Bulking is a strategic approach to nutrition and training that aims to promote healthy weight gain as well as increased muscle growth and strength. During a bulking phase, individuals consume a surplus of calories to provide the body with the necessary energy and nutrients to build muscle. In order to be in a calorie surplus, you must eat more calories than you are burning. Typically this bulking phase is coupled with intense weight training in order to further capitalize on the extra calories being consumed.
Benefits of Bulking?
1. Muscle Growth: Bulking provides the body with the excess calories needed to build muscle. By consuming a surplus of calories, individuals ensure that their bodies have enough energy to support intense workouts and muscle recovery.
2. Strength Gains: With increased muscle mass comes increased strength. As mentioned earlier, bulking phases normally involve high intensity training. This leads to lifting heavier and faster which helps to build more overall strength.
3. Improved Metabolism: When done correctly, bulking can help boost your metabolism. Increased muscle growth is linked to an increased metabolism. Long term, this increased metabolism can help to burn more calories even at rest!
4. Enhanced Aesthetic: For those seeking a certain physique, bulking can help completely change your aesthetic. It’s not only about “getting jacked”, but proper bulking can help add definition (the toned look) to your muscles as well.
How to Approach Bulking:
1. Determine Caloric Surplus: Calculate your current calories burned to determine how many calories you must consume in order to be in a surplus. If you need help with this, let us know and we can help you throughout the process.
2. Be Mindful of Macros: Focus on consuming adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth, while carbohydrates provide energy for intense workouts. Healthy fats support hormone production and overall health. But of course, never neglect your micronutrients either; vitamins and minerals are still very essential for overall health and play a big role in your fitness too!
3.Training Mindset: During this phase is a great time to lock in on high intensity training. Heavy weights are always great when building strength, but also focus on moving weights fast to help develop more power as well. Again, always maintain proper form for safety. We’re looking for quality over quantity.
4. Recovery Is Key: We break our bodies down when we workout, however we actually make progress and build during recovery. Allow your body ample time to rest and recover. Quality sleep, proper hydration and incorporating daily stretching into your routine are essential for optimal muscle growth.
So we went over what bulking is, the benefits of doing it and how we can effectively use it to help us reach our goals. Bulking is a great tool to know about and can make a big difference depending on where you are in your health and fitness journey. If you’re wondering if bulking is a good option for you, talk to one of our coaches about setting up an Athlete Check-In meeting HERE so we can discuss the best plan to help you become the best version of yourself!