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Heading into the winter it’s easy to lose sight of next summer and your fitness goals. For me personally, I like to be in my top physical condition by the beginning of June. I’ve learned to not get too far behind over the winter months, as the journey back to the top condition can be torturous. Maintain your focus and remember your vision for next summer so you don’t dig yourself into a hole.

A lot of people like to start a “bulk” during the winter months. Depending on your goals that can be a good idea, however, I never recommend a “dirty” bulk. Bulking while overeating can be an easy way to gain unwanted weight. The surplus of calories can help you build some muscle, but once you start to shred down a lot of that muscle can be lost.

I recommend doing a “clean” bulk. What does that look like? A surplus in calories between 500 and 1000 daily while still tracking your macros and eating clean food. Dirty bulks often give people the sense that they can eat whatever they want. Again, I don’t recommend this because you can gain too much-unwanted weight. Keep your macros balanced and managed as well, it can be easy to lose track making them unbalanced. You want to keep your ratios somewhat the same with maybe a higher level of protein. Your clean bulk must be accompanied by a solid workout routine that focuses on strength and hypertrophy.

I like to do a slight clean bulk, adding about 500 calories to my diet. Calories are still managed and measured so I know what my macros look like and the extra 500 calories aren’t out of thin air. Strategic placement of macros is in mind as I increase protein to aid in my training that’s focused on building muscle.

If you are not interested in bulking this winter, remember to keep up with your cardio and balanced diet. The cold weather can discourage cardio outside which can neglect your cardio training altogether. Stay disciplined and hit the treadmill, stair master, or whatever keeps you consistent. I always try to keep in mind those spring months and get a head start with maintaining my plan through the winter months. Your body and mind with thank you for it.

Photo By: Black Sails Photography

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Born and raised in Idaho, Luke Matthews is a United States Marine Corps veteran and athlete. He played both baseball and basketball growing up, continuing his athletic career through college and into the professional European league. After baseball, Luke entered the world of men’s physique bodybuilding where he competed for 5 years. This eventually led to a career in fitness & lifestyle modelling. Additionally, Luke is a certified ACE personal trainer, which makes him highly desirable for his knowledge and professionalism.

1 Comment

  1. Great advice Luke. After training to lean out for a number of years last year I started my first ever “bulk” Unfortunately I acted like an unsupervised 4 year old in a candy store. I ate all of the things I shouldn’t have eaten and my weight ballooned up and my mental health went down.
    About 5 weeks ago I started my second ever “bulk” and having learned from the mistakes of last year I am eating clean with some extra calories now added in.
    Blake G

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