Are you looking for the best ways to bulk up? If so, now is definitely the right time to start.
The cold winter months are often seen as a great time to take a break from training. You spend all spring and summer working out so you can look good when the weather heats up. So it’s only fitting that you deserve a rest when your body is going to be covered up.
However, if you want to make sure you’re in the best possible shape all year round, winter is the perfect time to work on your bulking program.
However, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.
Before you start eating everything in sight, you need to remember that if you eat too much too quickly, you will end up having a lot to lose in spring.
The following tips will help you bulk up effectively, without causing additional work when the weather warms up.
1. Never fill up on junk
The number one misconception when it comes to bulking up is that you should eat as much junk food as you can. After all, if you’re looking to gain weight, there’s no faster way to do it than to eat fatty junk food.
The trouble is, while you may in fact gain weight, it won’t be the type of weight you want to gain. It might add to your waistline, but it won’t help your muscle mass.
In order to bulk up effectively you need to ensure you are eating whole foods.
Bodybuilders need good sources of protein and carbohydrates. Lean meat is the best source of protein, while rice and potatoes are excellent sources of carbohydrates. If you do it right, you’ll gain the right amount of fat your body needs to bulk up from your protein sources.
2. Don’t go overboard
Another common mistake is to eat as much as you possibly can. A study that was carried out by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found you might not even need to eat any extra food at all.
The study followed obese participants who weight trained and dieted for 90 days. In that time they not only lost 35 pounds, but they also gained a lot of additional muscle mass.
What this means is that it isn’t about how much you eat. What is more important is stimulating the muscles so they expand.
As a general rule, try to eat anything from 14 to 18 calories for every pound you weigh every day. You should also consume 0.4 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbohydrates and 1 or 1.5 grams of protein for every pound.
3. Keep your routine varied
Having a good solid exercise plan is essential, though it is also important to make sure you keep it varied. After a while, your body becomes used to the exercises. Therefore they become less effective.
As mentioned earlier, in order to bulk up, your muscles need to be stimulated. When they are forced to do something new, you will experience better, faster results.
Not only will mixing it up provide you with more effective results, but it will also keep you motivated.
4. Keep up with your cardio
Another misconception that amateur body builders have is that they need to stop doing cardio. Instead they focus purely on strength training.
While this will build up muscle mass, cardio still has a purpose. It helps to keep you lean, as well as protects your heart.
Ideally you should aim to do cardio three or four days a week. If you’re worried about it affecting your muscle mass, stick to low intensity workouts. You will burn excess fat and maintain a healthy hormonal balance.
5. Know when to stop
No matter how healthily you are eating, if you bulk up for too long, you will start to gain a lot of excess fat.
Once you reach around 15% body fat, your insulin sensitivity levels tend to decline at a rather rapid rate. Therefore if you carry on bulking up, you will start to gain weight quickly. You will notice once your body fat reaches around 10%, your abs will start to gradually disappear. This is when it is time to quit.
Learn to bulk up in cycles and you should be able to gain a successful balance between fat loss and muscle gain.