How To Bulk and Cut the Right Way
Today is the day. You’ve stuck to your New Year’s Resolution and have committed to getting healthier.
It’s been tough getting into a good routine over the last few weeks, but this is YOUR year, and you’ve got this! You’ve been waking up earlier, hitting the gym, and eating clean. Self-care is no longer an option but a priority, and you’re finally ready to take the next leap in your fitness journey — it’s time to start bulking and cutting.
If you’re on a mission to improve your overall body composition, then give yourself a nice pat on the back because you’re in the right place. In this post, we’re diving into the world of fitness to uncover all the best tips and tricks to bulk and cut — the right way.
So slip on your sneakers, drink your pre-workout and keep reading; let’s do this!
Bulk vs. Cut: What’s The Difference?
Before we tell you everything that you need to know to reach your fitness goals, you might be wondering what’s the difference between “bulking” and “cutting.”
For the average joe, these buzzy bodybuilding terms are about as synonymous as whey protein and casein. But just like the two different types of protein powders — they are quite different. We’ll explain.
The first thing you should know is that there’s actually no standardized definition of bulking and cutting. That being said, a “bulk” is essentially a period of eating in a strategic calorie surplus. In other words, when you’re bulking, you consume more calories than you burn, with the ultimate goal being to gain weight.
Now, suppose you’re envisioning stuffing your face with copious amounts of ooey-gooey pizza and mountains of pasta followed by a two-liter of soda pop. In that case, we’re sorry to burst your bubble, but unfortunately, that’s not what we mean by ‘gaining weight.’
You see, when looking to bulk, the idea is to eat enough calories so that your body goes into an “anabolic” state. This means that your body is in a growth phase where new tissue will be created, including muscle and bone, among other things.
To get into an anabolic state, you should be eating just ever-so-slightly above your “maintenance” calorie needs. So if you typically eat pretty clean, shocking your body with a bunch of calories — especially from harmful processed foods — can throw a monkey wrench into your progress.
When looking to build muscle via bulking, a “clean bulk” is the way to go. If your strength and weight are rising at a slow pace with minimal fat gain, you’re doing it right.
Remember, bulking is all about packing on the pounds due to muscle gain — not fat gain.
Ok, let’s talk about cutting.
A “cut” is a period of eating at a calorie deficit as a means to shed fat while maintaining as much muscle mass as possible. In simpler terms, cutting refers to the fat loss phase, which typically happens after bulking.
During this time, you’d consume fewer calories than what your body expends so that weight loss occurs. This puts you in a “catabolic” state — meaning the tissue is broken down in the body.
Hold Up — Why Is Cutting Done After Bulking?
Ah, good question.
Think of your body as a house and calories as bricks.
Now, let’s say you want to add to the house or “bulk” it up a bit. To do this, you need to have a whole lot of bricks to get the job done. This means that if your goal is to “bulk,” you’ll need an excess of calories to be able to build new muscle.
In the realm of bodybuilding, gaining muscle mass is the name of the game. However, once you’ve hit your goal and packed on all the gains you could ever dream of — you may notice that your new muscles aren’t as prominent as you’d like them to be. Why? Because they’re hiding behind the little bit of fat you gained during the bulking phase.
In terms of our analogy, you’ll need to take some bricks away to make the house smaller. This means eating fewer calories. As your body gets leaner and the fat begins to shed, you’ll uncover your new profound muscles and ultimately look ripped.
Putting It All Together
You see, if your end goal is to have an incredibly sculpted physique, the key is to eat enough calories so that your body can grow— you simply can’t get ‘big’ without the proper nutrition.
If you lift heavy without fueling your body with sufficient calories, your body will take stored fat and protein directly from your muscles so that it has enough energy to keep up with your intense workouts.
This will cause your muscle mass to vanish over time, leaving you smaller than when you first started on your journey.
So, when bulking up, be sure to eat enough calories, or your effort may go to waste. And once you’ve packed on the muscle mass that you’re after, stop lifting as heavy so that you can reduce your caloric intake to torch fat. As the fat fades away, your new muscles will pop.
Tips And Tricks To Cut And Bulk
Now that you understand what bulking and cutting are, let’s explore a few top tips and tricks to do it correctly, shall we?
Protein Is Your Friend
One of the most important parts of a bulking diet is protein intake.
As you’re probably already aware — a sufficient amount of protein is essential for growth and repair. It’s also a requirement for muscle gains…
Yep, you read that right — to build muscle, your body requires protein. So get yourself a quality protein powder like our clean Precision ISO Whey Protein. This undeniably delicious pasture-fed whey protein is GMO-free and full of amino acids to nourish your muscles, allowing your body to transform like no other protein on the market.
Quality Shut-Eye Is Key
Believe it or not, poor sleep can negatively impact your training performance and recovery in more ways than one. For example, when you don’t get enough vitamin zzz, your hormones can become unbalanced — especially testosterone and cortisol, which influence our calorie partitioning (how calories are used when consumed).
What’s more, as you snooze, around 95 percent of growth hormone — a key building block in muscle recovery — is released, allowing you to ease those aches and pains so that you can continue through the training.
That being said, aim for the recommended seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night, and your body will thank you for recovering from strenuous workouts sooner rather than later.
Don’t Rush the Fat Loss Phase
You might be tempted to opt for a quick-fix diet approach that promises you’ll cut lots of fat quickly, but truth be told, many of these ‘trends’ or ‘magic weight-loss supplements don’t provide lasting results.
Stick with a clean diet and a healthy lifestyle. You see, the secret to improving one’s overall body composition is hard work and dedication — that’s it. You got this!
A Final Word
And there you have it — everything you need to know about bulking and cutting the right way.
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You see, we’re setting the industry standard on just how good your nutrition can be, and when you give us a try — we’re confident that you’ll feel the difference.
Ready to reach your fitness goals? Check us out today and experience premium quality ingredients to support your journey tomorrow. With us, your choice is simple, your nutrition is second-to-none, and your body is better than it was yesterday!
Catabolism vs. Anabolism: What's the Difference? | Cleveland Clinic
Dirty Bulk vs. Clean Bulk: Which Is Best for Building Muscle? | Muscle EVO
PROTEIN INTAKE FOR OPTIMAL MUSCLE MAINTENANCE | ACSM
Physiology of growth hormone secretion during sleep | PubMed