Did you know that Arnold Schwarzenegger used to bench press 440 pounds during his prime? He could also deadlift more than 700 pounds, which is an insane amount of weight.
Although not many bodybuilders can accomplish such feats, it’s possible to significantly increase your muscle mass and lift heavier weights if you know how to train correctly.
If you are a bodybuilder or you want to become one, an important aspect of the game is to know how to do bulking and cutting correctly. Both are necessary to build muscle and make it fully visible on your body.
Keep reading to learn how to bulk and cut correctly!
Bulking 101 – Everything You Need to Know
In the simplest terms, bulking refers to gaining a lot of weight by eating and training in a certain way. The main purpose of bulking is to maximize muscle growth. You’ll also get more fat mass on your body, but this is part of the process, and it’s absolutely normal.
Here are the basic rules of bulking.
1. You Have to Be in a Caloric Surplus
As you probably already know, your body burns calories every day to keep you alive. You replenish those calories through food and drinks. When you burn fewer calories than you eat and drink, you will gain weight.
During your bulking period which usually takes approximately 2-3 months, you need to make sure that your caloric intake is higher than the number of calories you burn. As a result, you might gain a few pounds every month, and some of these pounds will be muscle.
2. You Have to Lift Heavy
Lifting heavy weights is an important part of the game. You should focus on compounded exercises, such as bench press, deadlift, squats, and military press.
These exercises work your major muscle groups and make your body adapt by building more muscle tissue. It’s paramount that you go to the gym at least 3 times per week and lift heavy weights.
When it comes to repetitions for each exercise, you might want to stick with a 4-8 rep range. If you can do more than 8 reps with a weighted barbell, you need to add more weight plates. If you cannot hit 8 reps yet, work with that barbell until you can. It has been scientifically proven that lifting heavy weights with fewer repetitions maximizes muscle growth and maintenance.
3. You Have to Increase Your Protein Intake and Eat More Complex Carbs
As a good rule of thumb, you should eat one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. This ensures that your muscles get repaired and grow optimally. As an example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should eat 200 grams of protein every day. You can take your protein from foods and drinks, such as meat, eggs or milk, but you can also take protein supplements to hit your numbers.
At the same time, you also have to eat more complex carbs, such as brown rice, whole grains, oatmeal, legumes, and vegetables. These carbs will help your body maximize muscle development and ensure that you’re in a caloric surplus.
4. Avoid Junk Food
Some bodybuilders try to stay in a caloric surplus by eating everything in sight, particularly junk food. This is a bad decision since junk food will only make you develop more fatty tissue instead of muscle mass. You can have your cheat meal once or twice a week, but don’t indulge in junk food on a regular basis because this will stunt your progress.
Cutting 101 – Everything You Need to Know
As mentioned earlier, your bulking period should take about 2-3 months in most cases. During this time, you probably put on 12-25 lbs of weight, and now you’re ready for your cutting phase. This involves training and eating so that you eliminate the fat you accumulated while preserving the muscle mass you gained during your bulking phase.
Here are the golden rules of cutting.
1. You Have to Do More Cardio
One of the best ways to accelerate your metabolism and burn more calories is by doing cardio exercises such as running, sprinting, doing high-intensity interval training, or swimming. These exercises accelerate fat loss, and you should do them for about 25-35 minutes 3 or 4 times a week.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t lift weights as well. You can do resistance training and cardio exercises at the same time to preserve your muscle mass while stripping most of the fat from your body.
2. You Have to Keep Your Protein Intake High
Protein intake is key not only for muscle growth but also for muscle maintenance. If you don’t eat enough protein, you’ll start to slowly lose the muscle you have gained during your bulking phase, and you’ll be back to square one. Make sure that you keep your protein intake high during your cutting phase to preserve muscle mass and alleviate the sensation of hunger.
3. You Have to Be in a Caloric Deficit
Speaking of hunger, keep in mind that during your cutting phase, you’ll probably feel a little bit hungry from times to times. That’s because you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. As a result, your body will tap into your fat reserves to provide energy for your organs and tissues.
You might want to eat about 400-500 fewer calories than you burn every day to lose around a pound of fat per week. Having a scale in your home helps you monitor your weight better. If for some reason your weight remains the same, try to reduce your caloric intake even more or do more cardio every week.
Now You Know More About Bulking and Cutting!
As you can see, mastering bulking and cutting is not impossible, you just need to plan ahead and have a strategic approach to your training and diet. Remember that supplementation also plays an important role in gaining muscle and burning more fat.
That’s why we have designed a series of complex supplements for bulking and cutting. These supplements contain high amounts of protein, amino acids, and other natural ingredients that will help you recover faster and lift heavier weights in the gym. Check them out here!
We are a team of bodybuilding experts and fitness coaches who thrive to educate others on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. CrazyMass helps bodybuilders around the world build muscle mass, increase strength, cut fat, and reach their workout goals. Our all-natural supplements are made in the USA in a FDA registered – cGMP facility using only the best high-quality, certified ingredients.