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Not sure whether to Bulk or cut?! Skinny fat! watch

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    Hi guys, I'm kind of stuck on what to do.

    I'm very very new to weightlifting, I have had a few months of inconsistent experience at the gym. I have not lifted consistently for more than 3 weeks (3 times a week). I go months inbetween any kind of lifting and decided I need to pull my finger out.

    My goals are; having an aesthetic body, and having a good amount of strength. I'm 21, just 6ft, and weigh 87kg.

    My issue is that I have not much muscle at all, but quite a bad beer belly. I have no muscle on my upper body at all. My (visual) fat distribution seems to be entirely situated around my belly. It looks like a beer belly. I'm starting to notice slight love handles as well. I'm skinny fat. If I breath in, I can see slight ab definition.

    My problem is, is that if I cut, I lose fat and strength, but I don't have much muscle underneath the fat.

    If I bulk, I'll just exacerbate my skinnyfat-ness and beer belly.



    I'm looking at beginner programs like starting strength or jason blaha 5x5 (I want a bit more isolation work)


    My lifts atm are 1x120kg Squat or 5x5 of 100kg
    1x170kg or 5x140kg Deadlift
    60kg x 3 Bench (I haven't done a one rep max)
    5x3 of 42.5kg Overhead Press
    5x5 of 60kg Pendlay row
    3 chin ups at a push

    What do I do?!
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    If you have a proper belly and want abs then I'd say cut, just don't rush it. If you are quite new to training then you'll have an easier time at least maintining strength than those who have been training longer, you might even get stronger because your body isn't yet very efficient at the movements.

    I think aiming for loosing fat and gaining muscle is too difficult for most people so you end up getting nowhere. If you bulk then I think the longer cut at the end will feel worse than doing two smaller ones and you won't feel as good about your progress if it's hidden under fat.
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    I'm in a similar position to you... I find bulking difficult to get good results from whilst that layer of fat is there...

    This time I'm cutting first... Shocked at how easy it is to cut when you're not doing huge weights etc. 2 pounds a week is an easy target if you have discipline.
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    I would do a small deficit, 300-500 calories, if you do it right you should lose fat and gain strength/muscle at the same time since you're a complete noob, this is the only time you will ever be able to do this without drugs so may as well.
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    (Original post by Greg Jackson)
    I would do a small deficit, 300-500 calories, if you do it right you should lose fat and gain strength/muscle at the same time since you're a complete noob, this is the only time you will ever be able to do this without drugs so may as well.
    Didn't realise being a noob made a difference to whether it was possible to gain muscle while losing fat? I understand untrained CNS etc. but didn't think hypertrophy was affected?
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    ICF5X5 cutting routine would be ideal for you
    It's all outlined in the FAQ for the routine

    Id cut if I were you

    (Original post by Implication)
    Didn't realise being a noob made a difference to whether it was possible to gain muscle while losing fat? I understand untrained CNS etc. but didn't think hypertrophy was affected?
    You can add muscle on a cut in terms of hypertrophy as a noob as far as a lot of anecdotal evidence goes, it wont be massive but some.
    I've never seen a paper on it though

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    LOL strong knowledge on bodybuilding on this thread.


    OP you continue to BULK. BULK doesn't necessarily mean you'll get a lot of fat.. (you also mentioned you don't have a lot of muscle.. also that 60kg bench is quite poor for your weight and height)


    You want an aesthetic body right? you need to put on muscle mass..I'd recommend you CLEAN BULK as you said your "skinny fat"..(cant really make a judgement without pics)


    Think of Abs as the last piece of the puzzle if you wish. Whilst bulking you should train abs also,, so when you do cut you'll have some decent sized abs.


    When you're done bulking (set yourself some targets), maintain your lifts and cut,, you should then shred nicely. It takes time, dedication and effort.
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    penor aesthetics > everything else
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)

    You can add muscle on a cut in terms of hypertrophy as a noob as far as a lot of anecdotal evidence goes, it wont be massive but some.
    I've never seen a paper on it though

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    I've always wondered how much of that is people confusing getting stronger with gaining muscle. Also I reckon people confuse increased definition due to fat loss, thus revealing muscle already there, with gaining muscle on top of the fat loss.

    A guy I know at the end of his first week as a builder claimed he had gained a couple of pounds of muscle and lost some fat, because he looked slimmer and more muscular in the mirror.. After a week.

    A girl I know claims she gained 2kg of muscle and lost 3% body fat in 2 weeks.

    I think it's one of those things that needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, as you're relying on anecdotal evidence from people who don't really know anything (in the grand scheme of things) and aren't self aware.
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    (Original post by Scoobiedoobiedo)
    I've always wondered how much of that is people confusing getting stronger with gaining muscle. Also I reckon people confuse increased definition due to fat loss, thus revealing muscle already there, with gaining muscle on top of the fat loss.

    A guy I know at the end of his first week as a builder claimed he had gained a couple of pounds of muscle and lost some fat, because he looked slimmer and more muscular in the mirror.. After a week.

    A girl I know claims she gained 2kg of muscle and lost 3% body fat in 2 weeks.

    I think it's one of those things that needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, as you're relying on anecdotal evidence from people who don't really know anything (in the grand scheme of things) and aren't self aware.
    Yeah, people be cray-cray.

