The “Skinny Fat” Body Type – Should You Bulk Or Cut First?


in this article here, I’m covering a pretty big topic.

It’s one that’s surrounded by a lot of confusion.

And that is what should you do if you currently have a skinny fat body type and your end goal is to have a lean and muscular body, should you start up by bulking or cutting? A lot of guys don’t know where to start here, because they know that if they bulk and focus on gaining muscle that they’re also going to gain some fat along with it.

That’s a guarantee any time you try to add a decent amount of muscle to your frame and it’s just part of the process.

So, keep that in mind.

But those guys are already carrying a decent amount of excess fat.

So, they don’t want to put on even more.

But on the other hand, they could start with a cutting phase and lean down.

And that would eliminate the excess fat.

But since they’re not caring much muscle to begin with, they’re afraid that they’ll just end up looking skinny.

Some guys will say that if you’re skinny fat, then you should bulk first.

And others will say that you should cut first.

And that can obviously be confusing.

So, I’m going to give you my personal view on this topic.

So, in my view the problem with just making one sort of blanket recommendation and saying, you know, if you’re skinny fat, you should bulk or if you’re skinny fat, you should cut is that skinny fat doesn’t describe one exact body type.

Skinny fat basically just means that you’re carrying a reasonable amount of excess fat, but you also aren’t carrying much muscle.

And that comes in varying degrees.

For example, if you run a Google image search for the term skinny fat, you’ll see that it can come in a lot of different

It can mean a naturally skinny sort of ectomorph body, but with kind of a small pot belly.

Or it could mean somebody who is carrying a higher amount of fat overall, but also lacks decent muscular development.

So, in my opinion, the question of whether to  bulk or cut, it should actually be looked at on a case-by-case basis rather than just giving one recommendation to everyone.

Sometimes cutting makes sense and sometimes bulking makes sense.

It just depends on how skinny a person is, how much fat they’re specifically carrying and also what their mentality is toward the process.

Some people might be okay with looking thin if it means that they’re no longer fat and that they have a lean body.

Whereas, there are other people who really don’t want that type of look.

And they’re going to be okay with carrying a higher amount of fat if it at least means that they’re
carrying some decent muscle mass with it.

And the reality here is that neither approach is technically wrong.

If you have a skinny fat body type and your end goal is to be lean and muscular, then your initial training phase, so whether it’s a bulk or a cut, it’s going to result in a physique that you’re still temporarily not happy with.

You’re either going to be lean, but fairly thin.

Or you’re going to be muscular, but carrying a decent amount of fat.

That’s just the way it is.

And so, you really have to think long-term here, and you have to understand that that initial physique is really just
a stepping stone to your end goal.

So, there’s nothing wrong with being lean and thin or muscular and flabby, let’s say, because you do have to go to one of those two places at the start of your training in order to get to your ultimate end goal.

It’s really just temporary.

And people will say, you know, you can’t cut because you’ll just look skinny.

But keep in mind that if you’re already skinny fat, then being skinny lean is still better than your current position.

It’s still an improvement.

Or other people will say, you can’t bulk, because you’ll just get fat.

But again, you’re already carrying excess fat.

So, adding some muscle on top of that, again, it’s still an improvement from where you are right now and it’s just a temporary phase.

It’s just a temporary phase that’s leading you to your end goal.

So, ultimately, deciding whether to bulk or cut is just a matter of looking at your current physique.

And then combining that with your own personal mentality towards this.

And then, just deciding which approach makes the most sense for you.

And which one is going to keep you most motivated moving forward.

So, the main thing that I’ll look at is someone’s overall body fat percentage.

So, for example, if you’re carrying a pretty significant amount of fat, so let’s say, you’ve got like the saggy chest going on, and you’ve got a lot of flab hanging around sort of your midsection and your love handles, then, even though you don’t have much muscle, I’d still recommend cutting and getting down to a good lean base first.

Remember that building quality lean muscle does take a lot of time and effort.


And if you can just continue adding more and more fat on top of a body that is already fairly fat to begin with, then there’s a decent chance that you’re really not going to like how you look.

And it could end up de-motivating you as you go forward.

And it could lead to that typical sort of yo-yoing back and forth that so many guys fall into.

For example, these are some body types where I would say cut first.

Drop the excess fat, and then do a nice slow and controlled bulk once you’re fairly lean to begin with.

Again, you could still bulk and it’s technically not wrong to do so.

But in cases where body fat is already decently high, despite that lack of muscle development, I’d still say, “Get lean first”.

Now, on the other hand, if you do have some noticeable excess fat, but it’s not to a significant degree, especially,
if you’re someone who is fairly skinny to begin with, you know, naturally skinny shoulders, skinny arms, a smaller bone structure, then you’d probably be best going straight into a clean bulk just to fill your body out a bit first.

Get a solid foundation of muscle going, and then lose some excess fat later on once you’ve gain some reasonable size.

Again, you could still go with a cut in that situation.

It’s not wrong to do that.

If you really don’t like carrying the excess fat you have right now, then that is an option.

But given the choice between the two, if someone is fairly skinny and they’re not caring that much fat, then I would put them on a bulk.

The one important thing to keep in mind though is that you should always do your bulk in a slow and controlled manner.

Just use a small calorie surplus and focus on gaining quality muscle, maybe around 2 pounds a month, 3 pounds the most, because the last thing that a skinny — a skinny fat guy should do is, you know, the typical dirty bulk and rush the process.

Because there’s a really good chance that you’re not going to be happy with how you look if t you do start pilling on a lot of excess fats on top of what you already have.

So, the bottom line here guys is that if you do have that skinny fat body type, don’t just take someone’s blanket
recommendation that you should either bulk or cut.

The best starting approach depends on your current body type.

It depends how much fat or how little muscle you’re carrying.

And it also depends what your personal preferences are.

Either approach is ultimately okay. And it will get you to your final end goal if you stick with it.

And just remember that this stuff takes time and patience.

And that the initial body you achieve after your first bulking or cutting phase is just a temporary stepping stone.

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Discussion about this post

  1. DAFAK says:

    This article is going round in circles.

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