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    Question Skinny Fat- Cut/Bulk Confusion

    I’m 19 years old, after losing 52 pounds through exercise and nutrition I feel stuck in a skinny fat stage.

    I’m 5’4” 117 pounds.

    My macros currently are 118g protein, 145g carbs, 45g fat. Goal calories are around 1700 but usually eat close to 1600ish.

    I haven’t seen much change in my body fat levels dropping dramatically. It’s been 100 days since I started the cut.
    I saw a post a long time ago saying someone with similar body fat levels should bulk and then cut later. What should I do?

    Any nutritional/diet tips?
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    Instead of thinking about cutting or bulking, think about making consistent progress on a good routine while eating enough to make that happen.
    Recommended science based fitness & nutrition information:
    Alan Aragon https://alanaragon.com/
    Brad Schoenfeld http://www.lookgreatnaked.com/
    James Krieger https://weightology.net/
    Jorn Trommelen http://www.nutritiontactics.com/
    Eric Helms & Team3DMJ https://3dmusclejourney.com/
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Instead of thinking about cutting or bulking, think about making consistent progress on a good routine while eating enough to make that happen.
    Constant progress regarding losing fat? My ultimate goal is to gain muscle but i can’t do that in a caloric deficit while losing fat.

    That’s where I’m stuck mentally, do I keep the deficit going to lose the remaining fat? Or do I eat in a small deficit in order to maintain muscle?
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    Originally Posted by jslivs24 View Post
    Constant progress regarding losing fat?
    "consistent progress on a good routine" what do you think that means?

    Originally Posted by jslivs24 View Post
    That’s where I’m stuck mentally, do I keep the deficit going to lose the remaining fat? Or do I eat in a small deficit in order to maintain muscle?
    You're putting the cart before the horse. You need to eat enough to make consistent progress on a good routine.

    Originally Posted by jslivs24 View Post
    My ultimate goal is to gain muscle but i can’t do that in a caloric deficit while losing fat.
    That's wrong by the way. And I'm not saying I'd recommend a caloric deficit for you.
    Last edited by Mrpb; 12-11-2019 at 09:24 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    "consistent progress on a good routine" what do you think that means?


    You're putting the cart before the horse. You need to eat enough to make consistent progress on a good routine.


    That's wrong by the way. And I'm not saying I'd recommend a caloric deficit for you.
    Someone else on another post suggested I stop the deficit and eat more to try and gain muscle. Do you think this would be a good idea?
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    Originally Posted by jslivs24 View Post
    Someone else on another post suggested I stop the deficit and eat more to try and gain muscle. Do you think this would be a good idea?
    Please answer my question first: "consistent progress on a good routine" what do you think that means?
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Please answer my question first: "consistent progress on a good routine" what do you think that means?
    Sticking with a solid diet for a period of time with a consistent lifting routine.
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    Originally Posted by jslivs24 View Post
    Sticking with a solid diet for a period of time with a consistent lifting routine.
    No making consistent progress on a good routine means consistently getting stronger on the lifts in that routine.

    A good routine is (for example) Fierce 5 Novice routine.

    I recommend that you get on that routine and eat enough to make consistent progress on your lifts. Start with eating at maintenance, only increase if you need to.

    Forget about "cutting" or "bulking". Focus on getting stronger.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    No making consistent progress on a good routine means consistently getting stronger on the lifts in that routine.

    A good routine is (for example) Fierce 5 Novice routine.

    I recommend that you get on that routine and eat enough to make consistent progress on your lifts. Start with eating at maintenance, only increase if you need to.

    Forget about "cutting" or "bulking". Focus on getting stronger.
    Alright I’ll focus on that. I’ve just been in this daze of trying to get rid of body fat and it’s kinda melted my mind. I wanna lose chest fat and stomach fat so I can look “shredded” but I’ll focus on the strength gain
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    dude just read the stickies in this section and lean bulk aiming for 2pds per month. if you cut with no muscle you will look like a skeleton
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    If you 'just bulk at 2 pounds per month' you'll probably look pregnant within 3 months.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    If you 'just bulk at 2 pounds per month' you'll probably look pregnant within 3 months.
    Yeah 2 pounds a month seems excessive.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    If you 'just bulk at 2 pounds per month' you'll probably look pregnant within 3 months.
    I'm not sure I understand..

