Looking To Gain Muscle? A Beginners Guide To Bulking & Cutting

Bulking and cutting is a strategy that people use to gain muscle.

Ishaan Arora
Written by: Ishaan AroraUpdated at: Feb 13, 2023 15:30 IST
Looking To Gain Muscle? A Beginners Guide To Bulking & Cutting

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Since the golden days of bodybuilding, when figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Lou Ferrigno, and Frank Zane dominated the muscle scene, "bulking" and "cutting" cycles have been a routine for many in the pursuit of an aesthetically pleasing physique. Muscle building is a slow process. First, you must eat a lot of food and bulk up, which is known as bulking, and then, in order to show your veins and beach body, you must cut down all the unwanted fat, which is known as cutting. However, when it comes to bulking and cutting, people make mistakes that make it difficult for them to lose fat. 

Bulking For Beginners

1) Eat In Surplus

The golden rule of bulking is to eat in a calorie surplus because building muscle requires more fuel. When you eat in excess, your body enters an "anabolic" state, which means it is in a growth phase when new tissue, such as muscle and bone, is constructed. The only thing to remember is that many people associate the bulking season with an excuse to eat whatever they want, which can lead to fat gain. In reality, eating in surplus means eating slightly more than your maintenance level and gradually increasing the calories each week.

2) Focus On Eating More Carbs, Moderate Protein And Less Fat

Protein is required to build muscle, and carbohydrates are required to fuel your workout. However, carbs are our body's primary energy source, and our workout's effectiveness is also dependent on carbs. So the extra calories you'd be eating, the surplus calories, should primarily come from carbs. Assuming you consume 2700 calories, 50 per cent of your calories should come from carbs, 40 per cent from protein, and 10 per cent from fats.

Also Read: From Doing Crunches To Bulking: Gym Myths To Avoid As A Newbie

3) Lift Heavy And Focus On A Moderate Rep-Range

Bulking is all about packing on muscle, and the best rep range for bulking is 8 to 12 reps. So your goal should be to lift at least 80 per cent of your maximum capacity so that your muscles fail by the 10th rep, and the last two reps should be done with the assistance of a supporter.

Cutting For Beginners

Your bulking season determines how much muscle you will be able to restore, how quickly you will be able to shed fat, and how lean you will be. If your bulking season was flawless, cutting season would be a welcome reward.

1) Eat In A Deficit

The goal of cutting is to be in a caloric deficit, just as the goal of bulking is to be in a caloric surplus. This puts you in a "catabolic" state, in which your body breaks down tissue. Maintain a calorie intake that is lower than maintenance calories, but not too low. The best approach is to begin by reducing 200 calories per week.

Also Read: Muscle building: Worst To Best Upper Body Exercises

2) Prioritise On Protein

Protein is more important on a cut than on a bulk because it aids in preserving muscle as you would be eating in a deficit. The best approach is to consume protein twice your bodyweight and keep your fat content under 10 per cent. Carbohydrates should also be consumed around training to help you perform better.

3) Reduce Intensity And Focus On Recovery

Exercise combined with a calorie-restricted diet is one of the most effective ways to double fat loss. Continue your workout, but reduce the intensity; avoid going heavy because you are eating less, and increase the number of reps to increase calorie burn. Reduce the number of your workout days as well, because the human body grows during recovery.

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