The decision of which one to do first is especially difficult for two groups of people beginners and people that would prefer.
to themselves as skinny fat. As a totally new beginner, the really amazing factor that you have on your side is a little something that we call newbie gains.
Meaning it doesn’t matter all that much what you do even if you’re doing the wrong thing you’ll probably lose a little bit of fat and add a little bit of muscle at the same time.
Unfortunately this only applies to absolute beginners. Once you’re no longer brand new you’re going to have to pick one that you want to seriously focus and work on.
If you’ve been working out for some time and you’re skinny fat this choice can be tough because you don’t have much muscle mass so you very quickly identify building muscle as the main goal.
But, you have another problem, if you’re skinny fat you have some body fat that you can’t get rid of in those stubborn problem areas like your belly, your love handles, your chest, and your arms.
Even though you may look completely fine in your clothes under those clothes you have stubborn fat that you want to reduce and probably eliminate altogether.
So someone that’s skinny fat will definitely have to decide whether they’re going to bulk or cut first.
When your goal is to bulk you’re trying to build as much muscle as possible.
On the other hand, cutting is trying to burn as much fat as you can while sparing as much muscle mass as possible in the process.
To differentiate further there are two opposite ways to bulk. You can do a clean bulk and a dirty bulk.
Regardless of which way you choose to bulk, clean, or dirty they both require you to create a calorie surplus.
When you put yourself into a calorie surplus not only can you build muscle, but you can also gain fat.
With a clean bulk your primary aim is to build muscle, but you want to do it in a way that minimizes the amount of body fat you gain in the process.
So you’ll typically be eating lean sources of protein like chicken breast and white fish,
complex carbohydrates like brown rice and yams, and good sources of fats like avocados.
Also, your overall calorie surplus won’t be too crazy high because that will also increase the chances of you putting on more fat.
With a dirty bulk, you pretty much don’t care how much fat you gain in the process of bulking.
Your main mission is to just build muscle. The fat you’ll take care of after bulking up. Dirty bulks are very effective at building muscle,
in fact they’re probably one of the most effective things you can do to build muscle faster,
but when you eat this way you can become much fatter throughout the process,
which may not be a viable option if your skinny fat and you don’t feel comfortable gaining any more body fat.
I very rarely recommend that you do a dirty bulk at all, the only people that I recommend doing a dirty bulk to are people that are extremely hard gainers.
These guys need to do everything they can to eat more and gain weight.
A clean bulk is usually the best way to go and by cycling between enough proper clean bulks and enough cutting phases back and forth you should be able to get as lean and muscular as you want.
So which do you do first? Well since you’re looking to do both we should start with your body fat percentage to see which one you need more.
The reason we focus on body fat is because the higher your body fat percentage is when you start the higher your body fat percentage will be when you’re done.
Also with a higher body fat percentage in the beginning you’ll have higher chances of storing more calories as fat throughout the process of bulking than someone that’s much leaner.
You’ll store more if you start off at a higher body fat percentage because body fat levels rise insulin sensitivity drops leading to Insulin Resistance.
Insulin is a hormone that you need to cooperate with your body in order to be effective at building muscle and to also be effective at burning fat.
When you become insulin resistant your body fat-burning ability decreases, the likelihood of gaining body fat increases,
and protein synthesis which is a very important process for gaining muscle, it slows down.
This is why you want your body to be more insulin sensitive for both cutting and bulking phases.
Another thing that happens when you’re carrying around excess body fat is that you increase the production of estrogen and decrease the production of testosterone.
Estrogen will cause you to store more fat while testosterone will help you to gain muscle while also burning fat.
Since we can improve both our insulin sensitivity and our testosterone levels just by lowering out body fat percentage and since that’ll help with both processes of bulking and cutting the obvious answer seems to be to cut our body fat as low as possible before bulking.
However, this doesn’t take into account any of the benefits of bulking first. When you bulk the right way and successfully put on more muscle your metabolism increases because muscle is metabolically active tissue.
Even though your metabolism won’t skyrocket, by having more muscle it’ll make cutting a little easier.
The other thing that happens is that you get your body used to a very high calorie range when you bulk.
This means you have plenty of room to work your way down in calories to cut. If you normally eat 2000 calories per day and you jump straight into a cut you’re going to have to cut to pretty low levels very fast.
On the other hand, if you just finished bulking and you were eating 3500 calories per day,
well now you have a lot of room for the dropdown. Just like anyone else on a cut,
you will hit plateaus and when you do you don’t have to sweat it after bulking first
because you have plenty of room to drop down because your body is used to a higher calorie range.
The point is there are benefits to doing both first so we want to be very precise when choosing which one to start with.
So if you are under about 15 percent body as a man and about 25 percent body fat as a woman right now, I want you to start with a clean bulk.
Don’t worry if you don’t know your body fat I’m going to show you a really easy way you can figure this out at home,
but if you wind up being over 15 percent body fat as a man or 25 percent as a woman you should focus on cutting.
To figure this out at home you’re going to take a good look in the mirror and compare the amount of body fat you see to the amount of body fat on these people in this chart.
If you look like your above the 14 to 15 percent example of the man then you need to cut and the same goes for 24 to 25 percent for women.
If you’re just slightly above then that’s fine you can still get away with bulking,
but if you look like the picture one over to the right then you will probably want to start your cutting, bulking cycles with the cut first.
Keep your cut limited to about 6 weeks and then switch right over to a bulk.
After 6 weeks of cutting your body will be like a sponge ready to absorb nutrients and pack on lean muscle tissue with a proper clean bulk.
I like 6-week intervals because longer cuts can lead you to giving in to your cravings especially if this is your first cut.
That could lead to binge eating and that could easily turn into a downward spiral that brings your right back to square one.
Now I know that I’ve just given you a lot of information so if that was a lot to take in and
If you are over 15 percent body fat as a man or 25 percent as a woman and you want an easy way to streamline this whole cutting process try my 6 week challenge.
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