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  1. #1
    Registered User MedicalAuthor's Avatar
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    Continue Fierce 5 vs . . . ?

    Hi All,

    Firstly, I just updated my progress photos in My Bodyspace. I have photos from the end of my cut (July 8th) and end of my bulk (Dec 14th).

    A quick recap of my recent journey: I've been weightlifting most of my life and January 1st of 2019 I started a cut after a couple years away from the gym. Went from 181 to 155 on July 8th. Then I transitioned to a bulk with Fierce 5 Intermediate. I bulked until December 15 and ended at 171 pounds. I've been cutting for the last two months, continuing to use Fierce 5, and am now at 158 pounds and nearing the end of my cut.

    During the bulk I made good strength gains with Fierce 5 and kept my weight gain steady but I didn't really feel like I saw much change in the mirror and after cutting I'm not sure I can see much of a different between me now and me back in July. So basically entering into this next round of bulking I'm trying to troubleshoot and figure out if it's time to try a new program and, if so, recommendations for that.

    Here's some of my progress:

    Strength Gains

    Max lifts on 07/08/2019:
    Squat: 230
    DL: 325
    BP: 225

    Max Lifts on 12/15/2019
    Squat: 265
    DL: 375
    BP: 255

    During the cut so far strength has been up and down. Haven't maxed out but RDL are at 295@8x3, Squat is at 220@5x3, bench is around 210@5x3

    Measurements (all in inches):

    07/8/2019
    Navel: 30.5
    Hip 30.75
    Neck: 14.25
    Chest (flexed): 40.75
    Bicep: 14.5
    Calf: 14.5
    Thigh (flexed): 20
    Forearm: 11

    12/16/2019
    Navel: 33
    Neck: 15
    Chest: 43
    Bicep: 15.25
    Calf: 15.125
    Thigh: 23.5
    Forearms: 11.5

    Nutrition: I go into more detail about my nutrition on the Nutrition board.

    Looking for any advice/critique! Are these gains I should see on a successful 5 month bulk? Do you think continuing Fierce 5 Intermediate would be good versus another program? Open to any suggestions!

    Edit: As a reminder, here's the Fierce 5 Intermediate (Upper, Lower, Rest, Upper, Lower, Rest, Rest)

    Upper A
    Bench 3x5
    Incline Bench 3x8
    Lat Pulldowns 3x8 (any grip)
    Bent Over Rows 3x8
    Curls 3x10/Reverse Flies 3x12 Superset

    Lower A
    Squats 3x5
    Weighted Back Extensions 3x8
    Leg Press 3x10
    Leg Curls 3x10
    Ab work 3x15/Calf raises 3x12 Superset

    Upper B
    OHP 3x5
    Flies 3x10
    Pullups 3x8
    Pendlay Rows 3x8
    Face Pulls 3x12/Tricep pressdowns 3x10 Superset

    Lower B
    Front Squat 3x5
    Romanian Deadlift 3x8
    Leg Extensions 3x10
    Leg Curls 3x10
    Ab work 3x15/Calf Raises 3x12 Superset
    Last edited by MedicalAuthor; 02-18-2020 at 03:38 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    If you are still making gains, I don’t see a reason to switch yet
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  3. #3
    Registered User rsid97's Avatar
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    I don't think the issue here is with the routine,but more so the effort put into it. Overall, you've spent 8 months cutting in comparison to the 5 months of bulking. Cumulatively, your bulk gained you 16lbs while your cutting phases (combined), brought you down by 39lbs. All of this in the span of your first 13 months of serious lifting. Put all that together and you're not really giving yourself much of an opportunity to pack on much muscle tissue to make a noticeable difference. Building muscle takes time, and that will reflect itself in the end product of your cuts. So I'd suggest sticking to the routine but to stop changing things around so frequently and go on a slow, long bulk to put on plenty of quality muscle before you consider your next cut.
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    Registered User daudi81's Avatar
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    You're bouncing around too much. If you've truly been lifting "most of your life" then a few months of bulking is barely enough time to find out if you like the program, let alone see any progress in the mirror. That said, in a few months, you put 30lbs+ on your squat and bench, and more on your DL.

    Those gains are just ok for a novice, but if you've truly been lifting for as long as you say you have, you're not a novice... And adding 30lb to your bench in 5 months is pretty good for any intermediate/advanced lifter.

    That said, fierce 5 intermediate is one of the best template programs around. Technically, one could stay on that program for years with very minor modifications over time before needing advanced programming.

    My advice would be to get to an acceptable body fat percentage first, then do a very slow LONG bulk, gaining no more than 1-2lb per month max (err on the low side to be safe). If you do it right, you should be able to spend a good 12-18 months in a slight caloric surplus before you start to lose ab definition. If you're truly following F5 intermediate and being CONSISTENT, you should make some great strength gains, and a very noticeable amount of muscle before you even think about cutting again.
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  5. #5
    Registered User MedicalAuthor's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rsid97 View Post
    I don't think the issue here is with the routine,but more so the effort put into it. Overall, you've spent 8 months cutting in comparison to the 5 months of bulking. Cumulatively, your bulk gained you 16lbs while your cutting phases (combined), brought you down by 39lbs. All of this in the span of your first 13 months of serious lifting. Put all that together and you're not really giving yourself much of an opportunity to pack on much muscle tissue to make a noticeable difference. Building muscle takes time, and that will reflect itself in the end product of your cuts. So I'd suggest sticking to the routine but to stop changing things around so frequently and go on a slow, long bulk to put on plenty of quality muscle before you consider your next cut.
    That makes sense. As some background I was a fat kid, lost a lot of weight before high school and have been working out since and it’s ALWAYS been easy for me to put on fat and also I feel like it’s hard to put on muscle. I’m currently in the best shape of my life and that’s because I finally have the stability to be super strict and go to the gym regularly.

    All that said I think where I went wrong on this last bulk is going up in cals too fast. Because I really went back on a cut because I was up to 170 and even though I felt I had great gains in the gym I didn’t really see muscle gains in the mirror.

    But I don’t think I’ve EVER been at a lower body fat percentage than I am at now. I also feel like I could lose another 3% or so of body fat to give myself some reserve on bulking but if I could keep my body fat close to where it is now I’d be fine bulking indefinitely haha.
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  6. #6
    Registered User LifterWest's Avatar
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    I understand how bulking can feel like you are undoing all the hard work to get the fat off. But you are not going to put too much fat on while gaining weight at 2 lbs/month and lifting heavy weights. Besides you now know exactly how to lose fat on a cut, don't you?
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