Tate's 2 week bulk/2 week cut plus 5x5 log

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  1. Tate's 2 week bulk/2 week cut plus 5x5 log


    At the suggestion of another member, I'm going to do a log for a little experiment I'm doing. After reading about the theories behind the concept of cycling back and forth between bulking and cutting, 2 weeks at a time, It sounds like it makes sense, so I'm going to give it a go (google "bulldozer bodybuilding bulking system" to read up on what I'm doing). The goal is NOT recomp, but rather bulking, overall. However, I want to avoid fat gain as much as possible while I bulk, because it's VERY easy for me to gain weight, both muscle and fat. I've been cutting on and off for the last year, getting down to 205 lbs 2 weeks ago. The first pictures are from a year ago, at somewhere between 230-240 lbs. The second pictures are from today, at 217, after 2 weeks of bulking. I have no trustworthy way of measuring BF, so I'll have to go by bodyweight and the mirror to see if this is working.

    While bulking I'll be consuming 3,000-4,000 calories a day, mostly clean, and performing no cardio. When I switch to cutting I'll be consuming 1,800-2,300 calories a day and performing HIIT 2-3 times a week for 15-20 min. During both cutting and bulking periods I'll be using this 5x5 routine;

    Workout 1-
    squats 5x5
    deadlifts 5x5
    pullups 5x5-near failure
    abs

    2-
    bench press 5x5
    dips 5x5
    close grip bench 5x5
    calves

    3-
    cleans 5x5
    bent over rows 5x5
    weighted chin ups 5x5
    barbell curls 5x5
    abs

    4-
    overhead press 5x5
    upright rows 5x5
    skull crushers 5x5
    calves

    Each workout will be done 1x/week, resulting in 4 days training, 3 days off. Weight will be added to every single lift every week until I can't complete the 5 reps on the last set, at which point I'll stick to that weight until I can complete the 5th rep, then continue to increase.

    While switching back and forth There will probably be large shifts in weight, primarily from loss/gain of water weight. To help eliminate this variable I will be cycling off creatine for the first 4 week bulk/cut period, then cycling back on for the next 4 week period. Supplements are;

    whey protein
    casein protein
    sci-fit beta alanine (not cycled)
    white flood (pre-wo while off creatine)
    Jack3d (pre-wo while on creatine)
    (I either use VERY small amounts of pre-wo while in EC stack, or none at all)

    I'll also be taking 1/2 dose EC stack (12 mg bronkaid, 100 mg C x 3/day) during cut periods.

    At this point I'm not making set number goals. Rather, I'm going to push myself as hard as I can in both the bulking and cutting phases, with the goal of very noticeable muscle and strength gains over the next 8-10 weeks.
    Attached Images Attached Images     


  2. Today's workout;

    squats
    135x5
    225x5
    275x5
    275x5
    275x5

    deadlifts
    135x5
    225x5
    225x5
    225x5
    225x5

    (I can lift a lot more, but I want to build up to it to increase strength in my back. I also don't have a belt, and won't until Christmas. Hey, why spend $70 on a belt when my mom can instead?)

    wide grip pullups
    5x5 with just bodyweight. 217 is a lot to lift 25 times!

    abs
    incline bench leg/lower body lifts.

    Here's a lat spread, shot post workout;
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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  3. Sounds like an interesting concept, but I have concerns. It seems like your caloric difference is huge, which would concern me regarding actually holding on to any muscle mass you gain. You may gain a little in two weeks, but I don't see how you will retain it with such a drastic reduction in calories. I also don't like the idea of only doing HIIT on the cutting weeks. As soon as your body gets acclimated to it, you stop for two weeks then have to start over again. On those cutting weeks you reduce your calories by almost half and add 2-3 hard conditioning sessions per week, which sounds like a recipe for feeling terrible and losing muscle mass.
    In my opinion a better approach would be to maintain a baseline level of conditioning or cardio at all times. I would also change the calories on the cutting weeks to maintainence level or a very, very small deficit. So it would be more like solidifying your gains instead of losing everything every two weeks.

  4. If you find the article I mentioned it gives more info, with studies, but the idea is that after 2 weeks the body shifts into a sort of "fat storing mode" as a result of the higher caloric intake. That's why the cut. If you go to maintanence with your body in a state where it wants to store fat, it will. If instead you go to a deficit, it won't store fat the way it wants to. I'm only running a 500 calorie deficit, so it's not too bad, only enough to lose roughly 1 lb/week.

    Anyways, I like experimenting, so we'll see how it goes. Thanks for you concern though.

