Any weight lifters here? I can’t decide whether to bulk right now and cut 4-5 months before the wedding or just do maintenance for now and go back to the regular lifting cycle after the wedding. I’m just scared to bulk and not be able to cut enough or the wedding especially since it’ll be so much more hectic around that time. Wedding planning has already taken over some of my time and I’ve already cut my training from lifting 5-6x a week to 3x full body lifts a week (with just short body weight exercises on other days). Ideas? Suggestions?
4-5 months for a cut would be incredibly excessive unless you are prepping for stage (needing to be <15% bodyfat) or overweight, which I would guess from your profile picture that you are not.
If you choose to bulk, you should not do so at such a rate that you need 4-5 months to cut, either.
A cut cycle should be based on your starting body fat and your goal. I always based this off my waist size, because that gave an easy indicator of how my body fat was doing, and I would aim for 1/4" loss from my waist per week. So, if my waist was 25" and I wanted it around 23", I'd divide the difference by 0.25 - that would be an eight-week cut. I could then adjust the cut based on how my body was responding (if I dropped more than 1/4" in a week, I knew I had cut back calories too far, for example.)
If you have a decent amount of muscle, I would just stick to maintenance. Especially if you are only able to commit to three days of lifting a week, extra calories for a bulk wouldn't really benefit you that much.
In addition to the advice above, I'd also consider your alterations timeline for your dress. It could be tricky to get measurements right if you are bulking and cutting right before your wedding. I suspect maintenance would be easier mentally, physically, and logistically.
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You’re right. It would be mentally and logistically easier. I already have so much other planning to do, I’d hate to add meal and training planning on top of that. Luckily, following my hunger cues is pretty inline with just maintaining. I’ve stopped counting macros for a few months now and just listening to my hunger cues, but prioritizing protein. I’ve stayed at the same weight. This is my progress so far after one cycle of bulking and cutting. Maybe a bit bigger since I’ve had a few months to bulk and started taking insulin since I was diagnosed with T1D soon after these progress pics. I did a cut over the summer and I’ve been keeping the same amount of muscle so far with half the volume and eating at maintenance.
Ah. Well, even so, I think 4-5 month cut is only appropriate if you are 30+ pounds overweight (or you are prepping for stage/competition, and even then, this would be considered a long cut that is generally only seen in clients who are 25+ pounds from stage weight). From the photos you posted in another reply, I don't think you are.
Kari also had a great point about the dress. You definitely don't want to end up with your dress ill-fitted because you lost a bunch of weight in the weeks before the wedding.