Bodybuilding Terms And Phrases
If you hang around in a gym for any length of time, particularly a hardcore bodybuilding gym, you will soon start to learn new words and phrases related to the whole gym environment.
For example, you may start to use words such as ‘jacked’, ‘ripped’, ‘roids’, ‘doms’, ‘juiced’, ‘spot’ and ‘stacking’ when talking to other gym members, and will probably learn lots of other slang words as well.
However in this article I want to discuss the meaning of two words in particular – ‘bulking’ and ‘cutting’ – because these are frequently used by both men and women who work out and are a big part of the bodybuilding scene.
The Definition Of Bulking
Many people who are new to fitness may not be 100% sure what the term ‘bulking’ actually means, but it basically refers to the process of building muscle mass and gaining body fat.
Some people think that bulking is all about building as much muscle as possible, but bodybuilders who start a new bulking cycle are generally looking to build muscle and gain weight at the same time in order to get as big as possible.
Bulking cycles are often done in the winter months because people can then start a new cutting cycle in the spring in order to cut any excess body fat in time for summer. They will then be left with a fantastic looking body that is both ripped and muscular.
How To Bulk
The whole process of bulking up is all about three things – consuming a calorie excess every day in order to gain weight, consuming lots of protein and doing a lot of strength training in the gym to gain muscle mass.
Protein shakes and muscle-building supplements can be added to the mix to increase muscle growth even further, but it basically comes down to these three things.
Here is an example of a typical meal plan for someone who is looking to bulk up:
The Definition Of Cutting
Many people think that ‘cutting’ is all about weight loss and fat-burning, however this is only partially correct.
Cutting is not just about losing as much weight as possible because people who start a new cutting cycle are looking to reduce body fat whilst preserving muscle mass, which is a key distinction.
It is all too easy to lose some muscle mass when trying to burn excess body fat, which is why cutting cycles will often include some strength training sessions in the gym so that people can hold on to the muscle gains that they acquired during the previous bulking phase.
How To Cut
As I have just mentioned, the cutting phase is all about reducing body fat without losing muscle, and this is best achieved with a combination of cardio and strength training workouts in the gym.
Working out on a treadmill, exercise bike, elliptical trainer or rowing machine, for example, will help to burn lots of calories and shred fat. Running, swimming, cycling and high intensity interval training can also be hugely beneficial as well.
However this should be balanced out with plenty of muscle-building exercises in the gym to ensure that you don’t lose any muscle mass.
You can also consume plenty of protein and consider taking a muscle-building supplement or two in order to help you to hold on to any muscle gains whilst trying to burn fat.
Many professional bodybuilders will regularly go through bulking and cutting phases throughout the year in order to get in perfect shape for the big competitions.
However a lot of regular gym members will also go through phases where they are either bulking or cutting because it is all too easy to get out of shape, particularly if you stop going to the gym or let yourself go for whatever reason.
Anyway the point of this article was simply to explain what these words actually mean. It is up to you to decide whether or not you want to go through these phases in order to get in peak physical condition. I myself simply aim to get fitter and stronger over time, but everyone is different and will have different goals and objectives.