Those of you who do bulk/cut cycles, what does a typical year look like?

I'm still about 10-15lbs out from my goal (I'll reassess at 150lbs if I want to go the full 15 or not, currently 154.6lbs) but I know that I'd like to ideally start my first bulk this upcoming winter, probably october/november.

So just thinking to AFTER a bulk is complete, what do you guys do? Do you maintain at that new weight for a while, or go straight into cutting down again? After cutting do you maintain for a while? I was thinking that I'd bulk for 4-5 months, then cut for 4-5 months (does cutting after a bulk typically last around the same number of months, or is it longer/shorter?), and then maintain for a few months before repeating the cycle... how long do people stay in maintenance, is it just personal preference?

Just wondering what those of you who've done this a few times have preferred, I think just knowing that I'm getting close to the end of my first cut, I'm getting nervous about how to approach the rest of this stuff.

Replies

  • bulk_n_cut
    bulk_n_cut Posts: 389 Member
    edited April 2015
    mine is pretty much governed by the season. bulk when the canadian winter allows multiple hoodies and stuff to hide the extra fat lol, and cut before summer. so bulk for like 4 months, then immediately cut for a month, stay relatively cut till fall comes around again. then its time to buy costco sized peanut butter jars >:)
    my cut time is typically 1/3rd or a quarter of bulking time, thankfully when it comes to fat loss i drop that *kitten* like a bird
  • richln
    richln Posts: 809 Member
    Regarding your second paragraph, I asked a similar question a while ago:
    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10086683/transitioning-bulk-to-cut
    Consensus was that it is best to go straight from bulk immediately into cut. However, when going from cut to bulk, it is better to slowly ease into your surplus to avoid excessive fat gain at the beginning of bulk.

    Amount of time I spend in bulk or cut is determined by current body fat level or how far away I am from a beach trip. I am not a fan of ever being at maintenance unless I am temporarily reverse dieting.
  • warrrn69
    warrrn69 Posts: 42 Member
    As above stated going straight into a calorie deficient after a bulk to cut is fine. However going from a cut to a bulk is a little trickier. At the end of my cut I will maintain my current weight/daily calorie intake for about two weeks. After that I will slowly start to increase my daily intake by about 100 calories a day every week. Slowly introducing more calories will ease your metabolism into processing more calories and will minimise fat gain. Hope this helps.
  • ana3067
    ana3067 Posts: 5,639 Member
    mine is pretty much governed by the season. bulk when the canadian winter allows multiple hoodies and stuff to hide the extra fat lol, and cut before summer. so bulk for like 4 months, then immediately cut for a month, stay relatively cut till fall comes around again. then its time to buy costco sized peanut butter jars >:)
    my cut time is typically 1/3rd or a quarter of bulking time, thankfully when it comes to fat loss i drop that *kitten* like a bird
    Haha yeah I was also interested in going by seasons since I figured artic-esque Alberta winter would be a good time to bulk up and wear lots of looser clothing.

    And @warrrn69 and @richln thanks! I do plan on easing slowly into maintenance and then from there slowly into a bulk - I've definitely jumped from cut to maintenance a handful of times while cutting when taking diet breaks, and definitely do see that jump on the scale from water-weight and such!

    I will have to see whether I enjoy maintenance for extended periods of time or if I prefer cycling through bulks and cuts more regularly. Eager to find out, thanks for the advice guys :)
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,147 Member
    Cosigning all advice in this thread!

    I will add that when you go from bulk to cut the smaller amount of calories SUCKS!!
  • 3laine75
    3laine75 Posts: 3,071 Member
    Mine isn't typical, but I'll give you the flip side anyway. It takes me WAY longer to cut than it does to bulk. I've only bulked twice but the whole process takes me about a year (I'm on the high end bf% wise though).

    First time, I gained way too fast (happy with the results though), an 8 week bulk followed by an 8 month cut. This time, I got the bulk part right (7 lb in 3.5 months) and am currently cutting. I'm not expecting my cut to be quick :( Combination of wide maintenance range and lack of discipline means I'll be at it for a while.

    Just realised I haven't really answered any of your questions so, for me, my cuts are longer than my bulks (this is because I'm doing it *kitten* for elbow though). I try to maintain for 2-3 weeks before a bulk but jump straight into a cut.

    I think after this cut, I'm going to try maintaining/recomping for at least a year. I've tried it in the past but got impatient as progress was slow. Realistically though, I'd have to give it as long as a bulk/cut cycle to compare results.

    Have fun bulking - it's the best :)
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    Great advice so far.

    Most people that I know who have bulked go straight into a cut, however, there are also a few that hang out at maintenance for a few weeks before they cut, and then I also know of others that don't go on to cut at all and recomp.

    I am sure you know my situation @ana3067 , but for others reading this, after my bulk, I hung out at maintenance for about a month or so, but now I have decided to cut to obtain more definition in a shorter period of time (for a beach vacation in 6 weeks).

    In terms of time frame for a cut.. well obviously that depends on a few things - how much fat you gained on your bulk, the bf% you want to achieve, etc. But typically most start to cut around late winter or spring to be ready for summer.

  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,575 Member
    Thanks for this. I hope I can start a bulk in the early fall.