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Should You Bulk Or Cut Before Building Muscle?

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Bulking Or Cutting First? Here’s The Healthy Way

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, it’s time to answer one of the most asked questions, should you bulk or cut before building muscle?

In other words, what comes first, a bulk or cut?

First off, I’ve been consistently training for approximately 10 years and I have never done a typical bulk phase.

Sure I’ve cut for projects to get photoshoot ready, but I consistently stay lean, under 9% body fat, 365 days a year.

How To Lean Out And Get Photoshoot Ready in 7 Days

Some people in the industry say it’s impossible to maintain that level of leanness all year.

What do I think about it being impossible?

Just no.

Consistency, hard work, and following the right workout and diet plan make Living Lean possible.

Regardless of where you stand on the matter, if you’re going to do a bulk or cut phase with your training, in my opinion, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. 

Should You Bulk Or Cut Before Building Muscle?

Here’s my answer to the question, should you bulk or cut before building muscle?:

  1. Cut first.
  2. Bulk next.

In other words, lose fat first by following a body recomposition workout program like Live Lean Afterburn 2.0.

Live Lean Afterburn 2.0

Then focus on adding quality muscle next, by following a lean muscle building program like Live Lean MASS 2.0.

Here’s the problem I have with bulking first

If you follow a traditional bulking strategy, you put yourself at a higher risk of increasing your number of fat cells, in addition to those you already have. 

Once you add new fat cells, you can shrink them, but you may never be able to get rid of them again.

Your first goal before bulking is to get your body fat %:

  • below 10% for males
  • below 20% for females

Important: if you train properly, you will reduce your body fat %, but the most important factor is your diet.

Here are the best healthy foods to bulk up without adding belly fat.

How to your reduce body fat % without starving yourself

The fastest way to reduce your body fat % without starving yourself, is to be in a small 300-500 daily calorie deficit, by lowering the amount of calories from carbohydrates.

Then replace those carbohydrate calories by increasing your intake of good sources of healthy fat such as:

8 Fatty Foods That Make You Skinny


Now I’m interested in your experiences with bulking or cutting.

In the comment section below, let me know:

  • Have you ever tried to bulk or cut?
  • If so, what were your results with the bulk and cut approach?

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Question For You:

  • Have you ever tried to bulk or cut?
  • If so, what were your results?

Be sure to share your answers in the comment section below.

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30 responses to “Should You Bulk Or Cut Before Building Muscle?

  1. To people who want to burn pounds–but can’t get started. Just Go and Google Fat Blast Lifestyle right away.

  2. if you dudes are looking for to get ripped immediately without spending a single another minute in the gym, then you should look at this online video SIXPP.COM

    [Hermes addresses Prometheus :] To you, the clever and crafty, bitter beyond all bitterness, who has sinned against the gods in bestowing honors upon creatures of a day–to you, thief of fire, I

  3. They laughed when I told them I would bulk up with “Smashing Ripped X”, but then I showed them the results. Go Google Smashing Ripped X to see their reaction.

  4. I never cut. I was underweight. Height 172cm, weight 51kg. Then I follow decided to gain weight using bodybuilding style(which I believe is the fastest way to gain muscle mass) and eating consistently and taking mass gainer. Now I am 63kg and aiming to hit 75kg before starting the cutting phase.

  5. Is it possible to lift weight and build lean muscle while losing fat at the same time? I eat healthy and try to build lean muscle. My reps are at in the 12-15 range, depending on which excerise I do.

  6. That is very attention-grabbing, You’re a very professional blogger. I have joined your feed and stay up for in quest of more of your magnificent post. Additionally, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks

  7. Simple clear advice there brad! I know people might disagree with you. It’s great to hear the conviction you have from your own experiences.

  8. Shannon, I am a free beahcbody coach and I can help you lose weight for free and give you all the support and help you need just like I do with other ladies.

  9. @shannon2005100 hi Shannon, in your circumstance i’d focus on lifting weights in circuit format with short breaks. That way you’ll be burning a lot of calories and helping build lean muscle. The “bulking” aspect is more for people looking to primarily add a lot of muscle faster (without too much concern for adding fat). Check out my Live Lean Afterburn 12 week program. It would be a perfect style program for you.

  10. @jozy1k with the right diet, workout program, and lifestyle you can get rid of your belly.

  11. Yikes, when you say I might never be able to lose the fat cells again, does that mean, that the belly I’m trying to get rid of won’t disappear, but merely shrink?

  12. I have irritable bowel movement so I can’t poop much when I want, can that slow down my fat loss or even make me gain?

  13. You’re awesome! Great info, never tried either bulking or cuting, only eating lean! Thank you, you gorgeous man! ;P

  14. I love your very short(which I like) comments on all topics of being fit. Keep them coming.

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