Dedicated weightlifters should always have to two distinct elements within their training plans. These are bulking and cutting and they are two, radically different forms of training that are often performed in strategic and well-defined cycles. With bulking, bodybuilders are doing all that they can in terms of both diet and exercise to pack on the pounds while ensuring that their weight gain is largely representative of new muscle mass rather than soft, subcutaneous fat. Cutting, however, is the process of firming up and hardening new muscles up while stripping away excess fat stores. Following is everything you need to know about these two cycles and the unique challenges that each entails.
Bulking Up Without Getting Fat
Although weightlifters never bulk with the intention of getting fat, a bulking cycle requires bodybuilders to consume large amounts of calories and large quantities of food. Increased consumption is designed to provide the body with ample energy for long and grueling workouts along with the basic building blocks necessary for new muscle development. As such, the bulking diet should be rich with complex carbohydrates and large and regular servings of lean protein. Guys who bulk often supplement with high-calorie protein shakes in order to ensure that their nutritional needs are being met and that their new and developing muscles are being supported.
A comprehensive, general workout usually represents a balance between cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Strength training or weight lifting builds, conditions and hardens the muscles while cardio burns fat and calories, ramps up the metabolism and improves respiratory endurance and cardiovascular health. Throughout their bulking cycles, bodybuilders will engage in a disproportionate amount of strength training while doing very little calorie. Cardio burns unnecessary calories that could otherwise be converted into lean muscle mass if the right dietary strategies are being used.
Cutting Without Losing An Extraordinary Amount Of Muscle Mass
Cutting is what gives bodybuilders a ripped, shredded look that includes rock-hard muscles and minimal body fat. Weight lifting is still performed on a regular and consistent basis during a cutting cycle, but it is often paired with a moderate amount of cardiovascular exercise such as rowing or even cycling in order to burn off stored fats. At this stage, weight lifting enthusiasts have likely achieved the amount of mass that they want and are now more concerned with sculpting and improving this mass.
The weight lifting diet must change between bulking and cutting cycles but there is the extraordinary challenge of ensuring that newly developed muscles are adequately supported by proper nutrition, even as fat and calorie consumption are necessarily decreased. The cutting diets should be filled with massive amounts of lean protein but most people find that they need to limit the amount of complex carbohydrates that are being consumed. During this stage of the weight lifting plan, simple carbohydrates and other empty calorie foods must be eliminated entirely. If performed correctly, a cutting cycle will allow bodybuilders to gain firmer and better defined muscles, shred their fat stores and retain most of their recent gains.
Using Prohormones And Other Performance Enhancement Products While Bulking And Cutting
Bulking and cutting cycle are frequently defined and enhanced by the prohormones, supplements or other performance enhancement products that are used to support them. Almost all weight lifting enthusiasts use nutritional supplements and other formulas to ensure success in these endeavors. These can be as simple as protein shakes and fat burners or they can be more involved like oral prohormones or injectable, legal steroids. Each product is usually designed to support only one element of the individual’s weight lifting plan and thus, a protein shake or prohormone that is designed for bulking will not provide optimal results if it is used during a bulking cycle. Thus, the length of bulking and cutting cycles is frequently determined by the suggested period of use for any enhancement product that is being taken.
When using performance enhancement products that are designed to help people surpass their natural, physiological limitations, moderation, balance and optimal nutritional support are all key, especially when moving from bulking to cutting. Supported bulking cycles can result in massive muscle gains. Once the cutting phase is reached, however, the body must have sufficient nutritional resources for adapting to and effectively supporting new muscle mass. If it does not, recent muscle gains will likely be burned as fuel.