Muscle for life

Should You Cut or Bulk? A Simple Science-Based Answer

Should You Cut or Bulk? A Simple Science-Based Answer

If you want to know whether you should “cut” (focus on losing fat) or “bulk” (focus on gaining muscle), then you want to listen to this episode.

You probably know what kind of physique you want, but you’re not quite sure how to best get there.

My guess is you want to be lean, strong, and muscular, and you’re struggling to understand the next immediate steps.

Should you “bulk” and focus on gaining muscle as quickly as possible, or should you “cut” and strip some fat and then bulk?

Well, both bulking and cutting have pros and cons.

Bulking adds both lean mass (yay) and body fat (boo), and cutting unveils your abs (hooray) but stunts muscle growth (hiss).

Furthermore, many people discover that they look a lot smaller after a successful cut than they anticipated. Maybe, then, they should just bulk for as long it takes to get the size they want and then go on a long cut to show it off?

Well, this is the dilemma that makes for a fitness purgatory of sorts where you don’t really commit to one strategy or another and thus stagnate in terms of progress.

In this episode, you’re going to learn how to avoid this pitfall entirely, and it starts with answering the question on your mind:

Should you cut or bulk?

As you’ll find out, the answer depends mostly on your current body fat percentage.

The long story short is if your body fat percentage is too high, your number-one priority should be getting lean, not gaining muscle, and if it’s relatively low, then you should focus on gaining muscle, not getting even leaner.

And by the end of this episode, you’ll understand why.

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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  • Do you have any tips or guidelines for cutting while breastfeeding?

    • I wouldn’t really advise cutting while breastfeeding.

  • Dave Turbide

    Very helpful. Thank you.

  • Andrew Belov

    Is,cutting and,bulking necessary im having good gains in weight on the 5 day plan at 1 gram protein per lb bodyweight and 1.5 carbs and 13% bf

    • Once you surpass the newbie phase, cutting and bulking is the most efficient way to improve your overall body composition. Regardless, if you’re getting stronger, you’re on the right track 🙂

  • Ar Ra

    Mike, I get macros and the cutting explanation you gave. My question is this. I have done intermittent fasting in the past. If I want to cut (I’m at 18.6% bf now and 156 pounds at 5’9″), can I just eat whatever my TDEE is (it’s about 2350) 6 days out of the week and then do a 36 hour fast (including sleep time)? Per my calculations that would be like eating an an avg of 1920 calories a day, which is what I would probably have to eat daily to cut. OR, do I have to eat the cutting amount of calories every day? Hope my question makes sense.

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