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Cyclical bulking and cutting
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eatthishomie Offline
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Post: #1
Cyclical bulking and cutting
Did a search for threads already started on this and found nothing.

Anyone else doing this?

I'm thinking of doing a cyclical bulk and cut, 4 weeks bulking at a 500cal surplus and 2 weeks of cutting at a 500cal deficit 2-3 times for this bulking season so I can bulk and not put on too much fat.

Anyone had success with this?
09-30-2015 11:26 PM
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Blackwell Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
How much weight are you expecting to gain in 4 weeks?

That is way too short of a period to gain any significant weight or size in my opinion.

You should be looking at 8-12 weeks at least if you want to make any real gains.

Going into a surplus for 4 weeks and then immediately following that with a 2 week deficit? No, not for me. That's just gonna confuse your body and not in a good way.

Muscle gain isn't linear. It comes in spits and spurts.

What I mean by that is you might break down the muscle real nice in weeks 3 and 4, be eating like a truck and then just as your body is ready to go ahead and make those adaptions (grow muscle) you are going to throw yourself into a mini deficit.

It's just not an efficient way to do things.

Unless you are extremely, extremely prone to fatty weight gain. I would suggest you take a bare minimum of 8 weeks for your bulking cycle.

Ideally, bulk hard for at least 12 weeks eating and lifting everything in sight and then assess your progress as to whether you need to cut.

No need to jump the gun here. Stick to the bulk and focus on doing it properly.

Unless you have previous muscle memory, are exceptionally genetically gifted or are juicing then the muscle gains you make in 4 weeks of a surplus are going to be lacking.

If you need to gain weight, gain muscle then get on a proper sustained consistent bulk. If you are concerned about fat and health keep your food choices clean.

But yeah pretty much a 4 week bulk followed by a 2 week cut cycle is a not an efficient way to get results even if you are just looking to body recomp there are better ways.

Ask away if you have anymore questions.
(This post was last modified: 10-01-2015 03:11 AM by Blackwell.)
10-01-2015 03:10 AM
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Rush87 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
Common practice is to dedicate months to gaining. The biggest issue I have found however is the longer the cut the more muscle you potentially lose to trim the fat.

I prefer 8 weeks at a surplus and 4 weeks at a moderate deficit. Personally I have had far superior results to the standard long bulk/cut phases.

I'm also a very experienced long time lifter/athlete. This method has led to my greatest results. From personal experience my body adapts and grows at it's greatest capacity when subject to new shock. By limiting my bulk phase to 8 weeks I have a decent initial progress at the start of each cycle.

Of course you need to experiment a little to see what works best for yourself.
10-01-2015 06:07 AM
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heavy Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
OP need more info, though Blackwell had some good input.

Advice is greatly dependent on you, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
- What's your body type
- Are you genetically gifted (to Blackwell's point, some people get cut within a few weeks)?
- Height and weight. Fluctuations in weight historically?
- Diet?
- Mental discipline (for instance, I don't have it in me to hyper control my diet, but I generally eat healthy)?

I feel this is the bare minimum information to get some solid advice specific to questions like this.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
(This post was last modified: 10-01-2015 11:02 AM by heavy.)
10-01-2015 10:59 AM
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Hades Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
4 week bulk? 2 week cut?

Shit takes more time than that. Russian sports literature pretty much unanimously agrees that the body requires 8-12 weeks to solidify a 'permanent' strength gain, and since the golden rule of losing weight is that you take the time you "think" you should cut and double it (since everyone carries much more bodyfat than they believe they do), I'd go with like a 16 week 'slow bulk' and then maybe six weeks of PSMF.
10-01-2015 09:55 PM
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eatthishomie Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
(10-01-2015 10:59 AM)heavy Wrote:  OP need more info, though Blackwell had some good input.