  5. subbed in buddy.. let see how this experiment turns out
    PESCIENCE.COM

    "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." - Socrates
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by TateFTW View Post
    While bulking I'll be consuming 3,000-4,000 calories a day, mostly clean, and performing no cardio. When I switch to cutting I'll be consuming 1,800-2,300 calories a day and performing HIIT 2-3 times a week for 15-20 min.
    I don't get this part. 3000 to 4000 that's a huge difference and can mean the difference between a lean bulk and just getting fat.

    Really, there is no free lunch with this stuff. Unless you have little muscle to start you can cut or you can bulk. The more often you switch the more time you spend in that 'transition' period where your body gets into maintenance mode and you get neither of each. Some of these gurus are just overthinking something that is pretty simple.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    subbed in buddy.. let see how this experiment turns out
    Now that's the spirit!

    Did workout #2 today;
    bench press
    135x5
    185x5
    225x5
    225x5
    225x5

    dips
    bodyweight x5
    25 lb plate x 5 for the last 4 sets

    close grip bench
    95x5
    105x5
    135x5
    155x5
    185x5

    standing calf raise machine
    150x5
    210x5
    260x5
    260x5
    260x5

    No DOMS today after squats and deads yesterday, which is really a nice change from the hardcore DOMS I'm used to after my normal hardcore high-volume 1 1/2 hr leg days.

    I'm on day 2 of the first 2 week cut period. Going solid so far. Psychologically it's nice to not have to stuff my face every day, and get back to the dieting that I've become to accustomed to.

    As for my calorie total while bulking, it's more varied because I don't track calories during the bulk. It's just too much work, and when I eat that much chances are the totals aren't going to end up correct at the end of the day anyways. It's primarily a clean bulk, and I'll usually be around 3,000-3,400, but I also take chances to enjoy myself that I have to pass up during a cut. I even had a Whopper from BK friday, which was a HUGE splurge for me. It was probably my first larger fast food meal in the last 5 years, since I went from 310 lbs to 210 lbs in 2005.

    My calorie total while cutting will vary, but it's tracked very closely and will always be between a 500-800 calorie deficit. If I find that I'm noticeably losing muscle mass during the cut, I'll move the deficit to 250-500 calories. For now I'm going to go higher on the deficit in the hopes that my super stoked metabolism (as a result of over-eating during the bulk) will burn as much fat as possible.

    I'll be posting my bodyweights every Saturday to avoid wasting time with small changes and instead focus on overall trends in bodyweight change.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by TateFTW View Post
    As for my calorie total while bulking, it's more varied because I don't track calories during the bulk. It's just too much work, and when I eat that much chances are the totals aren't going to end up correct at the end of the day anyways. It's primarily a clean bulk, and I'll usually be around 3,000-3,400, but I also take chances to enjoy myself that I have to pass up during a cut. I even had a Whopper from BK friday, which was a HUGE splurge for me. It was probably my first larger fast food meal in the last 5 years, since I went from 310 lbs to 210 lbs in 2005.

    My calorie total while cutting will vary, but it's tracked very closely and will always be between a 500-800 calorie deficit. If I find that I'm noticeably losing muscle mass during the cut, I'll move the deficit to 250-500 calories. For now I'm going to go higher on the deficit in the hopes that my super stoked metabolism (as a result of over-eating during the bulk) will burn as much fat as possible.
    Not harping on you here so plz don't take it personally; gonna give you some straight up critique: Your methodology is flawed.

    Yes counting calories can be a pain, yes it is not totally accurate, yes the actual accuracy is worse at higher calorie levels (though the percentage remains constant.) That, however is irrelevant.

    For one, it is more accurate than 'winging it.' Second the whole purpose is to set a baseline to compare your results to. Remember, your goal should be to gain/lose X amount of weight per unit of time, not to eat XYZ calories.

    The process is that you calculate a theoretical calorie level to meet your goals, make a meal plan, and then test drive it. It can take 2-4 weeks of using, the scale, the mirror, and tracking strength changes to see if it is working or if you need to adjust food quantities.

    If you are flip/flopping every two weeks and not tracking portions/calories on both cycles then you neither have adequate time to see if your routine was on target nor will you be able to verify if the two/two protocol is successful because you have not controlled all the major variables.

    Good luck regardless.

  9. At first I was tracking cals on the bulk, but I found myself in situations like eating at certain restaurants where it was impossible to get nutritional info. I also found myself struggling to get enough calories when I only ate things I could record. But you're very correct; If I want to eliminate as many variables as possible in order to truly see if this setup is working, I need to be consistent and record everything I possibly can. When I go back to bulking in just under 2 weeks I'll do everything in my power to record my totals.

