So, you have been eating like a machine and lifting weights like an animal for a while now. Everyone can tell you have “bulked up”. The feeling has been awesome having to buy bigger shirts to help accommodate the huge arms and chest you now possess. However, in the back of your mind you cannot help but miss the 6 pack you once sported. And you are curious to see in more detail the hard-earned muscle you have been building. Getting smaller you know comes with the territory of cutting but you do not know if you are ready for such a thing.
How does one know when to start their cut?
Well of course this is completely based off of preference. There are some people that prefer to be bigger and not as lean. But for the folks who simply bulk up to lean back out, keep reading.
There is an old saying that says, “If you start to get a gut it is time to cut”. This is true with anyone in bodybuilding. It is so easy with all the calories to start seeing a little belly starting to pop out. Now, if your 6 pack starts to disappear, don’t go back to eating veggies only and doing cardio. This is for people who start to have a stomach that pops out more than their chest. If the only thing getting bigger after a while in your bulk is your waistline, stop the bulking and get to the cutting phase.
Hit a Wall
Another factor is growth stops. If you feel like you just cannot eat anymore, and your muscles are no longer growing through hard training, switch it up. Listening to your body is so important on when to begin and end anything. Maybe putting your body through a cutting phase would be the very thing it needs when you go back into bulking next time.
Overall Body Fat Gain
This takes some discernment and being able to be honest with yourself. So often a person can just mark up any weight gain as part of the bulking phase. But after a while if you notice that your whole body is starting to get a “soft look”, maybe it is time to get back on the cardio and drop the calories. Look in the mirror and be honest with how you look. Are you looking more buff? Or are you starting to get some puff?