Advice is greatly dependent on you, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
- What's your body type
- Are you genetically gifted (to Blackwell's point, some people get cut within a few weeks)?
- Height and weight. Fluctuations in weight historically?
- Diet?
- Mental discipline (for instance, I don't have it in me to hyper control my diet, but I generally eat healthy)?

I feel this is the bare minimum information to get some solid advice specific to questions like this.

Body type: ectomorph. tall (6'1) and lanky. surprisingly extremely prone to fat gain. I gained some decent muscle on my last bulk but also got fat as fuck.
Not genetically gifted. Have a hard time with both gaining muscle and getting cut (although I aggravated an old shoulder injury at the beginning of the summer and that stopped my last cut in its tracks as I recovered).
6'1" 225lbs, 25% bf. Weight has been as low as 160 (pre-lifting, when I was riding bikes 15+ miles a day) and as high as 265 (end of my last bulk).
Diet: mostly clean but could cut down on sugar more (although most of my sugar intake these days comes from fruit, and in particular pomegranate juice) and be less reliant on Quest bars and protein powder.
Mental discipline: enough to go to the gym 3-6 times a week depending on my current split and avoid agribusiness foodstuffs for the most part. could admittedly be a bit better in this area. I'm particularly prone to skipping cardio days - lifting is no problem for me.

Also, I can't bench or OHP anymore due to the aforementioned old shoulder injury, my chest workouts these days consist of dumbbell floor presses and weighted push-ups (flat, decline, and incline), but I do what I can in the gym other than that.
10-02-2015 03:42 AM
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Hannibal Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
If at all possible, you need to get your shoulder fixed. I can recommend a couple of exercises and stretches but I don't know what you did and I'm not a doctor.

You're going to gain some fat during a bulk, it's inevitable. If you're prone to fat gain, you're just going to have to keep better track of your calories and hopefully find that optimal level where you're still gaining weight, but fat gain is at a minimum. 500 calories is just a rough guess for most people, some folks are just more anabolic than others.

I don't recommend high amounts of any kind of sugar and that includes fruit. Fructose in particular is more readily converted into fat.

What does your sleep schedule look like? I know a couple guys who only sleep 5 hours a night (they still go to the gym most every day) and their physiques go nowhere.

“I have a very simple rule when it comes to management: hire the best people from your competitors, pay them more than they were earning, and give them bonuses and incentives based on their performance. That’s how you build a first-class operation.”
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10-02-2015 06:10 AM
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Blackwell Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
I'm with Hannibal.

Don't allow that shoulder injury to deteriorate further and don't settle for physical limitation either.

Get yourself some Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate to kickstart the healing process. This supplement will help your body produce synovial fluid to lubricate the joint and the collagen will help to repair existing damage to the ligaments, tendons etc.

Start deep tissue massaging the affected area with a lacrosse/baseball or anything similar. Really work it in there until it hurts and hold it there. This will help to clear any existing scar tissue.

If it is your rotator cuff, take a few weeks off, get some Turmeric to help the body fight off inflammation and then return to the gym but add some basic rotator cuff strengthening exercises.
10-02-2015 10:42 AM
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Post: #9
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
Why not stay at a weight you like and get fit for year round.

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10-02-2015 11:45 AM
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eatthishomie Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
It's a bankart lesion from a dislocation. None of the multiple orthopedists I've seen think surgery will help (will still have the same limitations). It's mostly better, I don't feel pain from it often, but it's still there and certain exercises aggravate it.

I do stretches and rotator cuff exercises regularly and supplement with fish oil, glucosamine, bromelain, and super cissus. Will look into collagen hydrolyesate, turmeric, and deep tissue massage.

I sleep 6-8 hours a night. I'll definitely need to get 8 hours more consistently during bulking season.
10-02-2015 01:05 PM
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Kieran Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
(10-02-2015 11:45 AM)rudebwoy Wrote:  Why not stay at a weight you like and get fit for year round.

