Updated: Oct 16, 2018
Certain things don’t change in the muscle building world and bulking and cutting is one of them. For years bodybuilders have preached that’s the ultimate way to add muscle. True, for them, but for everyone else who doesn’t want to add on pounds of weight with fat in the equation there’s an alternative. Secondly, bulking and cutting may not be the most effective approach if people aren’t using any performance enhancing drugs and for overall health.
Bulking and cutting doesn’t create a sustainable lifestyle for most, specially because the bulk is compromised of large extents of food under the premise of adding muscle and then the cutting is an extreme to shed all that unwanted body fat by big caloric restrictions and extended hours of cardio. Some might argue it’s the fastest way to add muscle but it’s also an easy way to adding body fat. After a certain point, your ability to gain muscle is not going to speed up by consuming more food. If you are a bodybuilder who’s job depends on stepping on stage then you know you will have to lose that extra body fat, but if you are not stepping on stage or don’t have a photoshoot ahead your motivation might not be as driven and you could have a harder time during that cutting phase.
What’s the solution? Instead of bulking and cutting, why not aim for slow and steady muscle and strength gains, while staying lean all-year ‘round? Increase your calories, but just enough to give your body the required nutrition for optimal muscle growth. Don’t make the scale go up your goal, add 1lbs of weight a week. My advice is to try to keep your body fat percentage between 10 and 15 percent. That way, your body will be able to effectively build muscle. If you are already above 15% body fat decrease your calories slowly and add exercise to lower it or improve your nutritional lifestyle. Add weight once you are between that 10-15%.
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