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Please keep questions on topic, write clearly, concisely, and don't post diet calculations.

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Mike
Mike
August 6, 2020 03:39

Hi Andy, first of all I just want to say that I’m a fan of both Muscle and Strength Pyramid books. I’m going back to the gym after 4 months break from lifting, following a nationwide lockdown. As an early intermediate gymgoer, for how long would you suggest that I ‘recomp’?

Jo C-P
Jo C-P
July 29, 2020 05:47

Hi Andy, Just want to double check my understanding. My question is around calories burnt exercising. Once you have used the macro calculator to determine your daily calorie requirements, do you only add calories burnt doing cardio onto your daily allowances and ignore anything burnt strength training because strength training has already been taken into account based on the activity levels chosen in the macro calculator? And if you do not add on calories burnt doing strength training, do you also ignore calories burnt doing body weight exercises even where these exercises are in the form of circuits and/or timed sets? Thanks in advance, Jo.

Fahad
Fahad
July 16, 2020 04:20

Hey Andy, thanks for the great article.
Is it possible to do a body recomp just by sticking to the maintenance calories (and macros) without strength training? (Since gyms are closed, I still do basic bodyweight exercises but not sure if they can be as effective.

FYI, I consider myself a beginner with a very limited weight training experience)
Thanks in advance!

Fahad
Fahad
July 16, 2020 12:17
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thanks for the reply and the home workout guide.

Was just wondering — in a situation where someone doesn’t workout at all as it’s not as fun like in the gym, would they still be able to see any body recomp progress by just hitting the recomp macros?

Thanks again!

Jeff B
Jeff B
July 10, 2020 20:58

Hi Andy, I found your website about two years ago and it has made a HUGE difference in my life. Just wanted to express my gratitude for the fine work you do. This site has become my go-to for all fitness related information and I’ve recommended it to friends and family.

You mentioned above the optimal rate for body weight loss during a cut is 0.5% per week. Would you mind elaborating a bit more as to the reason this is the target? On my current cut I’m dropping ~ 1% per week.

Thanks in advance!

Jeff B
Jeff B
July 11, 2020 21:28
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thank you Andy! I appreciate your time!

Tracy Patterson
Tracy Patterson
July 9, 2020 16:46

When bulking, how do you know the difference between weight gain being muscle glycogen uptake as opposed to lean tissue and or fat?
How do you tell when to cut again if you’ve no access to body fat % measuring?
Is it better to keep fat intake at a minimum required amount as my understanding is that the calorie surplus is easier to store as fat when those extra calories come from fat so eat the excess as protein and or carbs? Thanks

Tracy Patterson
Tracy Patterson
July 9, 2020 18:30
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Brilliant thanks so much Andy 👍

Adrian
Adrian
July 1, 2020 23:44

Hello Andy,

I am a competitive cyclist just getting into weightlifting but I have one question regarding daily caloric intake. I was thinking about doing recomp and eating at maintenance calories. I train cycling everyday and burn anything from 800-3000kcal. I understand that maintenance calories is defined as: basal metabolic rate + calories burnt from activities and exercise. I understand I shouldn’t be on a deficit as this would negatively impact muscle gains, specially coupled with the training demands of cycling but I was asking you if I really have to eat all that much food. Take for example this week in which I burnt about 2000kcal a day. Do I really have to eat back 2000 kcal extra?

Priscilla Bahaw
Priscilla Bahaw
June 23, 2020 03:44

Hi Andy After reading your detailed articles, I am still torn between if I should be cutting or aim for body-re-composition . My gut feeling from your articles is to aim for body re-composition BUT My past self of yo-yo dieting tells me to CUT. I need an objective viewpoint because of my tendency to under /overestimate my body fat % even with the examples you gave
Here are my stats: FEMALE  Age: 35 Years 5FT 1.5 inches @119lbs. Waist: 64.5 CM Hips: 95CM Belly 76CM. Unsure if I’m Mostly Sedentary or Lightly Active. lift 3 days, 150 mins Mod. Cardio per week, Office Job, Avg TDEE 1700, Avg 7000

Priscilla
Priscilla
June 25, 2020 00:44
Reply to  Andy Morgan

I value your honesty. My conclusion is try recomp and after 8-12 weeks if I am significantly unhappy with how I look and measurements keep going up, then I will cut. I took your free course and feel that I can apply the principles with patience and see the outcome. You have done enough as I am so grateful. I gave you a reveiw via email about the free course. Thanks Bro

