There aren’t a lot of sports out there where carrying a bunch of extra fat on your body will give you any benefit. Even offensive linemen in football can’t be TOO fat otherwise they won’t have the stamina to stay out there throughout the game.
As a result just about every athlete is concerned with keeping their bodyfat levels under control.
You see, bodyfat is basically dead weight athletes have to carry around on the field – it doesn’t improve their performance at all. Bodybuilders in particular hate body fat. We’re not aware of any competitors who won a contest at 18% bodyfat – winning a contest and having a great physique means being CUT.
While some rely on a drastic cut just before their contest or vacation in order to get a great physique this puts their muscle tissue at risk. Generally speaking people are much better off gradually increasing or decreasing their weight and keeping their diet solid year-round.
The general plan that most bodybuilders follows involves the following: eat as much as possible in the off season and then crash diet to lose fat before the next show.
It was widely believed that this system of bulking and cutting was the most effective way to build muscle compared with a system that limited calorie intake in favor of gradual muscle gains year round.
Most of the bodybuilders who popularized this type of training were taking steroids and just shoveled down every food item that came in front of them. They wanted to make sure they were getting the full benefit of the synthetic steroids they were injecting into their systems.
When it came time for contest preparation they switching to different drugs – ones that helped them cut fat quickly while maintaining muscle mass.
More and more research has been done into bodybuilding and what people are starting to realize is that this bulking and cutting system is not the best way to build muscle – regardless of whether or not you are taking steroids.
For the natural athlete in particularly this type of training can lead to a lot of muscle loss during the cut phase and a lot of fat gain during the bulking. Instead the ideal way to achieve a great physique is to build a nutrition plan that has a slight calorie surplus so you can gain muscle slowly and sustainably around the year.
This avoids a lot of the fat gain associated with dirty bulking which means you spend more time building muscle and less time shedding all that unwanted fat.
It’s no mystery that any time you go on a fat-loss program you do end up losing muscle. It’s been proven by numerous studies and most of us have experienced it first-hand at some point.
In order to avoid losing any muscle you want to make sure you aren’t shoveling down tons of food and putting on fat. The only way to do that is to set a calorie surplus target and monitor your calorie consumption each day to ensure you aren’t surpassing that level.
Obviously this requires a lot of discipline but if you are serious about building the best physique possible it’s just something you’ll have to do.
In order to avoid the dreaded “dreamer bulk” make sure you follow our tips below:
Always Track Calorie Intake
This might seem like a huge pain in the ass but you will see it only takes a few minutes per day. All of the nutritional information is available on your food label/packaging or can be found online.
In fact, many fast food restaurants now post the calorie content of their meals (not that you should be eating fast food too often) so you have no excuse but to track your calories. You can also find an app for your phone that will help track and tally everything in case carrying a notebook around isn’t your thing.
If you do this properly you will build lots of muscle in the off-season without putting on a bunch of fat. As a result when all your dreamer bulk buddies are cutting down you will be able to continue bulking and putting on muscle.
You’ll need a lot less time to cut down to a low bodyfat % and in the end you will end up with a lot better physique.
Have an Occasional Cheat Day
Just because you are monitoring your daily calorie intake doesn’t mean you can’t splurge every once in awhile. Remember that everything is acceptable in moderation so make sure you treat yourself to keep you from going crazy!
It’s fine to go out for a cheeseburger with bacon or whatever other foods you enjoy as long as you monitor the total calories you consume and don’t go way overboard.
If you happen to go over your daily calorie target then simply consume a little bit less calories the next day in order to compensate. Or better yet, if you know you are going for a cheat meal in the evening consume a little bit less calories during the day to compensate.
Unless your idea of a splurge is eating 10 Big Macs chances are you have some flexibility in your diet and can fit in some of these foods. It will help keep you sane and stop things from getting too boring.
Of course if you are only a week away from your contest you should be avoiding cheat meals altogether!
Don’t Forget about Cardio
For most people mixing in some cardio will actually help shed fat a lot easier. It can be hard to get a calorie deficit just from dieting – sometimes you want to eat a bit more so cardio can help compensate for that.
30-40 minutes of cardio is really all you need – avoid doing marathon sessions as this can actually reduce your metabolism and cause you to burn muscle.
Cardio has a number of benefits aside from burning calories.
First of all it will help increase your metabolism which means you will be burning more calories around the clock. It also helps improve your body’s ability to transport nutrients to muscle groups and can even help with recovery!
Mix Up Calorie Intake
So you want to improve your physique? Build more muscle or lose fat?
Great, well your body doesn’t agree with you – it’s happy just the way it is. Your body isn’t doing it to piss you off – it’s just an evolutionary function.
You see in medieval times when you weren’t getting enough food it could mean that there was a shortage and you wouldn’t be getting any more for awhile. As a result bodies learned through evolution that they needed to slow down the metabolism and conserve calories in order to survive.
While this was a great function for us back then and is one of the reasons our ancestors managed to survive it’s not really doing you any favors in modern times. When you go on a calorie deficit your body has a similar effect.
It starts to worry about food shortages and therefore holds on tightly to whatever fat stores it has in case it needs them later.
Unfortunately there’s no actual way of telling your body that food is plentiful and it doesn’t have to worry about conserving all of that fat. Instead you’ll have to trick your body into thinking it’s safe to continue cutting fat.
You can do this by mixing up your calorie intake – some days you consume a deficit and others you eat at maintenance. As a result your body hasn’t quite figured out what’s going on and as a result it will drop the metabolism at a slower rate.
This only underscores how important it is to write down your calories. Trying to do a diet plan like this requires a lot of precision and you won’t even come close if you just try estimating it.
Use a fat burner that works
If you’re not serious about getting rid of your unwanted and disgusting body-fat, then please leave this article now.
This section is only for those that are ready to finally reveal their sculpted abs and chiseled arms.
In order to take your physique to the next level, you’re going to want to consider including a proven fat burning supplement in your diet. By consuming the right fat burning ingredients a handful of fat burners contain you are going to burn more calories and you will be able to keep your body fat low and especially if you are cutting down these supplements are really effective.
Just make sure it contains the proven fat burning ingredients. You can see which ingredients to look for in our complete guide to fat burners here.
Because some companies have known to put ineffective fillers in their supplement just to make more money of the consumer. So by all means, make sure your product contains legit ingredients.
That is exactly why we spent more than two months researching fat burners and their ingredients. Our results shocked the supplement industry so much that some big companies have asked us to take it down. We’ve refused to do so to this day so you’re still able to read it right now: Read our report on fat burners here.
These supplements also have the benefit of making you feel full. As a result you won’t get tempted to reach for junk food to fill your food cravings.
As you have probably noticed at this point, the theme here is to keep your calorie intake at a slight deficit by tracking everything you consume – either with a notebook or an application.
You also want to make sure you mix up the intake level to keep your body from dropping the metabolism too fast. Finally, use a fat burning supplement that contains all-natural ingredients to help keep your metabolism high and your appetite low.
If you follow these tips and make slow, gradual changes you will be very pleased with how your body looks in the long run.
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