    No sense is doing this if I'm not going to do it right!

  10. Your eating too much for your weight.. Contrary to what many believe you can get lean and gain muscle.. You NEED to get leaner first off.. So find a set macros and use them to the T.. Give it time, it will work... Try 40pro 30carbs 15 fats all your meals for a few months and see what happens..

  11. Quote Originally Posted by team180 View Post
    Contrary to what many believe you can get lean and gain muscle.
    This is situational.

    If you are new to working out then it may well be possible to accomplish both simultaneously. However if this is the case then one could also build more muscle or lose more fat if you do a dedicated bulking/cutting diet versus doing a recomp.

    The more muscle you build the slower and less time efficient recomping becomes.

  12. Thanks Team180, I guess, but I'm not really looking for suggestions of other things to do. I was cutting, quite successfully, averaging 1 lb lost per 5 day period for 6 weeks total, but I realized that once i finished cutting I wasn't going to nearly have the mass I wanted.

    Sorry, but all I NEED to do is whatever I want to do. And right now I want to add muscle and strength. I'm going to be coaching weightlifting coming up in February, and I want to show my guys how this old man does it. Hopefully, using this 2 week back and forth cycle will make it so that in the months leading to summer I won't have an insane amount of fat to lose to look huge AND lean.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by Nitrox View Post
    This is situational.

    If you are new to working out then it may well be possible to accomplish both simultaneously. However if this is the case then one could also build more muscle or lose more fat if you do a dedicated bulking/cutting diet versus doing a recomp.

    The more muscle you build the slower and less time efficient recomping becomes.
    I agree with this one. A couple months ago a combination of muscle memory and having not trained too hard for about 6 months allowed me to add muscle while still leaning out/losing weight. But the muscle gain stalled, and that's when I decided to shift my focus to bulking.

  14. Quote Originally Posted by Nitrox View Post
    This is situational.

    If you are new to working out then it may well be possible to accomplish both simultaneously. However if this is the case then one could also build more muscle or lose more fat if you do a dedicated bulking/cutting diet versus doing a recomp.

    The more muscle you build the slower and less time efficient recomping becomes.
    The more muscle you build the more fat you can burn, so this is true... If things are the way they are supposed to be be as far as diet, training and supps go this for sure can happen.. Believe me i have not only witnessed it first hand (on myself) but i do this for a living.. There is some one who is on this very board who i am training for a show and he is down 25 pounds up in strength and up in muscle mass and neither one of us is new to lifting... I know your not looking for advice but i just want you to know it is possible when done correctly...

  15. Down 4 lbs, 217 to 213, in 2 days. Gotta love the confidence that water weight gives you looking down at the scale, and I did just cycle off creatine, although I'm sure a small bit of that is fat. If I end up getting below 208 after this 2 week cut (which would mean less then 3 lb. gain from the first 4 week bulking/cutting cycle), then next time I'll go to a smaller deficit during the cut, say around 250/day, along with a larger surplus during the bulk. We'll see.

    My wife reminded me I should take some measurements, so that will happen tonight.

  16. Played racquetball yesterday for about 30-40 minutes. I like racquetball for cardio, and I do it HIIT style, playing really hard for a while, then resting, then playing hard again. Very intense cardio while not tiring out specific muscles because the whole body is moving in different directions.

    Workout #3 later this afternoon. Looking forward to cleans.

  17. power cleans
    135x5
    185x5
    185x5
    185x5
    205x1
    225x1

    I'm going to switch out the power cleans next week. Instead I'm going to do a power clean followed by 5 front squats. I need this workout to hit legs too, and cleans didn't give me my leg fix.

    bent over rows
    115x5
    135x5
    165x5
    165x5
    165x5

    weighted chin-ups
    used a 25 lb plate for all 5 sets. Barely able to finish last set, so perfect weight.

    barbell curls
    65x5
    75x5
    95x5
    100x5
    100x5

    leg press calf raises
    180x5
    360x5
    450x5
    495x5
    495x5

    I was supposed to do abs instead of calves, but by that point I was so out of it I forgot.

    I just weighed in at 11.4 lbs. So after only 4 days of cutting I've lost over 5 lbs. I know it's almost all water weight, but I wonder if there is some fat in there, and I wonder how much of the water weight loss can be attributed to coming off a slightly longer creatine cycle. Although last time I cycled off creatine, I seem to remember not really losing water weight as a result.

