Any cons of bulking and cutting at heavier body fat % than the 10-12% to 15-17% body fat?

fb47
fb47 Posts: 1,058 Member
So I have naturally thin wrists to the point that when I lean down to 10-12% body fat, although it's cool to see muscle definition and 6 pack abs without a shirt on...with a shirt on, I don't look like I lift. Of course, when I have a higher body fat, I look more massive with a shirt....of course without a shirt, there's little definition and I actually don't mind that because I am rarely shirtless.

So instead of bulking and cutting from 10-12% to 15-17% body fat that many experts recommend, I was thinking maybe of ending my cut at 13-14% body fat and ending my bulk somewhere around 18-20% body fat simply because visually I prefer looking more muscular with a shirt on than sporting a six pack.

Now my question, if I decide to do that, is there really any cons health wise in doing that?? If I am not mistaken, 18-20% body fat is actually considered a normal body fat percentage for men, so therefore going that high than what is recommended shouldn't be an issue,right?

Replies

  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,357 Member
    A good read from Lyle on P-ratio and how it affects bulking: https://bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/initial-body-fat-and-body-composition-changes.html/
  • Keto_Vampire
    Keto_Vampire Posts: 1,679 Member
    edited August 2018
    Age old dilemma. I think overall for the long term, you might want to focus on bringing up mass for the upper back thickness + width/traps/shoulders (not easy) to look more filled out @ lower bodyfat%; magic ingredients include time, patience, training stimulus (upping freq., possibly volume, hypertrophy overall), & lots of food.

    There is a youtuber (alphadestiny who focuses a LOT on this area, by no means any expert; take everything with a grain of salt (lots of broscience)). That being said, creating an illusion with clothing choices/particular cuts/styles can be helpful. Layering shirts is helpful too
  • fb47
    fb47 Posts: 1,058 Member
    edited August 2018
    AnvilHead wrote: »

    So if I understood correctly (correct me if I'm wrong), he doesn't recommend I go above the 15% body fat. It was hard for me to completely understand the whole thing, but I think I understood that above 15%, the fat cells accelerate beyond that point.
  • moogie_fit
    moogie_fit Posts: 279 Member
    fb47 wrote: »
    So I have naturally thin wrists to the point that when I lean down to 10-12% body fat, although it's cool to see muscle definition and 6 pack abs without a shirt on...with a shirt on, I don't look like I lift. Of course, when I have a higher body fat, I look more massive with a shirt....of course without a shirt, there's little definition and I actually don't mind that because I am rarely shirtless.

    So instead of bulking and cutting from 10-12% to 15-17% body fat that many experts recommend, I was thinking maybe of ending my cut at 13-14% body fat and ending my bulk somewhere around 18-20% body fat simply because visually I prefer looking more muscular with a shirt on than sporting a six pack.

    Now my question, if I decide to do that, is there really any cons health wise in doing that?? If I am not mistaken, 18-20% body fat is actually considered a normal body fat percentage for men, so therefore going that high than what is recommended shouldn't be an issue,right?

    How are you measuring body fat? You may be lower than your scale or other method is really telling you
  • fb47
    fb47 Posts: 1,058 Member
    edited August 2018
    moogie_fit wrote: »
    fb47 wrote: »
    So I have naturally thin wrists to the point that when I lean down to 10-12% body fat, although it's cool to see muscle definition and 6 pack abs without a shirt on...with a shirt on, I don't look like I lift. Of course, when I have a higher body fat, I look more massive with a shirt....of course without a shirt, there's little definition and I actually don't mind that because I am rarely shirtless.

    So instead of bulking and cutting from 10-12% to 15-17% body fat that many experts recommend, I was thinking maybe of ending my cut at 13-14% body fat and ending my bulk somewhere around 18-20% body fat simply because visually I prefer looking more muscular with a shirt on than sporting a six pack.

    Now my question, if I decide to do that, is there really any cons health wise in doing that?? If I am not mistaken, 18-20% body fat is actually considered a normal body fat percentage for men, so therefore going that high than what is recommended shouldn't be an issue,right?

