Which to do first? Cutting or Building Phase?

Which to do first? Cutting or Building Phase? 1

What to do first? Cut or building phase?

This is probably the most frequent question I get ask.” I want to start with my body transformation now, but which phase must I do first?”

Cutting and Building phases play a very important role in allowing the body to cope with the strain of training. Every 3 months during the Cutting Phase the weights are lighter with higher reps per set, allowing the tendons and joints a rest and time to recover and strengthen for the next attack with the Building Phase. It also has many other positive effects on health and the body in general.

Click here to view video “Cutting or Building Phase first?”

 

Just to clarify the terms:

Cutting Phase

  • The phase by which you drop body fat while attempting to hang on to the muscle size.
  • Lighter training (more reps per set), generally not to the point of failure.
  • Fewer calories consumed.
  • Usually 3 months in length.
  • Can go as low as 4-5% body fat where competing athletes push the limits to 2-3% body fat levels for very short durations.

Building Phase

  • The phase by which you slightly increase body fat to enable you to build bigger muscles.
  • Train to muscle failure at low reps on EACH set to ignite growth.
  • Slightly higher calories consumed (approximately 10% more than cutting phase – ALWAYS stick to 40/30/30 split – protein/carbs/fat).
  • Usually 3 months in length.
  • Should not go lower than 8% body fat otherwise you will struggle to add decent muscle size.

 

The answer is not a simple one and some factors needs to be considered. I think it will be best explained by going through a couple of scenarios.

 

Training status: beginner to moderate / Body fat levels: Above 10%  / Goal:  Shredded, muscled body.

ANSWER:  Considering your goal of a shredded physique and the fact that you are not an advanced athlete and body fat levels are above 10% it is a clear sign that you should start with the Cutting Phase. In fact I would say that if your body fat levels are over 15% or 20% you should strongly consider an extended Cutting Phase until such time that it drops below a 10% level before you start alternating between the Phases.

 

Training Status: beginner to moderate / Body fat levels: 8% – 10% / Goal: Shredded, muscled body

ANSWER:  For this scenario the freedom of choice is yours. Depending on how much you want that shredded look, I would suggest you decide. If it is all important, then start off with a 3 month Cutting Phase and then alternate with a 3 month Building Phase and repeat. If it is not all out important then nothing stops you from starting with the Building Phase in this scenario. The fact that you are a beginner to moderate athlete however would suggest the Cutting Phase could be a better option to start with since you might still not have all the techniques of the exercises fully under control and heavy intense training might put you in risk of injury.

 

Training Status: advanced / Body fat levels: between 8% – 10% / Goal: Shredded, muscled body

ANSWER:  The exact same as above scenario with the difference that this is an advanced athlete. Due to this fact he/she will have strengthened tendons and joints and exercise technique should already been well under control. These facts lend to the suggest that such an athlete might rather want to start with the Building Phase (although he/she have complete freedom to decide).

 

Training Status: advanced / Body fat levels: below 8% / Goal: Shredded, muscled body

ANSWER:  In this scenario the athlete is already in shredded territory (below 8% body fat). Unless it is a  hardcore athlete that want to go down to like 5% body fat levels, the better choice here would be to do a Building Phase.

 

Training Status: advanced / Body fat levels: above 10% / Goal: muscled body

ANSWER:  In this scenario the aim is just to get a muscled body (call it a Rugby player look). Body fat levels are not such a great concern to this person plus he is a rather advanced athlete that knows his technique. There is no reason why such a person should start with the Cutting Phase. He can start off with the Building Phase and from there onwards alternate every 3 months between Cutting and Building Phases.

Which to do first? Cutting or Building Phase? 2

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I hope this clears up the confusion. (BODY Transformation SYSTEMS worked out just for you: https://gertlouw.com/contact-me/)

Keep training hard and GROW!

Gert Louw

www.gertlouw.com

Gert POOL

Author: gertlouw

In the deepest south of South Africa you will find me. Dwelling in the most beautiful city in the world, Cape Town. I live close to God and try to follow in the footsteps of Christ as led the Holy Spirit. Other passions include Karate and Judo and wrestling (and off course surfing for many years). Karate I did for many years, Judo 4 yrs and for a short period kickboxing until I was knocked silly one time with blood all over and teeth protruding through my lip, but if I have to choose over, I would choose wrestling…simply because of the brutal power against power game with your opponent. Love it. Love my home theatre hobby, my youtube channel and spending time with family! And off course me and my son's new adventure https://mediax.photography ...and love flying my drone - DJI Phantom 4 Pro For those interested, this blog is my database of all my fitness and transformation knowledge. And NO (!) I am not getting any money for it and neither do I promote anything on it or getting sponsored by anybody. My blog is simply where I want to help other guys living a healthier life and become the best they can be, inside and out and ultimately it is my legacy I want to leave my one and only son – now 13 y/o and already eager to get his 6-pack! So donations very welcome! Just click the donation button... I started my healthy living after a very close call with death at age 40. After much hardship one of my main aims now is to assist other guys with healthy living and transforming themselves inside and out. I don’t know how much grace will still be given me, but I live now every moment to be the best I can be. To be the best bodybuilder I can be, the best father, best husband and best friend to those whom my paths crosses. I want to live a life worth living and not just do what excites me or pleases me. Feel free to contact me directly if you wish. Reading this far, the last bit important info on me you need to know, is that my anchor in life is Jesus Christ. Please bear in mind, English is my 2nd language and as a result their might be spelling, grammatical and other language errors in my blog – I do apologise for this! Wish you all many blessings. Gert Louw

3 thoughts on “Which to do first? Cutting or Building Phase?

    1. Really like your comments and your wisdom. it also helps to listen to someone who is 51 and not 25..I am 56, 5’10, 176, 12.5 body fat or close to it. Would really like to put on some size again! I am going to try the building phase, any other things that you can share would be great!

      1. Hey Neil, I thank you for your feedback! There are tons of important points but you will have to work through my blog unfortunately to read them.
        A easy way though is if you sign up for SYSTEM I or SYSTEM II. It is a focussed transformation system specifically customized for your unique situation and goals. If interested, check this link out: https://gertlouw.com/contact-me/
        Otherwise feel free to ask me a specific question.
        Wish you success buddy!
        Gert

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