Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know about bulking and cutting: the process of strategic weight gain and loss for big returns. First, the basics.

Bulking means intentionally eating more calories than you burn, with the goal of putting on mass, particularly muscle mass. Cutting (also known as shredding) is intentionally eating fewer calories than you burn in order to lose mass, particularly fat. The goal here is to maintain as much muscle mass as possible, for that ​“shredded” look. These techniques are often used together to first put on muscle, then drop any excess mass.

There’s a lot of science and calculation that goes into pulling off a proper bulking and/or cutting regimen with a careful balance of specialized exercise and diet regulation. For a deeper dive, we’ve consulted with Certified Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer Kayla DeMarco, who says what you need is some thought, planning, and dedication– and your body will start working for you.

“Start by asking yourself, ​‘what are my goals?’” advises DeMarco. ​“Have a clear plan before taking action.” That plan needs to involve how you approach your workout time, and what you put into your body.

Build your gym routine for the big results you want.

People who decide to bulk are looking to put on some serious mass — and by extension — strength. ​“A ​‘bulking’ workout focuses more on heavy weight training with less cardio, whereas a ​‘cutting’ workout focuses more on lower weight and higher reps with a bigger emphasis on cardio,” explains DeMarco. ​“To keep it simple: bulking = heavier weight + less reps. Cutting = lighter weight + more reps.” When it comes to cardio, Demarco recommends clients who are cutting focus on HIIT (high intensity interval training) and EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) workouts.

Feed your body precisely what it needs to let your hard work show.

What happens in the gym is important, but crushing your goals can only happen when you’re consuming what your body needs — and in the way your body needs it.

The Bulk

A bulking diet requires consuming way more calories than your body typically needs — by way of all three macros: fat, carbs and protein. Really look to up those carbs, says DeMarco; ​“the extra calories act as your fuel source so you can really push your body to add as much as possible.”

“To be the most accurate during your bulk, counting macros is essential.” ‑Kayla DeMarco, Certified Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer

One optimal way of upping those macros without all the guesswork is with Dymatize Super Mass Gainer—our blend of high-quality fast and slow-digesting protein — as well as a healthy dose of carbs. Super Mass Gainer packs 52g of protein and more than 1,200 calories in each scoop, supporting you in your muscle growth goals. Take it in the morning, or anytime during your day.

Dymatize Super Mass Gainer
Dymatize Super Mass Gainer
Engineered with enough protein, BCAAs, calories, and other nutrients to push athletes beyond their muscle building, mass gaining macros based on Dymatize quality whey protein isolate so it mixes well and goes down easy, smooth, and clean.

The Cut

This is where discipline is crucial — and also where it pays off big time. You have to make sure you maintain a caloric deficit — AKA you’re consuming less than your body is burning. But you also need to keep a close eye on those macros; when you switch to cutting, your protein should be higher than your carb intake. ​“Since you’re eating less than usual, keeping that protein number high will not only result in helping you feel full, but it will help you replace those fat stores with lean muscle mass,” explains DeMarco.

Make it happen. Dymatize ISO100® is the hardest-working protein around, and is ready to help make your cut a reality. It’s fast-absorbing and filtered to remove excess carbohydrates, fat, lactose, and cholesterol — giving you the assist you need when you’re fine tuning that shredded look.

ISO-100, 3 Lbs.
ISO-100, 3 Lbs.
Ultra-Fast Absorption to Build and Repair Muscle*

Your health and fitness journey is just that — yours. Before you get after it, Demarco reminds you to tune in to what you need. ​“It’s so important to not get caught up in what other people are doing,” she says. Bodies are different and people yield different results all the time. Stay true to you, focus on yourself, remain consistent and the results will come.”

What goals have you set for yourself? Let us know on Instagram @Dymatize.

About the Author

Contributing Writer

Dymatize’s authors consist of accredited coaches, doctors, dietitians and athletes across the world.

View all articles by this author

Bulking Cutting