Bulking vs Cutting: What’s the difference and what do they achieve?
In life, there are complementary opposites. The white chess pieces vs the black chess pieces. On vs off. Dark vs light. These opposites are both vastly different and can’t exist without each other. Similarly, there’s one pair of practices you’ve likely heard spoken about in the fitness space: “Bulking” vs “Cutting.”
They serve very different purposes but often seem somewhat mysterious and wide-ranging when dropped in conversation. Have no fear of sounding misinformed around the water fountain, though! Trojan is here to demystify this process for you!
What are “bulking” and “cutting?”
Simply put, “bulking” and “cutting” are terms used to describe two different phases of a bodybuilding or fitness program. Bulking refers to the process of gaining weight, usually by increasing your muscle mass and body fat, to increase your strength and size. This is typically done by consuming more calories than your body is burning and engaging in weight training to stimulate muscle growth.
Cutting, on the other hand, refers to the process of losing your body fat while maintaining your muscle mass. This is usually done by reducing your calorie intake and increasing cardiovascular exercise, to create a calorie deficit and encourage the body to use stored body fat as energy.
What do I use bulking and cutting for?
Both bulking and cutting can be used as part of a bodybuilding or fitness program to achieve specific goals. Bulking is often used to increase muscle mass and strength (looking bigger), while cutting is often used to improve muscle definition and reduce body fat (looking more defined).
It’s important to note that both bulking and cutting require careful planning and attention to nutrition and training to be effective and safe. It can be easy to falter and take in too many or too few calories, so we suggest talking to your doctor or nutritionist before you embark on a bulking or cutting program.
The benefits of bulking
- Increased muscle mass:By consuming more calories and engaging in weight training, you can stimulate muscle growth and increase muscle mass. Eating more + training more = being more!
- Increased strength: As you gain muscle mass, you may also see an increase in strength, which can be beneficial for activities like lifting weights or participating in sports. You might even want to coordinate your bulking and cutting cycles with your sport’s on and off seasons.
- Improved body composition:Bulking can help improve your body composition by increasing the proportion of muscle to fat in your body. This means you’re balancing out your system for prime performance, which is an exciting prospect for any athlete.
It’s critical to bear in mind that bulking requires careful planning and attention to nutrition and training to make sure it’s helping and not harming you. It’s also important to remember that bulking will typically increase body fat, so it may not be appropriate for everyone – especially if you already have a high body fat percentage.
The benefits of cutting
- Improved muscle definition: Cutting can help reduce your body fat percentage and improve your muscle definition, resulting in a leaner and more toned appearance. Think “shredded.”
- Enhanced athletic performance: Losing body fat can improve athletic performance by reducing the amount of weight you need to carry around, making it easier to move and perform at your best. If you need to be agile and fast for something, the best time to do that activity is when you’re on a cut.
- Improved health:Losing body fat can improve your overall health by reducing your risk of conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. You may even fit back into your old jeans if you cut right after the festive season.
- Increased confidence:Achieving a leaner and more toned physique can boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. There’s no feeling like seeing your gains emerge during a cut, and we guarantee you’ll be checking yourself out in way more mirrors.
Much the same as bulking, it’s crucial to recognise that cutting requires careful planning and attention to nutrition and training to be safe. It’s also important to remember that cutting requires a calorie deficit, so it may not be appropriate for everyone, especially if you are already at a healthy weight or have a high level of muscle mass. Calorie deficits can make you lethargic and hinder your performance, and you may be sacrificing the muscles you earned if you go too far!
What exercises should accompany bulking and cutting?
If you’ve decided to go on a bulk or a cut after speaking to a medical professional, there are complementary workouts that will maximise the effects of your processes. For your convenience, we’ve paired those exercises with the Trojan products that will make them possible from the comfort of your home:
Compound lifts: Squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and rows. These exercises can help stimulate muscle growth and increase strength.
Use the Multifunction Smith Machine 1.0.
Isolation exercises: Bicep curls, tricep extensions, and leg curls. These exercises can help add size and definition to specific muscle groups.
Use a Trojan Dumbbell Set in your weight range.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT): Short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest. HIIT can help increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance.
Try working out on a Trojan spinner.
Resistance bands: Challenging resistance for various exercises, including bicep curls, tricep extensions, and squats.
Shop the Trojan range of resistance bands.
Cardiovascular exercise: Running, cycling, or swimming can help burn calories and reduce body fat.
Try running on a Trojan Treadmill
Resistance training: Lifting weights or using resistance bands can help maintain muscle mass while cutting body fat.
You can do resistance training with our range of Trojan ankle weights.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT): This can be used for both cutting and bulking. HIIT can be effective for cutting because it can help burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
Core exercises: Exercises that target the muscles of the core, such as planks, Russian twists, and bicycle crunches, can help improve muscle definition and reduce body fat.
Get that core in shape with a 3-in-1 Body Blaster
If you’re doing it safely and effectively, going through cycles of bulking and cutting could get you to your fitness goals much quicker than if you attempted that journey without a plan. We’re excited to see you reaching for your potential, and we’re committed to helping you get there from the comfort of your home gym. When you shop Trojan, you’re shopping the perfect blend of affordability and quality, with machines and fitness equipment in tip-top shape – just like you will be soon!