For many years, muscle mass has been associated with body building and a physique that is almost impossible to achieve without complete dedication and an unrealistic lifestyle. Luckily, this couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, there are actually many misconceptions that are taken as fact when they aren’t exactly coming from a reliable source. Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we want to set the record straight once and for all. Read on as we explain everything you need to know in order to ‘bulk’ safely and effectively…
Although it is true that you need to consume more calories in order to ‘bulk’, it is important to make accurate calculations or else you may find that you just gain weight and fat instead, and that is the last thing that most people want to do! These extra calories help the body repair muscle after exercise, however building lean muscle is all about patience so it won’t happen overnight. As a general rule, you should try to consume an additional 5-10% of your daily permitted calories when bulking which means that an adult male consuming 2000 calories to maintain weight would instead eat 2100-2200 calories to build muscle.
Calorie counting gets a bad reputation because it can become an addictive behaviour, however it is an essential and necessary part of bulking because it would be impossible to consume an appropriate number of calories for muscle growth without unintentionally gaining fat at the same time without it. With this said, these additional calories should always come from nutritional food like fruit and vegetables and lean protein as a diet full of empty calories isn’t going to give your body the fuel it needs to repair and grow any lean muscle.
Once you have got your diet and calorie intake out of the way, it is time to look at your workout routine. There is a common misconception that you should do high-reps at lighter weights, however lifting heavy with fewer reps is actually thought to be more beneficial for the bulking process. This is because it creates more tears in the muscle fibres that need to be repaired by the body and this is done by fusing them together, thereby facilitating the growth that you are looking to achieve.
Did you know that it took over a decade for Arnold Schwarzenegger to develop the ultra-lean physique we have all come to recognise? This means that it is impossible to build muscle mass overnight and that patience is a virtue that we should all learn to understand. After all, bulking is a fitness-industry technique that can be dangerous or may just lead to weight gain if it isn’t approached with expertise and prior knowledge.