Is cut or bulk just personal preference?

I’ve been lifting for 6 months and started to do more reading about how to eat to maximize results. Then I came across about bulking / cutting? How do you know which one to do?
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Replies

  • Davidsdottir
    Davidsdottir Posts: 1,295 Member
    You bulk when you're lean and ready to gain muscle (and fat). You cut when you're fluffy to lose the fat.
  • Catia335
    Catia335 Posts: 17 Member
    Ok! Thanks for reply. I guess I need to decide where to go from here! Maybe I’ll try to see if I can estimate my body fat tonight.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,754 Member
    edited June 2018
    For a guy, you'd want to be around 10% or less BF before bulking...I'd say 12% tops, but I think that's pushing it. For one thing, when your lean, your hormonally primed to put on muscle...when you have more fat, you're just going to accumulate more fat. You're going to put on fat anyway, so you want to start off as lean as you can to maximize the length of your bulk before you need to cut the fluff.

    IDK for a female...but I'd say likely sub 20% BF...Probably around 18% before bulking.
  • Catia335
    Catia335 Posts: 17 Member
    I’m guessing according to that I may want to cut? I just don’t know my body fat percentage currently. I’m flexing in my profile pic so that prob doesn’t help. Lol
  • Davidsdottir
    Davidsdottir Posts: 1,295 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    For a guy, you'd want to be around 10% or less BF before bulking...I'd say 12% tops, but I think that's pushing it. For one thing, when your lean, your hormonally primed to put on muscle...when you have more fat, you're just going to accumulate more fat. You're going to put on fat anyway, so you want to start off as lean as you can to maximize the length of your bulk before you need to cut the fluff.

    IDK for a female...but I'd say likely sub 20% BF...Probably around 18% before bulking.

    I'm usually between 16-18% when I start bulking.
  • Davidsdottir
    Davidsdottir Posts: 1,295 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    For a guy, you'd want to be around 10% or less BF before bulking...I'd say 12% tops, but I think that's pushing it. For one thing, when your lean, your hormonally primed to put on muscle...when you have more fat, you're just going to accumulate more fat. You're going to put on fat anyway, so you want to start off as lean as you can to maximize the length of your bulk before you need to cut the fluff.

    IDK for a female...but I'd say likely sub 20% BF...Probably around 18% before bulking.

    I'm usually between 16-18% when I start bulking.

    ETA: OP, you look fantastic now.
  • Catia335
    Catia335 Posts: 17 Member
    Wow 16-18%. Don’t think I’m that low?? Haha! Thanks! It’s def the best I’ve ever looked! Probably why I’m struggling trying to figure out where to go next ya know?
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,754 Member
    Wow 16-18%. Don’t think I’m that low?? Haha! Thanks! It’s def the best I’ve ever looked! Probably why I’m struggling trying to figure out where to go next ya know?

    You have visible abs which would indicate that you're pretty lean.
  • Catia335
    Catia335 Posts: 17 Member
    Huh ok. Sorry if this is all basic stuff. I’m a mom of 3 kids 3 and under. I lift in my basement at night and just follow what I read online. But I’m not around other lifters ever so I’m pretty newbie to this whole world.
  • mom23mangos
    mom23mangos Posts: 3,071 Member
    I would say you are definitely lean enough.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,754 Member
    Huh ok. Sorry if this is all basic stuff. I’m a mom of 3 kids 3 and under. I lift in my basement at night and just follow what I read online. But I’m not around other lifters ever so I’m pretty newbie to this whole world.

    Visible abs are usually a good indicator of leanness. A guy will typically have visible abs at 10% or less BF...so a pretty good indicator that you could run a bulk cycle if you wanted to.
  • Catia335
    Catia335 Posts: 17 Member
    Ok, good to know! I wasn’t sure if flexing counted! But that makes sense and makes me happy. Cuz I like to eat and I really want to keep progressing with my lifts! Thank you!
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    I would say if you feel lean enough..you can see visible definition, you don't feel like you have too many problem areas, and you are comfortable enough to put on weight, even some fat,.. then you are likely ready to bulk. I don't track my bodyfat% in terms of an actual number but I just know when I am lean enough.

  • pinggolfer96
    pinggolfer96 Posts: 2,255 Member
    What does the mirror say?
  • Davidsdottir
    Davidsdottir Posts: 1,295 Member
    Huh ok. Sorry if this is all basic stuff. I’m a mom of 3 kids 3 and under. I lift in my basement at night and just follow what I read online. But I’m not around other lifters ever so I’m pretty newbie to this whole world.

    OMG I'm so jealous. Honestly, your body is #goals for me!
  • Catia335
    Catia335 Posts: 17 Member
    Huh ok. Sorry if this is all basic stuff. I’m a mom of 3 kids 3 and under. I lift in my basement at night and just follow what I read online. But I’m not around other lifters ever so I’m pretty newbie to this whole world.

    OMG I'm so jealous. Honestly, your body is #goals for me!

    Well that’s the best compliment ever! Thank you!
  • ocman57
    ocman57 Posts: 12 Member
    <Kdyer242017> What does your diet look like?
  • 100_PROOF_
    100_PROOF_ Posts: 1,168 Member
    ocman57 wrote: »
    <Kdyer242017> What does your diet look like?

    What would it matter in terms of the conversation at hand?
  • ocman57
    ocman57 Posts: 12 Member
    Well, she should know how to eat, whether she's cutting or lean bulking...
  • 100_PROOF_
    100_PROOF_ Posts: 1,168 Member
    ocman57 wrote: »
    Well, she should know how to eat, whether she's cutting or lean bulking...

    It would come down to personal preference as to the foods she picked.
    Calories are what matter for cutting and bulking.
    She doesn't mention her stats so there's no way to provide her with accurate calorie adjustments for each besides she didn't ask.
    The foods she eats or way of eating she prefers is totally irrelevant to the question at hand.