For the uninitiated, bulking and cutting refer to dietary plans that will ‘bulk’ muscle and ‘cut’ fat, respectively. It’s one of those obviously made-up and illogical myths that have probably been set into motion by dietary supplement companies to sell people things that don’t work.
The idea of bulking and cutting in separate stages is based on the (false) idea that you can’t both gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. The people that fall for this proceed to lift weights like crazy and eat hamburgers and fries for 8 months in hope of bulking. They then begin the cutting phase – which involves effectively starving yourself with little or no exercise. So what does this accomplish? During the bulking phase they get fat and during the cutting phase they lose muscle, i.e. the exact opposite of what they wanted.
Muscle gain is achieved through a combination of high intensity weight lifting and regular protein consumption – about 1g per pound of body weight per day. Consuming more calories than your calorific requirements will NOT help you gain muscle, it will just make you fat, no matter what anyone says.
If you consume your 1g of protein per pound of body weight per day and consume about 500kcal fewer than your equilibrium requirement then you will gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. That’s right – you can do both at the same time – they are not mutually exclusive and can even assist each other.
So if you want to bulk and cut – do it at the same time by lifting weights, eating protein regularly and consuming less than you need to maintain your current weight. This way your body fat percentage will slowly decrease and your muscle mass will increase – at a rate of about 4 kg per year.