Bulking & Cutting for Beginners: Workouts, Diet & Other Tips

The Rack Athletic Performance Center

Bulking and Cutting for Beginners: What You Need to Know

Fitness enthusiasts enjoy increasing muscle mass, losing body fat, and strategically controlling their calorie intake, but bulking and cutting for beginners can seem overwhelming. Personal trainers in Atlanta by The Rack can help people achieve their fitness goals no matter their level and carefully guide them throughout the process. 

Beginners need reliable information and support when first learning how to bulk and cut because it is easy to follow the wrong process. Our personal trainers at The Rack have experience, training, and dedication to help any newbie learn the ropes and safely reach their intended body. Here’s what beginners should know about bulking and cutting.

What Are Bulking and Cutting?

Bulking is a timeframe when someone works on muscle growth while trying to limit fat gains. They are “bulking” up their body to have larger muscles, improve their strength, feel better about their bodies and health, and provide more body heat. People often bulk and then transition into cutting.

During the bulking stage, people eat more food than usual to be in a caloric surplus (consuming more calories daily than they are using).

Meanwhile, cutting is when someone keeps their muscle mass but tries to lose weight (specifically their body fat). Once a person builds up their body to be more muscular and gains weight, they utilize cutting to chisel their body to emphasize their muscles. They may also notice the benefits of (healthily) losing weight, such as lower blood pressure and blood sugar and fewer feelings of sluggishness.

During the cutting stage, people eat less food than usual to be a caloric deficit (consuming fewer calories daily than they are using).

Bulking Exercises

Bulking exercises should involve moderately heavy weight for fewer reps (for strength) and moderate weight for more reps (for muscle). A personal trainer can guide you on a good program that factors in your lifestyle, body mass, current weight, suggested meal plan, and much more. To gain muscle weight and minimize body fat, some good exercises for bulking include:

  • Barbell rows
  • Bench pressing
  • Deadlifts
  • Military Presses
  • Pull-ups
  • Strength training
  • Squats

There is a common misconception about avoiding cardio during bulking, but you can benefit from adding some to your workout routine. Cardio may not be your primary focus compared to strength training, but it can help increase your endurance and boost your heart health. 

Exercising safely and correctly based on your goals is vital when considering bulking and cutting for beginners.

Cutting Exercises

Trainers can help you exercise safely and reasonably during cutting season. Cutting workouts involve high reps with a moderate amount of weight to build and keep muscle. You can use these exercises to lose weight while maintaining muscle mass:

  • Bench presses
  • Crossfit programs
  • Deadlifts
  • Elliptical workouts
  • HIIT workouts
  • Pull-ups

Getting Started: Bulking and Cutting for Beginners

Ready to start bulking and cutting? Follow these steps to see results:

1. Determine Where to Begin

It is a good idea to be lean enough to begin bulking to ensure desired and optimal results, with men having 10 to 15% or less body fat and women having 18 to 23% or less body fat. Anyone with more than these amounts may benefit more from cutting to start instead of traditional bulking.

2. Gain Weight Reasonably and Realistically

Consuming as much food as possible or expecting immediate results can be unrealistic and dangerous. No one-size-fits-all approach exists because everyone’s body is different. Start by setting a reasonable goal based on your current weight, body mass, and daily caloric intake.

A general rule to guide you, though you do not have to follow it strictly, is:

  • 0.5 to 1 lb monthly gain for women
  • 1 to 2 lb monthly gain for men

Bulking with reasonable goals and good techniques can help minimize fat gains and promote healthy muscle gain. 

Additional Tips For Bulking and Cutting

  • Start with a caloric surplus and protein intake that fits your body weight.
  • Choose workouts that promote muscle gains and growth.
  • Sleep is essential for bulking and performance.

The most common reasons for unsuccessful bulking and cutting are people receiving incorrect or unhealthy information, gaining too much weight (fat over muscle mass), and losing too much weight during cutting. 

Personal Training in Atlanta, GA, with The Rack

The Rack is an athletic performance center passionate about providing fitness opportunities for people of all ages. We offer Atlanta, GA, residents one-on-one coaching, post-injury training, post-physical therapy training, and athlete group training. Learn why you should hire a coach, and check out our website to learn more about The Rack.

At The Rack, we aspire to make Georgia residents fall in love with fitness and improve their health and well-being. We want to help you feel better and can teach you about bulking and cutting for beginners while avoiding common mistakes. Interested athletes of all types and levels can schedule a consultation on our website or call us at (678) 626-7225 for more information.

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