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Articles > Weight Training > Are you Bulking or Cutting?
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Very few people possess the knowledge needed to successfully gain muscle or lose fat. A person may know how to lose weight but most of you don`t know how to keep all of your hard earned muscle in the process. On the flip side, you may know how to gain muscle, but you need to learn how to gain this muscle without the fear of fat gain. I am going to discuss the basics of bulking and cutting and hopefully give you the knowledge needed to complete your next bulking or cutting diet.

Bulking is simply eating more calories than what you are used to eating, but it`s not as simple as it seems. Your calories need to be from healthy bodybuilding foods and not from junk foods like pizza, chips, and cookies. The other hard part of bulking is determining your BMR or basal metabolic Rate.(Your BMR is basically the number of calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day.) To start, you should eat 500 calories over maintanance everyday. If you your gaining to much fat after a week reduce that number to 300. If you seem to not be getting any bigger then you should increase that number to 700 calories.

While cutting, your prime concern should be keeping muscle loss to a minimum. That is why you don`t want to crash diet and try losing weight to fast or you`re most likely going to lose most of your hard earned muscle. To start, you should lower your calories from your BMR to roughly 300 fewer calories a day. You can change that number according to the results but 300 is a good number to start out at. You can either eat less food or do more cardiovascular exercise to burn these calories. How you do it will depend on the individual.

Some bodybuilders like to bulk up to the size of elephants before they decide that they`ve gained to much fat, and then they go on a cutting diet. Others seem to always be sporting a low bodyfat percentage year round and slowly gain muscle as time goes on. Again, how you go about it will depend on personal preferance. I always try to stay relatively lean even during the offseason because I cannot stand the thought of gaining fat.

So can I gain muscle while losing bodyfat as well? Some bodybuilders genetics allow for this while most of us sit in aww wondering how they did it. The use of steroids allow for fat loss and muscle gain at the same time but should only be used by experienced trainee`s who know how to properly bulk and cut without the use of them. You need to decide what you want to do with your body right now. Do you carry around to much fat, are you to skinny, to small in the upper body? All of these factors determine what you decide to do with yourself. You are the only one responsible for the results you recieve. Until next time, later.

Zach Bashore
December 28, 2005

 

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