In the world of weightlifting, you’re going to hear lots of terms for the first time. With that in mind, one of the first things you’ll hear people discussing is bulking vs cutting. To someone unfamiliar with these terms, they can sound strange… maybe even a little scary.
I’m here to help you out by taking a closing look at cutting vs bulking. You’ll learn about the differences between bulking season vs cutting season, diets for each plan, and much more. Here’s an in-depth look at the differences between bulking and cutting.
What does bulking mean? (gaining muscle mass)
Bulking is a way to achieve muscle gain as fast as possible. Typically, people who are bulking are more concerned about building muscle mass than looking shredded.
With that said, the downside to bulking is that it also comes with considerable fat gain. As your bulking cycle nears its end, your body fat percentage will likely increase.
What does cutting mean? (losing body fat)
Someone who is trying to cut weight likely also wants to achieve muscle growth. However, this person’s main goal is to lose fat.
Instead of eating more calories to bulk up, someone on a cutting phase would be eating fewer calories. During a cutting phase, you’re also going to be doing more cardio workouts than you normally would.
The main differences between bulking and cutting
First, let’s take a look at how bulking and cutting diets differ from each other. The main goal of bulking up is to gain more weight. Therefore, a bulking diet is going to cause you to gain large amounts of both muscle and fat.
The main goal of cutting is to gain muscle while losing body fat. When you’re trying to cut weight, you’re mainly focusing on losing fat and gaining muscle is a bonus.
How to start a bulking cycle
When you’re bulking, it’s all about eating a lot of calories and protein for muscle support. Not to make things more confusing, but there are two types of bulking.
If you’re a “clean bulker,” you’re trying to gain more muscle and weight by eating clean. To eat clean means you’re eating lots of vegetables and lean meats to avoid gaining fat.
Dirty bulking, on the other hand, are eating anything they want to gain more muscle. Yes, this can include desserts and fast foods.
The drawback of dirty bulking is that more of your gained weight will come from fat than muscle. However, you’re also going to get bigger than most clean bulkers in a shorter amount of time.
While bulking involves eating, you should also be lifting weights during this time. A bulking diet won’t help you build muscle unless you’re working to gain it.
How to start a cutting cycle
When it comes to cutting diets, things look much different. That’s not to say that cutting diets are less fun than bulking diets.
Cutting diet meal plans are all about lean meats and vegetables. This includes foods like chicken, tuna, and fish.
It’s understandable to assume that cutting diets means no carbs, which isn’t necessarily true. But your carbs are going to come from foods like brown rice instead of sugars and other sources of empty calories.
Bulking season vs cutting season: when are they?
Throughout every year, there is an unofficial bulking and cutting season. Bulking season takes place during the winter. Cutting season takes place during the summer.
But why does it matter when you’re bulking up or cutting weight? The truth is that it doesn’t. But here’s why bulking during the winter and cutting weight during the summer is so popular.
Cutting season is in the summer and spring
What are most people doing during the summertime? They’re often spending time outside. Plus, people are often wearing short sleeves and shorts during this time of the year.
If you’re on a cutting diet and working out to lose fat during these months, you’ll look better in more revealing clothing. So, most people who are taking part in a cutting phase will be on a calorie deficit during this time.
Bulking season is in the winter and fall
What do people do during the winter? Instead of spending time outside in swimwear, they’re bundled up indoors. This is why winter is the perfect time to bulk, everyone’s wearing bulkier and longer clothes. If you’re gaining more fat during bulking season, who’s going to know?
As I originally said, I think you should bulk when you want and lose weight when you want. But I can see why bulking seasons and cutting seasons are so popular. If you follow those seasonal guidelines, you’re going to look your best all year.
Bulking workout plan
We’ve looked at the basics of bulking vs cutting. Now it’s time to learn how bulking and cutting differ from each other when it comes to working out.
The main goal of bulking is to gain a bigger body composition than you had before. So, your weight training during a bulking phase should be focusing on gaining muscle.
