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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.
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?
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.
Here’s my answer to the question, should you bulk or cut before building muscle?:
In other words, lose fat first by following a body recomposition workout program like 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.
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 %:
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.
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:
Now I’m interested in your experiences with bulking or cutting.
In the comment section below, let me know:
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.
30 responses to “Should You Bulk Or Cut Before Building Muscle?”
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They were still laughing!
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.
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.
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.
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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.
The only BULK experiences I have encountered is when I go to Costco and buy in bulk, LOL!!!
By the way, you may want to check my blog today, YOU ARE MENTIONED!!! 😉
“Check your blog today”?…damn girl it’s the first thing I do every morning. We’ll celebrate the FRAMAZING nominations in a few months.
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.
Yeah, and you are giving us some great info to do just that. 🙂
@missmariebradford hi Marie. thanks for watching.
@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.
@jozy1k with the right diet, workout program, and lifestyle you can get rid of your belly.
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?
Brad can u do a vid for teenagers exercising, losing weight bulking in high school..
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?
You’re awesome! Great info, never tried either bulking or cuting, only eating lean! Thank you, you gorgeous man! ;P
I love your very short(which I like) comments on all topics of being fit. Keep them coming.