    How are you measuring body fat? You may be lower than your scale or other method is really telling you

    visual estimation, I estimate (picture on the right) to be in the 10-12% body fat, but you can be the judge. You can also see my thin wrists. I know that I am not below that, last year I went down to 155 lbs and I was able to see some veins near my abs, I knew back then I was below 10%. Not this time around (I stopped cutting at 160)
    7osu4fabs4hb.jpg
  • moogie_fit
    moogie_fit Posts: 279 Member
    Ok so I just read the Lyle McDonald article. I think that you should take it with a grain of salt. Unless you are thinking of competing anytime soon (reason to keep body fat very low) then you should do what do what makes you feel the best and most confident..

    I like the saying "bulk till you hate yourself, cut till you hate your life".
  • fb47
    fb47 Posts: 1,058 Member
    moogie_fit wrote: »
    Ok so I just read the Lyle McDonald article. I think that you should take it with a grain of salt. Unless you are thinking of competing anytime soon (reason to keep body fat very low) then you should do what do what makes you feel the best and most confident..

    I like the saying "bulk till you hate yourself, cut till you hate your life".

    Oh I have no doubt, but question was just regarding health, if there were any cons of bulking and cutting at higher body fat.
  • moogie_fit
    moogie_fit Posts: 279 Member
    fb47 wrote: »
    moogie_fit wrote: »
    Ok so I just read the Lyle McDonald article. I think that you should take it with a grain of salt. Unless you are thinking of competing anytime soon (reason to keep body fat very low) then you should do what do what makes you feel the best and most confident..

    I like the saying "bulk till you hate yourself, cut till you hate your life".

    Oh I have no doubt, but question was just regarding health, if there were any cons of bulking and cutting at higher body fat.

    LMFAO it's probably BETTER for you imo
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,357 Member
    fb47 wrote: »
    moogie_fit wrote: »
    Ok so I just read the Lyle McDonald article. I think that you should take it with a grain of salt. Unless you are thinking of competing anytime soon (reason to keep body fat very low) then you should do what do what makes you feel the best and most confident..

    I like the saying "bulk till you hate yourself, cut till you hate your life".

    Oh I have no doubt, but question was just regarding health, if there were any cons of bulking and cutting at higher body fat.

    You're talking a few percentage points difference on either end - I couldn't foresee any actual health risks to it. Just that you run the chance of putting on more fat than you wanted to and will have to cut a little longer/harder to get rid of it at the end of the bulk. As you said, if you're planning on stopping your bulk at 18-20%, it's not like you're fattening yourself up into morbid obesity or anything.
  • fb47
    fb47 Posts: 1,058 Member
    edited August 2018
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    fb47 wrote: »
    moogie_fit wrote: »
    Ok so I just read the Lyle McDonald article. I think that you should take it with a grain of salt. Unless you are thinking of competing anytime soon (reason to keep body fat very low) then you should do what do what makes you feel the best and most confident..

    I like the saying "bulk till you hate yourself, cut till you hate your life".

    Oh I have no doubt, but question was just regarding health, if there were any cons of bulking and cutting at higher body fat.

    You're talking a few percentage points difference on either end - I couldn't foresee any actual health risks to it. Just that you run the chance of putting on more fat than you wanted to and will have to cut a little longer/harder to get rid of it at the end of the bulk. As you said, if you're planning on stopping your bulk at 18-20%, it's not like you're fattening yourself up into morbid obesity or anything.

    Well technically doing 14-19% bf range is still technically a 5% bf difference just like 10-15% body fat would be, so the cut wouldn't be that long, it would be the same amount of time.
  • Laces918
    Laces918 Posts: 36 Member
    Buy smaller shirts.. jk jk. 💪💪
  • StargazerB
    StargazerB Posts: 427 Member
    The thing to do would be to get a physical and labs now for a baseline and then get them rechecked at the higher bf %.
  • jseams1234
    jseams1234 Posts: 1,202 Member
    I bulk the same way OP. Not particularly because of aesthetics (although I do agree with you and feel the same) but mostly because I've noticed my joints - particularly my elbows and shoulders get real crunchy when I get too lean. I'm always fighting tendonitis and the leaner I get the more pronounced my symptoms become. I'm most comfortable cutting to 13%-15% and bulking to 20%.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    I don't measure my bodyfat.. I just know when I get too lean. Bones are visible, glutes look flat, I lose my curves, too vascular (for me).. and most of all I start to look worse. If I feel like I look worse as I lose that tells me it is time for me to throw in the towel and start gaining. I don't argue with it.

