Author Topic: how early to bulk after a cut?  (Read 2115 times)

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Dreyth

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how early to bulk after a cut?
« on: February 05, 2013, 07:37:02 pm »
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So I'm about a week away from finishing my cut completely. I was 200lbs before, and now I'm 190lbs (my goal weight, but that fluctuates so I'll finish this week of cutting). I actually have the same strength levels as when I was 200lbs! This is because I ended up gaining some strength during my cut, but then lost whatever I gained.

I've been cutting at -700/day for a few months now. I want to bulk very slowly now.


So tell me what's best. Week 1 means this week right now. I'm at my goal weight right now.


Option A: Right into it
Week 1:   -700/day
Week 2:   +250/day

Option B: One or two weeks of maintenance
Week 1:  -700/day
Week 2:   0/day
Week 3:   +250/day

Option B: Slowly up the calories
Week 1:   -700/day
Week 2:   -350/day
Week 3:   0/day
Week 4:   +250/day


I'd like to do it properly this time.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 07:42:33 pm by Dreyth »
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entropy

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Re: how early to bulk after a cut?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 12:54:14 am »
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LMCD says to take a 2 week maintenance break after a cut. After a cut (or during for that matter) your body is primed for fat gain, which is why you don't want to do a bulk straight after since you'll store more bodyfat that way. Go from the caloric deficit to maintenance and keep it there for a few weeks. This will reset your hormones etc to baseline which will allow the bulk to work better for gaining more muscle:bodyfat. That's what I've read.

This is how I would do it :-

Day 1 of maintenance: (make it coincide with a higher volume training day). Start doing a carb refeed in the morning. If you take any stimulants like caffeine DONT take them today since they kill insulin sensitivity. You want to eat around 200-400g of carbs throughout the day. Focus on complex carb sources. Bread etc. Just watch the sucrose/fructose intake though and keep it to around 50g though but that still allows you to have some icecream or cake. Important to keep fat intake down to 50g as well for the day. Your body will store carbs as glyocogen etc but fat will get stored as bodyfat so that's why you minimise it on a refeed. Anyway so that should signal your body that the diet is over.  Then..

Day 2: What you'd eat normally on the diet + 500kcal more food than usual. I suggest making a good chunk of that  extra 500kcal up using CARBS because it will help keep leptin and what not elevated. But a bit of extra fat will help too if you've been lowfatting.

Day 3-7: Same as day 2.

Day 8-14: Same as day 2 but add 200cal more.

End of maintenance phase, do the bulk. Throughout the maintenance phase, your bodyweight shouldn't exceed what it was AFTER the day 1 refeed. If it does, you're probably gaining weight which should suggest checking cals.

And that's it, keep it simple and avoid binging by all means. Personally, I'd treat it as a diet as usual, same amount of discipline, only with slightly more calories.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 01:13:29 am by entropy »
Goals: Cutting to 6-8% bodyfat

T0ddday

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Re: how early to bulk after a cut?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 03:29:14 am »
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Why do you want to bulk? What's your bf level and your goals?

Dreyth

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Re: how early to bulk after a cut?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 01:07:14 pm »
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Thanks for the in depth response

I want to bulk to get stronger. Whenever i workout without gaining weight, i just end up spinning my wheels in place. Evidence of this in my log where I couldn't go down past 193-194lbs for like a month and didn't increase strength one bit in any lift at all.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 04:20:28 pm by Dreyth »
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T0ddday

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Re: how early to bulk after a cut?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 09:06:32 am »
+1
Thanks for the in depth response

I want to bulk to get stronger. Whenever i workout without gaining weight, i just end up spinning my wheels in place. Evidence of this in my log where I couldn't go down past 193-194lbs for like a month and didn't increase strength one bit in any lift at all.

I think you should look at this another way.  Yes, it's easier to get stronger while your bw goes up... but if you get stronger while your bodyweight goes up and then lose strength when you cut weight you are also spinning your wheels, albeit not in place. As a relative strength athlete you don't really have the luxury of gaining weight to get strength.   Super-heavy weight powerlifters do and from them we know that an extreme surplus is calories is a must for achieving massive lifts; if fact the weight of the drug free guys make the case that without drugs massive calories are needed to push weights to elite levels.

However, you are not going for power-lifting records.   I believe it's possible for you to gain strength without much bw gain if you do your nutrition right.   Calories in calories out will determine what happens on the scale, but your more detailed nutritional plan will go along way to what happens to your lifts along the way.   If you are cutting and restricting carbs it will be really hard to get your body to gain strength unless your really weak/fat.

