If you want to get bigger, chances are you have to bulk. Bulking isn't just about pushing yourself at the gym though, it's mainly about diet. The basic principle of bulking is to eat more calories than your body burns daily, and working out so those extra calories turn into lean muscle mass and not fat.
Here are five key factors you should take note of to guide you on your bulking journey.
KNOW HOW MUCH CALORIES YOU NEED
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Calculate the amount of recommended calories you should consume a day, and add about 300 to 500 more calories on top of that. This will change based on your level of activity that day, so planning and adjusting is key to ensure you create a caloric surplus daily that is imperative to bulking.
Those calories can't be just any junk though. Eating healthy calories is important so get a good mix of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, healthy fats and vitamins for a balanced diet. The rough guide to protein consumption for buying is you will need to eat about 1.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight each day to ensure that your muscles have the building blocks to grow without putting on too much fat.
IMPROVE YOUR GROCERY LIST
If you're choosing to clean bulk, your grocery list is going to need a major overhaul. There should be a balance between lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, fibrous vegetables and low-fat dairy. Ensure you have supplements like whey protein and a mass gainer in the mix to help you reach your daily protein targets.
EAT MORE THAN 3 MEALS A DAY
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Instead of loading up the calories across your three standard meals, aim to eat 6-8 meals throughout the day, with your calories being spread as equally as possible across each meal. The meals should be balanced across protein, carbs and fats. Counting your macros can help you be more exact about planning your meals as well. Never shirk your post workout meal, as your body needs to refuel after exercising in order to grow.
FOCUS ON COMPOUND MOVEMENTS
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Tweak your gym regimen to include more compound movements, as these are the moves that increase the efficiency of each rep and help you grow faster. Compound movements are exercises that require more than one muscle to perform, such as barbell and military presses, squats and deadlifts.
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Cardio burns calories, and calories are the most important when it comes to bulking. During this phase, aim to reduce your cardio and do low-intensity cardio instead. Don't cut cardio out completely though. It is a healthy way to ensure you don't put on too much fat when you bulk.
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- October 25, 2016
- Beatrice Bowers