Ask any bodybuilder for advice when it comes to bulking and cutting, and you’re sure to hear many, many different things. The good news is that most of this advice can really and truly help you reach your goals, whether you want to gain muscle mass, improve your muscle quality, or lose inches of body fat.
Food is the fuel your body uses for energy, so it only makes sense that you’ll need to consume enough of the right foods to reach your goals. Bulking and cutting both put stress on the body, so you’ll need to change your diet somewhat based on your cycle.
- Bulking – When you are bulking, your goal is to put your body in an anabolic state so that it can more easily use the food you give it to create muscle tissue. As such, many bodybuilders will eat up to 4000 calories per day or more. They’ll also make sure that they consume a diet that consists of about 40% carbohydrates, 20% fat, and 40% protein.
- Cutting – On the other hand, when it comes to cutting, many athletes will reduce their calorie consumption significantly – often down to as low as 1500 per day. During this time, they’ll ensure that their diets consist of 60% simple carbohydrates, no more than 20% fat, and about 20% protein.
Just as your diet should change with your bulking and cutting cycles, so should your exercise regimens. Different types and styles of workouts can help you bulk or cut fat.
- Bulking – Since a bulking cycle is all about packing on muscle tissue, the best types of exercises are those that truly strain your muscles. You’ll want to consider things like strength and resistance training (weightlifting) more than others since these will help build muscle without burning a tremendous amount of calories.
- Cutting – On the other hand, when you’re in the midst of a cutting cycle, your overall goal is to burn fat. During this type of cycle, you’ll want to introduce aerobic and cardio routines because they are fast paced and they really rev the metabolism. Don’t stop lifting weights, though; your body burns a significant amount of calories while recovering from a weightlifting session, and lifting weights can also help you maintain your gains. Some people may focus more on hypertrophy training during this period to assist with building definition.
Supplements for Bulking and Cutting
Finally, there are many different supplements out there geared toward bodybuilders in various cycles. Some are better suited for the bulking phase, while others can certainly help when it comes to cutting unwanted body fat.
- Bulking – There is no better supplement than creatine when it comes to bulking. It increases the production of ATP, which gives your muscles the energy they need to repair themselves after workouts and grow. Creatine monohydrate is by far the best choice since more of the supplement is bioavailable.
- Cutting – There are two types of supplements you’ll need during a cutting phase. The first should help you increase your metabolic rate to help you burn calories, and thermogenic supplements are the way to go. Caffeine is a great example, and yohimbe is an ingredient in many supplements that helps release adipose fat into the bloodstream where the body can burn it off.
When it comes to bulking and cutting, it is important for you to provide your body with the diet, exercise, and supplementation it needs. The advice found here will help you make better decisions and prime your body for its bulking or cutting cycle, all the while providing the fuel you need to stay healthy.