expect to put on a huge amount of muscle, but what ever gets you in the gym.

Yeah - your years of gaining 4-5lbs naturally per year are well past, my friend.

I would highly recommend what myself and @TheSolution recommended and move from there. I highly recommend you go get a basic metabolic panel of blood work done. Check your testosterone, estrogen, gh levels, thyroid, etc… these are critical health markers that will help you plan your next steps.

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I’m a big proponent of adding mass to your frame before leaning out. Hard dieting is fucking suffering, and when you’re done and lean and look more like Auschwitz than Arnold, it’s fucking depressing. You go through hell to look good and then you’re done and still look bad, it’s really demoralizing to 95% of people.

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I like keto or zero carb because it helped my brother and it’s simple. I like not thinking much when it comes to food.

That is great, but you also have to realize

  • Is it helping you perform at an optimal level?
  • How is your digestion?
  • How is your energy levels?
  • How is your recovery on a day to day basis?
  • How is your BG Levels? I know people who have higher BG on keto then with carbs in their system

Sure keto is “Easy”, but that does not mean its always the one size fits all to your body, and what works best. If you can tolerate carbs they are going to be more protein sparing in the big picture, help you retain muscle mass, and also keep metabolism higher. Plus if you want to throw in any forms of HIIT (which utilizes glucose) doing so on a keto diet is not going to benefit you. Since you will have to slave yourself to LISS and low intensity work since you are tapping fat reserves.

Just because something is “Simple” doesn’t make it universal or make it a one-size-fits all for your body. You should take notes and see what works best for you and utilize that, not what works for someone else, or what they can stick to and is “Easy”. Easy doesn’t always = results.

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But if he is already 25% body fat - he could really destroy his insulin sensitivity and metabolism.

Neither of which is permanent, like testosterone suppression in end stage contest prep doesn’t permanently fuck your endocrine system.

Unless you give yourself diabetes i guess, that’d be some pretty irresponsible bulking tho to be frank.

At age 32, I think the prudent decision would be to lower body fat levels before engaging on a 20-25lb muscle bulk phase. Someone at those levels, setting out to achieve that much new lean mass naturally would take years. I wouldn’t want to be 40 Years old and have 30-35% bodyfat, slightly stretched skin, only to try and lose 20%, when my metabolism is slower than it would have been at age 32.

Everyone is different and I’m only evaluating it through the lens that I would analysis the situation, if I were the person in question.

To each their own.