Bro, you wanna build muscle? Then you should bulk! Bro, you wanna get stronger? Then you’ve got to bulk! We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard people having that kind of conversation while at the gym. And the topic of bulking is especially popular with new lifters. Sure bulking does have its place in the gym and you can get results from it. But should you bulk? Will bulking add on the muscle you’re looking for quickly? As always we’ve got you covered. This is the GYMCADDY Team’s advice on should you bulk!
So first up lets cover the concept of bulking. Bulking is when you consume more calories than your body needs per day with the goal of gaining weight. Bulking, combined with working out should pack on lean muscle mass resulting in size increase and strength gains. And to a certain extent bulking does work. But if done wrong you will simply gain fat. In order to gain muscle and get stronger you need to supply your body with adequate amounts of Protein, Carbs, and Fat. If you’re working out correctly with the right amount of intensity and frequency your body will build muscle. Your body will also build muscle quicker and easier when you first start working out, this is whats usually called “newbie gains”. As you progress through your workout career and pack on muscle, it becomes exponentially harder to gain more muscle naturally. So no matter how much you eat or how hard you workout your body will build muscle only so fast. Imagine rolling a snow ball up a hill. When you first start the snowball is small and you can get up the hill easily, but as you go up the snowball gets bigger and pushes against you to go back down the hill. So in order for you to get that snowball higher up on the hill you need to work harder.
If you’re brand new to the gym, or you’ve been lifting for less than a year then you don't need to go on a bulk, unless you’re extremely under weight. But for your average person or someone thats already over weight then you should be focused on just working out, working on your form, and progressively improving week over week. You should also be focused on fixing up your diet, learning about nutrition, and determining what your maintenance caloric intake is. AKA the amount of calories you need to consume per day so you weight stays the same.
But if you’ve been working out for awhile and understand good exercise programming then you can benefit from a bulk. When on a bulk you will notice you will get stronger, and will have more endurance. When you’re on a bulk, thats the perfect time to workout harder, test your strength, and increase volume (the amount of sets and reps you do per workout). But just be warned, going on a bulk does not mean you get a free pass to eat what ever you want at all hours of the day. A successful bulk is when you control the amount of weight you gain per week. No matter how hard you workout, how clean you eat, or how much protein you eat, if you take in way too many calories you will gain large amounts of fat. When on a bulk you really only need to eat about 500 calories more than your caloric maintenance. So if your caloric maintenance is 2500 calories, then when on a bulk you should be consuming around 3000 calories. Being on a bulk doesn't mean you should be eating junk food all the time, if you eat too much junk, you will feel like junk. But just remember, while on a good bulk you will gain lean muscle mass but you will also gain some fat. and thats perfectly normal.
So can you benefit from a bulk? Yes if its done correctly and in a controlled manner. Bulking will help you gain muscle and its perfect time to work harder and longer. Just keep in mind, buying is recommended for people who already have experience working out. People how are new to the gym or only recently just started working out shouldn't jump on a bulk until they've learned the basics and learn about proper nutrition.