Bodybuilders bulk up to gain muscle, and then cut down to lose fat. Nowadays, ambitious people who want to look emulate the workout of a bodybuilder have adopted the cutting and bulking phase. Even though people have begun to put their bodies through intense bulking and cutting phases, they have not perfected the method.
The reason is their lack of knowledge about the two phases. In order to perform the cutting and bulking phase perfectly, they need to understand the important difference in each, starting with their definitions:
- Bulking phase will help you gain muscle while reducing fat gains.
- Cutting phase will help you lose fat while reducing muscle loss.
Now, that the definitions are out of the way, it is time to brush up on the basics of the bulking and cutting phases.
Bulking and Cutting Phase: How Are They Different?
Do not overeat, but do eat! By overeating, you will not wake up one day and find that you have turned into the Hulk, but without the green skin. It will be a painstakingly slow process, but it will be worth it, as towards the end of the bulking phase, you will be the Hulk. What should you eat to make your dreams of looking like the Hulk a reality? You need to consume enough food to enhance your body mass.
Here is what you need to do:
- Do not eat tons of calorie rich foods.
- Eat barley for instance. Sufficient amounts of barley in your system will give you the fuel you need to lift up weights each week.
- If you end up overeating, your body will start to store fat.
The whole point of the bulking phase is to decrease fat gains and to transform you into a bulky person. In order to achieve the result of a bulky person, you need to take up cardiovascular exercise. However, you do not want to exert your body by performing cardio every day or doing it excessively, as it will stop you from gaining muscle.
Here is how your exercise routine will look in the bulking phase:
- Start with short cardio intervals per week.
- Perform cardio every third or fourth day of every week, performing it for only ten to fifteen minutes.
- Start with a warm-up and finish the workout with short-high intensity bursts.
- During the cutting phase, you will increase the number of times you perform cardio, as you are trying to lose fat at this point.
During both phases, you will have to be watchful about what you eat. In the bulking phase, you will increase your intake of carbohydrates whereas in the cutting phase, you will reduce it.
Here is what your diet should look like in the bulking phase:
- During the bulking phase, you will eat more portions of oats, brown rice, black beans, sweet potatoes, etc.
- During the cutting phase, you will watch your calories, which means not eating any food you ate in the bulking phase.
- As for fat and protein, you will consume both of them during both phases. They will act as manipulators, meaning they will influence the insulin level in your body. During the bulking phase, the insulin will turn on whereas in the cutting phase, insulin will turn off.
Insulin, an anabolic hormone, is secreted into your body when carbohydrates enter the bloodstream. They send a message to your body to eliminate the nutrients in your blood by forcing them to store it into your body as either muscle or fat. This process will help you in the bulking phase, but not so much in the cutting phase.
In the cutting phase, you will have to leave out complex carbohydrates, making it harder for you to control your urges to eat the chocolate bar sitting in the fridge, uneaten and calling out your name. You will have to toughen up while you are trying to lose fat, but retain muscle. Your diet should consist of eating steamed green vegetables such as broccoli.
Since your calorie intake in the bulking phase was high, it will become difficult for you to cut down on the amount of calories you used to eat before. Your body was used to eating more calories in the first phase, but now, you will have to make your body used to eating less in the other. Some days, doing this will be tough, especially in the start, but you will adjust fine to your new diet in a few days.
Here is how your diet should look like in the cutting phase:
- During the cutting phase, eat every two hours, as this rev up your metabolism and help you burn more calories.
- Eat eight to ten small meals instead of eating six meals every three to four hours, which you would normally do in the bulking phase.
You will combine your diet routine with a cardio routine to burn more calories and speed up your metabolism during the day.
Here is how your exercise routine will look in the cutting phase:
- Your cardio workout should be thirty to forty-five minutes long.
- You need to perform cardio every other day or every third day of the week.
- If you enjoy participating in recreational activities, you can join them, as they are a great and fun way to work in a cardio session.
- Since you will be aiming for a leaner look, you should vary the different types of cardio you perform each day or every week.
Do you want to be the envy the every man and woman? If you want people to look at you and wonder how you did it, you need to change your diet plan and join a gym. More importantly, you will only achieve the bulk and lean look if you properly perform the cutting and bulking phase. With hard work and determination, you will be able to nail each phase like an expert.