At much higher weight/BF% than I'd like and doing beginner programme - bulk or cut?

    • Thread Starter

    So I've just started a beginner weightlifting programme after a couple of years of being in pretty bad shape. Definitely carrying a lot of excess weight and body fat (75kg; 20% body fat; 5'10) at the moment.

    So far I've been trying to bulk by eating a calorific surplus each day, although trying to do it clean. Given that my primary goals for now are to mainly look and feel a lot better (I'd like to gain strength too obviously but would be completely lying if I said strength gains were more important to me atm than how I look), is it better to clean bulk now for a while and then start cutting after I've got past the beginner programme? Or is it better to have a small calorific deficit while I start out to get to a bit closer BF% to what I'd like? Online seems to be people saying both things.

    I'm fairly certain the programme I'm doing (SL 5x5) recommends calorific surplus for it so I'll stick to that unless anyone suggests otherwise. Just reckon I'm going to get super demotivated if I'm putting on even more weight/fat when I weigh significantly more than I want to begin with.

    Any advice appreciated, thanks.

    I'd cut, you will still make strength gains on a deficit due to noob gains and possibly gain a little size depending on the size of your deficit, @ 20% bf if you go into a surplus now you will only get fatter and have to do a long ass cut at the end (having to do a long cut is just annoying), not to mention the inferior hormonal profile you will have bulking at 20% bf. Cut to 70kg and reassess where you're at bodyfat wise then decide whether to bulk or cut a little more.

    You get conflicting views because it is personal preference. Personally I'd slowly bulk(this matters more than 'clean' eating) but I don't really mind being a bit above 20% for a while and my ideal is high teens. You have to pick what is right for you

    I'd cut until Christmas. Then bulk slowly until Spring and cut for summer.

    I think 20% is fairly high but it is up to you

    To add yet another opinion, I'd stay the same weight. Eat a reasonable amount of protein and recomp

    I wouldn't focus too much on 'bulking' or 'cutting' if you're a beginner. Just calculate your macros using the IIFYM calculator, fuel your body with enough protein to sustain muscle growth. Because you're a beginner you may actually drop fat and build muscle at the same time - also as you build muscle you'll look leaner purely because your lean muscle mass has increased. It's autumn/winter now anyway, which means enjoy your food, enjoy the gains that come with being a beginner, smash your training and then start to cut down a bit once you've packed on a fair bit of muscle and strength and it's time for summer!Plus, if you're starting lifting as a beginner, you may feel put off by training in a calorie deficit. You won't be training to build muscle, you'll be aiming to burn calories. Trust me, it gets tedious and boring and you won't want to train. That's what I'm doing at the moment but because I've experienced a period of muscle building I know it's worth it. Just enjoy your training and start your journey. Don't worry about dropping bodyfat yet at all. The extra weight may come in handy and help you get some decent lifts!
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