I am against the bulking and cutting cycles promoted on the internet

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Shake 'em off
Dec 31, 2014
I am leaving this as an opinion backed with facts, so I'm welcoming detractors here.

I work too much and sleep too little.
Leigh and others are in better shape than I am. So I might invite some "say as I do, not as I say" critics.

But I'm a huge physiology nerd with a few degrees... and as I read forum after forum for the last 15 years telling skinny kids to "EAT MORE" so gratuitously, I've got to weigh in on why this general advice is bad without more detailed guidance. And I hate watching young lean guy after another be told about short term overeating instead of supporting longterm steady growth.

What should you do:

You're fat? Cut weight. Get lean. Build up from there.

You're low body fat, you're low lean muscle. SLOW bulk. But I still hate the term 'bulk', we'll come back to that.

You're skinnyfat. The average wimpy looking teenager or early adult that doesn't know where to go. Thin enough with your clothes on but that's about it. If you post this person online, you get all kinds of comments about "You need clay to mold a statue" and shit like this. You should get your bodyfat down first.

When you eat more than your body needs, you will store some adipose tissue. FAT. Many are fine with gaining fat while bulking for several reasons:
  • Shit yeah I'm bulking bro! Feels great to eat too much. And that's true, it does. It's also often an excuse because it's easier than counting calories.
  • Bros feel bigger when they weigh more. Are you a football player or other size focused athlete without weight classes? Maybe you should put some fat on your belly. But other beefcakes border on body dysmorphia in their idea that they are so "big" with this additional padding. Their lifts often tell the truth.
  • Pro Body builders get fat in the off-season! That's true, you aren't a pro bodybuilder, lets see below what they sacrifice for their current competitions...

For the rest...Get lean. Stay lean.

Fat tissue is unique. It is not just a collection of cells. It's more like bags (they are cells with chains you fill up). When you store new fat, it adds to the existing bags until they are full. Then you have to make new bags. WHEN YOU LOSE FAT, THOSE BAGS DO NOT GO AWAY, THEY JUST EMPTY OUT short of liposuction physically removing them. Each time you "bulk", and the larger your bulk, the more chance you gain new permanent fat cells. There is good evidence that the more you have, the easier it is to gain fat. You have created a lower metabolic barrier to storing fat.

Further, fatty tissue in the lean person show dramatically less inflammatory markers than the overweight and obese. Large collections of fat are anatomically and physiologically different than those in the lean individual.

Increased fat gears you further towards other metabolic disturbances and hormonal variances that are not helpful to performance, health, or aesthetics.

Do you have something riding on your gym work such as your livelihood? Lee Priest, above, ate way too much in the off season because he is on steroids, can not afford to miss a single bit of muscle mass, and makes tons of money for a physical showing that is temporary. If this describes you, this advice goes out the window. But you should know the trade-off.

Get lean.
Goal as a guy? Get to less than 15% body fat (I'd argue for many 12% or less) and stay there as much as possible. These are doable percents that still allow a couple percent of fluctuation for life and miscalculation. The cycle of 20%+ down to 10% or less, repeat ad nauseum is BAD and should not be your goal, sans the few exceptions above.

Once you are there, you need to eat a little above your weekly metabolic requirements. Shoot for about 0.5lb per week and sometimes less. That's it. That's only about 250-300 calories a day...or one good protein shake on top of all the clean eating you should already be doing. There are already other threads here and elsewhere to discuss this. The point is that gaining 1-2 lbs per week is not needed and will add more fat than needed only to cut down later...with all the long-term negative consequences to your body as above.

Rip me apart my dears :)


Pro Fighter
Jan 26, 2015
Completely agree. Blowing up as a fatass just means you have to deal with a load of fat afterwards. Pro body building has ZERO application to the non competitive lifter.

I'm lean and muscular. I can tell you that whilst women like muscular arms etc the biggest pussy magnet is abs. Most people lift for aesthetic reasons and a six pack should be the priority.

If you're putting on muscle for a sport, a load of fat can only be detrimental (unless it's sumo)
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Shake 'em off
Dec 31, 2014
Blowing up as a fatass just means you have to deal with a load of fat afterwards.
I think the biggest challenge is getting people to understand what is overeating and what is excess fat.
Get abs, keep abs. It's about that simple for most individuals.
People post pics at 18-20% orneven higher body fat and arent sure if they should bulk or cut. Cut!


TMMAC Addict
Apr 20, 2015
I'm lean and muscular. I can tell you that whilst women like muscular arms etc the biggest pussy magnet is abs. Most people lift for aesthetic reasons and a six pack should be the priority.

Nah. It's dat ass and thighs Son


Posting Machine
Nov 4, 2015
Skinnyfats should eat at maintainence and lift heavy after a month or two doing body weight stuff.


I’m the shit! Ain’t no bitch hotter than me!!
Oct 17, 2015
I am on a bulking diet, here is a sample from yesterday:

1 pound bacon
1 pound sausage
12 eggs
3 pounds homefries

6 pounds of raw bison
1 whole chicken

1 Rack of ribs (pork)
1 22 oz steak
6 fried shrimp
2 bags of potato chips



Putin is gay
Apr 24, 2015
Splinty @Splinty any truth to the recent study that revealed saturated fat "signals" fat to be stored more around your mid-section than anywhere else?