Adam Pettitt
Adam Pettitt
June 20, 2020 08:02

Hi Andy, I’m just getting stressed about what direction to go in at the moment. I’m 23, 5’8, weigh 62kg. I’ve been working out for 3 years, always done lots of cardio and some dumbbell work. My top 4 abs show in good lighting but I’ve never been able to get ripped or be happy with my muscle size. Over lockdown with a home gym I’ve introduced compound lifts for the first time. I’ve been lean bulking for 2 months with my upper body/arms looking bigger etc. Ive calculated around 14% body fat and I’ve started a mini-cut (for 2 weeks). Do I go back to lean bulking or should I cut to 10% for summer and then continue with the lean bulk in Winter? Thanks!

Adam Pettitt
Adam Pettitt
June 30, 2020 03:35
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Okay, thank you! Will have a think

Yau Jia Wen
Yau Jia Wen
June 18, 2020 17:21

Hi Andy, i am a guy who is 172cm and 110kg. I have lost 10kg in the past but the weight loss stalls eventually after i started working and couldn’t commit to exercise (about one year ago). I am currently eating below 2000 calories (around 1800 cal) and wanted to start losing weight again but the problem is that i don’t think cutting another 500 calories is realistic for me as i am already eating less. Have you encountered any cases like me before and do you have any suggestions on how i can plan my cut?

Yau Jia Wen
Yau Jia Wen
June 19, 2020 09:58
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thank you! I will definitely read this

David Akinbode
David Akinbode
June 12, 2020 06:11

Hey Andy,
 
I love the article and I really appreciate you for writing it. To get to the point I am like Skinny Simon. I am 138 lbs, 6 foot 2 and I am currently 16 years old. I want to Bulk up, but I wasn’t sure if I should gain weight and fat then go on a cut or if I should only eat enough to gain mainly muscle. In other words, I have the choice to eat around 3500 – 4,000 calories daily (It’s high because I walk every day and also train 5 days a week). I also have the option to eat around 2,700 calories so the weight I gain will be limited to muscle. I am fairly new to training and I am around 1 to 2% body fat. I know I should bulk but to what degree. Thanks

Khoo Jun An
Khoo Jun An
June 5, 2020 23:18

Hi Andy,
Just to check with you that can I still build muscles while bulking by hitting the calories need but not the protein intake? As I have a liver problem and my doctor suggest me to eat everything in moderation and keep protein level low.

Khoo Jun An
Khoo Jun An
May 31, 2020 00:36

Hi Andy,

I have been following all the guide in this site and used your macro calculator for cutting.I managed to cut from 66kg(skinny fat kinda body even though I been lifting for two years doing powerlifitng) to currently 60kg(I’m able to see my 2 pack abs definition and I’m in my fittest body ever but I feel like I look small).I’m planning to take a diet break for 2 weeks as per mentioned in the guide from your site.After that I’m thinking of continue cutting.What make me struggle is that I wouldn’t want to be too light but I want to keep my body fat low.Should continue to cut till shredded then bulk or I should eat in recomp after my diet break?Waiting for gym to open

Andrew
Andrew
May 28, 2020 06:02

Hi Andy,

I have been training for a few years now however not really done much since the gyms closed on the 23rd March. I was in the middle of a cutting phase when lockdown started and sitting around 14% bodyfat which I haven’t strayed too far from now. Prior to lockdown I was training 5 days per week.

My question is how should I look to tackle training when I return? Should I continue cutting and eating in a deficit or begin training whilst eating at maintenance and hope this enables me to re-comp as you mentioned within the article above?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Kind regards,

Andrew

Otto Winata
Otto Winata
May 24, 2020 10:44

What would you consider as an inexperienced trainee and therefore should recomp? And when does the inexperienced trainee have to stop recomping and switch to a proper bulk and cut cycle?

Alex
Alex
May 20, 2020 05:35

In conclusion I just wanted to say that the question of whether to cut/bulk etc is putting the cart before the horse if you haven’t actually considered what your goal. As this site is rippedbody.com Im assuming most folks are here for one reason. Even within the general goal of ‘getting ripped’ there are possibilities that might inform decisions on diet intervention. If your goal is to get ripped by summer then the traditional cut/bulk might be a good plan. If you are in this for the long haul, someone who expects to be lifting and looking good for the rest of their lives then a longer term view would be more appropriate regarding diet, rather yo-yo cycles of bulk/cut.

