still have some belly fat, and i lost some muscle while cutting. i could keep dieting for another 2 months to get to 190 lbs, which should put me about 8% bodyfat (that's around six pack territory). the problem is i've been on reduced calories for 11 months, so my progress has slowed, and i really want to regain some of the muscle i lost. so i'm going to switch to bulking for 2 to 3 months. since i still have to figure out how to bulk properly to mostly gain lean muscle, i'm not sure what my goals should be? i can say i'd like to regain the 5 to 10 lbs of muscle i lost, regain strength, to get my bodyweight back up to about 210 to 215, and keep my bodyfat under 12%. its inevitable that i'll regain some fat in the process, but the goal is to gain primarily muscle. last time i tried this (6 months ago), i gained about 40% muscle vs 60% fat and water. i need to improve those percentages. when cutting, i was losing 75% fat and water vs 25% muscle; so for bulking i'd like to gain about 60% muscle vs 40% fat and water. the major change from last time will be nutrition. last attempt i immediately jumped from a 500 caloric reduction to a 500 calorie surplus. when i spoke to a nutritionist, they recommended i add the calories back in slowly. e.g. add 250 calories each week until i get back to maintenance level, and then slow that even more as i hit a surplus (e.g. 250 calories every 2 weeks). that will allow my body to get used to the additional calories and become less efficient. for percentages, on reduced calories, i targeted 20% fat, 37% carbs, 43% protein. the additional calories will be carbs, to target 20% fat, 42% carbs, 38% protein. extra carbs will provide energy and help muscle recovery. other changes are that i've been reducing my sodium intake. lifting will be heavy, and i'll change the workouts to allow for more rest between bodyparts. cardio will continue to alternate between high and low intensity days.
after a couple months of bulking, i should have regained some muscle (along with some fat) and my body will become use to more calories. then i'll be in a good spot to transition back into a cutting phase for summer. the additional muscle will burn more calories, and my metabolism will be less efficient than it is now. if i bulk for 2 months or 3 months will depend upon bodyfat percentage measurements. if i'm gaining too much fat, then i'll return to cutting after 2 months, else i'll continue bulking for a total of 3 months.