Cycle Between Cuts and Bulks For Optimal Physique

by Libertarian Country January 10, 2023

Cycle Between Cuts and Bulks For Optimal Physique

You're not alone if you look into the mirror and feel like throwing a brick through it. Many Americans are not happy with the way they look.

But fear not; there is hope.

You shouldn't obsess over self-image (not healthy), but if you're actively training for a healthier body, there's nothing wrong with seeking results.

The proper way to achieve a more sculpted look relies on patience and consistency.

There's no get-rich-quick scheme here. To master fitness, you must put in the hours, days, weeks and years. Health & fitness is a lifelong commitment, a journey you should enjoy.

If you don't enjoy it, learn to love hating it. But there is no reason it shouldn't be enjoyable. Exercise and lifting weights increase endorphins and make you feel alive and well.

That said, there are efficient ways of sculpting vs. methods that will yield few results. Your time is valuable, and we don't want you to waste it.

Achieving a toned, lean and muscular look is a challenge. To build muscle, your body needs macronutrients like carbohydrates--the same thing that causes weight gain in most people.

In the process of gaining muscle, you will likely gain fat too. That's okay. You'll shed that fat during your cut cycle.

 

Bulking

Bulking

Bulking is when you intake a calorie surplus, eating more than your basal requirements (basal is the level of caloric intake where you will not lose or gain weight. Otherwise known as maintenance.)

During the bulking phase or bulk mode, you eat around 300 to 500 calories above your daily basal. This allows your body to more easily put on muscle. Your body needs those extra macronutrients to bulk up.

There are two different types of bulking: clean and dirty.

We always recommend a clean bulk. That means avoiding highly processed foods and sweets and sticking to nutrient-rich whole foods like vegetables, good fats and lean meats.

Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff Shirt

Dirty bulking is when you remove all dietary restrictions and allow "junk" food into your diet. Dirty bulking allows for faster muscle growth but typically makes you gain weight (fat) much faster, too.

If your goal is optimal physique--which we know is a subjective term but almost universally imagined the same--then you don't want your body to store too much fat.

 

Cutting

Cutting

Cutting is when you intake a calorie deficit, eating less than your basal requirements.

During the cutting phase or cut mode, you eat around 300 (give or take) fewer calories than you would for maintenance, per day. That allows your body to shed fat quickly.

We recommend a balanced, whole foods diet like the Mediterranean diet during the cut phase.

If you're above 20% body fat, the Ketogenic diet is an excellent temporary method to lose fat quicker. Keto is a diet changing how your body uses fuel, switching from its preferred glucose source to using stored fat.

The Keto diet essentially forces your body to deplete its fat stores.

Whichever diet you prefer, you'll need to be in a calorie deficit for your cut. 

Cutting doesn't mean skimping on weight-lifting or switching to only cardio. Your weight-lifting routine should not weaken. Incorporate high-intensity interval training and resistance training throughout the bulk and cut cycles. Choose shorter, faster running sessions over long endurance cardio.

 

The Balancing Act

Balancing cut and bulk cycles

The great balancing act is cycling between cutting and bulking. Like walking on a tightrope, you don't want to sway too far one way, or you'll fall to your doom.

The objective is to gain more muscle with each bulk and lose weight with each cut.

Body recomposition will occur if done correctly. The extra muscle you put on will keep the fat at bay. (Muscle is metabolically active tissue) The lower fat percentage you yield from your cuts can increase your testosterone and keep your body from storing as much fat.

Your bulks and cuts should be between 2-4 months per phase. Cut for 2 months, bulk for 2 months--or--bulk for 4 months, cut for 2 months, or any variation you choose. Don't go above 4 months on one mode. 2 month intervals is fine for most people. Try cycling between cuts and bulks for one year. 

 

Should I Cut or Bulk First?

Bulk or cut; this is the million-dollar question the fitness community has argued over for years. It's pretty simple, though.

Strip and get in front of your bedroom mirror.

If you say, "Damn, I'm a fat ass," start with a cut.

If you say, "Damn, I'm a skinny fuck," start with a bulk.

 

Consistency

If you're one of those guys who is looking up "how to get ripped in 3 weeks", knock it off. It's not going to happen. Be patient and enjoy the ride. Each step of the journey should be rewarding, fruitful and fulfilling.

Embrace the struggle; suffering is divine.

Keep cycling between cuts and bulks until you become the beast you were born to be. Once you achieve your desired results, you can either cycle indefinitely or enter maintenance mode, a balanced diet and exercise program you can live with long-term.

For more articles like this, visit our Health & Fitness Blog.

 

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