During a bulking cycle, I recommend doing a lot of compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench pressing. These types of lifts workout multiple muscle groups at once. And that’s great consider that you want to maximize muscle gain while bulking.
When comparing what working out looks like when bulking vs cutting, the former should be more focused on weight lifting than lots of time on the treadmill.
As mentioned before, resistance training during a bulking phase should be about compound and body weight lifts, including deadlifting, squatting, bench pressing, and dipping.
Cutting workout plan
Now, let’s look at the main goal of a cutting cycle which is to lose body fat. During this time, it’s all about watching your body fat percentage get lower.
What’s one of the best ways to lose fat? Cardio. Lots and lots of cardio. Can you still take part in resistance training during a cutting cycle? Definitely! However, you’ll lose fat faster by incorporating cardio into your workout routines.
Resistance training can help you burn a ton of calories. Plus, the muscle growth you worked on through weightlifting will be that much more visible after you start losing body fat!
As you can imagine, cardio is more important than lifting weights during a cutting cycle. Since you’ll eat fewer calories while cutting, you’re not going to have the same energy and power to bulk up.
So, you’ll get the best results from focusing on low-weight and high-rep exercises.
The pros and cons of cutting and bulking
Bulking and cutting each service a unique purpose. I’ve done both of these cycles throughout my life. So, I won’t say that bulking or cutting is better than the other option.
But, to help you make an easier decision, here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of both bulking and cutting.
Pros of Bulking:
- A great way to gain muscle mass
- It’s easier to gain muscle faster when bulking
- Fewer restrictions about what you can and can’t eat
Cons of Bulking:
- You’re going to gain fat.
- You will feel sluggish from all those calorie-dense foods.
Pros of Cutting:
- Cutting helps you lose weight and body fat
- Improved overall body composition
Cons of Cutting:
- A calorie deficit (eating less than normal) can make you cranky.
- Because you’re getting less energy from food, you’re also going to feel an energy deficit.
- Cutting means going on a diet.
Can you bulk and cut weight at the same time?
While it’s not the easiest thing in the world, bulking and cutting at the same time is possible. Essentially, this would be eating a high-protein diet and taking part in intense muscle building workouts.
Since you’d be trying to do this on a calorie deficit, you’re going to not have a lot of food or fat to use as fuel.
Bulking and cutting for females
While it’s thankfully changing for the better, there were many decades when fitness marketing and messaging was insanely male dominated. Fortunately, that’s not the case anymore.
Considering that, I still get asked by our female readers about whether bulking and cutting is possible and if it’s different for them than it is for guys.
Fortunately, yes, women can engage in both bulking and cutting cycles. When comparing bulking vs cutting for men and women, the results aren’t going to differ that much.
Yes, the bodies of females and males are different. However, they’ll both react about the same to bulking and cutting.
If you’re a female who’s trying to bulk up, be prepared for excess fat gain as you build muscle. During a cutting phase, you’ll calorie intake decreases. This makes it easier to lose fat, but you’ll also likely lose muscle.
What supplements can help me bulk up faster?
When you’re looking at bulking vs cutting, each choice has its own difficulties. Considering that, you might find it easier to either gain muscle and lose body weight with the help of supplements.
First, we’ll take a look at a few supplements that are great for your next bulking phase.
The first supplement I wanted to mention for bulking is D-Bal. This supplement is great for building muscle and losing weight (body fat).
If you’re worried about gaining excess fat while bulking, D-Bal has you taken care of. This supplement helps lower your bad cholesterol and helps give you more energy.
When discussing bulking vs cutting, people who are doing both of these things typically want to also gain muscle. With a powerful combination of Tribulus Terrestris, Ashwagandha, and other beneficial ingredients, D-Bal is fuel for muscle gains.
When you’re trying to bulk and gain weight, it takes spending some time in the gym working out. While this is a great thing to do, it’s going make you sore (especially when you’re just getting started)!
