What is Bulking vs Cutting
When you are training it is a good idea to keep in mind that your diet should reflect your goals.To add to what I just said about dieting, the type of workout matters a lot also. I will go more in depth about each one but just to give a simple answer bulking is more about eating as much as you can and gaining muscle quick.Cutting, on the other hand, is more watching what you eat to lose fat and gain/maintain muscle. Many people think that I can eat what I want and still lose fat and gain muscle. Yes maybe some people can do that but the majority of people can not out train a bad diet.Just a bit of planning you can avoid this common mistake of thinking you can out train a bad diet. Synching your diet and training together isn’t complicated. By assessing your goals and what they require, you can set up a successful diet and know how to adjust it as you progress through different phases of training.
Types of phases
When it comes to body composition goals, there are two traditional phases of training and you want to ask yourself which one do I want?(There are more but I’m keeping this simple)
- Mass Gain – Gaining muscle at a fast rate while suffering some fat gain (Bulking)
- Fat Loss-Gaining muscle at a slow rate/staying the same (Cutting)
Once you have decided
If you are having troubles deciding which one do I want to do ask your self these questions.
- What’s my main goal?
- What type of training is best for this goal?
Down below I will be talking about each one of the phases bulking vs cutting and details about diet.
First I will be talking about bulking. Bulking will contain tons of eating such as carbs protein and other good nutrition. The rep range when bulking is usually 3-6 just so you can tear your muscles then regrow with all the great nutrients you will be eating. When bulking many people use mass gainers since it is very rich in nutrients if you wanna learn more about mass gainer click HERE.(Or at the bottom I will leave a direct link to my top mass gainer supplement.)
Nutriance break down for bulking
- A surplus of calories
- Abundant amounts of protein to maximize muscle protein synthesis
- Sufficient fat intake to optimize hormonal levels
- High carbohydrates to help and gain energy for high volume training
How many calories do I need when bulking?
The number one rule you need to know is that you need to eat a surplus of calories. If you don’t know what a surplus of calories means, It simply means you need to intake more calories than your body burns. I’m talking enough to gain 0.25 to 0.5% of your bodyweight per week. This is about equal to 200-500 calories a day over what you burn.
There is a trick that many people use to find out how many calories they really should be having. There is no one answer just cause everyone burns calories at different rates. What to do is take your bodyweight and multiply it by 15-20 and eat that many calories per day. This is just a rough guide. Why I say 15-20 is because if you are starting out, and you are not gaining any weight bump it up until you find what is working for you. Usually, people that are light and skinner are upwards of 22 and people that have wight to them are about 15.
Nutriance break down when bulking
Muscle protein synthesis to me is the key factor when it comes to building muscle. When you eat protein your body breaks it down and is used to help build your broken down muscle fibers.When bulking the key important thing to do is eat tons of protein this allows your body to go through protein synthesis throughout the day. How many grams of protein should I eat? My rule of thumb when bulking is at anywhere from 1-1.5g of protein per pound that you weigh.For example, if you weigh 200lbs eat anywhere from 200-250 grams of protein a day. I know that this is a lot of protein but trust me it is possible with the right meal planning.To make planning easier try to split meals up to about 5-6 times throughout the day this will help you to consume the full amount of protein in a day.
Carbs are very important and have a positive impact on hormones. They are also a great source of energy for the central nervous systems. Your body uses carbs when you are going through high-intensity workouts and also aid recovery. Depending on how much intense workout yo do are a factor when looking at carbs. The rule of thumb when looking at how much carbs you should have is every 1 pound you weigh correlates to about 2-3 grams of carbs. For example, a 200 lbs guy could eat about 400 grams of carbs a day. When eating carbs it is not good to eat too many carbs can turn into fat fast. Great source of carbs is rice and noodles.
Once the carbs and proteins take up your calories the rest is fat. I know that you are thinking why am I eating dietary fat? The answer is that it is important for regular hormonal function, especially testosterone production. It should never be eliminated from the diet. How I decide my daily fat has about .40 to .35 grams of fat per pound you weigh.
Different types of Bulking
What is Clean Bulking?
The basics of clean bulking are to put muscle mass on and limit the amount of fat. Clean bulk includes cardio usually when bulking you do not do cardio because it can limit gains. When clean bulking though you want to burn most fat while still gaining muscle so you need to need to do cardio. From my experience, it is a wise idea to continue doing cardio workouts during a bulking phase to minimize any fat gains. The one warning I have is it important not to overdo cardio, that will prevent muscle gains severely. Also when clean bulking you watch what you eat a tad more suck as eating tons of proteins but just limiting the foods with too much fat and carbs.That is just a small summary of clean bulking just so you get the idea of what it is.
What is a Dirty Bulk?
Now for dirty bulk, this is going to be a bulk that its main focus is to gain as much muscle as fast as possible. Dirty bulking will add tons of muscle but with the muscle comes fat. The fat comes from all the food you eat such as fats and carbs. Dirty bulking includes not worrying what you eat basically eating what you want and having a crazy calorie surplus to allow for maximum muscle growth.
Key Points When Bulking
- Aim to gain 0.25 to 0.5% of bodyweight per week.
- When progress stalls, increase calories by 250 to 500 per day.
- Calorie surplus.
- Your strength in the 6-12 rep range should be increasing consistently.
- 1.5 grams of protein per pound you weigh
What is Cutting?
What’s the goal? A reduction in body fat and maintain muscle.
The most important thing when cutting is being in a caloric deficit.If you don’t know what a caloric deficit is basically it is burning more calories than your body takes in.Being in a calorie deficit also means your ability to recover from training isn’t as good as during a bulk but you will be able to lose fat. High training volumes also help to create a calorie deficit for example when cutting it is best to use higher reps such as 10-15 to maximize fat loss. You might also include some form of cardio to increase the calorie deficit. I don’t have much about each nutrient down below cause it is based on bulking just in smaller dosages.
Important idea when Cutting
- Calorie deficit
- Protein sufficient to maintain muscle mass
- Carbs should still be high enough to support training with high volumes, but not too much.
Protein is very important when cutting, protein is known to make you feel full which help with overeating. When cutting I have found that eating 1 gram of protein per pound is the best for me when cutting.
Like I said before the fat is very important for hormones. Too much fat is not good though when cutting so keep to a minimum.
Overall it is important to know what you what you want whether that is the maximize muscle or to lose fat or possibly both. keep in mind many people do cycles so if you really want to gain muscle you can bulk during winter then cut before summer. I hope that this article gave you a general sense of cutting vs bulking of you have any question feel free to leave them down below.
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