February 26, 2020 8 min read
Wanna get ripped? Great, we’re here to help! Whether you’re aiming for competition-ready strength or a perfectly carved figure, you’re going to have to start with bulking. Building muscle and tissue requires feeding the body the right nutrients and keeping yourself in a state of a controlled calorie surplus. In other words, the simplest way to think about bulking is this: You have toeat more calories than you burn.
But we all know that’s a lot harder than it sounds, and not all calories are created equal. While the idea of binging on high-fat, high-calorie foods in excess sounds great in theory, anyone who has done it knows that it’s actually not that fun—in fact, you’ll feel more like a sick slob than a svelte athlete when doing it this way—and that it’s not good for you in the long run. Gaining a caloric surplus in this manner is called dirty bulking, and it can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.
On the other hand, when you bulk up the healthy way—known as clean bulking—you’re providing your body with just the right amount of nutrients to grow muscle without putting on a ton of fat. On top of that, you’ll be consuming nutrients thatprovide you with energy andmuscle recovery support rather than empty calories that just slow you down and make you feel lazy.
The goal of clean bulking is to put your body in an anabolic state so your muscles and tissues grow. This simply means that your body is in a building frame of mind rather than a deteriorating frame of mind (the latter would be considered a catabolic state). To get your body in an anabolic state, you must eat lean to give it the physical strength and sustenance to build muscle and train hard so that it doesn’t turn the extra calories into fat.
Unfortunately, not everyone can just dive right into bulking up. In fact, you may need to do a little cutting before you bulk. It sounds counterintuitive, but getting lean before gainingsets you up for a faster, more efficient bulk while also improving your physique aesthetic-wise. Men should have between 9 and 11 percent body fat before bulking to stay in the sweet spot of ready to bulk but not looking too skinny.
The first thing you’re going to want to do when starting your bulking journey is to determine how many calories you need to consume each day to successfully bulk without going off the rails. Too many calories could lead to fat development, while too few could cause you to lose the mass you’ve worked so hard to build and maintain.
There are a couple of key ways to determine how many calories to consume each day. Note that most people use a combination of factors to determine their ideal calorie intake while bulking. Here are a few good places to start.
Remember that bulking takes time, and you want to slowly increase your caloric intake so you don’t put on a ton of fat. Gradually increase in increments, starting with a couple of hundred calories initially, rather than piling on the calories all at once by the thousands. One more thing to keep in mind: 100 percent of the weight you gain will not be pure muscle—there will be some fat, too—but the goal is to have the majority of the weight you gain be the good stuff. Lean gaining doesn’t happen fast, so aim for about a pound or less a week.
Okay, now that you’ve determined how many calories you need to keep your body in a state of controlled surplus, it’s time to think about how you’re going to consume said calories. Most bodybuilders reach their daily nutritional goals through a combination of food and supplements,such as our protein shakes or bars, to avoid all the hassle of having to buy, cook, and plan multiple meals a day.
But food is still vital to bulking success. Diet-wise, you need to think about how you’re going to get your body the right amount of calories in the form of protein and healthy levels of fat and carbs. Remember, your body needs glycogen from carbohydrates to provide energy throughout the day so you can crush it at the gym. With this in mind, any low-carb diet probably isn’t the best choice for bodybuilding. Instead, aim for a diet rich in protein, fats, and carbs based on your specific macros.
Regardless of if you’re bulking or cutting, you should aim to get:
Now for supplements. As much as we love to think that we’ll be able to meal prep our way to a perfect diet, those liquid calories from your protein powder will really go a long way in helping you reach your daily goal. You want to shoot for consuming about 30 grams of protein every three to five hours when you’re bulking. Naturally, it’s a lot easier to do this when you’re drinking your calories or taking them in the form of a supplement.
We all know thatprotein powder is essential to helping us get shredded, but there’s more to the story than a little bit of whey. Here are the supplements you need to take daily when bulking.
Eating like a bodybuilder won’t get you very far if you don’t do the building part, but there’s simply no “right” way to train for all bodybuilders. Each person is different. How you work out will depend on a variety of factors like your body type, your goals, and where you’re starting out in the process.
If you want a customized workout plan that’s tailored to your specific situation, you should consider working with a personal trainer who will help you get into the proper fitness routine while also helping you maximize your diet and supplements so they work to your advantage.
When you do it the right way, bulking should take a bit of time. It’s not uncommon for bodybuilders to spend years bulking. It’s a slow process, but one that will serve you well in the long run and, once you have that foundation built, you’ll never have to start from scratch again. Eventually, you’ll be able to transition into maintenance and enjoy your figure without quite as much hard work and dedication.
February 14, 2020 3 min read 0 Comments
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