The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depend upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and of wisdom.
What with all the podcasts, websites, and Instagram accounts where athletes and coaches share their experience, today it’s easier than ever to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to professional bodybuilders and powerlifters. When I first looked up lifting, I had that exact problem: I found a lot of advice and information for athletes, but I either didn’t realise I wasn’t the intended audience, or I thought it was still appropriate for my recreational training.
For example, I thought I had to cut and bulk on a regular basis, when that isn’t always the case. Since those early days I’ve learnt when and why athletes take either nutritional approach, when these strategies are sustainable for recreational lifters like me, and when and how to implement them over the course of my training.
If you’ve been asking yourself whether you should cut or bulk, take a look at this article!
It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.
In this third and final instalment, I’m going to delve into how I was exercising before the cut, how my approach changed, the results it yielded, successes and fails.
Before we get down to business, a shout-out to the people out there who think not having access to a gym will prevent them from training effectively. For most of my cut, I didn’t have a gym nearby, so all of my workouts were done at home, five days a week, before I left for work. I bought a yoga mat and two pairs of adjustable dumbbells; that’s all. Don’t be discouraged by what you don’t have and make the best of what you do have. It may take a little longer or require a few tweaks, but you can still make it work. Determination was my greatest piece of equipment.
Now, to the rest of the article!
Food is not just calories, it is information. It talks to your DNA and tells it what to do. The most powerful tool to change your health, environment and entire world is your fork.
Welcome to Part 2 of this three-part account of my experience eating and working out to lose fat and preserve muscle mass. In Part 1, I covered my mental and physical conditions prior to this cutting phase. Today, I’m going to talk about the changes I made to my nutrition to keep it goal-oriented yet sustainable, what worked, and what didn’t. Hopefully, from the pictures above you can tell that dieting doesn’t have to be a tasteless endeavour. Let’s dive into it!
There is little that can withstand a man who can conquer himself.
If you’ve ever dabbled in strength training, you must have heard of the terms “cutting” and “bulking”. In gym speak, during a cut you go on a moderate caloric deficit (usually 10-20% of your maintenance intake) to induce fat loss. During a bulk, on the other hand, you go on a slight caloric surplus to stimulate muscle growth. Putting on muscle comes at the inevitable cost of some fat gain, so one would usually alternate the two phases throughout the year, bulking and then cutting to shed fat and bring out their new gains.
In this three-part mini-series, I’m going to cover nutrition and exercise during my cutting phase, which lasted from mid-June to late October 2018. I’m going to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly: the research I did, the strategies I implemented, the mistakes I made, and the results I got. In today’s introduction, I’ll talk you through my reasons to cut and my mental and physical state before and after the experience.
A personal trainer who likes bodybuilding, superheroes, and bread.
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