Bulking can be tricky. Most feel this is a period to eat whatever the hell you want, IT ISN’T ! There are 2 types of bulking I want to address.
- The “dirty bulk”. This is used by powerlifters to improve power. Basically you are adding some muscle, some body fat, and some water weight which will cushion the joints for heavy lifts. Overall this will certainly improve strength and power. Leverage plays a big role in strength, so the more you weigh , the more you should be able to lift.
- “Clean bulking”. This is what most people want. You want to add a fine balance of muscle mass without getting fat. The goal is to get bigger muscle, and lose some fat at the same time.
Weight Gain and Bulking Myths
The vast majority of myths about weight gain are mostly passed down from
“gym talk” and so-called experts who know nothing about the body’s workings.
Myths that lead to wasted time, frustration and if are taken blindly as truth, can really set back your progress in the gym. Don’t believe everything you hear in the gym when it comes to exercise and weight gain, do the research yourself.
Simple, basic principles apply to all weight and muscle gain such as progressive overload, variable frequency of reps and high intensity workouts. Lets take a look at some of the most common weight gain myths.
High repetitions burn fat while low repetitions build muscle.
Progressive overload is needed to make muscles bigger.
Meaning that you need to perform more reps than you did
for your last workout for that particular exercise.
If you perform the same amount of reps at each workout nothing
will change on you, also if the weight doesn’t changes on the bar nothing
will change on you. You need to become stronger.
Definition has two characteristics, muscle size and a low
incidence of body fat. To reduce body fat you will have to
reduce your calories; the high repetition exercise will burn
some calories, but wouldn’t it be better to fast walk to burn these off?
Better still; use the low reps to build muscle, which will
elevate your metabolism and burn more calories (less fat).
Vegetarians can’t build muscle.
Yes they can! Strength training with supplementation of
soy Protein Isolate has shown to increase solid bodyweight.
Studies have shown that athletic performance is not impaired
by following a meat free diet, and people strength training
and consuming only soy protein isolate as a protein source
were able to gain lean muscle mass.
Strength Training will make you look masculine.
If it is not you’re intention to bulk up from strength training
you won’t. Putting on muscle is a long hard slow process.
Your strength-training regime coupled with quality food will
determine how much you will bulk up. To bulk up you also require
more food. Women don’t produce enough testosterone to allow
for muscular growth as large as men.
By working out you can eat what ever you want to.
Of course you can eat whatever you want, if you don’t care
how you want to look. Working out does not give you an open license
to consume as many calories as you want. Although you will
burn more calories if you workout than someone who doesn’t,
you still need to balance your energy intake with you energy
If you take a week off you will lose most of your gains.
Taking one or two weeks off occasionally will not harm your
training. By taking this time off every eight to ten weeks
in between strength training cycles it has the habit of refreshing you and
to heal those small niggling injuries. By having longer layoffs
you do not actually lose muscle fibres, just volume
through not training, any size loss will be quickly re-gained.
By eating more protein I can build bigger muscles.
Building muscle mass involves two things, progressive overload
to stimulate muscles beyond their normal levels of resistance
and eating more calories than you can burn off. With all the
hype about high protein diets lately and because muscle is made
of protein, it’s easy to believe that protein is the best fuel
for building muscle, however muscles work on calories which
should predominately be derived from carbohydrates.
If I’m not sore after a workout, I didn’t work out hard enough.
Post workout soreness is not an indication of how good the
exercise or strength training session was for you. The fitter
you are at a certain activity, the less soreness you will
experience after. As soon as you change an exercise, use a
heavier weight or do a few more reps you place extra stress
on that body part and this will cause soreness.
Resistance training doesn’t burn fat.
Nothing could not be further from the truth. Muscle is a
metabolically active tissue and has a role in increasing
the metabolism. The faster metabolism we have the quicker
we can burn fat. Cardio exercise enables us to burn
calories whilst exercising but does little else for
fat loss afterwards.
Weight training enables us to burn calories whilst
exercising but also helps us to burn calories whilst
at rest. Weight training encourages muscle growth
and the more lean muscle mass we possess, the more
fat we burn though an increased and elevated metabolism.
No pain no gain.
This is one myth that hangs on and on. Pain is your body
signalling that something is wrong. If you feel real
pain during a workout, stop your workout and rest.
To develop muscle and increase endurance you may need
to have a slight level of discomfort, but that’s not
Taking steroids will make me huge.
Sstrength training and correct nutrition will
grow muscle. Taking steroids without training will not
make you muscular. Anabolic supplements and legal steroids will work, but you must lift and eat.
Legal-steroids allow faster muscle growth through greater
recovery, while others help increase strength which
allows for greater stress to be put onto a muscle.
Without food to build the muscle or training to stimulate
it nothing will happen. Most of the weight gain seen
with the use of some steroids is due to water
retention and is not actual muscle.
Strength training won’t work your heart.
Wrong!! Strength training with short rest periods will
increase your heartbeat well over a hundred beats
per minute. For example, performing a set of breathing
squats and you can be guaranteed that your heart will
be working overtime and that your entire cardiovascular
system will be given a great overall body workout.
Any intensive weightlifting routine that lasts for
20 minutes or more is a great workout for your heart
and the muscles involved.
I can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.
By implementing the right anabolic supplements you
can increase muscle size while not putting on body fat.
But for the average hard gainer, they have to increase
their muscle mass to its maximum potential and then cut
down their body fat percentage to achieve the desired shape.