Should you build MUSCLE... or GET LEAN First?
…that’s a good question.
And one that I get often.
If you grew up in the bodybuilding culture of the 90s & 2000s you’ll be familiar with the terms “bulking” and “cutting”.
These were the phases that bodybuilders went through throughout the training year leading up to a bodybuilding contest.
“Bulking” was a season where you’d gain weight – preferably muscle – and focus on eating in a caloric surplus.
“Cutting” was where you’d attempt to shed the pounds and “lean up” for a competition (or the summer).
In the 90s & 2000s bodybuilding was the norm so a lot of us – me included – adopted this type of training approach.
There are a couple of problems with this way of training though…
Problem #1 -
You Get FAT
Most people are NOT bodybuilders… but they still follow this protocol.
Saying “I’m in bulking season” just gives them an excuse to get fat.
Ever notice how anybody that trained bodybuilder style was always “bulking” between the months of October to February?
The colder months where you have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Holiday parties and you have the excuse to eat “comfort foods” because it’s cold outside.
So it’s easy to “bulk”.
And you can convince yourself that you’re “bulking” but in reality you’re just getting fat and hiding under all the layers of clothing that you wear during the winter…
…and most people that take this “bulking in the winter approach” convince themselves that they don’t have to worry about maintaining any self-control or discipline with their nutrition…
…because they’re “bulking”.
You basically give yourself the excuse to get fat, fall out of good habits, adopt bad ones and you make it harder for yourself to get back in shape.
And gues what?
It doesn't get any easier to get back in shape when you're on the other side of 40.
Problem #2 -
You Lose Muscle
So after the sloth-like “bulking season”, when it’s time to get in shape (i.e. when it’s “cutting season”)…
Most people end up “dieting down” and punishing themselves with these gruesome MetCon-style, HIIT workouts.
The problem with this is that you put yourself in so much of a caloric deficit that, sure, you end up losing weight…
…but more often than not you’re in such a caloric/energy deficit that it’s imposssible for your body to retain the muscle you gained when you were bulking.
In the end, you ended up bulking 10-15lbs only to lose all that weight with very little to show for it.
Which brings me to the BIGGEST PROBLEM when you constantly fluctuate between “cutting” & “bulking”…
That weight fluctuation brings me to the last problem with following this approach and the one you must pay most attention to when you’re over 4o years old…
In fact, if you're over 40 then this last problem is the one you need to pay the most attention to...
In fact it’s so important, it deserves its own page.
Click the “CONTINUE” button below and let’s get to it…