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Considering that losing fat without some muscle mass loss is highly unlikely and gaining muscle mass without gaining any fat quantity is also unlikely, all we have to do is trying to optimize our routine and diet, that is, building muscles but gaining the least amount of fat possible in a bulking phase (a.k.a. "clean bulk"), and losing fat but losing the least amount of lean mass possible.

Under these assumptions, I designed a strategy for myself, where I set a diary goal for my weight, observing a medium-term goal in a significant range and measuring my weight in the same conditions, almost every morning. I'm a ectomorph thin (1m93), keeping a 5 days/week exercise routine (basically anaerobic), a good quality of sleep and a diet designed for cutting or bulking phase with an amount of calories as reference.

The "trick" - and the quid of this question - is if my weight is below my diary goal, I eat more carbs (small GI) and if my weight is above my diary goal then carbs will be avoided in all meals but breakfast, pre-workout and post-workout.

Now, let's imagine a [almost-?]diary PDCA cycle, where:

  1. Plan = the goal of the day and a previously defined and adequated exercise routine, diet, sleeping, hydration, etc;
  2. Do = your exercise routine, diet, sleeping, hydration, etc;
  3. Check = your every-morning measure, compared to the goal of the day. Are you really doing what's is your plan? Is your plan really good?;
  4. Act = Correct one or more points of your plan;

If the red line (real weight) is too above the blue line (goal), possibly it means an extra fat gain; if the red line is too below, possibly it means too much muscle loss. Both cases, we must act. Sure, "too below" and "too above" still sound subjective.

You can see the diary goals and results at this graph below:

enter image description here

The point is: I guess it is working, but I'd like to understand if there is any risk for my goals or even for my health. Could this goal system be an efficient approach?

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    Somatotypes (Ectomorph, etc) have been debunked. They are not considered actual classifications. – JohnP Aug 20 '15 at 20:05
  • Sure, I just knew it here some minutes ago. – Victor F Aug 20 '15 at 20:07
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This seems like a fairly reasonable projection, but keep in mind that as you lose fat, each pound (or kilo) of fat is harder to lose than the one before it. This means that your cut phase may slow down as you get towards the end. I wouldn't fret about this, its typical.

I would also like to refer you to this article about this exact topic which I found to be very helpful. http://rippedbody.jp/how-to-bulk/

It goes into detail about how long and much you should bulk and cut, depending on a couple common goals. Hope it helps!

| improve this answer | |
  • "Lose fat, each pound (or kilo) of fat is harder to lose than the one before it."; Sure, maybe a better model is not linear, maybe it is slighly logarithmic/exponential, which would make this approach more "conservative". – Victor F Aug 21 '15 at 11:51
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    Yeah, or just use this as a goal but don't freak out if you don't quite hit the mark. Sometimes as you get further on you might stall out. Often this means a change in tactics is necessary. I have found I sometimes have to add one or two weeks to a cut to eek out the last pound or two. – William Sturgiss Aug 21 '15 at 14:14
  • I'll edit it with a better goal calculation during the cutting phase... soon. – Victor F Aug 21 '15 at 17:17

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