Cutting after a bulking cycle need not be difficult. While your focus when cutting is not on building lean muscle, you certainly do not want to burn it. During this phase, you work on losing weight by burning body fat gained during bulking.
If you are successful at cutting, you will look ripped fast – after only a short time. The muscle gained during bulking will be more accentuated. But what are the best practices for cutting after a bulking cycle, you may be wondering?
Here are a few tips –
When it comes to your diet, introduce the changes slowly. Gradually reduce your carbohydrates’ intake. If you too quickly get into cutting down your carbohydrates, you will end up burning muscle which is not the desired outcome. Work on reducing your overall intake of calories (from carbohydrates mainly) to burn fat but do it slowly and efficiently.
The Ketogenic Diet
Some bodybuilders prefer to go on a Ketogenic diet, which involves a lower carbs diet approach. On the weekdays, carbohydrates are reduced to a very low level such as about 30grams or less. You take in more fats and proteins.
On the weekends, you consume a diet high in carbs and low in fats. Some doctors hail the ketogenic diet as the optimal one for burning body fat while retaining lean muscle. The fats consumed in a ketogenic diet come from nuts, seeds, and oily fish, all of which are healthy.
Consume Healthy Fats
You may be tempted to go very low on fat consumption, to quickly reduce extra body fat. This is not necessarily recommended because foods low in fats are usually not satisfying. As well, your body needs healthy fats for purposes such as hormone production.
Healthy fats should remain a part of your diet in all cases.
Train as Usual
Ensure you lift weights as you usually do when bulking. It is recommended that you lift weights at least four times every week. Work with your trainer or training partner to determine which specific muscle groups you will exercise every day of your training.
Do Cardio Workouts
Increase the frequency and duration of your cardiovascular workouts. You can engage in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio four days on each week. This will help you in burning body fat and lose weight. HIIT can be performed on the stationary bike, elliptical machine, treadmill or step machine.
While you reduce your intake of calories, you still need to eat frequently, like every 2-3 hours to reduce hunger and to feed your muscles. This will ensure your body has enough fuel and will not result in muscle mass burning away. Include a serving of a complex carbohydrates with every meal, but remember to keep reducing your intake of carbohydrates.
Keep Track of Your Results
Get a fitness professional to calculate your body fat every two weeks. This will help you keep track of your progress accurately. You can’t depend on the readings of your scales to determine how you are doing while cutting.
Muscle weighs a lot more than body fat. You may have burned appreciable fat and already look ripped, but there is only a little difference to your weight, which may discourage you. Only a fitness professional will be able to tell you how you are doing.