    I guess minor improvements in muscle mass might be attainable depending on training status and degree of deficit since the body swings between positive and negative net protein synthesis on an hourly basis (so just being in a net daily calorie deficit doesn't mean its impossible to build muscle, just means you will lose total weight for sure) but yeah mostly if you can hold onto all your muscle and lose considerable fat then you are going to look much more muscular at the same level of muscle! And also if people switch movements as they begin a cut and see "gains" (improved neuro-muscular factors) for a few weeks accordingly, they may convince themselves they are gaining muscle.
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    (Original post by PegasusDev)
    LOL strong knowledge on bodybuilding on this thread.


    OP you continue to BULK. BULK doesn't necessarily mean you'll get a lot of fat.. (you also mentioned you don't have a lot of muscle.. also that 60kg bench is quite poor for your weight and height)


    You want an aesthetic body right? you need to put on muscle mass..I'd recommend you CLEAN BULK as you said your "skinny fat"..(cant really make a judgement without pics)


    Think of Abs as the last piece of the puzzle if you wish. Whilst bulking you should train abs also,, so when you do cut you'll have some decent sized abs.


    When you're done bulking (set yourself some targets), maintain your lifts and cut,, you should then shred nicely. It takes time, dedication and effort.
    Strong retard. Its not all about being big, its about being healthy too.

    If he ALREADY has a "bad beer belly" he should at least lose it first. No need to get lean enough for a six-pack but he should at least aim for a relatively flat stomach first for health reasons if nothing else!

    Otherwise good advice on the abs, needing to maintain lifts on a cut, and clean bulking when he does bulk.
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    (Original post by In One Ear)
    Strong retard. Its not all about being big, its about being healthy too.

    If he ALREADY has a "bad beer belly" he should at least lose it first. No need to get lean enough for a six-pack but he should at least aim for a relatively flat stomach first for health reasons if nothing else!

    Otherwise good advice on the abs, needing to maintain lifts on a cut, and clean bulking when he does bulk.
    'six pack abs' aren't particularly of interest to me at this stage. I don't fancy uploading pictures, I don't want to spoil your eyes. If it helps, i'm 6 foot tall, 32/34 inch waist and 32 leg. Size Large t shirt. My belly is not very noticeable unless i've just eaten. If I stand upright and gently tense, it kinda goes away. But it's large enough for me to notice it. i do not have much noticeable fat elsewhere on my body.

    With regards to the weak bench, yeah, it's pretty embarrassing. I find chest movements difficult. I struggle with pushups, I can do around 30 with good form before exhaustion. My body is pretty messed up. Squats and deadlifts come very naturally to me. I do not see many people who have been training as little as me who can squat 100kg (full atg depth) and deadlift (with no bounce) 150kg for reps. But then I do not see many people who are as heavy as me only benching what I can bench. It's very embarrassing having to load up the the bench with 15kg plates when most people are repping out at least 70kg haha. Oh well. Here to improve.
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    and a question to you all, if I was to cut, how would I get rid of the beer belly? No such thing as spot reduction. What if I lost fat around the places such as my legs, back, arms etc without much notice to my stomach area? Then i'd be in exactly the same position, just skinny fatter AND weaker.
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    (Original post by SwimGood)
    and a question to you all, if I was to cut, how would I get rid of the beer belly? No such thing as spot reduction. What if I lost fat around the places such as my legs, back, arms etc without much notice to my stomach area? Then i'd be in exactly the same position, just skinny fatter AND weaker.
    No way to know unfortunately, if its just a small belly lose 5kg and it will probably be gone. Unfortunately for most men our hormones mean the fat is goes first to the stomach and love handles (and lower back) and then elsewhere and comes off in reverse.

    Beyond 15-20 reps has almost no effect on strength which means you could be able to do 100 push-ups and still suck at bench...
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    (Original post by SwimGood)
    and a question to you all, if I was to cut, how would I get rid of the beer belly? No such thing as spot reduction. What if I lost fat around the places such as my legs, back, arms etc without much notice to my stomach area? Then i'd be in exactly the same position, just skinny fatter AND weaker.
    wut? dude you just keep losing fat and eventually it will come from your stomach, yes you cannot choose where you lose it but it will have to come off eventually if you keep lowering bodyweight, also we already established you should not get weaker on a cut as long as you don't go full potato (i.e. insane deficit/protein deficient/not lifting)
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    (Original post by Scoobiedoobiedo)
    I've always wondered how much of that is people confusing getting stronger with gaining muscle. Also I reckon people confuse increased definition due to fat loss, thus revealing muscle already there, with gaining muscle on top of the fat loss.

    A guy I know at the end of his first week as a builder claimed he had gained a couple of pounds of muscle and lost some fat, because he looked slimmer and more muscular in the mirror.. After a week.

    A girl I know claims she gained 2kg of muscle and lost 3% body fat in 2 weeks.

    I think it's one of those things that needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, as you're relying on anecdotal evidence from people who don't really know anything (in the grand scheme of things) and aren't self aware.
    Indeed strong morons like the girl in your anecdote aren't the stuff I was considering.

    I was considering people who run stuff like SL and ICF on a deficit to start with due to them being overweight. Imo they gain small but substantial muscle.

    (Original post by SwimGood)
    and a question to you all, if I was to cut, how would I get rid of the beer belly? No such thing as spot reduction. What if I lost fat around the places such as my legs, back, arms etc without much notice to my stomach area? Then i'd be in exactly the same position, just skinny fatter AND weaker.
    Maintain a deficit and you'll lose your stomach in it's entirity first or not, whether or not your body will lose it off your stomach first or off your hips etc first is not something anyone can guess at
 
 
 
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