    Someone who is 117lb at 5'4" gaining 6 pounds over three months seems pretty far from pregnant to me.... his BMI is only 20.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    I'm not sure I understand..

    Someone who is 117lb at 5'4" gaining 6 pounds over three months seems pretty far from pregnant to me.... his BMI is only 20.
    Check the pics. He's got the skinny fat problem. Gaining 2 pounds per month for someone 5'4 weighing 117 pounds who's already been lifting for a while means gaining a good amount of fat.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Check the pics. He's got the skinny fat problem. Gaining 2 pounds per month for someone 5'4 weighing 117 pounds who's already been lifting for a while means gaining a good amount of fat.
    I'm not so sure... it seems like in whatever time he's been 'exercising' he either hasn't been lifting or lifting very poorly. Very little if any actual lean tissue seems to have been put on... at this weight and height and BF, he honestly looks like he has tons of newbie gains to go.

    I won't argue though.

    Just my opinion. He never said he was LIFTING, he just said he was exercising.
    Last edited by AdamWW; 12-12-2019 at 11:08 AM.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    I won't argue though.
    You just did. For future reference: if you want to give different advice that's fine. Just do so. Directly address the OP. There's no point in quoting me. It's just annoying. I'm trying to help OP from putting on more abdominal fat too quickly.

    The 2 pounds per month bulking recommendation isn't meant for 5'4 guys who aren't new to lifting. What makes his situation worse: he just lost a lot of weight which means he's very likely to gain it back quickly in a surplus. Telling him to 'just bulk' is bad advice in my book.

    Does he have a ton of newbie gains to go? If he has good genetics, maybe. But if he had good genetics he would probably have already put on more muscle than he did. I think he's way better of focusing on making strength progress on a good routine.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    You just did. For future reference: if you want to give different advice that's fine. Just do so. Directly address the OP. There's no point in quoting me. It's just annoying. I'm trying to help OP from putting on more abdominal fat too quickly.

    The 2 pounds per month bulking recommendation isn't meant for 5'4 guys who aren't new to lifting. What makes his situation worse: he just lost a lot of weight which means he's very likely to gain it back quickly in a surplus. Telling him to 'just bulk' is bad advice in my book.

    Does he have a ton of newbie gains to go? If he has good genetics, maybe. But if he had good genetics he would probably have already put on more muscle than he did. I think he's way better of focusing on making strength progress on a good routine.
    First off, I never said "just bulk".

    Second, he never said he lifted.

    In fact:

    Originally Posted by jslivs24 View Post
    Alright I’ll focus on that. I’ve just been in this daze of trying to get rid of body fat and it’s kinda melted my mind. I wanna lose chest fat and stomach fat so I can look “shredded” but I’ll focus on the strength gain

    That to me suggests he has done little if any lifting to make strength progress.
    Last edited by AdamWW; 12-12-2019 at 11:17 AM.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    He never said he lifted.
    Continues to argue....

    I think he's not new to lifting, you think he is. Cool.

    But here's the more important thing: You're doing that thing again where you start to debate me over my advice. In the past years I've genuinely asked you several times not to do that. The reason is simple: I'm here to help people like OP. I enjoy that. Not to have debates with you over my advice. I don't enjoy that.

    If you have better advice for the OP (who knows, maybe you do) just give it. Leave me out of it. I'm not appreciating explaining my advice in this fashion to you (because I already know you're not actually asking for an explanation, it's just your way of disagreeing).

    Thanks for understanding.
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    Originally Posted by jslivs24 View Post
    I’m 19 years old, after losing 52 pounds through exercise and nutrition I feel stuck in a skinny fat stage.

    I’m 5’4” 117 pounds.

    My macros currently are 118g protein, 145g carbs, 45g fat. Goal calories are around 1700 but usually eat close to 1600ish.

    I haven’t seen much change in my body fat levels dropping dramatically. It’s been 100 days since I started the cut.
    I saw a post a long time ago saying someone with similar body fat levels should bulk and then cut later. What should I do?

    Any nutritional/diet tips?
    Hi OP.

    Can you please outline the weight training program you have been following (if any) over the last 100 days, what your strength levels are on primary compound movements, and what they were when you started?

    Thank you.
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    Now that's a good and useful reply ^^^.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Hi OP.

    Can you please outline the weight training program you have been following (if any) over the last 100 days, what your strength levels are on primary compound movements, and what they were when you started?