    I'm going to have to commit more to my bulk next time. I started to slip after the first week and didn't hit the calories as hard as I should of. I'm going to stick to my 500-800 calories deficit for now, for consistency and to eliminate variables for the log. Then Saturday after next when I go back to my bulk I'm going to hit it hard and eat my brains out, attempting to log it all, as planned.

  18. Weighed in at 209.8 this morning. I'm trying to be conservative, but I've lost 7 lbs. in 4 days, and I think atleast 1, maybe 2 lbs of that is fat. My shoulders are more rounded but with great seperation (relatively speaking, of course). My whole upper body seems bigger.

    Speculation, I know. And I'd expect to look leaner after losing around 5 lbs of water weight, but the muscle seems to be sticking around.

    Hopefully the pictures in another month or so will bear out what I'm feeling now.

    Last night's workout was intense and longer then the other 5x5 workouts I'm doing. The cleans, rows and chins anihilated my upper/mid back, and I even still feel a pump sort of feeling in my lower trap area.

    Cardio probably this afternoon.

  19. 25 minutes of racquetball this afternoon. Upper back still feels sick after workout yesterday.

  20. I think Berardi suggested this scheme several years ago. I tried it then and had great success with it. Own it. No one can tell you it won't work for youexcept you.

  21. Hey, thanks! I'm actually excited by the results so far. I think most people tend to "fade" from bulking to cutting. It seems like doing a hardcore switch from one day bulking to the next day cutting shocked my body, in a good way. Right now at 210 I'm every bit as lean as I was at 205 20 days ago. Not claiming any miracles, but it sure seems to be doing SOMETHING good.

    After this whole thing is over (bulking), I'm going to do my first cycle with some H-drol to hopefully get my BF down below 10% while still maintaining some serious muscle. Again, I'm trying to avoid delusions of grandeur, but I feel confident!

  22. Getting ready to head to the gym, but I'm going to make some changes. The cleans and rows Tuesday just destroyed my traps. This is very unexpected, and makes me want to take out upright rows today. I don't mind doing this, as I did biceps 2 days ago and want this to be a triceps focus day. I also want to get at least one chest movement in on workout #4, so I get chest twice a week.

    So instead of doing this;

    overhead press 5x5
    upright rows 5x5
    skull crushers 5x5
    calves

    I'm going to give this a try

    overhead press 5x5
    dips 5x5
    close grip bench press 5x5

    So basically I'll be doing workout #2 again, but with overhead press instead of bench. I'll only be upping my weights once/week, so I'll use the same weights for dips and close grip BP that I used in workout #2.

    When I get back from the gym I'll post how it goes.

  23. behind the neck seated overhead presses
    85x5
    115x5
    130x5
    130x5
    130x5

    dips
    25 lb plate

    close grip bench
    135x5
    155x5
    185x5
    185x5
    185x5

    cable station crunches
    25x8
    45x8
    55x8
    65x8
    75x8

    Workout went well. The only issue I have with the whole routine is lack of shoulder work, but after this session my shoulders felt like they did get some action. Hopefully this workout will help add to my Bench, with the dips and close grip bp.

    I'm going to toss a couple update pics on here. You can see that my abs are more apparent after the 8 lb loss. "apparent", of course, being a relative term, lol. Like I said, I'm not claiming any miracles.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  24. I've decided to make some tweaks to my workout. After giving my original workout plan a try I realized there were some shortcomings. The issues are too many and small to list, but this is what I came up with;

    Saturday
    Squats 5x5
    Deads 5x5
    Pullups 5x5
    Barbell curls 5x5
    Calves

    Sunday
    Bench press 5x5
    Clean and press 5x5
    Dips 5x5
    Abs

    OR weekend (If I can only work out once during the weekend)
    Squats 5x5
    Bench press 5x5
    Clean and press 5x5
    Pullups 5x5
    Abs
    Calves

    Tuesday
    Squats 5x5
    Upright rows 5x5
    Bench press 5x5
    Chins 5x5
    Calves

    Thursday
    Front squats 5x5
    Bent over rows 5x5
    Dips 5x5
    Clean and press 5x5
    Abs

    The idea is more of a full body workout 3 times a week, while essentially taking one of the sessions and splitting it up on Saturday and Sunday. There is also no direct arm work except for barbell curls on Saturday, however each weekend day is focussed on one of the arm muscles. I also added clean and presses to promote overall shoulder area growth while still getting some explosive leg/lower back work.

    This is slightly higher volume then what I had last week, with 3-4 more movements total per week. Hopefully taking out the arm work will allow me to hit the rest of my upper body harder while still getting arms because of the compound nature of the movements.

