The Basics

Posted by Olivia Gastevich on



The Pieces To The Puzzle


Bulking. Toning. Cutting. Lean bulking. Shedding fat. Caloric surplus. Body composition. Gains.


These words and phrases circle your brain in an endless cycle, scrambled like pieces to a jigsaw saw puzzle you can’t quite put together.


You’ve heard that blogger on Tumblr mention that she just entered her off-season bulk, boasting about how she can’t wait for all those extra carbs in her diet.


You’ve been following your favorite Instagrammer who’s a day out from his body building competition and can hardly wait for those last few days of his cut to be over.


You’ve watched video after video of Youtube vloggers’ high carb full day of eating clips and have nearly drooled over your keyboard at the protein cookies and nut butters that seem to work their way into their every meal.


But now you’re left sitting at your computer trying to figure out what in the world it all means.


Well, today we’re going to take it back to the basics, and by the end of this article, you’ll have all the pieces to your fitness puzzle sorted into a big, beautiful, and oh-so clear picture.


Caloric surplus: Eating more calories in a day than you burn, thus resulting in weight gain.


Caloric deficit: Eating fewer calories in a day than you burn, thus resulting in weight loss.


BMR: Basal metabolic rate. The amount of calories your body burns at rest by carrying out normal bodily functions.


TDEE: Total daily energy expenditure. The amount of calories your body burns throughout the day, taking into account things like work, walking, exercising, etc.


Bulking: Eating in a caloric surplus and weight training with the goal of putting on muscle. Cardio is typically cut out, and some fat gain is inevitable.


Cutting: Eating in a caloric deficit with the goal of shedding fat. Cardio is typically added, and some muscle loss is inevitable.


Lean bulking: Eating slightly above maintenance with weight training and moderate cardio with the goal of slowly putting on muscle. While the timeline for muscle gain is longer than a more traditional bulk, the fat gain that comes with it is kept to a more minimal amount.


Toning: A word used to describe changing one’s body composition—that is, putting on muscle, cutting fat.


Gains: Achieving your goals, putting on muscle, hitting a new PR, finding a healthy mind set, and hopefully the new knowledge you gained from reading this!


And hopefully now that some of the puzzle is starting to come together, you can continue on your journey, collecting new pieces each and every day!

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