Bulking & Cutting

You hear the terms ‘bulking’ & ‘cutting’ thrown around a lot in fitness circles. What do they actually mean though? In simple terms, bulking is eating above maintenance in order to gain muscle. Cutting is eating below maintenance in order to lose fat. It’s very difficult to gain muscle and drop fat at the same time, so you see bodybuilders, fitness & bikini competitors going through bulking & cutting cycles.

I decided before Christmas that I’d concentrate on building some muscle for the next five/six months or so. For me, that means consuming 2,500 calories a day, 200 above maintenance. Eating above maintenance will give me extra energy in the gym, so I can hopefully set PRs all over the place! I’ll look at where I am in May/June and start cutting, which means dropping to around 2,100 calories. I’ll do this gradually over a few weeks so that I don’t feel too deprived.

This is my first time doing a ‘bulk’, so I’m interested to see how it goes!



  1. I’m pretty new to all this (I’m 48) – how do you determine your optimal calorie intake? My TDEE is 1450 but I’m heavier – about 10 – 12lbs more – than I’d like to be


    1. It was trial & error for me, to be honest! My TDEE is up around the 1900 mark according to calculators but I can eat 2300 while maintaining. I weigh myself once a week at the same time so I can track this way & adjust accordingly. It’s different for everyone though – I have a lot of muscle mass so metabolism is higher!

      Liked by 1 person

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