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Bodybuilding when to Bulk and when to Cut, question and answer session

Hi folks coach Tony here thank you for following my posts.




As promised I am going to deliver a weekly question and answer session with your questions and my answers from the knowledge that I’ve gathered from 30 years as a competitive bodybuilder and also fully certified personal trainer and coach. Today’s question comes from Mo in Chicago.


Mo says “ hi Tony, how do you switch between cutting and bulking both mindset and diet wise I’ve heard that one should maintain for four weeks before switching.


Before I answer this we need to address the question “ should you cut or bulk first” . I would say if you are over 15% body fat I recommend you start by cutting down to between 10 and 15% for several reasons:


1. You’ll be happier how you look.

2. You will have an easier time cutting for the longer you stay in a calorie deficit the more difficult it is to get into shape because of muscle loss hormonal fluctuations food cravings from an extensive time on a diet.

3. Actually gain more muscle when you do eventually go on your lean belt because as body fat rises insulin sensitivity drops which changes muscle protein synthesis and promotes fat gain.


So when you know where to start with your nutrition then we can look at Mo’s question how long you should cut and how long you should lean bulk . generally your cutting phase should end when you are around 10% body fat unless you are prepping for a bodybuilding competition in which case you would need to take your level of conditioning to the extreme.

In other words you would need to get sliced or shredded in order to perform well which usually means getting down to around 5% body fat.


For more information on this and the degrees of muscular definition see my previous posts on Instagram where I describe different levels of conditioning.

For most recreational bodybuilders who want to look good for themselves then to be relatively hard or cut is enough. And if your booking then it’s time to cut when you go over 15% to 17% body fat.

For me and the people that I help are usually find that the cutting phase last between 10 to 14 weeks and a good lean bulk would last between 12 to 16 weeks.

I hope this answers your question Mo and I hope followers have enjoyed the blog keep the questions coming in and I’ll endeavour to do my best to answer them to the best of my knowledge.


Thanks for watching and if you like this post hit like share and follow and enjoy your training Whether you are bulking or catching or just spinning your wheels.


Train With Tone London Phone: +44 20 8058 9045

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