Gaining weight is not an anonymous term for those who are into bodybuilding. It is essential to gain overall body weight by increasing muscle growth other than just working out. It would not be wrong to say that workout and gaining weight go hand in hand.
Bodybuilding has a whole concept behind it. There are specific steps we need to follow; one of them is Bulking. Bulking is nothing but increasing your calories to a level that there I more calorie intake than the calorie burn within a day. The logic is simple; you can lose weight, and shape out your body only if you have extra muscles. It is suggested that before you go into the extreme workout phase, relax and focus on gaining extra mass first. This never happens in a day or two, the changes are visible in a long time, and that’s the reason why it is called the Bulking Season.
Athletes bulk up and perform heavy weight training at a particular time of year and later contest diet. Every person has to set the time according to what suits them. Now, we have seen many coaches who help or are specialized in contest dieting for the athletes, but very few are available who can focus and train for the bulking season as well. Therefore, the bodybuilders have to do it all by themselves, and there is very little knowledge about how it should be done. But we’ve got your back here, and today we’ll discuss everything about bulking and what you should do and what not.
Since our primary goal is to increase the muscle in our body, we need to get our diet very straight. The diet must include a lot of carbohydrates. It is recommended to eat 5-8 g/kg of the bodyweight of carbohydrates per day when you are bulking up. You should include loads of whole milk, cottage cheese, oats, salmon, avocados, nuts, eggs, beef, and olive oil to ensure a high amount of carbs intake.
Along with the carbohydrate intake, don’t forget your protein intake ever. Make sure you are taking the measured and handsome amount of proteins as well. You can use protein boosters or naturally gathered protein, whatever suits your body.
Maintain Low Fats:
While carbs and proteins go up in the amounts, fats need to lower down. We want to get extra muscles and never the extra fat. In case we get extra lipids on our body, the main goal of achieving a perfect body in the cutting down period would be rather challenging to achieve. Therefore, we need to make sure the diet we are using has shallow levels of fats.
People often forget about their water intake when they are bulking up. But staying hydrated is vital for the muscle contractions and to keep the muscles moving and healthy. Not only this, but water also helps in balancing the digestive system, which can be imbalanced due to the extreme diet you are following in this season. It maintains the pH and keeps you active for a more extended period.
Include Cheat Meals in Diet Plan:
Have you ever heard of including cheat meals as a part of the diet plan? Well, you have to do this in your bulk diet. Cheat meals help in increasing metabolism and also regulate the body. Since the body gets used to a particular diet, this cheat meal helps in letting the body able to fight and digest different types of food, so that once this bulking season is over, the body doesn’t react otherwise. Also, because we know it is a hell of a job to be away from junk food, so you deserve them cheat meals.
Keep your cardio under observance:
Cardio is supposed to burn the calories. It is exactly opposite to our primary goal in the bulking season, yet you must maintain your cardio routine. You would not be able to exercise extreme cardio but a very light cardio routine, once every week can make your body remember that it has to burn the calories as well. It is more kind of a routine that will ease the body so that the natural metabolism is not disturbed. A light jog or a very low treadmill would do the job of enough cardio here.
One cannot rely on whole nutrients to gain muscles and weight. An extra boost is always needed for the body, but make sure whatever supplement you are using, its ingredients are those which your whole diet is missing more of. Try to use any creatinine supplement, since it is known for boosting energy levels in the muscle cells. Other than creatine, you can also use any supplement whose main ingredient is Branded-Chain Amino Acids as they help in muscle growth by recovering the weak muscle cells. It is also instrumental in healing the body from soreness.
Concentrate on Compound Movements in your training:
Choosing the right set of workouts is a big deal. Compound movements play a significant role in the whole bulking process. Compound movements are multi-joint movements where multiple muscles participate in a single workout activity. These exercises are challenging and heavy. It helps in bulking by breaking down muscle tissues so; there becomes a need for producing more muscles. These heavy exercises include squatting, deadlift, row, bench, and much more. Keep in mind that along with these heavy sets of exercises, you need to follow some isolation movements as well like bicep curls.
Keep your size in check:
Some people do not get the rules of bulking and go days without tracking the progress in the body. What happens is, they do not bulk up, they become over-weight. All the excessive fat later starts accumulating until its too late to know that they’ve been doing it all wrong. It is, therefore, recommended to measure the body size twice a week. The goal is to gain the muscles and maintain a balanced physique that simple overeating does not do.
