Bulking up is to gain muscle weight whereas cutting down is to lose the body fat while
preserving the muscle mass. Both terminologies are clearly defined below.
‘The bulk’ is a period of time which deals primarily with building up muscle and increasing
body weight and strength by consuming additional amounts of calories. At this phase,
the energy obtained is constructively balanced as the muscles being trained require
adequate energy from a good diet to build up in terms of size and mass. Also, bulking can
be regarded as a “prioritization or targeting phase” for accumulating extra muscle mass
to lagging muscle area(s).
‘The cut’ is a phase where the main targets include shedding of body fat, dropping of body
weight, getting leaner and maintaining the muscle mass acquired at the bulking stage
(Samuel, N.D.). It involves minimizing calorie intake and increase the amount of energy
expended. Energy can be augmented by means of cardiovascular exercise to enhance the
building up of any form of energy deficit. Cutting is also referred to as the process of
getting “ripped, peeled or shredded.” To get ripped, peeled or shredded simply means to
shed a reasonable amount of fat and acquire a new leaner disposition.
Basic guidelines for cutting:
- Create an energy deficit of total calories, by either limiting the consumption of
macronutrients or increasing the amount of energy spent (e.g., HIIT training).
- Enhance the anabolic hormones and lessen the effects of the catabolic hormones.
- Augment the quantity of protein consumed and its yielding rate.
- Enhance the metabolic rate of the body by eating iron-rich and organic foods.
- Boost leptin (the appetite and metabolism-regulating hormone) levels
systematically and improve the level of thyroid produced by the body by eating
foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
- Lower insulin level by consuming less sugary/carbohydrate foods.