    We'll see how it goes this coming week.

  25. I let myself slip a bit last night diet-wise. After a good week of cutting and exceeding my deficit goal, it was nice to have a little more food and a couple beers. It did wreck my averages for the week, but nothing out of the ordinary.

    average-
    2223 calories
    154g carbs
    90g fat
    200g protein

    Pretty much in line with what I want, and variances weren't too large until yesterday. I weigh 210 right now, so if I lose 1-2 lbs this week I'll still be 3-4 lbs up overall, which is right in line with what I want. Hopefully after a good 2 week bulk with plenty of good foods I'll get up over 220, then I'm going to try a smaller 250 cal deficit in the next cut and see how my body responds.

    I'm excited about the workout today. Hell, I'm excited about the whole new weekly routine. Lots of heavy weight being tossed around, lots of muscle being built. Good times.

  26. Squats
    135x5
    225x5
    285x5
    285x5
    285x5

    dead lifts
    135x5
    185x5
    235x5
    235x5
    235x5

    wide grip pullups
    just bodyweight again. I need to widen my grip a bit more, to really nail my lats. A couple more weeks and I think I'll be ready to start adding weight.

    barbell curls
    65x5
    75x5
    105x5
    105x5
    105x5

    legs press calf raises
    200x5
    380x5
    470x5
    515x5
    515x5

    My traps are STILL sore from the workout Tuesday. I've never had anything like that in those muscles. It shouldn't be an issue this week with the new workout I'm going to use, but it sucked doing squats with tender traps. Very uncomfortable.

    I'm ready and raring to get back to bulking. Knowing it's only a week away, and knowing I still have to stay on this stupid cut is annoying. Just annoying though, nothing I can't handle. It will be important for me to commit fully to the cut this week, to make sure I shock my body when i switch to a caloric surplus next Saturday. If I start taking it easy I won't get the full benefits of switching back and forth.

    My wife is training with me, and it seems like she's totally bought into the workout plan, which is nice, because she tends to get frustrated in the gym, and it takes away from my workout when I have to take time and effort to console her. I think the planned, schedules workout routine is working well for her. It's also forcing her to lift heavier weights, which I haven't been able to do.

  27. Bench press
    135x5
    185x5
    235x5
    235x5
    235x5

    clean and press
    95x5
    115x5
    135x5
    135x5
    135x5

    dips
    35 lb plate. I did my sets with as much relative ease as I did with the 25 lb plate last week, which is nice. We'll see if I can get the 45 up next week.

    abs
    incline bench reverse leg lift/crunches

    Another good workout. I'm feeling very motivated, and my wife is also fully commited to the routine. Today she actally bench pressed 70 lbs for her last set of 5. Not bad for a 115 lb girl who's never trained seriously.

    Water weight is officially gone, methinks. Haven't dropped an ounce since Friday night's splurge. But I'm only running a 500 cal deficit, and I've been known to go 2 weeks and only lose 1 lb with this deficit.

  28. Quote Originally Posted by TateFTW View Post
    Thanks Team180, I guess, but I'm not really looking for suggestions of other things to do. I was cutting, quite successfully, averaging 1 lb lost per 5 day period for 6 weeks total, but I realized that once i finished cutting I wasn't going to nearly have the mass I wanted.

    Sorry, but all I NEED to do is whatever I want to do. And right now I want to add muscle and strength. I'm going to be coaching weightlifting coming up in February, and I want to show my guys how this old man does it. Hopefully, using this 2 week back and forth cycle will make it so that in the months leading to summer I won't have an insane amount of fat to lose to look huge AND lean.
    lol old man?

  29. Haha, to high school kids I'm definitely old. The fun thing about being a young coach is that I can still show them up now and then. If I had a place to work on my Olympic lifts then I'd really be ready for them.

  30. Hang clean and press = best overall shoulder movement in the history of mankind. Good god, my shoudlers are rounder and fuller and all I did for shoulders the entire weekend was 5x5 hang clean and presses, topping out at 135 for the last 3 sets.

    The only possible issue with this workout is recovery time. Although I've effectively taken DOMS out of my life (which was a huge reason for going to the 5x5 model), I still feel my legs, especially when I sit in my recliner for a while, then try to get up. But I figure leaning on the edge of overtraining is how I'll get the best growth, and I can always take out a couple exercises a week if I start to get the symptoms of overtraining.

    It's hard to kill my motivation, so if that slips at all I'll know my body is telling me something.
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