With that in mind, it’s good to have a supplement that help you deal with post-workout muscle soreness. That supplement is DecaDuro.
Using DecaDuro is a great way to gain muscle. Plus, it’s in capsule form so it’s super easy to take. DecaDuro ramps up your muscle gains by increasing the amount of protein this part of your body retains.
DecaDuro also helps you retain more nitrogen, giving you more energy to build muscle.
Depending on your age and physical health, you might be dealing with low testosterone. Whether you’re trying to gain body weight or lose it, a lack of testosterone can make this much more difficult than it needs to be.
If you are suffering from low T, Testo-Max is a supplement that can help increase your natural testosterone levels.
Best of all? Testo-Max is also great to take during a cutting cycle as having more testosterone helps you shed fat faster than normal.
With balanced testosterone levels, it should also be easier than usual to maintain muscle you’ve already worked so hard to gain.
Brutal Force Mass Stack
If you want to boost your muscle mass and gain weight, it’s worth checking out the Brutal Force Mass Stack. This stack comes with five separate supplements, all of which can help you gain more muscle mass.
DBULK is the first supplement we’ll talk about in this stack. This supplement helps you maintain muscle and can increase your strength. It also helps quicken your recovery time.
Next, we have ABULK which is similar to DBULK in that in helps you build muscle. What’s also cool about this supplement is that it can increase your testosterone levels, which is beneficial or any clean or dirty bulk.
Just because you’re enjoying a calorie surplus doesn’t mean you want to gain too much fat. Fortunately, TBULK can help with this problem. This supplement promotes gradual weight loss, which is good to have during any bulking cycle.
You don’t only have to take Testo-Max if you want or need more testosterone, you can also take SBULK which comes in this stack. Whether you want to gain a few pounds or seriously bulk up, SBULK can help you reach your goals.
Lastly, there’s HBULK which boosts the amount of muscle tissue you can gain on a workout program. As this continues, you should also increase body weight.
What supplements help on a cutting cycle?
Bulking and cutting supplements each have their own unique goals. With that in mind, it’s now time to look at some supplements that can help you while you’re on a caloric deficit aka cutting weight.
Crazy Bulk Cutting Stack – lowers body fat percentage fast
This stack contains the following four supplements: Testo-Max, Winsol, Clenbutrol, and Anvarol.
Whether you’re trying to reduce your calorie intake, carb intake, or both, Clenbutrol can help you reduce body fat and keep it off. It’s also great for increasing your strength, which is great during all of those muscle hypertrophy-inducing workouts.
Winsol is a great supplement to take to maintain your energy levels while working to lower your body weight. Since cutting mean consuming fewer total calories, it can leave you longing for the energy you used to get from that afternoon donut.
With Winsol, you can maintain energy levels while still achieving fat loss. This supplement helps you maintain weight that’s at a healthy level.
There’s also Anvarol, which helps you gain more lean mass by increasing your strength and power. This product is beneficial to help you avoid losing muscle while you’re trying to also achieve fat loss.
Testo-Max is a popular supplement for people who are bulking and cutting. Since it can help increase your testosterone levels, Testo-Max is also helpful at prevented unwanted weight gain.
If the previously mentioned stack is a little too much for you, which is totally understandable, you can also burn fat by trying PhenGold.
This product ramps up your body’s natural fat-burning ability. Plus, it’s also incredibly helpful at reducing your cravings throughout the day.
With its proven combination of caffeine, capsaicin, and other ingredients, PhenGold also helps increase your energy expenditure without feeling tired.
If you combine the fat loss power of PhenGold with a decent exercise plan, you should start losing a lot of body fat.
In conclusion, I hope you liked this look at cutting vs bulking. If you’re new to weightlifting, these terms can seem confusing. Hopefully, what you learned in this post helped to clear up any confusion. If you want more workout, supplement, and nutrition tips, make sure to visit New Generation Fitness.