When Should I Bulk/Cut?

Posted on June 18th, 2020 by Caitlyn Miller

Have you ever heard of people talking about bulking/cutting and wondering what it means? There is a certain time for bulking in ones health journey and there is a certain time for cutting in ones health journey. I’m going to dive in deeper about exactly when is the right time for both of these situations. First let’s discuss what bulking/cutting is. 

Table of Contents 

  1. What does bulking mean?
  2. What does cutting mean?
  3. When should I bulk?
  4. When should I cut?

What does bulking mean?

Bulking in simple terms is to add weight. To add weight, you must eat an excess of calories than what your body needs, which can either add fat or muscle depending on your style of bulking. Your body needs a certain amount of energy (calories) in order for it to function. As long as you are consuming more calories than you need, you will gain weight or “bulk”. 

What does cutting mean?

Cutting can mean a couple of things. Cutting can be when someone is trying to lose weight or it can be when someone is trying to tone up their body. To cut weight, you must  be in a caloric deficit, which means you need to eat less calories than what your body needs to maintain your current weight. Your body needs a certain amount of energy (calories) in oder for it to function. As long as you are consuming less calories than what your body needs to maintain its current weight, you will be in a caloric deficit or “cut”. However, this does not mean to starve yourself! You must be smart and thoughtful when cutting. 

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When should I bulk?

This mainly depends on your goals and what you are working towards. You should bulk when you are trying to add mass to your physique. If you are a bodybuilder, this is typically done in the “off season”. This is when you are not competing and trying to add muscle for the next time you cut. This is why you are focusing on eating more calories and training your muscles with the goal for your muscles to grow. When you bulk correctly, you should ideally not gain that much fat (you WILL gain some fat though, because you are eating an excess of calories), however, your muscles will just have a more bulkier look. When you bulk, your training needs to match up with your diet as well. What I mean by this is, since you are eating more, you have more energy. You need to use this energy into lifting heavier weights in order to get your muscles to grow. You can use this Fitbit to monitor how many calories your body needs in oder to add mass.

When should I cut?

This again mainly depends on your goals and what you are working towards. You should cut when you are trying to lose weight or tone up your physique. If you are a bodybuilder, this is typically done in the “on season”. This is when you are training for an upcoming competition and trying to tone up your physique. This is why you are focusing on eating less calories than your body needs to maintain its weight. When you cut correctly, you should not be losing anymore than 0.5 to 1 pound a week. This will help make sure you are not starving constantly and still able to maintain enough energy to get your workouts accomplished. I would suggest investing in a food scale to weigh out your food, in order to stay consistent and precise on your caloric intake. When you are cutting, your training really shouldn’t change that much from before. Your energy should stay consistent unless you are eating way less calories than you should. 

Are you considering bulking/cutting? What are your future physique goals? Let me know your thoughts! 

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