How to Properly Do Bulking and Cutting

If you are new to the world of bodybuilding, then perhaps one of the first (and most surprising) new things you’ll learn is that it’s not a process that involves doing something over and over. There are two phases to building muscle, and they’re called the bulking phase and the cutting phase. In simple terms, the bulking phase is when you try to gain muscle. In the cutting phase, you try to shed fat. Building new muscles means you have to alternate between these two phases on a fairly constant basis.

The Proper Way of Bulking

Bulking is all about gaining muscle. However, the process does involve acquiring some fat as well no matter how much you try to avoid doing so. Ideally then, what you need to aim for is to gain as much muscle and as little fat as possible during this phase.

Here’s how you do it properly: Eat healthy food (no junk, fast food, or sugary confections). Instead of 3 big meals a day, eat smaller portions every 3 to 4 hours or so, so that you get enough energy through the day. You’ll eat more than you normally would so that you have the raw materials to turn into muscle, but not too much that you’ll turn what you eat into fat instead. Make sure you get enough protein and healthy fats. In the bulking phase, you’ll need quite a bit of complex carbs as well.

For your exercise, there are a lot of different options. But mostly you’ll be concentrating on strengthening exercises and that essentially means lifting weight. You need to monitor your workouts so you can check that you are progressing. You should also do some cardio about twice a week.


The Proper Way of Cutting

This is when you shed the fat so that only the lean muscle remains. Once you start the cutting phase, your meals will become more frequent and you’ll need to eat every 2 to 3 hours. But since you will need to cut back on the complex carbs, your caloric intake will be less compared to the bulking phase. Don’t just suddenly cut back on the calories, however. Take it slow. If the weights you are lifting are getting too low, then you need to increase your calorie intake to maintain your muscle mass.

You also need to do a lot more cardio. About every other day of cardio for 30 to 45 minutes should suffice. Try to do different types of cardio exercises, so that you don’t get bored and lose interest.


How Long is Each Phase?

Finally, you need to set the duration for your bulking and cutting phases. A lot of experts recommend that they last for about the same time, although how long that is will depend on whose advice you take. Some extremists actually suggest a one-day duration for each, while the opposite view recommends taking 6 months for bulking and the rest of the year should be for cutting. The more sensible recommendation is to bulk up for about 2 months or so, and then the time for cutting should be long enough for you to eliminate the fat you gained during the bulking phase.

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