You probably know what kind of physique you want, but you’re not quite sure how to best get there.
My guess is you want to be lean, strong, and muscular, and you’re struggling to understand the next immediate steps.
Should you “bulk” and focus on gaining muscle as quickly as possible, or should you “cut” and strip some fat and then bulk?
Well, both bulking and cutting have pros and cons.
Bulking adds both lean mass (yay) and body fat (boo), and cutting unveils your abs (hooray) but stunts muscle growth (hiss).
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU SHOULD CUT
If you’re currently unhappy with your body fat percentage and you really just want to get lean before worrying about adding significant amounts of muscle to your frame, then you want to cut.
There’s no reason to get fatter (which will happen when you bulk properly–more on that soon) just to gain some muscle if that’s not your primary concern at this point. Do what’s going to keep you motivated.
Similarly, if you’re currently very overweight, then you want to cut. This is the healthiest and smartest choice, even if your long-term goal involves gaining a fair amount of muscle.
If you’re in the middle, however–if your body fat is in a normal range and you like the idea of having abs but also want to get bigger–then whether you should cut or bulk is dictated by your BODY FAT PERCENTAGE.
Specifically, you should cut if:
· You’re a man with more than 15% body fat.
· You’re a woman with more than 25% body fat.
BENEFITS OF CUT
1. You’ll be generally happier with how you look.
2. You’ll lose more fat and less muscle when you cut
3. You’ll gain more muscle and less fat when you bulk
But, if you want to cut fat without even losing your muscles then you should follow these steps.
1. Use an aggressive (but not reckless) calorie deficit.
2. Eat a high-protein diet.
3. Do a lot of heavy compound weightlifting.
4. Use high-intensity interval training to burn fat faster.
5. Take fat loss supplements that actually work.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU SHOULD BULK
First, you should only bulk if you want to maximize muscle gain and you don’t mind gaining some fat.
Yes, some people can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, but unless you’re new to weightlifting, you’re probably not one of them.
Instead, you have to choose one or the other, and as proper bulking revolves around maintaining a slight caloric surplus it entails gaining some body fat. There’s just no way around it.
So, assuming you meet those criteria, you should bulk if:
· You’re a man at or below 10% body fat.
· You’re a woman at or below 20% body fat.
BENEFITS OF BULKY BODY
1. Your body’s muscle-building machinery works best when you’re lean.
2. You gain fat slower when you’re lean.
3. The leaner you are when you start bulking, the longer you can effectively bulk for.
- You get to be healthier.
HOW TO LEAN BULK (WITHOUT GETTING FAT)
1. Eat slightly more calories than you burn.
2. Eat a high-protein and high-carb diet.
3. Don’t cheat/overeat too much.
4. Do a lot of heavy compound weightlifting.
5. Take supplements that actually work.