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Where is your balance? How much leeway do you give yourself?

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#1 gdblu



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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:01 PM

To be up-front, I'm indecisive when it comes to my goals, and because of that I tend to yo-yo/spin my wheels a lot. For example, I bulked for almost 9 straight months in 2013 in the name of chasing strength, because that is my ultimate motivation: being jacked and strong as shit. I got too fat, though, and my pants were choking me, so I started cutting in January. I dropped around 15lb, but my lifts also dropped significantly, and that bothered me. So I bumped calories back up and even jumped on-cycle (2.5 weeks in), but the bloat means the pants are getting tight again already so I start thinking maybe I should go ahead and cut. Back and forth. Over and over. This is a never-ending cycle that's constantly battling for dominance in my head. When I'm resting between sets at the gym, I'm wondering if I should cut or bulk. When I'm talking to co-workers in a meeting, I'm wondering if I should cut or bulk. When I'm laying in bed with my lady, I'm wondering if I should cut or bulk.

I try asking for opinions and everyone tells me I look good, but I can't help but think they're just being nice. My body dis-morphia and insecurities make me feel both, small *and* fat. Folks at the gym will call me huge and jacked, but I just don't see it.

As I said, gorilla strength and imposing mass (but with BF, ideally, in the mid-teens) is my ultimate goal. I'll never be elite (I just got started a couple years ago and I'm already coming up on 40, so I'm a late starter) but I would like to compete locally once I think I'm capable (considering where I live, competitions are surprisingly few and far between).

Since that's y'all's forte, I thought I would come to you for sage wisdom rather than asking a fat loss forum, or something. How do you balance body fat (for those of you concerned with it) and strength? How do you keep to a desired level without sacrificing reps? Do you cycle cutting and bulking like bodybuilders? If so, how fat do you allow yourself to get in-between?

And, with my objective clearly stated, what is the more logical path to getting there? Sucking it up for now, cutting down to my desired body fat level, and then "slow" bulking from there (which is hard, as I'm a farm boy and a food lover so "control" and "moderation" are cuss words)? Or using existing strength and mass to get bigger and stronger, putting on more lean mass and increasing metabolism, and then cutting later on.

I sincerely appreciate any insight, wisdom and/or advice y'all might be able to offer.

#2 jh1988


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Posted 23 April 2014 - 04:42 PM

Figure out what you really want, make a plan and stick to it.

Currently Cutting/Cruising On:

Test C 500mg/week

#3 bradray


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Posted 23 April 2014 - 05:56 PM

I have the same problem so i run SD and trenavar so that i can slowly gain strength and size yet keep my body fat from increasing too much. I do some strength training as well as high intensity cardio for 30 minutes 5 days a week. It is whatt most people call lean bulking. Patience is a virtue, neither a cut or a bulk is gonna happen over night

#4 truthusp45


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Posted 02 May 2014 - 09:00 PM

I'm with you on the back and forth "bulk or cut" self-questioning. The reality I have come to is it really is all about personal choice.
You now know that the fastest way to build strength is to all out bulk. Of course, cutting (meaning drastic reduction in calories in hopes of fat loss) will cause you to lose some strength. Here is my experience with some serious lifters I looked up to at my last gym:
I worked out once a week or so with a couple of guys who were seriously strong. 3 of them had elite totals and were my weight and build (230 - 250). all 3 of them had great physiques, much better than mine. I suppose with our shirts on, we all looked similar. however, they had significantly less bf% and could out lift me by nearly double when speaking in 1rm terms. Two things I know they were doing that I was not: 1. They were on Test (maybe more) 2. They were ON TOP of their diets
I talked to them occasionally about dieting, mostly what I got was they consumed around the same amount of protein and calories than I, but far cleaner overall. I guess the moral of the story is, drop the bulk / cut idea and steer towards a weekly/monthly/yearly goal set, along with serious overhaul of your diet. Start small, change out something like a cup of yogurt for an avocado. As far as your lifting, keep going for 1rm's on the big 3, follow a schedule and track all of your progress. Your body will show the results over time. It will not be as quick as bulking but you will make gains and you will see a change in physique, if that's what you want and you go for it.
I am in this very process right now, it is not as easy as some make it look

#5 dANIMAL11


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Posted 02 May 2014 - 10:53 PM

I had a hugely unsuccessful bulk last fall into winter.

In the end I'm up 12 lbs from last year at same BF %. So not bad. But I wanted more.

I set a limit when bulking, if BF% gets above a predetermined limit (10 for me) I stop the bulk, recomp, drop water weight to see where I am really at. Then re-assess.

I can handle water weight and it drops fast. Fat is a tougher opponent. Especially because I hate cardio.

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#6 hellsgatekeeper


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Posted 03 May 2014 - 01:06 AM

Go on, stay on and rotate out compounds. Use things like clen/ec to cut. Both along with AAS have really helped me a lot during cutting.

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