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Articles > Weight Training > Bulking Up or Cutting Down
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The First Decision For Beginners

You have two alternatives when starting bodybuilding, whether to begin with cutting or bulking.

The Advantages of
Starting With Cutting Diet
The Disadvantages of
Starting With Cutting Diet
Reducing body fat to a preferred level will be very much easier than cutting after a bulking phase. When you begin bulking you will lose your leanness.
When bulking phase starts your growth will be exceptional.

The single thing pro bodybuilders are frightened of - muscle loss - will take place.
You will significantly boost your confidence. You may become miserable after you lose your “ripness.”
When bulking phase comes about, enthusiasm will be greater than before, and mass will be more obvious.  
You should not have that much fat to dispose of after bulking, so you can cut down easily.  
   
The Advantages
Of Starting With Bulking Diet
The Disadvantages
Of Starting With Bulking Diet
Following the initial few weeks, mass will be obvious.

You will have additional fat to dispose of to get your “ripness” when you begin your cutting diet.
More self-confidence.

Muscle loss will take place, not much if you diet correctly.
Strength increase. You’ll need to do cardio.
You get to eat a whole lot of food, because the more mass you have, the more calories you need to maintain that mass.  

The Purpose of Bulking

The reason for bulking is to increase muscle, not fat. Bodybuilders eat more than their maintenance calorie requirement to achieve this. They eat too far above this requirement most of the time. These extra calories, to make things worse, often come from junk food. So they gain fat, not muscle from the extra calories - the exact opposite of what they are trying to accomplish.

Bulk-Up Diet

   
Protein (g)
Carbs (g)
Fat (g)
Calories (g)
7:00AM 5 eggs or = in
 
 
 
 
  egg whites
30
5
22.5
350
  1 packet oatmeal
4
33
2
160
  4 oz. milk
4
5.5
0
40
  Meal Total:
38
43.5
24.5
550
   
 
 
 
 
9:30AM 2 scoops protein
42
8
4
240
  8 oz. milk
8
11
0
80
  Meal Total:
50
19
4
320
   
 
 
 
 
12:00PM 1/2 lb. 90% beef
42
0
38
530
  2 tortillas
6
42
7
260
  1 cup rice
4
44
0.5
190
  Meal Total:
52
86
45.5
980
   
 
 
 
 
3:30PM 2 scoops protein
42
8
4
240
  8 oz. milk
8
11
0
80
  Meal Total:
50
19
4
320
   
 
 
 
 
6:15PM 2 scoops protein
42
8
4
240
  8 oz. milk
8
11
0
80
  8 oz. milk
8
11
0
80
  Meal Total:
50
19
4
320
   
 
 
 
 
7:30PM 1/2 lb. 90% beef
42
0
38
530
  2 tortillas
6
42
7
260
  1 cup rice
4
44
0.5
190
  Meal Total:
52
86
45.5
980
   
 
 
 
 
10:00PM 8 oz. yogurt
11
46
2
240
  DAILY TOTAL:
303
318.5
129.5
3710

Bulking Up Strategy

In spite of what "show muscles" you would like to aim for, plan to build your ENTIRE body … exercising the full body is essential as it encourages growth hormone discharge systematically, and that will improve EVERY area of training and muscle growth. When bulking, appreciate that you will not get a "six pack" or better muscle definition. The only way to reveal your definition is to decrease the layer of fat hiding it (cutting).

Cutting Down/Dieting

So you want to cut. The bodybuilding explanation of cutting is fairly straightforward: lose body fat and do your best to retain lean body mass. Seems easy, huh? Well, it's not. Most bodybuilders detest the thought of losing their well-deserved gains after laboring so hard in the fitness center day after day. Outline of a healthy diet:

1. 5-6 meals daily
2. 5-6 liters of water per day
3. Plenty of fibrous veggies
4. Lean, high-quality protein
5. Essential fatty acids
6. Complex carbohydrates
7. Say NO to sugar
8. Determination and dedication

Use your maintenance value and multiply it by your body weight to know how much you should be eating. Allow for factors such as metabolism, body fat percentage, etc. It's important to keep you protein at 1 gram per pound of body weight when you're dieting – protein intake is actually MORE important while you diet. If you don't lose about 1 lb. per week, add some cardio.

Diet is the most important issue in cutting down. It's essential to identify how many calories you should put away every day to attain the greatest amount of weight loss while preserving your lean body mass. The maximum recommended amount a person should lose is 1-2 lbs per week. Once you know how many calories a day you should be eating, you need to work out the correct percentages of macronutrients you should be getting, and you need to know the best foods from which you can get these macronutrients.

Losing body fat is simple. All you need to do is use more calories than you take in. Just 30 minutes of cardio a few days each week will significantly accelerate your metabolism and burn those additional calories so you can be sure that your body is using everything you put in it. The idea is to take in only the required quantity of food for your body to function correctly and no more.

Post Cycle Therapy

Dietary principles for proper PCT are pretty much the same for all phenotypes, whether after a bulking or cutting cycle. One essential thing to remember is that blood pressure and cholesterol/triglyceride levels will almost certainly soar post cycle. Use of bodybuilding drugs can further complicate post cycle health concerns. Meal frequency should stay the same: three meals, two snacks, one post-workout drink, or any way you see fit to get in 5-6 meals per day.

 

Related Articles
Bulking Up
Making Mass Gains While Staying Cut
To Bulk Up or Not to Bulk Up?


 



 
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