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  1. #1
    Registered User balibody524's Avatar
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    Tall & Lean - Reduce Body Fat or Bulk?

    I'm just over 6ft 3 and weight about 196 with 17% body fat. I have a very lean tall look however when i take my shirt off I feel like I look pretty good and if I lowered my body fat percentage I would look even better. However when I have clothes on I feel like I look super lean, almost a skinny appearance.

    My question is for you tall guys. Would you continue to cut body fat percentage to have a good looking shirtless body or would you try to bulk up to have a fuller frame in clothes? Currently i'm planning to cut body fat percentage as I am generally happy with how I look without a shirt on however the more weight I cut the more "skinny" I will appear in clothes. Its a bit of a catch 22 I suppose.

    If it matters, for context I work out regularly so I do have some muscle mass - not a total noobie here.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback!
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  2. #2
    Registered User EiFit91's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by balibody524 View Post
    I'm just over 6ft 3 and weight about 196 with 17% body fat. I have a very lean tall look however when i take my shirt off I feel like I look pretty good and if I lowered my body fat percentage I would look even better. However when I have clothes on I feel like I look super lean, almost a skinny appearance.

    My question is for you tall guys. Would you continue to cut body fat percentage to have a good looking shirtless body or would you try to bulk up to have a fuller frame in clothes? Currently i'm planning to cut body fat percentage as I am generally happy with how I look without a shirt on however the more weight I cut the more "skinny" I will appear in clothes. Its a bit of a catch 22 I suppose.

    If it matters, for context I work out regularly so I do have some muscle mass - not a total noobie here.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback!
    Inb4 xsquid99
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  3. #3
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Simply multiply the utility you derive from being shirtless by the proportion of the time you spend shirtless. Add this to the utility you derive from looking large in clothes by the amount of time you spend in clothes. The utility function needs to be parameterised by your total mass and BF%

    Then optimise to maximise the utility function.

    ...

    I'm pulling you chain slightly but I feel like this is something only you can decide...
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  4. #4
    Registered User EiFit91's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post

    Then optimise to maximise the utility function
    Whatever you do OP just don’t forget to check the second order conditions - you don’t want to end up minimizing your utility!

    On a more serious note though I am not as tall as requested:

    In general you will need to spend most of your time building mass. If tall and a medium/small frame this is particularly important as you will need to add a lot of mass in order for it to be really noticeable on your frame. If you want to be lean for summer then maybe you could cut down first and then go on a long bulk in the fall?
    Last edited by EiFit91; 06-22-2021 at 01:26 AM.
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  5. #5
    Registered User MG5's Avatar
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    At 17% I'd cut. You sound like you're still new enough to lifting that you could put on muscle in the process. You don't have to cut for long. Maybe until you're around 12%.
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  6. #6
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    OP, post a few pictures in your profile, then tell us when they are there. You'll get a more customized response.
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  7. #7
    NASM-CPT xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Inb4 xsquid99
    Hahaha, quick to the draw! I've been scarce on the forum these days, studying hard for my NASM-CPT exam.

    Would concur with OP that its a catch 22 for us tall guys, also would recommend you post photos so we can get a better idea where you're actually sitting right now.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  8. #8
    Registered User EiFit91's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Hahaha, quick to the draw! I've been scarce on the forum these days, studying hard for my NASM-CPT exam.

    Would concur with OP that its a catch 22 for us tall guys, also would recommend you post photos so we can get a better idea where you're actually sitting right now.
    Cool, are you going to become a personal trainer? Or are you maybe working with fitness already? I had for some reason imagined you as a diplomat working in Japan.

    Good to know that there are actual knowledgeable personal trainers out there.
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  9. #9
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Whatever you do OP just don’t forget to check the second order conditions - you don’t want to end up minimizing your utility!
    Bah, I'm not doing calculus, throw it at gradient descent. Or a basin hopper if there are local minima
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  10. #10
    NASM-CPT xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Cool, are you going to become a personal trainer? Or are you maybe working with fitness already? I had for some reason imagined you as a diplomat working in Japan.

    Good to know that there are actual knowledgeable personal trainers out there.
    Nope, not a diplomat. I work with the U.S. Navy over here as a program manager for ship modernization. Probably will be here 2-3 more years and then likely back to the Seattle area to finish up my career.

    Not currently working in fitness in any professional manner, but I'm in the gym on the military base every day and I've noticed what I perceive to be some VERY BAD PT's and it motivated me to educate myself a bit more, just for my own personal growth & knowledge and perhaps to eventually set up a little side gig in my free time. Tell you what, being on this forum for the past several years has actually helped me a lot, as a lot of the NASM course information is almost exactly what is regularly preached by the more senior forum members here on a daily basis.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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