Bulking and Cutting for Women?
Bulking and Cutting for Women?Jan 5th, 2011 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: Coach Nancy - The Way I See It..., Living the Fit Life, Nutrition & Weight Loss
Many times when you hear about bulking (adding muscle and fat) and cutting (stripping fat) cycles, you think of male body builders. You may even think about women body builders. But are bulking and cutting cycles for the average woman?
My opinion is that it depends on where you are at with your current level of fitness, how much body fat and muscle you have (and want), and how dedicated you can be with diet. I have recently finished a bulking session where I added both muscle and fat. In the beginning, I was adding more muscle than fat but after a couple weeks, the tide turned and the gains moved more toward fat than muscle. To me that’s the signal to stop the bulk cycle and start cutting.
In my cutting cycle, I have to pay very close attention to diet. That’s the catalyst. Sure, I’m working out a bit more than I was (heavy emphasis on legs) but to lean out properly I have to eat right. So I’ve changed my diet in a couple ways:
- I’m eating more calories than I was. That may sound a bit goofy but I’m exercising more so I need the fuel. That said, I’m cutting back on my cheat day. Where I used to eat in an ‘all out’ fashion – easily consuming more than 3000 calories on that day, I’m paring back to about 2500 calories.
- I’m eating more protein and carb and less fat than my prior diet. I need more protein for recovery (approximately 165 – 170 grams of protein per day) and I need more carb for fuel to do all the workouts. The ‘give’ is on fats. But I do make sure I eat some healthy fats each day.
- I am eating 6 to 7 meals a day on a very strict schedule. Every 2 – 3 hours without excuses.
- I’m drinking more water. If you’ve read my prior recommendations on water consumption you know I recommend approximately 1/2 oz per pound of body fat with a minimum of 64 oz of water per day. I am now drinking a gallon of water (128 oz) daily. This helps keep me hydrated with all the workouts and it helps with raising metabolism and fat burning.
I got past the gallon of water hurdle after about a day or two. The strict eating pattern is still taking some diligent attention but I’m seeing that I’m regularly getting hungry at the right times so shortly I believe this will come naturally. I will miss my ‘no holds barred’ cheat days but I’m only going to do this cutting cycle for awhile so it’s not that bad.
When I’m done cutting I will return to my prior eating habits and exercise schedule. A cutting cycle cannot be sustained for too long because if the heightened demands it puts on your body. I’ll be posting up some new pictures soon so keep checking in to see my progress!