T Nation

Mass Phase/Cutting Phase: Fundamental Diff?

I’ve been reading so many different things in the past issues relating to diet and training. I had a friend ask me today what is the main difference between a bulking phase and a cutting phase.

I don’t want to say that I was stumped but I had a bit of paralysis through analysis. I starting thinking how you need to eat a lot to get lean, muscle burns fat, etc. But I also started thinking that you need to eat big to get big and bulk. Then I started thinking about sets/reps/tempo.

What would most of you say the main differences between a cutting phase and a mass building phase it? I’m on overload over here.

Aud: I think that the differences boil down to these basic areas:


1)Caloric Content of the diet in relation to overall maintenance calories. In other words, excess calories for bulking, a caloric deficit for cutting.


2)Macronutrient percentages and composition (i.e. percent of carbs, fat and protein relative to each other).


3)The careful and smart utilization of cardio that facilitates our objective.(It is my contention that both bulking and cutting cycles are benefitted by the careful utilization of cardio).


One should always lift heavy and with intensity, IRREGARDLESS as to your goal! You DO NOT lift light bunny weights with rediculously high reps with some outdated idea that it will get you “cut”. Lift heavy…lift hard…whether you want to bulk or cut.

Read the Alessi thread that I just bumped up for Ed. You will learn a great deal.