How To Run a Recomp Cycle
I hear this all the time
"I want to get bigger and rip up a bit"
"Starting my cycle, looking to lean up and add a bit more size"
If this is you, and you want to add muscle AND lose fat simultaneously, then what you want is a RECOMP. Not a cut with a generous diet, not a clean bulk, but a change in body composition while maintaining the same bodyweight. This is about slowly adding quality, keepable LBM while slowly shedding off bodyfat, sounds good right?
Recomping is also the hardest phase you can go through
Recomping involves the intense weight training of a bulk, with almost as much calories too, but with the dietary discipline and cardio of a cut. You are trying to bulk and cut simultaneously, so you have to bulk and cut simultaneously.
If your bulking is usually lifting 4x a week, and your cutting involves doing cardio everyday, then you need to do all of that on a recomp! Like doing cardio every morning, and then coming back in the afternoon to lift. Or lifting in the morning, and coming back in the evening to do cardio. At the very least, you're looking at something like 4x a week weights and 3x a week cardio.
The idea with cardio is just like on a cutting cycle, since you're on cycle, catabolism isn't much of a factor, you need to abuse that and use cardio to just strip the fat off. Personally, i did cardio about everyday, and lifted 4x a week. Overall, i went to the gym 10x a week.
The diet on a recomp is really hard, basically you need to eat almost as many calories as on a bulk... significantly above maintenance, but not as much as your all out bulks. The extra cals above maintenance is fine, you're going to rely on nutrient repartitioning to use the extras to build muscle, and all the cardio means any extra cals are getting burned up.
What's most successful IMO is a carb cycling type of diet but of course this should depend on what works for YOU. What I felt was really successful on my recomp cycle last summer was lifting in the AM with carbs pre-WO, post workout, and modest carbs in meal 3. Meals 4/5 no carbs, then cardio around 7pm, then no carbs meal 6. The idea is to get carbs pre-WO for energy and post-WO for insulin response and nourishing your muscle of course. After that you cut the carbs out, by the time evening cardio comes around, should be easier to transition into fat burning.
If you can handle carbs better than me then this is going to be crazy and unnecessary. But it worked for me. Most people will generally benefit from enforcing the carb cutoff anyway.
I really think 4x a week is a good #, you might be able to get away with DC training though... or EOD training. You want to lift as if you were bulking. I just try to lift for strength mainly. I would strive more towards intensity and high weight than towards volume... volume training is better suited to an environment with more extra calories.
The most important thing here is that you want a cycle that allows for some duration. A 4 week cycle won't work because the recomp process is a slow process. Really, 6, 7, or 8+ week cycles are needed. For the PH users here this means you'll be limited to nonmthyls like Tren, or long Hdrol cycles, maybe some kind of stack in there with other nonmethyls. With the good methyls, your best options are bridged cycles and pulsed cycles.
1) Hdrol 75/75/100/100/100/100
+ nonmethyl of choice
2) Tren 90-120mg for 6 weeks
+ nonmethyl of choice
3) Phera 30/30/30/30
4) SD Pulse: 3x a week at 20mg then 30mg for 6 weeks total. DC training on SD pulse days
Just throwing some ideas around... I don't think the choice of anabolic matters so much as being able to run the compound a long time. Strong compounds like Phera and tren can work great. Strong compounds like Superdrol can work great! Steroids that are "bulkers" and help to add tons of LBM just mean you can do even more cardio without hurting muscle gains.
Really, you are balancing an equation. The more anabolic strength you have pushing towards weightgain are balanced by more cardio.
Injectable users are in luck because then you can run some duration and do this properly. Compounds like real trenbolone come to mind. Test prop and tren ace for 8-10 weeks, 'nuff said.
Very important! First of all you might want to run something along with your cycle, like clenbuterol or T3. In this case, T3 is my absolute favorite. T3 + anabolics can effectively be the core of the cycle, they function as your anabolic agent, and your weightloss/catabolic agent. IMO, the combination of clen and T3 is too much for a recomp cycle and you'll have a hard time making any size/strength gains. Clen is rumored to be anti-catabolic but NOT SO in my experience.
The other thing you'll want to have on hand is stimulants. The ECA stack is pretty solid, I love having ephedrine on hand. If you do what I did and cutoff carbs for hours and hours, it's convenient to stim yourself up for your cardio. Especially if you are more dependent on carbs for energy.
One thing to remember is that Clen and Ephedrine hit the same beta-2 receptors so you don't wanna stack them. So T3 + EC before cardio is my favorite...
Putting it all Together
In conclusion, to recomp, eat as clean as possible but a bit above maintenance calories. Lift like you're bulking, but also work in as much cardio as if you were cutting. Manage your diet and carbohydrate intake so as to bias your carbs around the workout and minimize them around cardio.
Add anabolics for a 6-8 week period, and pump enough cardio and/or clen/T3 to to strip off bodyfat.
Epi 30/30/40/40/40/40mg (some people might need 50 or even 60mg)
EC stack for cardio
The reason I love recomps so much is that they have the most keepable gains. A small amount of LBM is added over a long period of time, and fat lost is unlikely to rebound.