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  #1  
Unread 12-12-2017, 08:22 AM
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kyoun1e kyoun1e is offline
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Default Your Bulk/Cut Annual Plan

Curious if people have a set approach to bulking and cutting each year or if it varies depending on the mood?

My ultimate goal over the long term is to get both leaner and bigger. I'm at a decent bodyfat % now (14-16%) where I feel like I can accomplish this. Not by tmrw, but over multiple years. Understanding that I'm not at 10 or 12% which is optimal for bulking, I lean towards more dieting.

So for example, I try and back into my bulking and cutting periods by first putting a stake in the ground for summer -- This is when I want to look my best for the year. If that's the case, my periods breakdown as follows (roughly with maintenance here and there):

* Summer: Maintenance. Enjoy what I have, have fun.
* September: Mini cut to get rid of some summer fat gain.
* October & November: Bulk. Starting to get cold in the NE. May as well eat, enjoy turkey dinner.
* December: Mini cut until holidays. Maintenance around Xmas/New Years.
* January & February: Bulk. Cold. Eat. Lift.
* March - June: Hard core diet. Prepare for summer.

Again this is rough. And life tends to get in the way of best laid plans.

One big question I have is, are the bulk periods even long enough? I'd rather gain slowly vs. risk a ton of weight gain. I'm approaching 50 so I need to be careful. My hormones aren't what they used to be.

Last year, I started at a higher bodyfat % and pretty much dieted from Sept - May with maintenance breaks in between. Don't think that makes sense now.

Anyways, curious if this at all makes sense or if this is a rough plan that basically has me spinning my wheels.

Thanks.

KY
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  #2  
Unread 12-12-2017, 08:44 AM
LightCrow LightCrow is offline
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I tend to plan out about 6 months in advance that this 2 months will be a bulk cycle, 2 more months of bulk cycle, and then I should start a little cutting around March to be ready for Memorial day. Something like that. But at my level I don't plan for drastic shifts in either weight gained or necessary fat loss since I've been at this for a long time. I'm 37.

If you're 50 and have been training for more than a year or 2. I would aim to achieve a maintainable level of leanness for you like your 10-12% and then aim to only gain a pound or so over a month. That way you won't have to think in terms of hard core anything. Read Lyle's recent article on calories for muscle gain for more of an idea.
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Unread 12-12-2017, 08:59 AM
loc loc is offline
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I'm sure that your plan will work, and I'm not sure how it changes things with your age, but I personally prefer longer bulking periods. It seems like it takes a while to get the setup right and then getting going and gaining some momentum can take a little while. I'm not very aggressive with my surplus either. But I also know people that are a little older and advanced as far as training goes and they tend to be more conservative and hover closer to the same BW while still trying to progress in the gym. They call it "gaintaining."

But you've made good progress before and know what you're doing so I'm sure whatever you end up doing will be fine.
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  #4  
Unread 12-12-2017, 10:46 AM
LightCrow LightCrow is offline
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Alan Aragon used to use the term culking, which was what most of think of as maintenance on rest days and a slight surplus on training days.
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Unread 12-12-2017, 11:16 AM
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kyoun1e kyoun1e is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LightCrow View Post
I tend to plan out about 6 months in advance that this 2 months will be a bulk cycle, 2 more months of bulk cycle, and then I should start a little cutting around March to be ready for Memorial day. Something like that. But at my level I don't plan for drastic shifts in either weight gained or necessary fat loss since I've been at this for a long time. I'm 37.

If you're 50 and have been training for more than a year or 2. I would aim to achieve a maintainable level of leanness for you like your 10-12% and then aim to only gain a pound or so over a month. That way you won't have to think in terms of hard core anything. Read Lyle's recent article on calories for muscle gain for more of an idea.
My bulking goals are modest without a doubt. My days of big time bulking are over at age 50. There's just too much risk of fat gain now.

For the above reason, I've set bulking periods to two months long at most where I'd set a small weekly surplus. I'd either do EOD bulking where non workout days are maintenance and workout days have say, a 15-20% daily surplus.

