Staying out of shape might lower your quality of life and pose health risks. But transforming your body can be a very daunting task. Whether your goal is to lose fat or gain muscle, achieving your body goals can seem almost impossible in the beginning. But with a solid plan and routine, achieving complete physique transformation might not be as hard and confusing as you might think.
This article will tell you how to set the correct mindset and plan on how to achieve your dream body in the most effective way!
Body Transformation Plan: Bulking vs Cutting
When talking about body transformation programs, you’ve probably come across the concept of bulking and cutting. Bulking and cutting are methods commonly used to make significant improvements to the way our bodies look.
To put it simply, bulking is a muscle building phase when you eat a certain amount of calories that causes a caloric surplus to exist so that weight gain occurs. Typically, people who are bulking will optimize their macronutrient intake and training to ensure that most of the weight they gain is muscle rather than fat.
On the other hand, cutting is a fat loss phase where you'd eat a number of calories that causes a caloric deficit to exist so that weight loss occurs.
Should I Bulk or Cut?
While planning on your body transformation program, the first thing you need to do is to determine which phase to start with. Whether you should bulk and focus on gaining muscle as quickly as possible or cut to strip some fat and then bulk. This mostly depends on the current state of your body, as well as your specific goals and preferences.
But the general rule is, that you should only bulk if your body is already in a fairly low body fat percentage:
- Men at or below 10% body fat
- Women at or below 20% body fat
The reason behind this is that if you’re too fat when you start bulking, you’ll likely wind up way too fat in the end. But if you’re currently unhappy with your body fat percentage and you want to get lean before worrying about gaining a significant amount of muscle, then you can go straight to cutting.
How to Bulk the Right Way
To bulk your body effectively, the goal is not just to gain weight, nor is it to just build muscle. The right mindset to have when you’re trying to bulk up is to build muscle without gaining excess body fat. To help you do this, here are the 3 most important rules you need to follow.
1. Gain weight at an ideal rate
Gaining weight too quickly will almost guarantee you to gain excessive amounts of body fat. On the contrary, if you’re gaining weight too slowly, you’re either not gaining muscle as fast as you could be, or you’re not gaining any whatsoever.
That’s why you need to aim for the ‘sweet spot’ in the middle of these two scenarios. The ideal rate of weight gain for both men and women is:
- Men: aim to gain between 0.5-1 Kg per month
- Women: aim to gain between 0.3-0.5 Kg per month
2. Create an ideal caloric surplus
Eating too many calories is what leads to gaining weight too fast, and gaining weight too fast leads to too much body fat being gained. For this reason, your goal is to create a caloric surplus that causes you to consistently gain weight at the ideal rate specified above.
Another important thing to focus on while you're in a bulking phase is your protein intake.
A sufficient protein intake is crucial for muscle growth and repair. Based on the available research, your daily protein intake should be between 0.4-0.6g of protein per Kg of your current body weight.
3. Use an effective weight training workout
The workout routine you use and how effective it is at stimulating muscle growth is going to be extremely important for building muscle and not gaining excess body fat.
When you’re bulking, you’re in a caloric surplus that supplies your body with extra calories. Those extra calories can either go toward muscle growth, fat storage, or both. Therefore, the more effective your workout is, the more likely your body will be to use those extra calories for building muscle.
How to Cut the Right Way
Similar to bulking, cutting the smart way should be to lose fat without losing any muscle. Here are the things you need to do to cut your weight in a smart way.
1. Lose weight at an ideal rate
Weight loss shouldn’t be happening too fast or either too slow. If it’s happening too fast, not only does the risk of muscle loss increase, but you will also have less energy which definitely will negatively affect your dietary adherence and weight loss sustainability.
The ideal rate of weight loss to aim is to lose between 0.3-1% of your body weight per week.
2. Create an ideal caloric deficit
To reach an ideal rate of weight loss, you need to create an ideal caloric deficit. However, there are many factors that will affect how much of a caloric deficit each person will need. But as an ideal starting point, you can aim to lower 10% to 25% of your daily calorie intake.
3. Do a heavy weight train
Heavy weight exercises are not only beneficial to maintain muscle while you cut, it helps you lose fat, too. This is mainly due to the rise in metabolic rate that occurs between sets and after your workout as your body recovers, also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or the “afterburn effect.”
4. Do a moderate amount of cardio
The best way to include cardio in your weight loss exercise is to do as little as needed to reach your desired rate of weight loss and stay fit. This is important, especially while you cut because you’re in a caloric deficit, and a caloric deficit is literally an energy deficit.
The more exercise you do while in a deficit, the more risk you pose to your ability to recover. And if recovery begins to suffer, your strength and performance will suffer which will negatively affect your ability to maintain muscle.
Transformation Package To Help You Hit Your Body Goals
If you are looking to improve your appearance and overall quality of life, you should join our Body Transformation Program! Our Transformation Program is customized to help you reach your personal fitness goal, taking all aspects of your life and level of fitness into consideration.
- Clean and convenient accommodation at our camp in Ubud
- Personalized training module (bodyweight, Muay Thai, weightlifting training) to aim your fitness goals
- Tailor-made daily nutrition advice & plan
Take your body to another level and achieve your dream physique with our Transformation Program! You can drop us a message or give us a call to find out more about the program.