I agree with this. From my own experiences, and from what I've seen in the gym over the years, most naturals lose nearly all the mass and strength they gain on a bulk once they strip off all the fat anyway. You also raise the likelihood and severity of stretch marks for what it's worth.

After the first few years it gets pretty damn hard to add muscle for most people, and eating a huge amount doesn't really work to circumvent your body's natural hormonal and structural limitations, you just spend a lot of money on food and have to wear bigger trousers.
10-02-2015 03:32 PM
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heavy Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
(10-02-2015 03:32 PM)Kieran Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 11:45 AM)rudebwoy Wrote:  Why not stay at a weight you like and get fit for year round.

I agree with this. From my own experiences, and from what I've seen in the gym over the years, most naturals lose nearly all the mass and strength they gain on a bulk once they strip off all the fat anyway. You also raise the likelihood and severity of stretch marks for what it's worth.

After the first few years it gets pretty damn hard to add muscle for most people, and eating a huge amount doesn't really work to circumvent your body's natural hormonal and structural limitations, you just spend a lot of money on food and have to wear bigger trousers.

I second, though as stated above, I don't know how easy or difficult this is for other people.

I'm in my 30s and still about 5 pounds more than my high school weight. I'm not into cutting and/or bulking (tho I've always had an athletic build). I just consistently lift and try to push myself, but I'm not trying to set any records. I look good and am happy about it.

Again, I plead ignorance as to whether that would work for everyone, but it seems like it would be the most consistently effective way for your average joe. I have more things to think about than bulk/cut cycles. I'd beat myself up too much.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
10-02-2015 03:42 PM
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Hannibal Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
(10-02-2015 01:05 PM)eatthishomie Wrote:  It's a bankart lesion from a dislocation. None of the multiple orthopedists I've seen think surgery will help (will still have the same limitations). It's mostly better, I don't feel pain from it often, but it's still there and certain exercises aggravate it.

I do stretches and rotator cuff exercises regularly and supplement with fish oil, glucosamine, bromelain, and super cissus. Will look into collagen hydrolyesate, turmeric, and deep tissue massage.

I sleep 6-8 hours a night. I'll definitely need to get 8 hours more consistently during bulking season.

I'm just googling shit but I found this. You said you're doing rotator cuff exercises though so you probably already know about this one.

[Image: figure3.gif]

Also, consistent sleep is very important if you're bulking. A lot of the big dudes from history slept anywhere from 8 to 10 hours a night. As a natural, consistent sleep is paramount.

As far as joint repair, you could try Chaos and Pain's Helios. I like Chaos and Pain products.

Quote:No one at Chaos and Pain wants to be that guy, and we don't want you to either, which is why we've formulated the strongest anti-inflammatory / joint support supplement on the market. Time to stop pouring a bottle of ibuprofin down your throat every day and get on board the anti-pain train with Olympus Helios, which is jam-packed with anti-inflammatory, pain reducing, joint health-improving ingredient we could throw into it. These are the best joint supplements for weight lifting on the market.

So, what is going to hit you faster than micronized acetominophen and last far longer, too? How about a blend of Essential Amino Acids (Lysine, Methionine, Threonine, Phenylalanine, and Tryptophan), Microlactin, Cissus, Vitamin C, Curcumin, Astagaloside Extract, Bromelain, 5-HTP, Betaine, Choline, Piperine, Silicon, and Vitamin K1, which combine to wash over you like a thousand tiny fairy hands, massaging away your pain.

“I have a very simple rule when it comes to management: hire the best people from your competitors, pay them more than they were earning, and give them bonuses and incentives based on their performance. That’s how you build a first-class operation.”
― Donald J. Trump

If you want some PDF's on bodyweight exercise with little to no equipment, send me a PM and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
10-02-2015 04:04 PM
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Ingocnito Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
This year, not only don't I have the time or resources to hit the bulk cycle hard, 4 years of dicking with bulking and cutting has got to the the final conclusion that unless I'm going to get very serious and compete on stage, I don't care to anymore. I'm 232 now. My lowest throughout the year will be about 228, and most I've ever bulked to was 260 << meat head beast mode.