I'm a huge fan of UD2 so I also mix in UD2 bulking where I can.
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Unread 12-12-2017, 11:19 AM
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kyoun1e kyoun1e is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loc View Post
But I also know people that are a little older and advanced as far as training goes and they tend to be more conservative and hover closer to the same BW while still trying to progress in the gym. They call it "gaintaining."

But you've made good progress before and know what you're doing so I'm sure whatever you end up doing will be fine.
I think that's where I'm at..."gaintaining."

I really want to be conservative with my bulking. If I can gain a couple pounds of muscle during my bulking periods that's great.

I've found that if I have an extensive bulking period things tend to spiral out of control. I need to minimize that risk, especially since I'm not at the 10-12% bodyfat range.
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  #7  
Unread 12-13-2017, 02:22 AM
Determinism Determinism is offline
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I used to bulk and cut, but these days I'm just eating around maintenance and focusing on progression.

Why?
When you're past the beginner phase, it becomes harder and harder to predict how many calories actually go into building LBM. Most intermediate and advanced lifters just become fat without a lot of extra LBM. It's a slow and unpredictable process. At least for me. It may be a bit slower, and you need to pay a bit more attention to recovery, but I don't need to worry about cutting at all and look decent year round. Still, I seem to make progress. Also we have to admit that cutting is just a burden for most of us.
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  #8  
Unread 12-13-2017, 07:08 AM
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kyoun1e kyoun1e is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Determinism View Post
I used to bulk and cut, but these days I'm just eating around maintenance and focusing on progression.

Why?
When you're past the beginner phase, it becomes harder and harder to predict how many calories actually go into building LBM. Most intermediate and advanced lifters just become fat without a lot of extra LBM. It's a slow and unpredictable process. At least for me. It may be a bit slower, and you need to pay a bit more attention to recovery, but I don't need to worry about cutting at all and look decent year round. Still, I seem to make progress. Also we have to admit that cutting is just a burden for most of us.
I'm going to assume that you're at the lower end of the bodyfat range...10-12%?

I'm starting to come around to this way of thinking. I still will need to cut down to 10-12%...that's why I still see more dieting vs. even this "gaintaining" that I see as a strategy. I bet by NEXT fall I'll be there at the optimum starting point.

I must say I really like the UD2 approach to bulking. Eat slightly below maintenance, carbs pretty low, and you semi deplete. Then pile on the carbs end of week and align with heavier workouts. I like the feeling of "wringing out some excess" early in the week (and not feeling fat while in semi bulk mode), but then seeing progression take place later in the week. I feel like even eating at maintenance or slightly above it carries risk for me...still too much potential to spiral out of control. Using the above strategy seems to have me landing around weekly maintenance or slightly above it.
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  #9  
Unread 12-13-2017, 08:36 AM
Determinism Determinism is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyoun1e View Post
I'm going to assume that you're at the lower end of the bodyfat range...10-12%?

I'm starting to come around to this way of thinking. I still will need to cut down to 10-12%...
To be honest, forget that number. Just assess how you feel, perform and look. You cannot perform/recover well when your BF% is too low, nor guarantee that you look the way you want at that specific range. If you solely focus on 10-12% you're missing the main point why that range exists in the first place: being in an optimal place to start your bulk without experiencing negative side effects of too low hormones.

I compare BF% numbers with the typical plate numbers to assess level of strength (2 plate bench, 3 plate squat and 4 plate dead lift). Yes they may function as an indication, but hardly anyone has all variables and criteria lined up just right that those numbers exactly fit the bill.

At the end of the day, your body is the only measuring device specifically designed for you. Know how to listen to it and you won't be disappointed.
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  #10  
Unread 12-16-2017, 07:16 AM
tyler163 tyler163 is offline
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Usually my year:
Xmas time: relaxed diet...a lot of running..wheight depend of time and the stres from running. 2 - 3 week aprox.
January i try to reduce bf if in xmas time i pass 14% mark.
Until march. A clean bulk...basically a strict week and relaxed week end with endurance training more "specific" and i train more in weight room.
Abril to june cut.
July i try to recover same muscle mass and readjust metabolism
August summer holiday relaxed.
September to dicember another cut
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