Bulk and cut timeframe

Do you cut and bulk for the same amount of time? I have read a lot of threads but want to make sure i am understanding correctly as I am planning for the next year.

Bulk for 3 months gaining around 1lb/week. Ideally this is half fat and half muscle. Then cut for 3 months, but at a slower rate of 0.5lb/week. So when the cut is done I should be up in weight-about half of what i gained during the bulk-hopefully mostly muscle.

Am I looking at this right-or am I missing something?
«1

Replies

  • usmcmp
    usmcmp Posts: 21,221 Member
    As a female we gain about one pound of lean mass per month. A pound and a half under really good conditions. Your plan to gain 1lb/week means you'll be gaining 3/4 of the weight in fat, not half. You're probably thinking of the advice given to men.

    I bulked for 20 months and gained 2.25 pounds per month. I gained roughly 17 pounds of lean mass and this cut should take 8 months.
  • slaite1
    slaite1 Posts: 1,309 Member
    usmcmp wrote: »
    As a female we gain about one pound of lean mass per month. A pound and a half under really good conditions. Your plan to gain 1lb/week means you'll be gaining 3/4 of the weight in fat, not half. You're probably thinking of the advice given to men.

    I bulked for 20 months and gained 2.25 pounds per month. I gained roughly 17 pounds of lean mass and this cut should take 8 months.

    Ok, that makes sense. So you would advise around 0.5/lb/week (2lbs/month) gain? And then a cut of 2-3lbs/month.

    Do you find the longer bulk/cut cycles to be more effective than a series of shorter ones? I have always recomped so your timeframe of a bulk is definitely overwhelming right now. But I don't want to spin my wheels either. Perhaps something a little longer would help.

    Thank you for your help-much appreciated.

  • usmcmp
    usmcmp Posts: 21,221 Member
    slaite1 wrote: »
    usmcmp wrote: »
    As a female we gain about one pound of lean mass per month. A pound and a half under really good conditions. Your plan to gain 1lb/week means you'll be gaining 3/4 of the weight in fat, not half. You're probably thinking of the advice given to men.

    I bulked for 20 months and gained 2.25 pounds per month. I gained roughly 17 pounds of lean mass and this cut should take 8 months.

    Ok, that makes sense. So you would advise around 0.5/lb/week (2lbs/month) gain? And then a cut of 2-3lbs/month.

    Do you find the longer bulk/cut cycles to be more effective than a series of shorter ones? I have always recomped so your timeframe of a bulk is definitely overwhelming right now. But I don't want to spin my wheels either. Perhaps something a little longer would help.

    Thank you for your help-much appreciated.

    They say that newer muscle is harder to keep during a cut. I haven't seen studies on it, so I have no idea. I think that a bulk of only a few months isn't worth it. Let's say you get really lucky to hit great conditions and you gain 4 pounds of lean mass in 3 months. To me that is a drop in the bucket compared to how much I needed to gain.
  • slaite1
    slaite1 Posts: 1,309 Member
    Damn. That is an excellent point. You gave me lots to think about. Thanks again!
  • jmule24
    jmule24 Posts: 1,404 Member
    Personally, I would stay at maintenance for 8-12 weeks following a bulk and then decide whether I want to keep recomping or move to a cut. Like usmc said you don't want to negate your hard work.
  • usmcmp
    usmcmp Posts: 21,221 Member
    jmule24 wrote: »
    Personally, I would stay at maintenance for 8-12 weeks following a bulk and then decide whether I want to keep recomping or move to a cut. Like usmc said you don't want to negate your hard work.

    This was similar to what I did. I thought of that time as sort of a chance to recomposition at the slightly increased body fat level. It also gives you a chance to not feel like you are starving when you start cutting.
  • jmule24
    jmule24 Posts: 1,404 Member
    usmcmp wrote: »
    jmule24 wrote: »
    Personally, I would stay at maintenance for 8-12 weeks following a bulk and then decide whether I want to keep recomping or move to a cut. Like usmc said you don't want to negate your hard work.

    This was similar to what I did. I thought of that time as sort of a chance to recomposition at the slightly increased body fat level. It also gives you a chance to not feel like you are starving when you start cutting.

    I learned the hard way; while I didn't lose much if any LBM, I did have the worst hunger pains for the first 2-3 weeks of my last cut. Don't want to do that again!!!
  • usmcmp
    usmcmp Posts: 21,221 Member
    jmule24 wrote: »
    usmcmp wrote: »
    jmule24 wrote: »
    Personally, I would stay at maintenance for 8-12 weeks following a bulk and then decide whether I want to keep recomping or move to a cut. Like usmc said you don't want to negate your hard work.

    This was similar to what I did. I thought of that time as sort of a chance to recomposition at the slightly increased body fat level. It also gives you a chance to not feel like you are starving when you start cutting.

    I learned the hard way; while I didn't lose much if any LBM, I did have the worst hunger pains for the first 2-3 weeks of my last cut. Don't want to do that again!!!

