A Simple Guide to Understand Bulking & Cutting.
When it come to the illustrious ‘Bulk’ or ‘Cut’ there are many many opinions on which is the best way to do it.
Some will ramp up your calories instantaneously for a bulk, likewise they will say to reduce your calories dramatically for a cut. While these work they often come with their own problems, almost always psychological.
It doesn’t matter if you’re taking your calories up or down. If you do it suddenly and aggressively your body will not like it. A sudden drop will leave you potentially feeling exhausted and weak, where as increasing them by a hefty number can make you feel bloated, lethargic and uncomfortable.
There are ways to increase your calories/decrease your calories in a sensible fashion, thus effectively achieving a ‘Slow Bulk’ or ‘Slow Cut’ some might say.
How do you do this?
First your would do well establishing your BRM to maintain your current weight.
Harris Benedict Formula
To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
Men BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)
Women BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)
If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9
*If you go to google and type in ‘Harris Benedict Calculator’ you will find plenty of websites to workout out your BMR.
I will use myself as an example:
1838 BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x 78.2) + (4.799 x 180) – (5.677 x 28)
1838 x 1.9 = 3492.
That is how many calories I would need to maintain my current weight, with my current level of activity.
I have written about establishing macros in previous posts, just follow this link.
To cut I would look to reduce my calories by around 800. For bulk I would look to add 800-1000, but the secret isn’t how many to add but how to add them.
Lets say YOU now know your required calories/macros to maintain your current weight/goal, be that at the end of a bulk or a cut. You now decide to go the other way, but what are you going to do?
Here are the answers:
1 – Establish your required calories/macros to achieve your new goal – Surplus or Deficit.
2 – Create a time frame in which to achieve your goal – If you’re in no hurry then 8-16 weeks is perfect.
3 – Reduce or Increase your calories by 50-100 each week for that period – week 1 = 100cal +/-, week 2 = 200cal =/-, week 3 = 300cal +/-, this will go on until week 8 = 800cal +/-. You can do 50 cal per week of ra longer period
4 – Enjoy taking your time.
Performing a bulk or a cut in this manor will lead to minimal fat gain and minimal muscle loss, or at least your mind will see it that way. Realistically you can do a bulk/cut in a shorter period but it is tougher psychologically, as we all know the mind can play tricks on us. This will help remove some of the pressure and perceived regression.
Small drops/increases will be more sustainable too.