Nutrition

Gaining Muscle (Bulking) and Losing Fat (Cutting)

1st you must pick one; Do you want to gain weight or lose weight? You will not gain any decent amount of quality muscle without gaining some fat. AND you will not lose a reasonable amount of fat and gain muscle simultaneously. Contrary to whatever magazine articles you may have read.

Bulking

The goal during your bulking phase should be to gain as much muscle as possible, while minimizing fat gain.

For every 1 lb of muscle I gain, I consider it a success if 3 lbs of fat or less come with it. So, when I gain 4 lbs or so, I’ll check my BF% and make sure I gained at least 1 lb of muscle (if so, im happy). If I gained less than 1 lb of muscle, but still gained more than 3 lbs of fat, I will more than likely adjust my macro breakdown and possibly my workout routine.

Sure, you can gain a little less fat with muscle, but it will take much longer to see results. Example: Gaining 1 pound of muscle with up to 3 lbs of fat may only take me 6 weeks or so to do; as opposed to gaining 1 lb of muscle with less than 2lbs of fat may take a few months because I would have to consume less muscle building carbs and possibly do more cardio to keep my body fat down. In my opinion it’s much easier and faster to gain a little extra fat and then trim the fat off when you start cutting.

Cutting

The goal during the cutting phase is to lose as much fat as possible while minimizing muscle loss. The most efficient way to do this is losing no more than ½ - 2lbs per week. If this is done properly nearly 100% of the weight will be fat (and some water). I tend to keep all of my muscle during the cutting phase except just about a few weeks prior to my competition (when I start to get real lean). My goal every competition is to be more and more lean, but I never want to lose more than 4-5lbs of muscle total. To be honest this is where I need to improve. I think I have the potential of being more lean and losing not more than 5 lbs of muscle (just gotta figure out how).

So You Think Knowing Your Body Fat % Isn’t Important? Think Again!

I believe in making things as less subjective as possible; therefore I don’t rely solely on the mirror.

The essential part of figuring out the perfect macronutrient breakdown while bulking or cutting is having your body fat % checked every few weeks.  This will reveal if your macro breakdown or training routine needs to adjusted.  The purpose of finding out your body fat % is not so you can babble to others what your body fat is.

When you find out your body fat %, you should then figure out your Lean Body Mass %.

• Example: 20% body fat = 80% LBM% (Lean Body Mass %)

• Your total body weight x .80(LBM%) = Total lbs. of lean body mass on you (which includes everything except fat).

• You can now simply subtract your total body weight (lbs) from your LBM (lbs) to get your total pounds of fat.

• The 2 significant numbers you want to remember are LBM (in lbs) and your total body fat (in lbs). Every few weeks you can have your body fat checked and see how these numbers are changing. This will reveal if your macro break down is perfect or needs adjustment.

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