A Beginners Guide to Bulking and Cutting

If you want to lose weight/fat, build muscle, or do both, then you must be well aware of the analogy of Bulking and Cutting.

In order to get everything right, the way you train, and the diet you take must blend with the goals you want to achieve. 

Bulking and Cutting is the most common way, suitable for both men and women.

People who choose this path are looking to make a significant improvement in the way their body looks.

But, the only problem that most people face which is also a critical one is the way they do it.

Because it is a common observation that most people perform bulking and cutting, the wrong way. 

However, you don’t need to worry now, because with this article our main aim is to provide you with all the right information you need to perform bulking and cutting, the right way.

Make sure that you read all the things carefully because we don’t want to miss something important and it may hinder your progress.

So let’s get started:

What Are Bulking And Cutting?

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Before we get into the details of doing bulking and cutting, the right way, let’s just take a brief look at what these two basically means. 


The phase of muscle building is called bulking. 

During this period, you would take a number of calories which causes a caloric excess, so there is a weight gain.


The phase of fat loss is called cutting.

During this period, you would take the number of calories which reduces your overall calorie quantity, so there is a weight loss.

Bulking for Beginners: [Steps]

So in this section, we will talk about the right way of doing bulking and cutting for beginners. 

How You Should Do Bulking: The Right Way:


So this the type of bulking we would suggest to you. You may call it “Lean Bulking” since this is the most popular one. 

So What is lean bulking?

Well, the period of time when you adjust your diet and workout synergistically. This because you want to maximize lean muscle gains while minimizing body fat. 

So when you choose to do lean bulking, you neither aim to just gain weight or build muscle but you want to build muscles without gaining excess body fat.

However, this does not mean that you will not gain fat no matter what.

This is something that sounds a bit unrealistic for most people and it is not even easy to pull off.

Moreover, even if you try to do so you can end up doing efforts that will give you no results. So better avoid this. 

The best option for you is to gain some body fat along with building muscles. Just make sure that the limit you set for body fat gain is always minimal.

Here are a few factors that you need to follow to do lean bulking:

You Need To Be Lean Enough To Start:

Lean Enough To Start

The first step towards a productive lean bulking process is to ensure that you are lean enough to start such a process actually.

What we mean is that if you currently have a certain ideal percentage of the body fat and with an excess amount for bulking, then you can expect to go from “fat” to “too fat”, and we mean it.      

Besides potentially increasing your calories proportion i.e. the ratio of how much muscle and fat you accumulate when in excess.

It also indicates that you are going to look like garbage in the whole cycle of muscle building since it is not simply a transition from “fat” to “too fat.”

This is how you will be benefited if you are lean from the start:

  • You will have the best calorie partition set for yourself
  • You will get some space in terms of fat gain to work with. Because now you are focused on gaining fat along with building muscle and still look good. 
  • The transition from bulking to cutting will be easy for you.
  • You will not need to do much effort in your cutting phase because you will already have less fat. 
  • So this is a win-win situation for you!!

Gain Weight at Ideal Rate:

Gain Weight at Ideal Rate

As we mentioned before, you are guaranteed that you gain large amounts of body fat if you gain weight too soon.

In contrast, you either won’t gain muscle as easily or you don’t gain anything if you gain weight too slowly or not at all.

For this reason, you should aim in between the two when you are doing lean bulking.

Our recommended weight rate: 

  • For Men: between 1-2 lbs per month
  • For Women: 0.5-1 lbs per month

You have the best chance of getting ideal results if you follow this weight rate. 

Ideal Rate For Excessive Calorie:

Weight gaining too quickly leads to too much body fat and too many calories are obtained, leading to weight gain too quickly.

That is why your aim is to create a calorie surplus that will constantly increase your weight at the ideal specified rate. 

Do you wonder how much surplus is ideal? 

Honestly, there is no such correct answer for this because various factors (numbers of exercise, levels of non-exercise, etc.)

Influence how much excess each person needs to gain weight at their ideal rate.

But don’t worry, we have a few figures for you, both above your maintenance level:

  • For Men: 200 calorie surplus
  • For Women: 100 calorie surplus:

So what above your maintenance level means?

Well, let’s suppose you normally take 2000 calories, that is your maintenance level and now you will take 200/100 calories per day. 

The next move from there is to check what your weight will be doing over the next 2-4 weeks and see if it is rising at the ideal rate.    

You can chill, if it is. Continue to eat this amount and track your progress carefully.

If not, change your calorie intake accordingly and track what happens over the next 2 to 4 weeks, i.e. if you’re gaining too quickly, eat a little less … whether you’re gaining too slowly or not, eat a little more. 

Continue to track progress during your bulking process and adjust when and if necessary to ensure the optimal weight gain continues.

Take Ideal Amount Of Protein:

Ideal Amount Of Protein

The next biggest aspect of a bulking diet is protein intake after developing the caloric surplus.

As you already know, the appropriate intake of protein is essential for growth and recovery, and it is important for the building of muscle. 

So what is the ideal amount of protein you should take? 

We would recommend 0.8-1.2g of protein per pound of your overall weight.

Include Effective Weight Workout Training  In Your Routine:

This can be one of the most important factors of your bulking because your muscle built and not gaining excess body fat is going to depend on the weight workout training you are using. 

As you already know that you will have excess calorie supply to your body in a caloric surplus period during bulking.

And these excess calories can help you in muscle building. Fat storage or even both. 

This means that the more effective workout you have, the better result you will get.  In this way, your body will utilize that extra calorie and help in stronger muscle building. 

And the less effective your workout is, the more it is bad for you. Because it means that all the extra calories will turn into body fat. 

Switch To Cutting From Bulking When It’s The Right Time:

Switch To Cutting From Bulking

The only reason why you chose lean bulking is to build muscle without gaining too much fat.

