So what is bulking? Well by definition it is to increase in size, expand or swell. It is a term that was coined by professional bodybuilders as a cycle of adding mass to their frames in the off season. They gain this mass through diet and heavy lifting. It is usually followed by a cutting cycle where one shreds the fat that came with it and keeps the added muscle.
Let’s take a little true and false test:
- Bulking is the term used when a person is eating excess calories.
- You can eat whatever you want when you’re on a bulking diet.
- Protein is the only macronutrient that matters when buking and looking to gain mass.
- When on a bulking diet it is impossible not to gain any fat.
- You don’t need a calorie surplus to gain muscle mass.
Leave your answers in the comment section below, we will let you know how you did!
So why do we need a bulking diet to gain mass?
Well for starters if you are not consuming enough calories you are actually putting your body into a catabolic state.
This means your body is looking for sources of energy to turn into fuel. Without necessary calories the body will actually break down your fat reserves, essential fats and eventually your muscles to keep it going.
Christian Bale put his body into an extreme catabolic state to play the role of Trevor Reznik in the movie “The Machinist” by only eating an apple a day and only drinking water and coffee for four months. This resulted in a loss of 63 lbs over that time, which is extreme!
So to fuel the body we must put it into an Anabolic state by providing a calorie surplus, this will provide enough fuel to keep your body going through the normal day to day functions and an excess to build muscle.
Now it is entirely possible to build muscle on a maintenance type of diet, where you consume just your daily recommended calories and keep your macronutrition ratios inline.
However, the pace in which you put on muscle will be much slower than if you were on a bulking diet. This is why bulking is popular amongst the bodybuilding community.
Bulking Done Right!
First of all, bulking is not a license to eat whatever you want and there is no “natural” way to pack on 10 lbs. of muscle in a week.
When bulking is done right you will consume enough extra calories to build muscle, but not so much you end up looking like Fat Bastard from Austin Powers.
With this muscle, some fat will come along with it, and there is little you can do to avoid this.
However this shouldn’t scare you, because fat gains will be minimal when bulking is done correctly – (click here to find out more). To keep your fat gains down it is important you chose the correct macronutrition ratios that fit your body type.
Typical weight gains will be around 3-5 lbs. per month consisting of fat and muscle. Some people may experience more in the beginning especially if they are new to lifting or haven’t lifted in some time.
Not only do you need the extra calories to fuel muscle growth, you will also need the extra energy from them to fuel your heavy lifting. This heavy lifting, a calorie surplus, and getting a good amount of rest will have you on track to building muscle in a controlled matter.
So are you ready to start bulking ?
Click the button below to get our eBook that goes into more detail on bulking, it has a custom meal plan and workout to get you started!
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