People join a gym and often have the goal of ‘losing weight’ or ‘getting their summer body’ but more often than not tend to lose their way and their focus.
The first question you need to ask yourself before even stepping foot into a gym is this ‘Am I bulking or cutting?‘.
So, what is bulking? Bulking is when you are looking to gain mass in order to see a bigger frame/physique. This tends to be used in the winter when people are less likely to be stripping down to their speedos and more likely to be putting on a big hoody.
What is cutting? Cutting is for those aesthetic driven people who want to see a more eye-catching set of shredded muscles. This is often used in the lead up to summer so that people can confidently strut around the beach with the bare minimum amount of clothes on.
How do I know if I’m doing it right?
If you’re still unsure of what you’re doing and whether you’re even doing it right then here’s some basic guidelines.
Bulking – For this you basically want to be eating more calories than you are burning off throughout the day. So you are looking to be in a surplus of calories so that you are gaining weight. This should hopefully allow you to gain size and along with this you are looking to lift heavier weights but with a lower amount of reps.
This is going to allow you to increase your strength and reach new pbs in a lot of different exercises.
Dirty or Clean Bulk? – This is the big question when it comes to bulking as it will determine your overall look when you reach your weight goal.
A dirty bulk will often be a lot easier and more enjoyable as you are able to eat what you want whenever you want so foods like pizza and burgers are your best friend. However, you have to consider the negatives here. Over-consumption of foods like these are dangerous for your health and this will often lead to a higher percentage of body fat meaning a less defined look that can make you look out of shape.
A clean bulk is probably the recommended way to go but can be a lot harder. As you are trying to still eat healthy-ish foods whilst packing on the pounds you are having to eat a significantly larger amount of food that can be tough both physically and mentally. Although, once you reach your final destination you are probably going to look much more impressive – it’s just going to take you a lot longer.
Cutting – This is where you are going to want to cut back on your calories so that you are eating less than you are burning off. This will help you to trim down your figure and earn a more defined physique. So you are wanting to be in a calorie deficit.
This technique will hopefully allow you to reduce your body fat percentage whilst still maintaining muscle mass. This is often hard to do and you are likely to lose some muscle but this is the risk that you have to take to reach your desired aesthetics.
There is no right or wrong in what you should be doing but being able to define what it is that you are aiming towards is good as it gives you a target to spearhead your way to. So no matter what way you are going, make sure you stay true and you will be able to reach your destination.