When's the last time you did a goal setting session with yourself?
When's the last time you did a goal setting session with a coach?
If you answered "never" to the latter, then you might be doing yourself a disservice by not fully understanding if you're setting realistic goals for yourself.
If you set yourself a goal and then a plan of action, it's not your fault if your action items don't line up to your goal - it might just be that you don't have all the information you need yet in order to make a proper plan.
So, let me try and help out a little bit to clarify the three big general goals people usually have when it comes to fitness and nutrition:
Cutting, Maintaining, and Bulking.
What's the difference? What's required?
What is it?
This is the term used for someone who's cutting weight. It's an intentional weight loss protocol followed quite precisely in order to make sure that fat is lost and all muscle mass is maintained. A proper cut should only be followed for 6-12 weeks. Being in a constant caloric deficit it quite taxing on the body and mind.
- Knowing your maintenance calories! How much food and what macros do you need for your body to stay the same weight?
- Being in a constant caloric deficit of - ~500kcals from those maintenance cals day after day.
- Knowing where to cut macros, how often, and by how much. Some bodies respond better to cutting fat, some bodies respond better to cutting carbs, some to a mix of both.
- Keep protein high to prevent muscle loss and optimize muscle recovery between workouts
- Precision. Once you're well into your cut, you have to be quite precise with your intake and tracking.
The truth behind cutting: Cutting is hard. And it will not give you the body you desire if you don't dedicate time to nourishing your body and building muscle mass. Most of the time, people lose weight too rapidly where they lose muscle mass as well, so make sure you earn your cut!
What is it?
Maintenance is a great option for the majority of active individuals, most of the time. It's when you eat enough food to support and increase muscle mass and slowly lose body fat at the same time, resulting in weight maintenance. This process is slower but much more sustainable than cutting.
- Knowing your maintenance calories and sticking to them.
- A consistent workout routine to promote muscle growth
- Having an even split of macronutrients to nourish your body with a variety of nutrients.
- Monitoring of weight to make sure you're staying the same!
What is it?
The term used for someone who is trying to put on weight in the form of muscle mass while maintaining current levels of body fat as best as possible. A bulk should only last for about 6-12 weeks as it can be challenging to follow long term.
- Knowing your maintenance calories and being in a surplus of about +~500kcals each day.
- A consistent and vigorous workout routine to promote muscle growth
- Adequate recovery days to promote muscle repair and recovery
- Keeping carbohydrates high to replenish glycogen stores and promote recovery
- Regular meals throughout the day for a steady intake of protein
The truth behind bulking: Bulking sounds great because you can eat more, right? Constantly eating more is not as fun as you think. This isn't a dirty bulk we're talking about and high quality foods are so important when it comes to building muscle. Most people go through a cut and gain weight too rapidly where they put on unwanted body fat.
Do you know what you should be focusing on right now?
If not, book a call with me and we can figure out if you're on the right path.
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