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I've decided to just body recomp and stop bulking because I'm 50 and tired

serapelserapel Member Posts: 502 Member Member Posts: 502 Member
When I was younger, bulking up and then losing the fat was a great strategy - even at age 46, it was do-able. Now that I'm turning 50 I find it so hard to take that weight off without losing the gains.

I'm just happy with eating at maintenance (1900 cals a day) and just stick to re-comping. The progress is slower and the gains are not as spectacular, but I'm tired and becoming injury prone. I also just don't have the energy to diet anymore. I hate eating at a deficit and hate feeling hungry.

Any other older lifters that can relate? Or are you still bulking and cutting successfully?

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Replies

  • GaryRunsGaryRuns Member, Premium Posts: 426 Member Member, Premium Posts: 426 Member
    I'm 55 and I like the challenge of cutting and bulking, but I'm still fairly new to resistance training. Going on year 3 now. This is really only my second bulk and the first one was pretty dirty so it took me a long time to cut the fat off and get down to 10% bf. This is my first "clean" bulk. About 1.5 months into it. No serious injuries so far. Dealing with a shoulder impingement but I think I have that under control.
  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Member Posts: 604 Member Member Posts: 604 Member
    I'm 52. Only got into lifting properly at the start of 2020. I'm not interested in bulking and cutting and am re-comping.
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Member Posts: 844 Member Member Posts: 844 Member
    I’m about to turn 48. Started lifting 4 years agoand have been recomping throughout. Well I lost about 10 pounds in the first year so I guess that’s a v slow cut then a recomp.
    I have been considering bulking having tried to lose a few more pounds during lockdown.
    I can relate to diet fatigue. I don’t do well at all in a deficit. My hunger is very high and I get food obsessed.
    I think maintaining ur weight and continuing to train is a fine enough strategy. Preserving muscle mass is key as we get older.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,126 Member Member Posts: 39,126 Member
    Outside of actually bodybuilding, I've always thought the whole bulking and cutting thing was an odd trend anyway. I've lifted on and off for 30+ years and the only time I ran a "bulk" was in my late teens/early 20s when I was in the military and went in a scrawny 135Lbs soaking wet @ 5'10". Not sure if it was even really a true bulk...I didn't have to cut and diet at any point that I remember...certainly not a deliberate thing, but I was in the weight room steadily over those four years or so and put on a good 35 to 40 Lbs and still had visible abs.

    I wasn't huge by any means...but at 170 - 175 I wasn't scrawny anymore. I've never wanted to be hugely muscular...just normal, athletic, fit physique so bulking and cutting cycles aren't anything I've ever really considered. I got back into things in my late 30s after about an 8 year hiatus to get my physique and fitness back, but never crossed my mind to do cycles of bulking and cutting. I'm 46 now going on 47 and I think I would just feel very weird and out of my skin if I did that.
  • dbanks80dbanks80 Member Posts: 3,686 Member Member Posts: 3,686 Member
    serapel wrote: »
    When I was younger, bulking up and then losing the fat was a great strategy - even at age 46, it was do-able. Now that I'm turning 50 I find it so hard to take that weight off without losing the gains.

    I'm just happy with eating at maintenance (1900 cals a day) and just stick to re-comping. The progress is slower and the gains are not as spectacular, but I'm tired and becoming injury prone. I also just don't have the energy to diet anymore. I hate eating at a deficit and hate feeling hungry.

    Any other older lifters that can relate? Or are you still bulking and cutting successfully?

    Yes me! I have been recomp for few months! I might lose 2 lbs but mostly have maintained my weight and have gained muscle.

    This month I've decided to cut a lot just for April. I am not liking it too much because I am very hungry!!!!! I dont want to lose the muscle. I am trying to lose the fat. But I will see how this goes. I am 53
  • billkansasbillkansas Member Posts: 259 Member Member Posts: 259 Member
    I'd agree with you. Bulking never really made any of my 1 rep maximums explode or anything at age 52. After I cut back down I'll probably go with a more steady approach to eating.
  • ythannahythannah Member Posts: 3,697 Member Member Posts: 3,697 Member
    I'm 57 and I've only ever recomped, somewhat accidentally. I was just lifting primarily to preserve bone density and muscle, while maintaining my normal eating and weight. I ended up losing a fair bit of bodyfat along the way and dropped a pants size.

    Now I've probably lost most of that hard-earned muscle as my lifting was very limited by illness since the beginning of the year, and I haven't been able to do any at all since surgery 3 weeks ago. I've also lost weight because of that illness and once I can get back to my normal routine I'll probably be doing my first ever bulk to restore the lost pounds, but no cut afterwards.
  • Speakeasy76Speakeasy76 Member Posts: 540 Member Member Posts: 540 Member
    I had never heard of people outside of bodybuilding or powerlifting competitors who did bulk and cut cycles until I started reading the MFP forum's, honestly. I lost some weight very slowly last year while continuing to strength train, so maybe I was "cutting," but I have no intention of bulking up. I want to continue to progress and get stronger, but as someone said, I think training smartly is the way to do it. If I were wanting to compete than sure, I'd do it. Honestly, though, there are other hobbies and factors of my life I'd like to improve upon before putting so much effort into worrying about bulking and cutting.

    Having said that, I am trying to loses about 2 pounds, but hopefully slowly so it's mostly fat, and recomping.
  • serapelserapel Member Posts: 502 Member Member Posts: 502 Member
    All of you are an inspiration!! Every one of you took the time to share your experiences and thank you for that!!

    I recently added kick boxing to my routine about 6 months ago and I can tell ya, kick boxing us excellent HIIT training that’s fun. I lost an inch on my waist and got a 6 pack when added kick boxing to my routine!!

