Is there such a time where you wake up in the morning and decide to stop bulking? How many of you continue to bulk until the warmer weather is upon us? Whatever you decide I want you to know that this is ultimately your decision but here are some helpful pointers which may be of use to you.
Have You Reached Your Goal
When you started your bulking phase hopefully you will have set a target weight or size which you wanted to reach? So the main question you need to ask yourself is have you reached your goal? If you haven't and you still feel you could reach your target I personally think it is a good idea to meet it so that you feel satisfied with your efforts both mentally and physically.
What Do I Do Now
What if you have reached your target weight and you aren't sure on what to do next? Well again it depends on what you want to achieve and how you want to look. I think for most people when you gain size the next stage is to lose some body fat from a lot of the foods you have been eating. So if keeping muscle mass and losing body fat is your next goal then it is in your best interests to make a small plan on how you are going to do this. The last thing you want to do is continue bulking and then try and shift a lot of body fat in a short period of time which could mean more of your hard work being lost than actual body fat.
Give Yourself Enough Time
So you might have spent 2-3 months putting on size and making some good gains whilst in and out of the gym and it is important to keep these gains. So be realistic with your goals if you want to start stripping off body fat and give yourself enough TIME. Year after year the reason why you lose a lot of your hard work you have previously put in is because you haven't given yourself weeks to achieve your goal. Losing body fat is a hard process which is best done over the course of months as opposed to days or weeks, so be realistic and set out a precise and detailed plan.
Don't Stop Lifting
Another key mistake when it comes to losing body fat is that some of you will stop lifting weights and rely mostly on cardiovascular exercises such as running or cycling. I believe you need to perform a regular amount of resistance training so that you keep working your muscles and keep them looking full. Cardiovascular exercise will contribute to fat loss but the best way to eliminate body fat is by performing resistance exercise as this ultimately fuels your metabolism and burns more fat.
Whilst we are on the subject of cardiovascular exercise it is important that you perform these exercises separate from your weighted exercises or you perform it at the end of one of these sessions. The main reason for this is that because weight training will burn more fat than a single cardiovascular session it is crucial to have as much energy as possible for it. Exercises like running or cycling deplete energy stores and therefore when it comes to lifting your weights, you won't be able to lift as much.
Finally the last thing to say is to stick with whatever goal you decide with and make sure you achieve it. Bulking, staying in shape, looking shredded and being physically fit and healthy are all difficult goals. However, if you make sure you stay motivated you will get there and you will feel awesome. Best of luck :)