What I would suggest for you is not to bulk but to eat enough to get stronger.  How lean are you?  If you are closer to 10% than 5% bf I wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't increase strength while coming pretty close to maintaining bodyfat.  The last time I cut from 210 to 200 I increased my front squat max triple from 315 to 335.  Modest increase, and of course when I let myself go to 220 my numbers went up a lot more.... But it's still possible.   And as a jumping athlete low bw is even more important than for sprinting.

my advice: If you are at your goal weight why not eat maintenance for awhile and continue to train hard in the gym.  You were just in a restrictive diet so eating maintenance levels should put you in comparatively a much better state to make strength increase.  Try and up your lifting frequency, ie if you squat 2x a week try and move to 3-4x with a few high intensity lifts each session and some moderate intensity moderate volume sets (I think specificity of programs is overrated but something like a few singles, doubles or triples each session and then a few back off sets of 4-7 reps).   

For now keep your protein close to 200g and get about 20g carbs before workouts and 50g of carbs post workout.  Of course throwing in about 40 grams of heathly oils takes your calories at this level to about 1500... Meaning you won't have a ton more to play with and not gain weight.  Kinda elimates things like late night pizza.  That's why this approach takes discipline.   Give your lifts time... strength should gradually increase, but if you really find your lifts getting stuck then try to counteract this by adding in some most postworkout carbs.  A big reason we lose strength when cutting is insufficient glycogen reload, you can make huge inroads by modulating this.   

If you follow this kind of an approach you may in fact end up gaining some weight as you might find it necessary to increase your carbohydrate intake more to keep the strength from stalling.  This weight gain should be moderate and can be held back by a few days of tempo work (ie.  Medium intensity system work - sprinting/swimming).   I think this type of approach in the long term will get you much better relative strength than a blanket decision to start eating at a surplus of X amount of calories.  This advice isn't super simple but you are already a pretty strong guy (squatting 400+ at under 200lbs) and as such your nutrition requirements are going to be more advanced than +cals/-cals if you want to become an even better athlete.    Think of your new goal as getting stronger and eating just enough to facilitate this rather than deciding to eat a surplus of calories which will make it easier to get stronger.  Your weight work dictates the nutrition rather than nutrition dictating what you can do in the gym. 
 
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 09:08:06 am by T0ddday »

pelham32

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Re: how early to bulk after a cut?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 11:34:28 am »
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How about a slight to moderate caloric surplus on training days and slight deficit or maintenence calories on off days. If you feel your lifts arent progressing than slowly add calories until you find a sweet spot particularly post workout.
Goal

windmill consistently/ touch top of the square consistently



weight= 193
height= 6'3 1/2
highest touch= top of the square, which is 11'4

Dreyth

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Re: how early to bulk after a cut?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 06:45:00 pm »
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Thanks for the in depth response

I want to bulk to get stronger. Whenever i workout without gaining weight, i just end up spinning my wheels in place. Evidence of this in my log where I couldn't go down past 193-194lbs for like a month and didn't increase strength one bit in any lift at all.

Yes, it's easier to get stronger while your bw goes up... but if you get stronger while your bodyweight goes up and then lose strength when you cut weight you are also spinning your wheels, albeit not in place.
I lost 10lbs without losing any net strength. That is good progress in terms of relative strength, which is what I want. Kingfish and frank yang also cycle(d) their bodyweight a lot. I simply won't get much stronger by not gaining any weight anymore, so I just want to gain weight SLOWLY so I can still gain strength and not have to cut fat for a long time.

What I would suggest for you is not to bulk but to eat enough to get stronger.
This is exactly what I want to do. I want to maintain my calories on rest days, and be at about a 400cal surplus on workout days. That's a very small surplus... +1,600 after the whole week, as opposed to the traditional 500-700cal surplus every single day which leads to a 3,500-4,900cal surplus at the end of the week. big difference!

my advice: If you are at your goal weight why not eat maintenance for awhile and continue to train hard in the gym.  You were just in a restrictive diet so eating maintenance levels should put you in comparatively a much better state to make strength increase.
I was at maintenance for a while (over a month) and literally did not have a single increase in strength :(

For now keep your protein close to 200g and get about 20g carbs before workouts and 50g of carbs post workout.  Of course throwing in about 40 grams of heathly oils takes your calories at this level to about 1500... Meaning you won't have a ton more to play with and not gain weight.  Kinda elimates things like late night pizza.  That's why this approach takes discipline.   Give your lifts time... strength should gradually increase, but if you really find your lifts getting stuck then try to counteract this by adding in some most postworkout carbs.  A big reason we lose strength when cutting is insufficient glycogen reload, you can make huge inroads by modulating this.   

