More than likely, you’ve been following a bulking program over the Winter months. Now, it’s Spring - time to get in shape! We’re heading into hotter weather. That’s the time to take the muscle you’ve been building and begin sculpting it into a lean, mean physique that will turn heads! Whether you’re looking at the beach, a contest, or you just want to look your best, this article is for you!
Coming Off A Bulk - Now What?
It’s been a long Winter, and you’ve been bulking the entire time. No doubt you had specific mass and strength goals going in. Maybe you followed our Fall/Winter Mass Gaining Plan and made some great progress. Regardless, you were eating a calorie surplus, doing limited cardio, and training to gain. So what’s next?
Get In Shape For Spring & Summer
With the warmer weather of Spring, you’re thinking about getting in top shape. You may have fat to lose. You may be a long way from that lean, mean physique. No matter, you have time. The first step is to take it reasonably slow. It’s hard to do that, you want to drop fat fast and look your best right now. Yet the key is gradual fat loss; not “weight” loss! If you’re losing “weight”, you’re losing fat, muscle, and water. Your objective is to hang onto your mass and drop excess fat only.
Nutrition And Training Suggestions
When you were bulking, you were eating more calories every day. In fact, you were eating at least 500 calories above your maintenance level. More than likely, this was mostly protein and carbohydrates. Therefore, step #1 is to reduce total carbohydrate intake by 250 calories a day. Start with sugary simple carbs and limit them to the hours around your workout only.
Here’s an example using a 200lb male bodybuilder. When our bodybuilder friend went on a bulk for Winter, he multiplied his body weight by 18 to get his initial daily calorie goal. The total was 3600 calories per day. This was a fast, simple starting point for gaining mass. From there, he added 500 calories per day as needed until he began to gain mass.
Now, what’s our starting point for fat loss? We’ll take the same 3600-calorie starting point, and reduce that by 250 calories per day. This gives us 3350 calories. Remember, your calorie reduction should come from carbohydrates, preferably simple carbs first. Just like our friend did to gain mass, you will have to drop calories every week. Stay with 250 calories per day reductions. When you begin to lose fat, maintain that level.
What About Cardio?
Along with this calorie deficit, you will begin doing cardio 4 days a week. If you haven’t been doing any cardio, start with 15 minutes for the first week. If you have been doing cardio consistently, add 10 minutes to every session you’re doing.
After the first week, begin adding time to your cardio sessions. Your goal is 30 minutes 4 days a week. You will also decrease carbs by another 250 calories per day. The goal here is to drop to a calorie deficit that’s 250-500 calories a day below maintenance. You’ve got to be careful, if you feel you’re dropping muscle, add 250 calories a day back in. On the other hand, if you have a lot to lose, you may have to drop calories, 250 per day at a time, even more. You may also have to increase your cardio to 5 days a week.
Keep doing your mass and strength routine. With a calorie drop, you may find your strength will also drop, but there’s no reason to completely change your routine. Train for size to hang onto to size.
5% Nutrition Supplement Suggestions
Of course, you’ll want to use the basics: the 5% pre-workout of choice (try new Kill It RTDs), All Day You May, either Crea-TEN or Core Creatine Monohydrate, and Shake Time. You want to keep your size, right? Then supplement like it! To that cornerstone program, you have several outstanding fat loss options. There’s Shred Time-our overdosed thermogenic. Next, there’s All Day You May Shred-a body recomp version of All Day You May. Then, we have Liquid L-Carnitine 3150-a fast-acting liquid carnitine formula featuring “super carnitine” GBB. Are you thinking about a contest? That’s another article in itself, but if you are, you’ll need our powerful diuretic, Stage Time, as you get closer.
In this article, we gave you a great starting point to get in shape for the warmer weather. You don’t wait until Summer to start - right now it’s Spring - time to get in shape - so get started today!