The added stress, joint damage, etc, it's just not worth it to me. I'm shooting to slowly get back up to 235-237, with the mirror being more important ultimately than my weight. But at 235-240 I look my best, no need to exceed that ever again.
10-02-2015 05:43 PM
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eatthishomie Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
Yeah internal rotations are a staple. They were part of my rehab from the original dislocation and I kept up with them, now I do them on a cable machine at the end of my push day along with internal adductions and external rotations. Good looking out though, thanks regardless.

I'll probably stop bulking and cutting at some point and just maintain but for now I want to put on some more size (on my arms particularly) and I still have a good amount of body fat to lose.
10-03-2015 04:00 PM
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H1N1 Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
Some good stuff in here.

It is my belief that the idea of cutting and bulking is up there with the most unhelpful ideas in fitness. The whole notion of eating a '500 calorie surplus' is completely absurd when you stop to think about it. The whole point about attempting to gain muscle is not to eat any surplus at all, since a surplus implies that you are eating beyond what you need to support your activity level. A 500 calorie surplus translates to roughly 1lb of fat each week. There is no secret gain that comes from eating more than you need to, and I believe it is largely pushed as a concept to enable people to justify their shitty eating habits and mediocre gains.

The other thing that the whole cutting and bulking thing doesn't take into account is that building appreciable muscle mass takes YEARS to do for the trainee with normal genetics. Consequently, whatever your approach, you need to accept that it may be 2-4 years before you even start to look impressive. In the meantime, would you rather be a fat fucker, or lean and athletic?

It is essential that you eat enough to support your training goals, and because of that it is better to eat slightly too much than to eat too little, but this is NOT bulking in the sense you are talking about, OP. If you want to put on muscle, then you should also be resigned to putting on some fat. However, it would be FAR better if you could make the 'surplus' as close to 0 calories as possible, allowing you to continue the growth process for as long as possible without becoming disgusted by your own appearance. Ideally, you would eat at such a small surplus that you would only put on a few lbs of fat over the course of a year.

Strikeback has an excellent post on this in this subforum.
10-05-2015 09:29 AM
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heavy Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
It seems we've gradually shut down the initial OP, as he had a specific question on bulking and cutting.

Having done a quick search for other threads on the forum, it seems many here are not in favor of diametric cutting and bulking cycles. That said, below are some threads may offer some guidance on the subject:

- Losing muscle while cutting

- Fret's Intermittent Fasting Journey

- Is it possible to make huge strength gains on a super-low volume routine?

- Try the bodybuilding forums. If you're serious and focused enough to be doing cutting and bulking cycles, you're probably already familiar with the site.

A friend of mine got into bodybuilding just out of college for a bit. I know one thing he said..."Lotsa broccoli".

Personally, I eat really healthy at home (high protein and veggies, not too much fat, low carbs), and generally stick to those principles when I'm out (eat before going out or...sushi, or no fries with the burger, sometimes only half of the bun, pizza occasionally, generally watch bread intake). It's surprising how much that improved my overall diet.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
10-05-2015 11:59 AM
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StrikeBack Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Cyclical bulking and cutting
I wouldn't stay in any caloric deficit more than 8 weeks in a row, as you will start to lose strength and damage your metabolism if you go beyond that.

I wrote a thread recently on getting leaner and stronger at the same time: https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-49176.html

I didn't really mention bulking in there, but for bulking I'd up protein intake and increase training volume and rep counts, while keeping overall calorie about the same. I also limit this to about 8 weeks as well. However, I already have good muscle mass for my height and build and don't intend to gain too much. If you want to put on more mass, you can go 12 weeks. Lean gain should be slow, so you can maintain your new desired body composition. No point getting better only for a short while...

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10-06-2015 01:46 AM
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