Tips For Bulking And Cutting The Right Way
In the bodybuilding realm, there is a lot of popularity in the bulking/cutting strategy of weight lifting. To those of you who do not know what bulking and cutting entails, it means that bodybuilders will lift at a caloric surplus, so that they can put on mass, or bulk, for an extended period of time.
This is followed by a cutting phase, in which bodybuilders will severely restrict calories so that they can lose weight, and become leaner.
The reason for these two phases is that, it appears to be difficult or very unlikely to be able to put on muscle mass while losing body fat.
This is because the body needs extra calories to build muscle, and if you are restricting calories, you will not have the sufficient energy to grow.There are some people who think that if you time things perfectly, that you can bulk and cut simultaneously. For the sake of this article, we will assume that losing body fat while gaining muscle mass is impossible.
This article will give you some tips that can help you to bulk and cut effectively and efficiently.
I know this sounds obvious, but there are some people who are very misinformed when it comes to bulking up and cutting. I once had a friend who consumed weight gainer shakes without lifting, in an attempt to get stronger, and well, just became fatter.
Nutrition is important, but it is not a substitute for lifting. Whether you are cutting or bulking, you must lift for this strategy to be effective. To put on muscle mass, you must be at a caloric surplus to give your body the energy supplies it needs. If you do not lift in this phase, you will simply gain fat.
If you are in the cutting phase, you must lift to maintain the muscle mass that you have. If you do not lift when cutting, you will lose a lot of the progress gained during the bulking phase.
Regardless of what phase you are in, it is essential that you continue to lift!
Nutrition will make or break your lifting regimen. If you are in the bulking phase, it is important that you are in a surplus of calories.
So how do you figure this out?
It is always going to be an estimate, but there are some things you can do to be more accurate. Find a BMR calculator and figure out how many calories you burn daily via your basal metabolic rate.
Next, using either a mobile phone app, or one of the great calculators online, try and predict how many calories you burn from your daily activities.
Finally, using different nutrition calculators or apps, find out how many calories you are eating on a daily basis.
After figuring these 3 things out, figure out what your caloric deficit/surplus is via the formula below:
(Calories consumed)-(BMR + Calories burned) = surplus or deficit.
If you are in the bulking phase, I would recommend being at about a 500 calorie surplus. It would probably be better to be at about 200-300 calories over instead of 500, but just to be safe, I would recommend 500 calories.
So if your BMR is 2000 calories and the combination of your BMR and calories burned is 2000 as well, you would be even, and thus, not gain nor lose weight.
If you are bulking, you would want to increase your intake to 2500 calories, and if you are cutting you would want to create a deficit, which would be best achieved by burning more calories via exercise.
I would recommend consuming about 2.2g of protein per kg of body weight (or 1g per pound). In a study carried out at Letterman Army Institute of Research in California, study participants consumed 2.8 kg of protein per pound of weight. Combined with an intense workout regimen, subjects added an average of 7.2 pounds of lean muscle mass in a 40 day time span.
In another study conducted over a span of 3 months, bodybuilders were in-taking protein at a rate of over 3 kg of protein per day. The subjects enjoyed strength of gains of 5% and lean muscle mass gains of 6%.
For other health purposes, I would be skeptical to increase your protein intake to that high of a number, but these studies are good indicators that increased protein intake can help you gain muscle mass more effectively.
The Recommended Daily Intake for protein is much lower than this, but the recommendations are designed for sedentary people. If you train hard, are an athlete, and are serious about your progress, you will need more protein.
If you want to get the most out of your workouts, and your life, for that matter, you must sleep adequately. Everyone is different so you must figure out what is ideal for you.
Your body grows and heals when sleeping. After a tough workout, your body repairs and grows its muscles during rest, so think of sleep as your healing time.
During sleep, your body enters a catabolic state, in which the body grows, protein is assembled, tissues are rebuilt, and stores of energy are replenished. If you do not sleep as your body requires, you will not let the body recover and rebuild from your hard, grueling workouts.
In a fast-paced world, it seems like there is not enough time in the day, as there are so many things to do, but it is vital that you do not sacrifice your sleep, if you expect to achieve maximal gains from your workouts.
The best way to figure out how much sleep you need is to sleep without an alarm for a week. Go to bed at the same time every day and see what time you wake up. Calculate how many hours it is that you need, and that should be your goal on a nightly basis.
Research has shown that there are genes that code for how much sleep each individual needs. Thus, everyone is different, but most of us require between 6-10 hours a day.
I will not go into detail with this tip, but it is important to give your body adequate rest. Working out out for too long or too often, can really impede results. Make sure to give your muscles time to recover between workouts. Never work out the same muscle group 2 days in a row.
It is also good to take off days, in which you do not workout at all. Everyone is different. Make sure to listen to your body. If you feel like you need a day off, or you are still really sore from a previous workout, take the day off. It is a fine line deciding whether to push it or not, and over time, you will learn your body and what exactly it needs.
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About Danny Maman My name is Danny Maman. I have a real passion for health and fitness and enjoy having a life that revolves around this. I have my bachelor's degree in exercise science with a minor in allied health. I am also a certified personal trainer with ACE and am a former college basketball player.