    I've heard nutrient partitioning can take some affect if you aren't as lean (although I've also seen some debate about this and how it's overstated), but I think it's more about feeling comfortable enough to gain. If you are comfortable and feel lean enough, I'd say go for it. Especially since you are running very lean slow bulks at this point.
  • fb47
    fb47 Posts: 1,058 Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    I don't measure my bodyfat.. I just know when I get too lean. Bones are visible, glutes look flat, I lose my curves, too vascular (for me).. and most of all I start to look worse. If I feel like I look worse as I lose that tells me it is time for me to throw in the towel and start gaining. I don't argue with it.

    I've heard nutrient partitioning can take some affect if you aren't as lean (although I've also seen some debate about this and how it's overstated), but I think it's more about feeling comfortable enough to gain. If you are comfortable and feel lean enough, I'd say go for it. Especially since you are running very lean slow bulks at this point.

    I don't measure my body fat either, I just go by my pictures updates and I can tell what my body fat is. I am comfortable being heavier, but like I said, I just wanted to make sure there's no negative impact on my health if I bulk and cut in the 13-14% to 18-20% body fat range. If there's no issue, I would simply do that without hesitation.
  • pbryd
    pbryd Posts: 365 Member
    Like with any fitness advice, I think it's important to consider who is this advice aimed at.

    If you're competing then it makes sense to bulk at the lower end (10%-15%) so you don't get too far from your stage weight.

    For general trainees, allowing your bf% to creep higher probably isn't to make a difference.
  • fb47
    fb47 Posts: 1,058 Member
    pbryd wrote: »
    Like with any fitness advice, I think it's important to consider who is this advice aimed at.

    If you're competing then it makes sense to bulk at the lower end (10%-15%) so you don't get too far from your stage weight.

    For general trainees, allowing your bf% to creep higher probably isn't to make a difference.

    Good, then makes my decision easier....heavier it is.
  • mom23mangos
    mom23mangos Posts: 3,072 Member
    As others mentioned, there is no health risk for going higher. It's your body, so you should do what makes you comfortable and how you feel you look best. But I just hope you don't have any body dysmorphia going on because you do not look small in your pics at all. You look great. You seem hyper-focused on your wrists and they look perfectly normal and proportioned to me. Since you are looking more for how you fill out clothes, keep in mind that you may have difficulty finding proper fitting shirts and suits without having to get them custom tailored at a higher BF with more muscle. Either way I'm sure you will look great!
  • fb47
    fb47 Posts: 1,058 Member
    As others mentioned, there is no health risk for going higher. It's your body, so you should do what makes you comfortable and how you feel you look best. But I just hope you don't have any body dysmorphia going on because you do not look small in your pics at all. You look great. You seem hyper-focused on your wrists and they look perfectly normal and proportioned to me. Since you are looking more for how you fill out clothes, keep in mind that you may have difficulty finding proper fitting shirts and suits without having to get them custom tailored at a higher BF with more muscle. Either way I'm sure you will look great!

    Thanks. Well at 10-12% body fat and with a shirt on, the thin wrists combined with a small waste does give me the impression of looking and feeling small.....It could also be because before I started to lift 5 years ago, I used to be a really skinny guy. Nonetheless, I feel more comfortable when I am heavier and my goal is to always feel comfortable which is why I want to stick at heavier weight. With that said, I do recognize that I have body disphormia, but as long as I am in the range of a healthy body fat or at least normal, I'm fine with that.
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,357 Member
    fb47 wrote: »
    ...but as long as I am in the range of a healthy body fat or at least normal, I'm fine with that.

    Safe assumption IMO. Perhaps even a little better in some ways than being extremely lean.