If you follow this kind of an approach you may in fact end up gaining some weight as you might find it necessary to increase your carbohydrate intake more to keep the strength from stalling.  This weight gain should be moderate and can be held back by a few days of tempo work (ie.  Medium intensity system work - sprinting/swimming).   I think this type of approach in the long term will get you much better relative strength than a blanket decision to start eating at a surplus of X amount of calories.  This advice isn't super simple but you are already a pretty strong guy (squatting 400+ at under 200lbs) and as such your nutrition requirements are going to be more advanced than +cals/-cals if you want to become an even better athlete.    Think of your new goal as getting stronger and eating just enough to facilitate this rather than deciding to eat a surplus of calories which will make it easier to get stronger.  Your weight work dictates the nutrition rather than nutrition dictating what you can do in the gym.

pretty much what i want to do! I want to get in at least 200g protein a day. In addition, I want a HIGH calorie in vs calorie out.. what I mean by this is not a high surplus, but rather:

4,000 calories in
3,600 calories out

leads to better body composition than:

2,500 calories in
2,100 calories out

All those extra calories really lets me pack in a lot more muscle-building nutrients while remaining at the same surplus! So yes, watching the diet will be pretty important.


Anyway I've come to the decision to slowly up my calories every week, aka Option 3. I'll try to squeeze whatever strength gains I can out of that transitional phase.
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T0ddday

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Re: how early to bulk after a cut?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2013, 08:58:37 pm »
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Yes, it's easier to get stronger while your bw goes up... but if you get stronger while your bodyweight goes up and then lose strength when you cut weight you are also spinning your wheels, albeit not in place.
I lost 10lbs without losing any net strength. That is good progress in terms of relative strength, which is what I want. Kingfish and frank yang also cycle(d) their bodyweight a lot. I simply won't get much stronger by not gaining any weight anymore, so I just want to gain weight SLOWLY so I can still gain strength and not have to cut fat for a long time.

I was at maintenance for a while (over a month) and literally did not have a single increase in strength :(

[/quote]

I don't know the specifics of what these two did (not that two people having success with one strategy makes it optimal...) but I am pretty sure KF cycled body-weight down for much longer than a month.  I am not arguing that bodyweight needs to always be constant, just that the majority of the time should be in maintenance.   Gaining strength without gaining weight is hard.  However, seriously.. 1 Month?   Unless you are a total beginner you can't expect every single month to accompany measurable gains, especially the first month back to maintenance after a cutting weight.  Don't give up so quickly.  Gaining weight makes gaining strength very easy but it's a crutch you should not be relying on quite so often.  No offense but I don't believe you are at your maximum peak strength for your bodyweight.   Everyone has to cycle weight to some extent; I cut to high 5% bf and high 180's in October 2011 and stayed within 10lbs of that until the summer 2012 when I decided to focus earnestly on gaining strength. 

Initially, it's hard to gain strength after dieting... there are some slow weeks and you learn to measure your strength more precisely; gains in strength might come in the form of being able to do 3 reps 4x a week without grinding rather than having a couple of grinded reps on two of the days.  You certainly don't get to add 5 lbs a week when you are already at decent strength levels and maintaining low bodyfat.  But eventually you adapt to the weight and make small increases in strength.  THEN, when you finally add some carbs to your diet and decide to gain a few pounds the strength increase is ridiculously fast.  It's like a built in reward for challenging your body to build/maintain strength levels at a low bodyweight...    Speaking of KF I believe he dieted to something like 170 and hung out there for a year making minor increases before gaining a few lbs and a lot of strength.  I think that's a good example, and it mirrors the seasonal schedule we use to get most sprint athletes in shape.   You might feel that you are spinning your wheels when you don't gain weight... but in reality cutting --- bulking --- cutting --- bulking is a recipe to spin your relative strength wheels.  Think of weight gain as a boost which needs to be used sparingly for risk of dependence and try to get yearly workout patterns that look like this:   ----cutting------------------------------------------  bulking ---------------------------------- cutting --------------------------------------------------------------------.

Dreyth

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Re: how early to bulk after a cut?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 04:57:37 pm »
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^^ Thanks for all the help man. I realize that I definitely was very impatient with my gains.

In fact, once I'm down to a stable 190lbs I think I will maintain that weight for about 6 weeks to see what comes out of it. THEN I will slowly increase my weight by no more than 2lbs/month.


also, thanks for the help you gave me concerning my c++ program due thursday lol. that thing is killing me!
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