With Summer now fast-approaching it’s important for us to really step up our game if we want to be ‘beach body ready’ come summertime. As a bodybuilder, after months of bulking you may soon be looking to start your cut, but where do you begin? Cutting is a very difficult process. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘cutting’, cutting is a basically a process where a bodybuilder will strip away body fat while maintaining as much muscle mass as possible. If you’re looking to get absolutely ripped to shreds this year, here are some top tips for an amazing cut.
Understand how you respond to caloric deficits – In order to cut body fat you need to force your body into a caloric deficit. This basically means that you need to be eating fewer calories than your body needs to maintain itself. To make up for the lack in energy from calories, your body will then tap into your body fat reserves and will use fat for fuel. If this is your first cut however, you need to know how you respond to caloric deficits. If you find yourself feeling tired and hungry on low calories, you may wish to increase the amount you consume slightly. Failing to do so will make it much harder for you to stick to your cut.
Don’t drop too low in cals – Yes we know that you need to create a caloric deficit in order to burn fat, but it’s important to make sure that you don’t drop too low. People think that the lower in calories they drop, the more fat they will burn. In reality it’s the exact opposite. If you drop too low then your metabolism will slow down due to a lack of fuel, so you’ll have less energy and you’ll find it harder to lose weight. Start with a moderate deficit of around 5%, then gradually work your way up to 10% and see where you’re at.
Get plenty of protein – Protein isn’t only important for muscle growth it is also important for muscle maintenance. When you drop your calories your body will tap into its fat reserves and will use for of its natural resources. The last thing you want is for your body to start eating away at its own muscle tissue as well, which is why it’s important to ensure you’re still getting plenty of protein. Aim for around 1g – 1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight.
Don’t ignore cardio – We understand that cardio is pretty boring for a lot of people but unfortunately cardio is also an important component of any cutting phase. If you’re serious about getting a six pack set of abs for the summer you will need to make sure you are getting plenty of cardio in. You don’t need to spend hours on a treadmill or exercise bike if you don’t want, as there are plenty of alternatives out there. You can try cycling, going for a walk, swimming, or even playing sports. One thing that is for certain however, and that is that you can’t get ripped to shreds through diet alone so cardio will need to be done at least 3 times per week.