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Why Cycling Between Bulking and Cutting is Never the Answer for Getting Lean, Muscular and Ripped

  Apr 6th, 2012

Bulking and Cutting CycleCycling back and forth between building muscle and burning fat, known as cycling, is a commonly used strategy that’s implemented with the intention of building lean muscle mass.


The theory behind cycling goes like this:


1. Spend a certain amount of time (usually several months) eating a high amount of calories and neglecting cardio in order to pack on as much muscle mass as possible


2. After adding 10, 20, 30, or more pounds, begin cutting away the fat that was gained while bulking by maintaining a caloric deficit and frequently training with cardio


Desired End Result: The gaining of several pounds of muscle mass, before getting rid of all of the unwanted body fat that was gained in the process, resulting in a net increase in muscle mass with zero or negative net gains in body fat


I’ll admit this sounds great in theory. But, it doesn’t work out the way one would expect…


Bulking Makes You Fat – Not Muscular

First, weight gained from bulking cycles resulting in an additional dozens of pounds of mass in a matter of months is mostly the result of fat gains – not muscle growth. Muscle gains come at a fairly slow rate – usually around 1-2 pounds of raw muscle per month, at best. Unless you’re using steroids, of course.


So, if you’re gaining 5 pounds per month, 3 or more pounds of that is going to be fat.


You Can Gain Muscle Without Gaining Fat

Eating an abundance of calories in order to stimulate muscle growth is based on the false assumption that you need to maintain an excess in calories to build muscle mass. Contrary to popular belief, the body doesn’t require an excess in calories to build muscle.


Eating more calories than the body needs is a strategy that’ll guarantee you’re not depriving your body of the nutrition required for muscle growth. But it’ll also make you fat.


Always remember that consumed calories above and beyond the needs of your body won’t result in faster muscle gains, as the unused calories will only serve to make you fatter.


Instead of eating harder, you need to eat smarter!


As I explain in my book, Ripped Out, you don’t have to pound the calories to gain muscle mass. In fact, you can actually build muscle while also shedding body fat by finding your body’s specific nutritional set-point for achieving these results simultaneously.


This is the fastest way to get ripped because it allows you to build lean muscle mass, while also reducing your body fat on a weekly basis.


This leads me to my next point…


Cycling Results are Slow

When most people go about cycling between muscle building and fat loss they do so by gorging themselves while bulking and then using extreme caloric deficits while cutting fat.


This proves to be an efficient way to achieve either of the desired results, depending on which cycle they’re on, but leads to lean muscle gains that are incredibly slow!


This kind of extreme cycling adds significantly greater amounts of fat than muscle while bulking. Then, while cutting fat, extreme caloric deficits and excessive cardio training causes the losing of most of their hard-earned muscle mass. The net end result leaves you with little to show for all of your efforts year after year.


I realize I used an extreme example to illustrate my point, but even when more moderate cycling methods are employed, the net gains after months of hard work will be less than impressive. I know because I’ve tried it.


There’s also another adverse side effect of bulking you need to be aware of…


The Expanding and Addition of Fat Cells

Any time you allow yourself to gain large amounts of fat you’ll be expanding the size of your fat cells. In addition, you’re putting yourself in position to add to your body’s total fat cell count as well.


Keep in mind you can never get rid of fat cells once you have them. You can only shrink them.


So, allowing yourself to get fat will actually make it easier to gain fat and harder to get lean in the future, even if your fat gains are only meant to be temporary.


As someone that used to be fat, I’m living proof that expanding and adding to your number of fat cells won’t prevent you from getting ripped altogether. But, it’ll certainly make it harder to achieve and maintain a ripped physique.


For instance, it only took me 9 months of “over-feeding” my body to put back on 40 of the 60 pounds of fat I originally lost.


If I’d never allowed myself to get fat in the first place, I wouldn’t have blown up so quickly after just 9 months of easing off my diet. I wasn’t even gorging myself on food! I simply stopped paying attention to the foods I was eating and the amounts I consumed each day.


Click here to read about my nutritional relapse.


The Right Way to Get Ripped

No one wants to look fat for months at a time while making extremely slow gains in muscle mass year after year. If you’ve attempted to get lean, muscular and ripped by cycling between bulking and cutting, you understand how frustrating this process can be.


The right way to get ripped is to become lean (and remain lean) while building and developing your muscles. Your net muscle gains will be better. Plus, you’ll have an impressive physique year round.


This takes a certain amount of dedication to following a nutrition plan that’s structured to your body’s specific composition. However, the end result is well worth the effort!


If you want to simultaneously build muscle and burn fat to get ripped the healthiest and fastest way possible, let me show you how. My book, Ripped Out, will tell you exactly how to structure your training and nutrition to do just that.


The bottom line… You need to stop building muscle then cutting fat and start building muscle while cutting fat!



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