Alex Kelly
Alex Kelly
May 20, 2020 20:24
Reply to  Andy Morgan

I’ve been training ‘seriously’ since about 2015 but I’ve not got that much to show for my efforts in terms of an impressive physique. I can put that down to several factors but mostly sub-optimal training in the first few years. I realised I needed more stimulus to get a training response, whether because of genetics or my age. The health advantages though, even for less than ideal strength or hypertrophy outcomes, far outweigh the disadvantages from a health standpoint.

Alex Kelly
Alex Kelly
May 20, 2020 20:25
Reply to  Alex Kelly

The same applies to diet regimes to achieve that ‘ideal’ physique. Even with closely monitored calories and macro adjustments over several years my results have been mediocre using controlled bulk cycles. I think there is case to be made for lean bulking as being a good option for some people. I know you argue against that approach as its harder to gauge results by either weight changes or physical appearance over the short term which can lead to compliance issues. There are other ways of judging progress though, which is essentially what advanced trainees would have to do.

Alex
Alex
May 20, 2020 05:20

I think you missed the first thing anyone needs to ask themselves before any diet intervention and that is: why? That answer depends on what the individual‘s goal is. For populations that are either overweight or underweight the main consideration should be from a health standpoint. For competitive athletes such as powerlifting or bodybuilding the answer will depend on timing / seasonal/ competitive and constraints. For other sports it depends on its utility to increase performance in that particular sport. For the recreational bodybuilder (which is the where the paradigm of cut/bulk is most often seen in fitness culture ) it is driven partly by personal preference of an ideal body image.

Alex Kelly
Alex Kelly
May 20, 2020 20:00
Reply to  Andy Morgan

That was a interesting read Andy.

I’m not just here to give you a hard time (well maybe little just because there are so many ‘experts’ in the fitness industry these days).

By the way I did invest in The Muscle & Strength Pyramids books, which I’m enjoying and slowly digesting.

Ahmad
Ahmad
May 18, 2020 23:37

Hey Andy; great great article, it really helped alot, i had a question, i was considered fat 3 months ago, started dieting and training and now i would describe my self as a bit skinny but still very little muscle definition, and no abs, should i kee cutting or start to bulk, as I’m now under weight, 173 cm and 63 kg

Otto
Otto
May 18, 2020 11:03

I can see my ribs when i suck my belly in,yet i cant see abs. Should i cut till i can see abs,aka a low bf% for optimal bulking or should i just bulk now?

Aaron
Aaron
May 12, 2020 06:00

Talk about and impossible subject to tackle. I’ve read many articles about this topic, and this one – along with your article with the 9 categories – have been the most helpful.

I would challenge your definition of skinny fat (although you did point out the term is problematic). I would argue skinny fat doesn’t refer to body fat (I mean, if they are “higher in body fat than average”, they aren’t skinny, right?). I think skinny fat refers to people who tend to be more naturally skinny while maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle. They may show signs of disease seen more often in overweight people. Essentially, it’s a way of saying ‘just because you’re skinny doesn’t make you healthy’.

I think many people who consider themselves skinny fat are really just ‘not lean, not overweight, and at a low level of fitness’. In fact, not only do these people not fit into the ‘overweight’ or ‘underweight’ (aka ecto/endomorph), but they make up a large percentage of the population. Which is why I think it’s important to understand the term.

Aaron
Aaron
May 13, 2020 11:19
Reply to  Andy Morgan

I think that’s great! I especially like the point about some people, despite being somewhat active (cyclists are a really good example in my opinion) can still be found in this category. And the picture showing the difference in fat percentage illustrates it well.

For me personally, my experience with being skinny fat was how weak some parts of my body were, and how those led to some aches and pains as I got older (weak glutes causing back pain, weak forearms causing elbow or shoulder pain). Weight training helped me realize that even though I looked ok in the mirror, my body was in rough shape.

Will
Will
May 10, 2020 18:21

Hi Andy, hope you’re well and thanks for the great content as always.

Does the stimulus it takes to grow muscle in a surplus roughly correspond with the stimulus it takes to retain it in a deficit?

I have followed your bulking guide with success and am now looking to cut – but slightly anxious to do so without access to a gym! As far as I can tell I have made okay progress with the stuff I have at home (bands and adjustable dumbbell) whilst in a surplus. I’d be happy to maintain for a month or so but there’s a possibility gyms in the UK will be closed for significantly longer than that, and my BF is too high to continue gaining.

Thanks in advance, much appreciated.

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