I plan on upping my calories for a few weeks to gain muscle and then go back on a restricted diet to lean down. Is that the best strategy?
The problem with bulking up is that most of the weight you gain is fat. You might gain a bit of muscles, but as you lean down, you’ll lose mostly water and fat, so you’ll get back to square one.
Gaining muscles or losing fat is a systemic process. It is a chain of positive biochemical reactions pushing the body into using the proper nutrients as energy, to detoxify and to repair. This done on a regular basis, for an extended period of time, will lead to progress, results and the desired outcome.