When to end a cutting phase

I’m doing well with a cutting phase that I’m on. I started on Oct. 4th, and my BF% has gotten down to 7.7%. More than anything, I’m looking to reprime my system for another bulking phase (and snap a few pictures beforehand, of course, to gratify my ego and prove to myself that my abs do still exist). What I’m curious about is how low I should go before I start up with bulking again. I was looking at the results of a study John Berardi posted in Issue 167 that clearly showed that subjects on high calorie diets who were lean to begin with had gains of 70% lean body mass and 30% fat. Meanwhile, those with more bodyfat at the start had a 70% fat gain. Obviously, I know that I’ll have to put on some fat, and I’m just wondering if anyone has any ideas about how lean I should get before I start. I know that I’m sick of low carbs and arms and calves that feel like toothfloss, and can’t wait to get back to pushing heavy weights. Any insights you could offer would be appreciated. Thanks.

Its definately an individual thing. It depends how comfortable you are with the level of fat you’re bulking from. Quite obviously, the way in which you diet and train in order to put on weight will effect how much fat you put on in addition to your starting point. At your BF% you’re very lean already, but you haven’t really been dieting for that long. Therefore, why not diet a bit more and try and push your fat levels to a new low (and maybe you sanity levels too!) and then embark on a maitenence phase to help your body level out, before hitting the bulking. I think a maintence phase could be very helpful in re-adjusting your body. Launching into adding muscle straight away will risk a greater fat gain that you’d like. Good luck and congratulations on the progress so far.

I’m beginning to realize just how much body type comes into play in terms of evaluating body composition testing. I know lots of guys who are ripped at 10%, yet I’m not even close at 7.7%. I’m still carrying more than I’d like in the obliques and lower pecs, although the lower abs are starting to come out. Hopefully, another week or two will enable me to get down to around six, and eventually back to ideal energy levels for training. Thanks for the thoughts.

EC, do a search in the forum / train subject line for a recent thread titled “Cutting and Mag 10.” Chris Shugart discussed this issue, and I specifically asked him about the study you quoted. There’s no direct answer to your question on that thread, but the information might help you make an informed decision. And congrats on 7.7%.

Steve- Thanks for the kind words. I tried a search for that, but it didn’t come up. I got some error message. I found one for “Cutting Diet on Mag 10”, but that didn’t say much, so I doubt it was the one to which you were referring. I’m thinking that I’ll stick with cutting until I get to 6%, snap a few pictures, and up my calories gradually while ditching the cardio and working in the 8-12 rep range until I’m reacclimated. Then, I’ll start with a Tribex cycle (and maybe Mag 10 down the road) and lower (4-8) reps. Or, do you think that I ought to just start the Tribex now or as soon as the cutting phase is over? Thanks again for your prompt response.

This certainly against all nutrional ideas and really has no nutrional value to it what so ever that i can see, but then again who am if. what i have always done after a cutting phase is start my first week of bulking off with just eating everything i can, whatever it happens to be… it always seems to give me a huge pump and i just like to use it as an excuse to myself for eating crapy. then of course after a week of that i clean up the diet…

Hi EC. The forum search engine has been a little bit uncertain lately. I’ve been getting a few of those error messages too. Anyway, I just tried a subject search for “Cutting and MAG 10,” and the proper thread was right at the top with a post from “shorty” (though the thread itself was started by “DoubleL”). Click on that, and you’ll find contributions from both Shugart and Roberts. Also there are my own trial and error experiences after cutting, which are quite like Sped’s, noted above. And you are correct: “Cutting Diet and MAG 10” is a completely different thread.

I may not be qualified to advise on Tribex because it did so little for me. I’m 45, with low T levels, and a six week regimen didn’t budge my blood levels – in fact, my T was actually lower after Tribex, though the drop wasn’t statistically significant. (Don’t worry – I’m the exception to the rule.) But if I had to advise, personally I’d start the Tribex in tandem with your shift to 4 to 8 reps. When I change my training strategy, I find it’s psychologically reinforcing to start a new supplement. It’s like a bookmark, right? Additionally, I’ve never really read much about using Tribex to maintain mass after cutting – though intuitively, it makes some sense. Tell me, how old are you, and do you have any idea where your T levels are? Have you ever tried the new Methoxy? If you’re still a younger man with reasonable T levels, Methoxy might not be a bad idea in your transition phase, then hitting Tribex when the emphasis turns to sheer mass. Of course, when MAG 10 comes out, the whole paradigm may shift.

I’m 20. I’ve been cycling methoxy four weeks on, two weeks off, for a few months now. It offered some noticeable gains at first, but I haven’t seen much lately. I’ve never had my T levels checked, but I do have a history of insomnia (unrelated to training), so I would guess that they are probably lower than your typical 20 year-old. The way I look at it, I’m young enough to have time for trial and error to see what works for me. I’ll check out that link.

Yeah, the jury is still out on Methoxy with me too. I’ve tried it twice, the old and the new. It works, but like you, I’ve never noticed the kind of jaw-dropping results I had with the 'sols or even creatine. The bar is set pretty high nowadays, isn’t it. I’m not sure why you’re cycling Methoxy – there’s no need to go off of it at all (other than bankruptcy). Also, insomnia is more often linked to higher T levels, not lower. Some note sleeplessness as a side effect of Tribex when they start. Good lifting to you. To be 20, have T-mag and supplements that work – it’s a good thing.