Should you be bulking or cutting?


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Everybody that goes to the gym goes for different reasons. Some people enjoy exercising, some do it to stay in shape, some go to be strong, and some just care about looks. You need to be familiar with bulking and cutting if you are serious about the gym and getting that dreamy internet physique. But what do bulking and cutting mean?

What is bulking, and what does it do for you? The phase of muscular increase is called bulking. For a predetermined amount of time, usually 4-6 months, you are supposed to consume more calories than your body requires deliberately. While weight training, these extra calories give your body the nutrition it needs to increase muscle size and strength. If you are training in the gym to be huge and have a lot of muscle mass, then bulking is the way to go. The majority of studies indicate that muscle growth is optimal during bulking at 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day, though some study suggests a slightly higher intake of 1g per pound. While bulking, you want to concentrate on compound exercises like the pull-up, bench press, deadlift, squat, and military press. You can build muscle and strength by performing low reps with moderately heavy weight (approximately 70 to 80 percent of your 1-rep max). To build muscle, you want to do more reps with a lighter weight. Most of the time, when people bulk, they usually follow it up with cutting.

But what is cutting? A cut is the time when you consume fewer calories than you burn to reduce body fat while preserving as much muscle mass as possible. Cutting is the way to go if you focus on aesthetics rather than strength and size. Most people cut because they want those chiseled abs and look thin. If you choose to cut, there are a few rules you need to follow. First off, resistance training is still essential during a cutting phase, but you might not be able to lift weights as much as you do while you’re in a bulking phase. A cut is when you consume fewer calories than you burn to reduce body fat while preserving as much muscle mass as possible. According to most research, 0.7–0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight (1.6–2.0 grams per kilogram) is adequate for maintaining muscle mass on a reduced diet. 

There is much more to consider when going into a bulking or cutting phase. This article just highlights the main points to take into consideration. When you are trying to find your baseline calories (or how many calories you need to maintain), I would recommend a calorie calculator. This helps you find out how many calories you need to either bulk or cut. There’s a lot more information out there, so I would recommend researching before you decide on bulking or cutting.