    I tried to jump right into a cut and couldn't do it. I wasn't in a rush, so I figured maintaining wasn't gaining and would help ease into the deficit.
  • slaite1
    slaite1 Posts: 1,309 Member
    usmcmp wrote: »
    jmule24 wrote: »
    Personally, I would stay at maintenance for 8-12 weeks following a bulk and then decide whether I want to keep recomping or move to a cut. Like usmc said you don't want to negate your hard work.

    This was similar to what I did. I thought of that time as sort of a chance to recomposition at the slightly increased body fat level. It also gives you a chance to not feel like you are starving when you start cutting.

    What kind of timeframe were the bulks when you guys did this? Mentally, I would struggle to recomp for a long time if I had put on a significant amount of weight.
  • Brolympus
    Brolympus Posts: 360 Member
    From experience, cut takes roughly 1/2 to 2/3 the amount of time a bulk does. Last cycle I did was bulk June-Feb, then cut Feb to June.
  • usmcmp
    usmcmp Posts: 21,221 Member
    slaite1 wrote: »
    usmcmp wrote: »
    jmule24 wrote: »
    Personally, I would stay at maintenance for 8-12 weeks following a bulk and then decide whether I want to keep recomping or move to a cut. Like usmc said you don't want to negate your hard work.

    This was similar to what I did. I thought of that time as sort of a chance to recomposition at the slightly increased body fat level. It also gives you a chance to not feel like you are starving when you start cutting.

    What kind of timeframe were the bulks when you guys did this? Mentally, I would struggle to recomp for a long time if I had put on a significant amount of weight.

    I started bulking at the beginning of October 2013. I attempted to cut starting in March of this year, but I wasn't able to stick to the deficit (I like food, a lot). I maintained from January to July.
  • slaite1
    slaite1 Posts: 1,309 Member
    Great info. Thanks for the help giys
  • Caged_Heat
    Caged_Heat Posts: 1,031 Member
    This is a great thread! Just sayin.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    I bulked from October to Mid-Feb (so about 4.5 months), gained about 11lbs. Then I maintained for 1.5 months, then I decided to cut for 1 month. Hope that gives you an idea
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,147 Member
    I bulked last year from october to february and then cut from february through July but I think I did my cut wrong. I jumped right into it after bulked and 2100 calories felt like nothing after eating 3000…so I bumped them up a bit from 2100 to 2150 ….

    I cut a pound a week from february to june and then half pound a week from june to end of this month…doing maintenance for August and then back to bulking in september.

    When I run my cut next time, I am going to ease into it more …maybe a month at maintenance then down to 1 pound a week loss for two months and then .5 pound loss or something like that…

  • CarlydogsMom
    CarlydogsMom Posts: 645 Member
    I bulked at 0.5 lbs/week from Oct '14 through April '15, probably totaled about an 11-lb gain, then THOUGHT and INTENDED to cut immediately, and tried for a 1 lb/week loss. Hah. I ended up maintaining, despite efforts to cut, for about two months. It was much tougher than I thought it'd be; the weight just would NOT go down.

    Finally, after kicking into higher gear on my summer biking, I've dropped about 3 pounds. Still cutting, and will cut until bike season is over.

    So when I first started bulking, I was nervous about the gains. But after lifting and seeing such incredible progress in strength, when I started cutting, I wasn't so hell-bent on getting back down as much as I thought I would be. I really didn't care so much about the scale number. Funny how that happens--the scale number just seems to fade away in importance when you find yourself getting stronger.

    I'm still intent on cutting as much as I can this summer, but if I don't get back to where I was....so what.

    I asked my trainer the same question you did, and he said "well, you bulk until you're sick of eating All The Food, and then you cut until you're sick of cutting All The Food," and he's right! In April, I was actually kind of tired of eating so much (and I love all things food!), and I'm quite sure that come fall, I'll be tired of meticulously counting calories and eager shake things up again and pick up on a slow bulk once more.
  • LolBroScience
    LolBroScience Posts: 4,564 Member
    Bulked from January 2014 - April of 2015 (15 months). Have been cutting from the first week of April until now. I'm 2-3 weeks off from my goal weight of 180 lbs and I'll reevaluate what I want to do from there.
  • piperdown44
    piperdown44 Posts: 958 Member
    I put off cutting too late this year. Eh....
    Upcoming plan. Finish my cut through the end of Aug. Maintain for Sept. Start bulk in Oct and run it through until March. Cut April to end of June '16. Maintain for July and Aug '16. Then start again.
  • adawson55510
    adawson55510 Posts: 60 Member
    edited August 2015
    I have been bulking ( i hate that word lol ) from April and will continue until the end of December ive a show on April 25th 2016 that gives me 16 weeks to cut. :)
  • se015
    se015 Posts: 583 Member
    Brolympus wrote: »
    From experience, cut takes roughly 1/2 to 2/3 the amount of time a bulk does. Last cycle I did was bulk June-Feb, then cut Feb to June.

    It's taking me way longer to bulk and I'm seeing lots of progress but id say for any hard gainer don't rush the bulking, if you do everything slowly in time you'll get more superior results rather rushing. For example if you bulk too fast you get fat and if you cut too fast you lose weight but also some muscle and back to square one!