    Thank you.
    When I first started lifting a year ago (actually exactly a year ago today 12/12/18) I started with a PUSH/PULL/LEGS split, 3 days a week. So Monday Id do push, Wednesday id pull and Friday Id do legs.

    Currently, I lift 4 days week with this routine. (See attached image)

    I haven't maxed out in a long time but here is where I am at with the compounds.

    Squat- 185 (4 sets of 6)
    Deadlift- 185 (4 Sets of 6)
    Bench- 115 (4 Sets of 6)

    One thing I will note is being a noob, I focused on weight more than form. With that being said, I have squatted 225 for 3 reps but I considered those half reps. I went back and fixed my form, focusing on hitting depth. Another thing I did was made the switch from HEX Bar DL to Conventional. I maxed out on HEX Bar DL at 265 before switching to Conventional. I switched from HEX Bar to Conventional around September 15th, I fixed my depth issues around then too.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Hi OP.

    Can you please outline the weight training program you have been following (if any) over the last 100 days, what your strength levels are on primary compound movements, and what they were when you started?

    Thank you.
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    You still have a lot of muscle to gain.

    I suggest shifting to a novice program and focusing on making steady progress. You need to be hitting each muscle group twice a week at least.
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    Originally Posted by jslivs24 View Post
    Currently, I lift 4 days week with this routine. (See attached image)
    Program looks fine. Focus on making strength progress, eat enough to make that happen.

    Your bench is now ±115 pounds, you want to get it up to ±150 pounds, for example. And you want to continue progressing after that.

    In the next year gain about 10-12 pounds. Even slower is fine too, as long as you're getting stronger.

    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    First off, I never said "just bulk".
    I didn't say you said it. I was referring to the post above mine.

    But you were disagreeing with me that 2 pounds per month was too fast.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    You still have a lot of muscle to gain.

    I suggest shifting to a novice program and focusing on making steady progress. You need to be hitting each muscle group twice a week at least.
    Do I not hit every muscle group twice a week? I thought I was with doing different chest workouts and leg workouts on the strength/hypertrophy days.

    Whats something that you'd suggest?
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    Well Fierce 5 Novice would be fine too. But I don't see much wrong with this program either.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Well Fierce 5 Novice would be fine too. But I don't see much wrong with this program either.
    Should I take my routine I'm currently doing and instead of increasing reps each week, try to increase weight?

    For example, instead of doing 4 sets of 5, then 4 sets of 6 the next week. Just stay at 4 sets of 5, increasing the weight each week? That what I used to do for my Push/Pull/Leg Routine.
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    Originally Posted by jslivs24 View Post
    Should I take my routine I'm currently doing and instead of increasing reps each week, try to increase weight?

    For example, instead of doing 4 sets of 5, then 4 sets of 6 the next week. Just stay at 4 sets of 5, increasing the weight each week? That what I used to do for my Push/Pull/Leg Routine.
    I would suggest following the program as it's intended.

    Otherwise just do whatever works for you. Going from being able to bench 120 pounds for 4 reps to being able to do 6 reps with 120 pounds is progress. And of course going from 4x120 to 4x140 is also progress.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    I would suggest following the program as it's intended.

    Otherwise just do whatever works for you. Going from being able to bench 120 pounds for 4 reps to being able to do 6 reps with 120 pounds is progress. And of course going from 4x120 to 4x140 is also progress.
    Alright I'll stick with what I am currently doing with my lifting routine.

    Now as far as the whole "needs to bulk" or "keep consistent progress" situation. As far as trying to get my body fat % down, should I stick with the 1600 calorie plan as long as I'm making lifting progress? Or should I eat more and try to gain more muscle and say screw the fat loss?
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    Originally Posted by jslivs24 View Post
    Alright I'll stick with what I am currently doing with my lifting routine.

    Now as far as the whole "needs to bulk" or "keep consistent progress" situation. As far as trying to get my body fat % down, should I stick with the 1600 calorie plan as long as I'm making lifting progress? Or should I eat more and try to gain more muscle and say screw the fat loss?
    I recommend to stop thinking about losing fat. You need to find out how many calories you need to eat to make consistent progress on your lifts.

    I highly doubt you can do that on 1600 calories. I wouldn't try to lose any weight in your situation. Maintenance would be fine, or slightly above maintenance. Whatever works for you.
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