Need To Gain Muscle Mass?  Try Bulking!

If you spend a lot of time lifting heavy things, then you probably want to gain some muscle mass.  If so, then you need to change up your diet.  In other words, you need to start bulking.

But wait!

Not so fast.  I know you want results and you want them pretty damn quick, I totally get that.  However, there are some things you need to know. 

According to US News, it is estimated that ~95% of people fail their diets. 

Wow!

With such an astonishing statistic, is is no surprise that this also applies to muscle building diets and bulking. 

So before you jump the gun and decide to max out your credit card, keep reading and learn how to bulk the right way.

**Note**  If you are in a hurry, or are already familiar with the concept of bulking, then skip to the section “How To Bulk Up” for the practical action steps.  Use the table of contents above to find it. 

Related: YouTube Video About Muscle Building Diets

      

What Is Bulking?

What Is Bulking?

Bulking is a type of muscle building diet that is used when you are trying to gain more muscle mass and strength

Our muscles use a tremendous amount of energy when we work out.  If we do not provide our muscles with enough calories to grow and recover from our workouts, then they will not grow.

Therefore, we need to make sure we give our muscles enough energy to grow bigger and stronger. 

Sounds simple enough.  So what do most people get wrong?  They take in way to many calories. 

The “Dirty” Bulk

Dirty Bulk

If you give somebody an orgasm button and tell them that they can just push a button to feel “good” whenever they feel “bad”, they will push that button repeatedly until they drop dead.

Why?

Because feeling “good” is addictive.  According to the American Drug and Addiction Centers, over 20 million Americans are currently addicted to some form of drugs/substance.

I wonder if food is considered a “substance”.  If not it should be, because food is addictive.  Especially junk food!

Now picture somebody who is lifting weights and decides to try bulking for the first time.  They listen to their average gym prophet who tells them they need to eat more food (how detailed of them).

When you hear this you first reaction is to add 20 extra servings of food per day.  You figure, “what the hell, I’m working out it will all burn off”.  Then slowly your body fat starts to build over the weeks and months. 

Before you know it, you are 30 lbs overweight and wondering how it happened.  Now you are going to have to lose weight and cut calories.  All that muscle you built up for the beach, kiss it good bye. 

This is the dirty bulk.  The next time you hear somebody is bulking, be sure to tell them this story before it happens to them. 

Applying Logic

The story you just read in the last section is not at all uncommon.  In fact, it happens all of the time. 

People start to eat like crazy during September and continue to eat like this all the way until January when New Year’s resolutions come around. 

It didn’t work out very well last year, so why do it again this year. 

Einstein used to say that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. 

When it comes to bulking, we have mass insanity going on here. 

If you are currently doing this, STOP

There is a better way.  You can bulk AND still not gain excessive body fat. 

The “Clean” Bulk

Clean Bulk

The secret to how to bulk up is the “clean” bulk.  Bulking itself involves adding calories to you current diet regimen.  That’s a given.  But the clean bulk differs in both quantity and quality. 

During the dirty bulk, you were getting most of your excess calories from junk food.  In the clean bulk, you are getting all of your calories from high quality food. 

No more junk food of any kind, but you can have a maximum of 1-2 cheat meals per week. 

The major difference has to do with the quantity of calories. 

On the dirty bulk, you were on the “See Food” diet.  You get it…… You see food and you eat it.  Well I thought it was funny, ok back to bulking. 

On the clean bulk you are strictly monitoring your calories and keeping track of exactly what goes into your body. 

Is it as strict as cutting weight?  No.  But it is still strict? Yes.

You want to be taking in a controlled amount of extra calories.  This means that you will probably need to whip out your calculator and measuring cups. 

Everything has to be precise.  If you go over just a little bit you will start to get fat.  If you go under, you will not build muscle. 

You are literally walking a tightrope. 

Bulking Guidelines

I can’t write out an actual diet program.  Everyone is different so every person needs their own custom program. 

But I can write a template with some guidelines.

You can use and apply the following guidelines in this template as you see fit.  Remember, everybody is different and what might work for somebody else may not work for you. 

How To Bulk Up

  • Add approximately 250-500 calories to your current diet program.
    • These calories should be from high quality sources (Quinoa, Nuts, etc.)
    • Make sure you are taking your body composition to know exactly how much weight you need to lose. 
      • If you find yourself not losing any weight/gaining too much body fat, cut out about 200 calories from your diet and retest in another week. 
      • A good, and affordable, body fat analyzer is the OMRON Analyzer    
  • Make sure to add in some extra small workouts into your training program. 
    • These workouts should last anywhere from 20-30 minutes in length.
      • The best workouts to do would be interval training
      • You could also work on weak muscle groups with light weight and high reps.
      • Mobility workouts can also be done to prevent any future injuries.
  • Increase the volume of your workouts by about 25%. 
    • The whole purpose of bulking is to add more muscle mass.  This can’t be done with just calories alone.  Your body needs a stimulus. 
    • You want a 25% increase in your volume for EACH exercise in order to provide that stimulus. 
      • For example, say you are doing dumbbell bench presses normally for 3 sets of 8 reps.  That’s 24 reps total.  Take 24 and multiply it by 0.25 and you get 6.  Add 6 to 24 and you get 30 reps. 
      • Here’s the Math Again: 3 sets X 8 reps =  24 reps total |  24 reps X 0.25 = 6 additional reps |  24 reps + 6 additional reps = 30 reps total |

          

Conclusion

As you can see bulking doesn’t have to be complicated.  In fact it is actually very simple.  The only thing that holds most people back is bad information. 

There is bad information all around us, from fellow gym rats to online forums.  The most important thing you need to guard against on your quest for gains is your attention. 

If you give your attention to the wrong person they can turn your greatest pleasure into your worst nightmare. 

They can also lead you down the wrong path and make your quest longer than it should be. 

With this article you have practical steps you can use right away.  No need for more research. 

If you need to print it out and read it again, do so,  but most importantly, take action! 

Leave a comment below and let me know how it goes.    


Tony G
Tony G

Anthony is a fan of all things gym related. Growing up very overweight and out of shape, Anthony whipped himself into shape and stunned his entire community becoming a "fitness guru". Tony then set his sights on strength sports (Weightlifting/Powerlifting/Strongman) and learned all about body mechanics, mobility work and injury prevention. Tony found his true love in the strength sports, particularly Olympic Weightlifting. He earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree from Fitchburg State University in Exercise and Sports Science. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA.

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