And since we already mentioned that you will have some fat gained no matter if you are doing everything correctly.

This is normal and that is where cutting comes into play.

And if you are doing lean bulking continuously, there will be a point where you will have gained too much fat 

And the only way you can avoid this is to switch to cutting and stop bulking. So there must be a question in your mind.

“How would you know when it’s the right time?”

Here is the ideal rate when you should know that it’s time to switch to cutting:

  • For Men: 15-20% body fat range.
  • For Women:  23-28% body fat range.

If you find yourself in these ranges then it’s time to stop bulking and start cutting 

Cutting for Beginners [Steps]:

Cutting for beginners

Here are a few steps that all beginner should follow when the first start cutting:

Lose Weight At An Ideal Rate:

Similar to ideal weight gain for bulking, you need to follow the ideal rate to lose weight for cutting.

The rate should be in between not too fast nor too low because when it occurs too quickly, the risk of losing muscles increases.

So all the other causes that sweep away from weight loss (hunger, lethargy, a metabolic decline, etc.) will contribute and be of a negative impact. 

So what if the process is too slow? 

Then either you lose fat longer than it takes (which just prolongs the cycle for any good reason), or you don’t lose any fat at all.

Here’s our recommended ideal rate for weight loss 0.3-1 percent of your overall body weight per week.

Ideal Rate For Calorie Deficit:

Ideal Rate For Calorie Deficit

This optimal rate of loss of weight requires an optimal caloric deficit. So what is the ideal rate for calorie deficit? 

Again, there is no such correct answer for this because there are a number of factors that determine how much deficit a person needs. 

This is our recommended ideal rate for calorie deficit for most people:

10-25% that too below your maintenance level and you already know what this means. 

Here also the ideal way is to check what your weight will be doing over the next 2-4 weeks and see if it is decreasing at the ideal rate.    

You can chill, if it is. After that, you can do some tweak to the amount of calorie intake and track what happens over the next 2 to 4 weeks.

Continue to track progress during your cutting process and adjust when and if necessary to ensure the optimal weight loss continues.

Take Ideal Amount Of Protein:


The amount of protein you take is essential for both bulking and cutting.

And in regards to cutting, this is going to play an important role because you need to include enough protein in your diet when you are losing fat without losing muscle. 

We would recommend 0.8-1.2g of protein per pound of your overall weight every day.

Weight Train For The Purpose Of Maintaining Or Building Muscle:

While your goal is to cut and to lose fat, this does not mean you should lose fat for your weight exercises.

Since it is a little good for calories to burn, but it is bad to prevent loss of muscle. 

You can see that the key cause for muscle building is a gradual buildup of stress, which ensures that it slowly gets stronger over time.

For example, for 20 years to come, the body would have no need to build additional muscle if you lift the same weights for the same number of reps.

But, the body will then have a reason to create more muscles if you slowly increase more weight or lift the same weight for more reps. 

The approach also refers to muscle rehabilitation and cutting. Your aim is to give your body a reason to preserve its muscle mass.

What we mean is that you should aim to retain your current strength level throughout the cutting phase or even increase it if possible. 

In this way, your body gets the signal of muscle maintenance which informs you that you need to keep the muscle you already have or build it more.

As for the training routine that can be applied, any well-structured muscle-building program.

When you are bulking is usually good for muscle maintenance when you cut, probably with a few minor adjustments.

Avoid Overdoing Cardio:

Avoid Overdoing Cardio

Cardio is an additional exercise in your entire bulking and cutting plan. And additional things demand additional efforts.

This is always important, but even more when you are cutting, for your caloric deficit literally constitutes an energy deficit.

Therefore, recovery is always reduced to a certain level in comparison to maintenance or surplus. 

In other words, as much as you exercise while in deficits, along with the central nervous system (CNS).

The more likely you are to recover effectively, both in terms of the part of the body most frequently used (typically the legs with the most forms of cardiac.

And when the recovery starts to decline, your performance and strength decline too. 

And your ability to keep muscle when strength and performance suffer. This is a problem that most people face when they do cut, the wrong way    

However, this does not mean that you should not do cardio at all, some cardio is okay.

It totally depends on you, if you want to use it for losing weight or not. You just need to avoid overdoing it.

The optimal timing of doing cardio is for 30 mins 3 to 4 days a week. 

Moreover, you need to track your progress, how everything is reacting, and if it is benefitting you. Track your progress and adjust your routine accordingly.

Come Out Of Your Deficit Periodically:

As we have mentioned quite a few time in this section that caloric deficit can cause some potential problems which include:

  • Strength loss.
  • Hunger.
  • Lethargy.
  • Metabolic slowdown.
  • Muscle loss.
  • Reduced recovery.
  • And more…

And in order to avoid these problems, you need to come out of a caloric deficit.

You might get confused here because we mentioned you need a caloric deficit for cutting but how you can overcome it. 

It is not important that you are in a caloric deficit state from the beginning till the end. Maintain the equilibrium and you will get the best result.

FAQ’s about Bulking and Cutting:

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1. Can you Bulk and Cut at the Same Time?

The answer is Yes, but it can be very challenging for you, however, if you are willing to go the hard way then Yes, you can.

But remember that in order to do that you need to increase the amount of protein you eat and reduce eating carbohydrates. 

2. How Long Should Bulking and Cutting Phases Be?

In general, the frequency you select is not important until you obtain the desired results.  It is important to keep going.

We suggest bulking 2 to 3 months for most. However, and then reducing the unnecessary amount of fat for as long as possible.

And time differs for each person for this.


Having said that we come to the end of our guide about bulking and cutting.

Hope that you liked this guide and get to learn many things about bulking and cutting.

We are thankful to you for taking out your precious time and reading our guide.

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