In this video, Greg Doucette explains that bulking then cutting is a waste of time because even though muscle is built faster in a surplus, all the extra muscle is lost when cutting. But in the same video, and many others, he contradicts himself by saying that you can build muscle during a cut, with a caloric deficit. So he is saying you can build muscle while cutting, but if you first bulk then cut then you lose your muscle.

I would like to know, therefore, which builds more muscle over the same timeline:

  • 1 year bulking then 1 year of cutting, or
  • 2 years of maintenance, or
  • 2 years of cutting

And I'm using limited time because he says fitness is a marathon, but life is not, no one lives forever.

  • Pretty sure he’s referring to drastic bulking and cutting. In an ideal world, you’re bulking at an optimal rate to maximize the ratio of muscle to fat gained. This is a lean bulk, some people think lean/proper bulk when they hear “bulk” while others think dirty bulk. Big difference, pun intended. Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 0:18

1 Answer 1


A combination of the two will give you the best result.

Most people think of a "dirty" bulk when they hear the word bulk, in which you literally eat anything and everything. This makes you gain a lot of fat. Let's say you usually eat 2500kcal a day. In a dirty bulk you might go up to 3500 or 4000, eating literally anything to reach that number. Yes, you'll get stronger and gain muscle, but at the same time you gain a lot of fat. You then have to do a massive cut, in which you're in such a defitic that you lose all the fat, you'll also lose some of the muscles you've gained.

If you do a "clean" bulk using good foods and going up to 2800 or 3000kcal a day (from the base 2500), you will gain quality mass without gaining too much fat during the process. This way you won't need to do a drastic cut. Usually, going back to the old 2500 a day will be enough to lose most of the fat you've gained without losing muscle.

This second method is also a lot healthier which, if you're working out for health reasons, might be important to you.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.