Bulking and Cutting: What Really Happens

Now that you have your maintenance calories, you can move into a cut or a bulk.

Note: To know more about maintenance calories, check out the post “The Three Macronutrients” in the “Diet & Eating” section.

Bulking and Cutting


  • Basically a ‘bulk’ means eating in a caloric surplus (eating more calories than you burn) which will help you get the size.

The thing about the ‘bulk’ is that many people seem to think that bulking just gives you the freedom to eat whatever you want and they end up consuming just fat and by the time they try to cut they lose all the fat and realize that they gained no muscle.

  • The trick about bulking is to eat in surplus but not with a lot of calories. It is good to consume about 10-15 percent more calories than maintenance. Bulking should be a slow process and a good ‘bulk’ should be for at least 8 months.
  • You should ‘bulk’ when you are low on body fat percentage or until you have about 18 to 20 percent body fat. Another thing to keep in mind is that, you should be doing cardio at least 3 times a week for about 20 minutes, this is not really a must but you should just do it so that you don’t lose your condition.
  • A smart thing for you to do, is to take it on a weekly basis, this strategy is particularly helpful during the festive season. Because if you know on certain occasions you’re going to eat more, you can do it, provided you hit your weekly calories then.


  • This one is a little trickier because when you get to low body fat percentages, it starts becoming harder and harder.
  • Unlike bulking you need to take it slow as it works the opposite way. You need to have a caloric deficit (eating less calories). You should be eating about 90-95% of your maintenance calories. For that veggies are a must, as also lean food in order to eat more because if you end up eating just junk food, you would hit your calories very fast but will soon suffer from hunger pangs.
  • Another thing that is very important while cutting are the cheat meals or days in which you are able to consume more calories. This helps you keep your sanity. Just remember that weekly calories thing.
  • You should get a very low fat percentage before you consider bulking again. It should be around 8% unless you are competing, in that case you should go even lower. Hiring a coach to train you in such cases helps tremendously.
The following two tabs change content below.
He's a self proclaimed fitness advocate who devotes a majority of his free time catching up with the latest fitness trends in the wellness industry (when he’s not traveling the world!). He aims to curate results-driven content through his hands-on life & fitness experiences to power your health goals.

Latest posts by Ashwin Kak (see all)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *