By Medifit Biologicals

BULKING PHASE

 

 

WHAT IS BULKING?

It is usual to define the bulking phase of a bodybuilder’s diet by what it is not; however it is simply ‘a systematic attempt to gain muscle’. If you want to add ‘and strength’ to that sentence then that’s fine, just remember you can get stronger without adding muscle, but you can’t add muscle without getting even the smallest bit stronger.

Bulking and cutting are the productive phases of bodybuilding; bulking is the addition and cutting the subtraction. When cutting you are removing body fat while trying not to lose muscle – conversely in bulking you are trying to add muscle without adding too much fat.

 

BULKING CYCLE

This section is for the people who are interested in just bulking up; which in simple terms means eating more and training heavier in order to gain muscle mass and weight. A bulking cycle is mainly for the people who are naturaly skinny or have problems with holding weight due to an unbalanced or unhealthy diet. It can be also useful for people who desire to gain size on a particular muscle group that they have previously missed out, have struggled with or belive that they can improve on. The bulking cycle should basically consist of training hard, eating well and having plenty of rest.

Like everything, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. I see many people who in an attempt to gain weight just start eating everything in sight, and thus, either overtax their digestive systems, thus not being able to eat several times a day, and/or simply start gaining too much body fat, as the case is for those without a hardgainer metabolism.

In order to gain quality weight the food and nutrients have to be of a high quality nature. Basically eating fatty foods like bugers, chips, take-aways and snack foods like fizzy pop and chocolate will not help in a bulking phase what so ever. These high fat, high carb, high sugar foods will immediately get stored as fat in the body which is not what you are trying to achieve. Gaining weight and muscle mass is not about gaining inches of fat at all, it’s about gaining even size in all areas of the body, thus making you heavier, giving you more power and energy to lift heavier, and grow bigger!

 

In this bulk up/weight gain learn the bulking up rules to gaining some solid muscle weight while minimizing fat gains.

STEP ONE:

Start eating around 1.5gs of protein per pound of bodyweight spread out over the entire day.

Depending on how much you weigh is going to mean that you may have to eat 6,7 or even 8 meals a day, but it is neccesary for muscle growth and repair.

Protein sources should come from lean low fat sources like chicken, turkey, lean red meats, tuna, egg whites, mackarel, and salmon etc

 

STEP TWO:

Increase your carbohydrate intake to between 1.5-2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight spread out over the entire day.

In order to gain muscle, a carbohydrate increase will be required to keep your energy levels high, and thus fuel your workouts, and in order to help shuttle the amino acids from your proteins into the muscle tissue.

The key thing to ensure that muscle mass is maximized as opposed to fat gain when consuming carbohydrates is to ensure that your intake of them is mostly from low glycemic index ones (slow digesting/released carbs) like brown rice, oatmeal, pasta and sweet potatoes. Limit the higher glycemic complex carbs rice pudding and simple carbs fruit for after the workout when the body needs fast released carbs and proteins in order to quick start the recovery and re-building process and also to help refuel the energy stores (glycogen levels in the muscle and liver) that have been drained. Carbohydrates should be split up evenly throught the day, lets say for average guy weighing 200lb, he will have a rough intake of 300/350gs of carbs, over 6 meals thats about 60gs of carbs per meal, preferably complex carbs, low GI as explained above.

 

STEP THREE:

Increase your intake of GOOD fats.

Some fats are necessary to ensure good hormonal production and thus muscle growth. Eliminate all fats and see your testosterone levels take a dive. The body needs fats like the Omega Essential Fatty Acids in order to ensure proper hormonal production and brain function. These oils are essential because the body cannot manufacture them and they help with many things like enhanced recovery due to reduced inflammation, enhanced nutrient partitioning due to their ability to neutralize enzymes necessary for fat storage (so this means more calories go toward muscle production and less to fat) and even help with enhancing your mood!

 

BULK UP DIET:

Now that you know what to expect from a bulk up cycle, let’s cover how to design a bulk up diet:

PROTEIN:

Increase your protein intake to 1.5 grams of protein per pound bodyweight. Therefore, if you weigh 200 lbs, you need to eat around 300 grams of protein per day. I have noticed that if I eat more than 40 grams of protein in one sitting I feel lethargic and have issues digesting the food.

Therefore, divide 300 by 40 and that will give you the amount of meals that you need to eat per day. In this example, the 200-lb bodybuilder will need to eat, around 7-8 meals per day spaced out with a minimum of 90 minutes in between meal and a maximum of 3 hours.

Protein sources should come from lean low fat sources like:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • 93% Lean Red Meats
  • Tuna
  • Egg Whites
  • Salmon

CARBS:

Increase your carbohydrate intake to between 1.5-2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. In order to gain muscle, a carbohydrate increase will be required to keep your energy levels high, and thus fuel your workouts, and in order to help shuttle the amino acids from your proteins into the muscle tissue (since carbohydrates increase insulin levels and insulin is necessary for the transport of the aminos into the muscle).

The key thing to ensure that muscle mass is maximized as opposed to fat gain when consuming carbohydrates is to ensure that your intake of them is mostly from low glycemic (low digesting/released carbs) like brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes.

Limit the simple, higher glycemic carbs for after the workout when the body needs fast released carbs and proteins in order to quick start the recovery and re-building process and also to help refuel the energy stores (glycogen levels in the muscle and liver) that have been drained.

Also, ensure that you eat half of your carbohydrates split between the times that the body is most receptive to them, which is the morning time (first meal) and post workout time. So for instance, our hypothetical 200-lb bodybuilder who is starting his bulk up plan at 300 grams of carbs per day (bodyweight x 1.5), will split 150 grams (half of the daily requirement) between the morning meal and the post workout meal (so that comes to 75 grams of carbs).

The morning meal carbs will be complex low glycemic carbs while the post workout meal will be half simple and half complex). The remainder 150 grams will be split in the remainder meals.

I always advise to refrain from eating complex carbs after 6:30pm (unless your post workout meal comes after that time) as your insulin sensitivity (body’s acceptance of the hormone insulin) goes down at night and therefore, one runs a higher risk of storing carbohydrate calories at night unless you train, in which case your insulin sensitivity is optimized.

Finally, make sure that you have around 15-20 grams of fibrous carbohydrates, such as green beans or broccoli, at lunchtime and 15-20 grams more at dinnertime as these will help to keep your digestive tract clean and ready to accept new nutrients, thus maximizing nutrient utilization.

 

FATS:

Increase your intake of good fats. Some fats are necessary to ensure good hormonal production and thus muscle growth. Eliminate all fats and see your testosterone levels take a dive. The body needs fats like the Omega Essential Fatty Acids in order to ensure proper hormonal production and brain function.

These oils are essential because the body cannot manufacture them and they help with many things like enhanced recovery due to reduced inflammation, enhanced nutrient partitioning due to their ability to neutralize enzymes necessary for fat storage (so this means more calories go toward muscle production and less to fat) and even help with enhancing your mood!

In order to get your good fats keep the essential fats at 3 tablespoons per day for guys and 1.5 for women in the form of flax seed oil, fish oils or extra virgin canned olive oil. I split my fats between my two low carbohydrate meals, which are meal 7 and 8. The reason I like to do this is because they eliminate my cravings for sweets at night that come as a result of the reduced carbohydrate intake at this time.

Also, if I eat the fats earlier in the day with my carbohydrates, they completely kill my appetite and make it hard for me to consume the amount of carbohydrates that I need to eat.

 

THE BODYBUILDING BULKING UP PHASE IS OFTEN THE HARDEST

A Bulking diet is a high calorie diet which helps gain weight and builds muscle. With the gain in weight there is also gain in fat. This helps to protect precious lean muscle from being used up during workouts by burning up the extra fat. It also helps you to remain energetic even when on a low calorie diet later. A bulking diet should contain proteins, simple carbohydrates and unsaturated fats along with essential minerals and vitamins. Proteins are necessary to build new muscles and to repair muscle tissue later.

Carbohydrates provide energy and facilitate protein synthesis. Simple carbohydrates are digested more easily. Too much of hard to digest complex carbohydrates should be avoided and bad carbohydrates like sugary sweets, sodas and such should be religiously shunned.

Bodybuilders need testosterone and fats provide it. Fats are a source of energy and also facilitate the absorption of certain vitamins by the body. There are different types of bulking up. The style you should adopt depends on your body metabolism.

Those with low body metabolism should do clean bulking. In this you eat well keeping a strict watch on the amount of fat you consume. Staying clear of all junk foods, candies, chips and soft drinks is essential.

Those who have average metabolism can do regular bulking wherein you stay away from junk food and can eat chicken, steak, eggs, yogurt, skimmed milk, bread, beans and fruits. You should keep an eye on your fat consumption though.

The lucky ones with very high metabolism can eat anything edible. It’s the easiest and the most loved diet. But it is the wrong type if your goal is winning bodybuilding contests.

Your body type also decides as to how many meals you should take in a day. Each person has a different body metabolism and body type. So your diet must be planned accordingly.

The period of bulking up also varies from person to person. Some prefer to bulk up for 6 to 7 months while others bulk up for just 4 months or so and then cut the fat. This period also depends on the individual body type.

There are two schools of thought regarding bulking up in bodybuilding. The old school approves of it, while the new school does not. Modern scientific research has proved that it is unnecessary to bulk up. A proper workout followed by proper recuperation and scientifically planned nutritious meals and snacks will help to protect muscle from being used up for energy and you stay lean throughout the year.

By Medifit Biologicals

www.medifitbiologicals.com