    Glad to hear that recomping is working for us ‘more mature’ athletes 😂
  • serapelserapel Member Posts: 502 Member Member Posts: 502 Member
    ythannah wrote: »
    I'm 57 and I've only ever recomped, somewhat accidentally. I was just lifting primarily to preserve bone density and muscle, while maintaining my normal eating and weight. I ended up losing a fair bit of bodyfat along the way and dropped a pants size.

    Now I've probably lost most of that hard-earned muscle as my lifting was very limited by illness since the beginning of the year, and I haven't been able to do any at all since surgery 3 weeks ago. I've also lost weight because of that illness and once I can get back to my normal routine I'll probably be doing my first ever bulk to restore the lost pounds, but no cut afterwards.

    I hope you recover quickly 🤗 your body will bounce back I’m sure!
  • ythannahythannah Member Posts: 3,697 Member Member Posts: 3,697 Member
    serapel wrote: »
    ythannah wrote: »
    I'm 57 and I've only ever recomped, somewhat accidentally. I was just lifting primarily to preserve bone density and muscle, while maintaining my normal eating and weight. I ended up losing a fair bit of bodyfat along the way and dropped a pants size.

    Now I've probably lost most of that hard-earned muscle as my lifting was very limited by illness since the beginning of the year, and I haven't been able to do any at all since surgery 3 weeks ago. I've also lost weight because of that illness and once I can get back to my normal routine I'll probably be doing my first ever bulk to restore the lost pounds, but no cut afterwards.

    I hope you recover quickly 🤗 your body will bounce back I’m sure!

    Thank you! <3 I miss my workouts so much.
  • michaelsmithpamichaelsmithpa Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
    currently 67 years old and been training for 40 years,when I was younger obviously bigger and stronger was my goal, (always on a bulk I guess), got up to about 170-180 pounds 5'8". Had a #365 bench and #505 squat as personal best. No longer bulk/cut. try and keep weight under 160. Usually just look in the mirror. If abs are visible and vascularity of chest and arms is good then weight is fine. Lots weight during pandemic, figure bodyfat in low teens, good vascularity and visible chest and delt striations, current weight 145#. I don't like the low weight but dang I am pretty ripped for an old dude.
  • serapelserapel Member Posts: 502 Member Member Posts: 502 Member
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    I'm 70 and did my last bulk/cut about 10 years ago. Still show the muscular gains after all these years.

    Tried recomping w/minimal success based on regular DEXA measurements. Am happy w/my weight and physique as it is (42-33-38 at 155# and 12%BF based on the last DEXA), which is pretty good (if I don't say so myself) for a man my age.

    Lots of vascularity in my arms and lots of muscle definition in my arms/legs with a shadow of a 6-pack; never could "show" a 6 pack even when I got down to 8% BF based on hydro. It's genetic.

    Look great when I wear my UnderArmor compression gear but I try not looking too closely at the butt and belly sag when I take them off.

    LOL! ;)

    Stopped upper body lifting/workouts for the past 2 years due to injuries and deteriorating joints mainly due to my age. Could still do lower bodywork (squats and DLs but I've gotten lazy and was worried about uneven body development.

    All I'm doing currently doing is rowing on my C2 rower -- about 10k meters in 1 hr/day, which is more than most people 1/2 my age do. I also still do some Crossfit type exercises like sled push/pulls, tire flipping and sledge hammer strikes, battle ropes and farmer's carries.
    That and some steep hill climbs while going on 3-5 mile hikes keeps me in as fit as anyone my age can reasonable expect.

    So, I'm not worried about bulking/cutting, lifting or recomping any more.

    You’re an inspiration!! Thanks for sharing.
  • serapelserapel Member Posts: 502 Member Member Posts: 502 Member
    currently 67 years old and been training for 40 years,when I was younger obviously bigger and stronger was my goal, (always on a bulk I guess), got up to about 170-180 pounds 5'8". Had a #365 bench and #505 squat as personal best. No longer bulk/cut. try and keep weight under 160. Usually just look in the mirror. If abs are visible and vascularity of chest and arms is good then weight is fine. Lots weight during pandemic, figure bodyfat in low teens, good vascularity and visible chest and delt striations, current weight 145#. I don't like the low weight but dang I am pretty ripped for an old dude.

    This pandemic has been awful!! Our city gyms have been closed for 6 months now!!! I’ve been buying plates as I get stronger. I started with 200 lbs of plates and now I have 350 lbs - hip thrust progression has been good at home.

    I hope at 67 I’m like you
  • serapelserapel Member Posts: 502 Member Member Posts: 502 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    I'm probably the most experienced lifter here and a former bodybuilder. Last time I bulked and cut, I was about 47 years old. Now 10 years later all I'm doing is just cutting. No desire to add any more mass or muscle and let's face it as we age, more weight on the body isn't better. You'll find lots of info that people that live well into their 90's end up being lighter in the long run. Makes sense too since you're carrying around less weight on your frame and joints.
    I still have a lot more muscle than many guys in my age range for my frame. So cutting for me is now just showing definition.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    You’re doing amazing and you’re not old!!!
  • AuthorMatthewVAuthorMatthewV Member, Premium Posts: 80 Member Member, Premium Posts: 80 Member
    I’m going the recomp route as well. A regular lift routine, healthy eating, and activity. I think you’ve got those down. You’ll be back to the *kitten*-kicker in no time.
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,814 Member Member Posts: 1,814 Member
    To be honest, if you look around there are few people that have low enough bodyfat to bulk.
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