A morning walk:
Don’t think of morning walk a part of cardio. A very light walk in the morning helps in getting the brain ready. It also has a visible effect when it comes to retaining the energy for the whole day. So, it should not be missed.
Taking enough and adequate sleep is also very important, and one should keep track of the sleeping pattern as well during the bulking phase. Going crazy on intensive eating and training for consecutive days or hours, make the body vulnerable to extreme injuries including the hamstring. These injuries take years to recover if not taken care of. Therefore, resting and getting some peace is as vital as the training itself.
Try eating in portions in multiple time durations in a single day. During bulking up, it is suggested to eat seven meals. One breakfast, snack one, lunch, snack 2, snack 3, dinner, and finally the last and 4th snack of the day. Take measured portions of food in each meal, and count their calorie, protein, carbs level, so that at the end of the day you have an idea of how much you’ve taken in.
Don’t eat whatever comes your way:
You’re bulking, and this doesn’t mean you got to eat everything. It is very clear from the beginning that the quality of food matters much more than the quantity itself. Do not eat what regular people are eating. Make sure your food is prepared separately and solely customized to your chart. Moreover, do not eat processed food since they lack energy but add up a lot of fats in the diet. They also make you crave more processed food which makes a person go crazy.
Don’t exclude fats:
We have to lower the fat content but not cut it out of our diet. Fats are an essential source of stored energy that proves very beneficial for survival during extensive workouts.
Don’t go way too much in cheat meals:
Eating a cheat meal is recommended just once a week. That too fast food needs to be avoided. The cheat meals may only include homemade fresh desserts made of dark chocolate, vanilla, or fresh fruits. It can also include some cheese fries but not a whole burger. Cheat meals are useful only in a little amount.
Don’t skip training:
Do not forget that training is as important as eating in this process. If you disturb your heavy training routine, it would cause an imbalance of diet and weight in your body and can lead to multiple problems. The pattern of bulking up is stringent.
Don’t do intense training after a meal:
Do not hit the gym right after you have had your food. The undigested food in the stomach can start giving a burning sensation or in extreme cases, direct vomit. Try with lighter movements if you want to do to workout. These exercises will help you digest your food and at the same time would be an excellent warm-up for the actual training.
Don’t rely solely on whole food:
Whole grains and all-natural, organic food is undoubtedly the best thing in the world, but the metabolic process of organic products is very slow. You need to add some external boost to your diet by adding some sort of supplement in the form of powders, pills, or drinks. Do not add any supplement which has an ingredient that does not suit your body.
Don’t skip cardio:
Some people also skip cardio during the bulking season thinking it will make them lose the extra calories they’re striving to put on. Well, the fact is light cardio should never be missed. Keeping the balance of the body is extremely important.
Don’t disturb sleeping pattern:
Mental peace plays a huge role in the whole process. Move away from all the negativities of your life so you can focus on one good thing. Sleep helps a lot in attaining a fresh brain. A healthy sleep schedule will make you more active and vigilant, which in return would be reflected in your body. Make sure not to sleep more than necessary either.
Don’t plan unachievable goals:
Be realistic when it comes to gaining weight. Losing weight is much more comfortable and a visible process than gaining mass. Don’t expect yourself to be double your size in two weeks. Within two weeks it is hardly noticeable that you’re bulking up. Moreover, don’t give up on the very beginning. It is hard to continue a plan if the results are not visible to us in a month but don’t give up. The process would take time, but ultimately it is worth it. Start by setting smaller goals that you know you are capable of, this will take your morale up, and you would want to set newer goals.
Don’t eat big meals:
Eating big meals is very common mistake athletes do. You need to eat a bulk of amount in a whole day but not at one time. A one-time meal should be a tiny portion of that huge bulk. You can eat multiple times in the day though.
Bulking up is a task, and not everyone can pull it off. If you are taking the plunge into it, make sure you make it through it. Staying goal-oriented is very important in the whole process as every single meal intake matters a lot. The muscles will grow and would be of extreme strength if strict rules are not neglected. Once, you have bulked up, you can easily take a gap of a few weeks, by eating everything normal but in lower quantities. After this break, you are ready for the cutting season, where you have to follow extreme cardio routines followed by another diet chart.
If you are able to do bulking trust me, the cutting season will be nothing for you.