A Quick Guide to Bulking and Cutting
In this article I will attempt to present my outlook on the layman’s description of why we as bodybuilders/fitness models “bulk and cut”.
In order to obtain a better understanding of layman’s theory the following definitions are guaranteed to help;
A deficit: A calorific intake such that one loses weight
Maintenance: A calorific intake such that one maintains weight
A surplus: A calorific intake such that one increases weight
I appreciate the above descriptions lack detail and do not take into account body composition, however for the purpose of this article they help understand my basic points.
Now not everyone “bulks and cuts”, some into fitness maintain a high level physique all year round, however for those of us trying to obtain as much size as possible in as small a time frame as possible, we tend to adopt a bulk/cut dieting process.
Under very few circumstances (such as just starting at the gym or being ridiculously genetically gifted) it is extremely difficult to grow muscle while losing fat. I am by no means saying that this is impossible as I myself have managed to achieve this, however typically to lose fat we must be in a deficit and to gain muscle we must be in a surplus.
Given the two polar opposite diets required to achieve this, it makes sense to keep the goals separate. Now the basic idea is over time to achieve the leanest, most muscular physique while eating as many calories as possible.
By bulking we eat a surplus of calories with a macro ratio designed to store as little fat as possible (gaining some fat is typically inevitable on a bulk) and packing on as much muscle as humanly possible! While on a bulk we try and make our bodies as inefficient as possible. When I say inefficient, I refer to increasing calories as much as possible over time with the smallest fat deposits possible. The body in this state is extremely inefficient and losing weight/cutting becomes far easier.
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On a cut we try to take advantage of the increased maintenance level we have established while pushing ourselves to a relatively high calorific intake on our “bulk”. At this point, if the bulk was carried out effectively, you should be on little to no cardio, huge calories and will have plentiful “options” with which to start to cut down the fluff and get shredded!
While on a deficit we try to establish a macro ratio that maintains as much muscle as possible (we must remember during this phase our goal is to lose fat which, as mentioned above, comes hand in hand with the loss of some size).
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Now when both of the phases are done well, with each cut we should have set ourselves the best possible start point for our bulk. With the end of each cut we should end on a higher calorific intake than the one previous, have a higher lean muscle mass and lower body fat percentage.
It doesn’t take much to see that over time we can create a far greater physique all year round with an easier time of staying lean!
On behalf of Bodybuilding Warehouse