This article will take you 4 minutes to read. Feel free to leave your questions in the comment section, they will be answered!
Every summer, everyone wants to cut. Looking good and having that summer body is important, and it’s understandable! But wouldn’t it be better to stop cutting every year and give yourself some time to bulk-up to build some serious mass? – so you can then actually attain a CRAZY shredded summer body with enough muscle mass to show? See, it’s almost FACTS… 90% of gym-goers will cut for summer to look good! But if you are thinking long term and want to build proper gains… cutting down every year can be a mistake – here’s why!
1- Cutting too often slows down your progress
If you have done a cut before, you know how tiring this can get and how much work this requires. Even if you cut the proper way, you’re still not building muscle since you are at a calorie deficit. You’re also not putting yourself in a position where it’s easy to preserve muscle mass. Cutting down isn’t just chilling being on a diet and working-out… you are on a diet, you are working-out AND you are EXHAUSTED.
Most people will start cutting around March to be ready for June. These are 2-3 months where you are at a calorie deficit. Then another 2-3 months where you are eating more or less at maintenance level to maintain your ripped shape. That’s 6 months where you won’t improve much at all.
2- Your bulk is not long enough
Because cutting will take approximately 5-6 months between the preparation phase and the maintenance phase, there is too little time to bulk each year. If you are cutting each year, you’re then not giving yourself enough time to bulk. And each time you bulk, you kill the process by starting a cut. It breaks momentum.
You can compare a bulk to a car going down hill with no hand-break. The car will start going down slowly… and the further it goes the more momentum it gains, the faster the car goes. Same with a bulk, it takes a bit of time to get in that great momentum, where you will build muscle, where you drive great results and take full advantage of the bulk. If you interrupt the bulk too quickly, you won’t have time to fully take advantage of it all.
By cutting each year, you don’t give yourself enough time to build muscle – you then find yourself stagnating years on end.
3- Cutting for summer is usually for partying, going out
Most people want to cut for summer to go out, look good, drink, party!
If you cut and also have a unhealthy lifestyle for an extended period of time, that’s not a great combo.
Cutting by doing everything right is already tough, so if you mix it with unhealthy habits, what might happen is that you will “damage” your condition even more.
You might start summer with a pretty awesome shape but end up with a condition which does not look good. There will be a lot to rebuild and re-start from. Definitely not the best position to be in to progress.
4- Cutting every two or three years
When you give yourself two or three years on the bulk, you’re really giving yourself time to improve. As I said, giving yourself enough time to bulk is driving the best results – building momentum and building muscle mass by being patient. If you want to get lean, you can drop some fat for summer, do a mini-cut, but just don’t go “dead lean”!
Going down to 13-14% body fat is a nice goal. Going down to 10%? Probably too low. This will all depend from what your starting point is. If you have to go from 25% to 13%, that’s a lot! If you have to go down from 16% to 14%, that’s different.
5- Don’t want to go on a cut? Be the person who’s lean all year around!
Here you go – no cut, no bulk. Just staying relatively lean the whole time. That can be a good solution, you will look in condition all year-round. The only issue with this is that you would probably improve quicker by going for a bulk.
At the end of the day, it is your choice – if you really want to put on size, then cutting too often will slow you down. If being lean all year-round is more important for you than putting on some serious size, stay lean and enjoy your social life :).