Should I Bulk Up or Tone Down?
Right now I'm basically trying to "bulk up"
and gain around 15 pounds before I start toning down, and I'm not quite sure I'm
doing the right thing. As a skinny person, I do realize I have a fast metabolism,
and never pictured myself as a "chubby" person. In your 10 tips, you
suggested that I include one cardio workout in my daily routine, and I realize
that it might stop me from gaining weight, and in fact help me burn the fat I
have right now. Last year I had 22% body fat, and I'm pretty sure that has increased
over time, but I'm still about the same weight, 145 pounds, which is not a lot.
So my question here is, should I include cardiovascular workouts and tone down
at the same time, or should I wait to get bigger first and then start doing more
cardio workouts to work on my definition?
Another concern I had was the
excessive candies and chocolates and ice cream that I eat; surely, if I decide
not to eat that, I can certainly put it to a stop, it really isn't that much of
a deal, but I was wondering if it does indeed stop me from getting bigger and
gaining more muscle strength and weight, rather than fat?
With your body type, I really don't recommend "bulking
up" before trimming down (cutting). The reason is because when someone tries
to gain mass, they usually pack on a substantial amount of body fat during the
process. Then, when it comes time to trim down (cut up), they end up needing to
really restrict their calorie levels and increase their cardio to rid themselves
of the excess fat. This turns into a nightmare, because their body's metabolism
slows way down and they end up losing some precious muscle mass in the process.
I recommend adding high intensity cardio sessions to your overall fitness
plan. These cardio sessions should consist of explosive movements such as sprinting,
jumping rope or spinning on a stationary bike. Make sure you're training at about
85% output and really push yourself through the workout. Limit each of these cardio
sessions to 20 minutes max. Your goal is to hit it hard and fast, then give your
body time to recover. You will want to do cardio about 3-4 times per week.
Along with cardio, make sure to weigh train with very high intensity also.
Your muscles will only grow when they're being overloaded, so make sure to always
focus on increasing the amount of weight per exercise and taking every set (after
warmup) to positive failure. By combining a high intensity weight training routine
with a high intensity cardio program, you will be hitting it from every angle
and your body will drop fat and build quality muscle mass. A great way to track
your progress is by using our exercise journals here:
In terms of your diet, I really can't stress
enough how important it is to eat a clean diet that excludes all empty calories
such at candies, chocolates and ice cream. These sweet/sugary foods are the worst
for you because they contain large amounts of sugar which causes your insulin
levels to go crazy. You end up packing on unwanted body fat and always become
hungrier and hungrier. If you're truly serious about making substantial changes
in your physique, you really need to focus on cutting these "cheat foods"
out of your diet. Stick with a lean protein and non-starchy carbs. A great meal
would be a grilled chicken breast salad with romaine lettuce, sliced cucumbers
and a little balsamic vinaigrette dressing. You could also opt for a nice chicken
breast/veggie stir fry. Throw some broccoli, mushrooms and chicken into a stir
fry pan with a touch of soy sauce.
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