Building muscle requires lifting heavy weights and eating large. However, bulking up doesn’t mean that you need to start living off of junk food. Building lean muscle requires a clean bulk diet, rich in nutrients and low in trans fats and sugars.
The clean bulk diet plan
This diet is designed specially for the purpose of increasing lean muscle mass. The main cornerstone of the diet should be protein, followed by healthy fats and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates should be limited and consumed in controlled amounts, mainly in the form of complex carbs.
Like we mentioned before, protein should be the top priority macro-nutrient in the diet, because it is the material of which all tissues are made, including skeletal muscle. Protein builds muscle mass and helps the damaged muscle fibers repair themselves.
When on a clean bulk diet, you should aim for 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per lb of weight. Hardgainers and people with fast metabolism will probably need up to 1.5 grams per lb of weight.
Your protein should come from different sources :
Animal protein sources : Lean meats – chicken and beef, eggs, fish and dairy (although it is best to watch the dairy because of the lactose it contains)
Vegetable protein sources : Nuts, seeds, legumes.
Eating protein alone, won’t help you bulk up. You also need carbohydrates to support the muscle growth process. The carbohydrates should come from quality sources such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats, brown bread etc…
Fruits and vegetables
These are a great source of carbohydrates as well as fiber which is very important for protein digestion and normal function of your gut. Good vegetables include leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts etc.
Good fruits include hig fiber fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, peaches etc.
They play a vital role in a clean bulking diet by adding quality calories to the diet itself, as well as providing hormone production support and anti-inflammatory properties. Some good fat sources include fish oil, egg yolks, avocado, olive oil, different seeds and nuts as well as products such as organic peanut and almond butter.
Although food should be the main source of calories, you shouldn’t neglect supplements. The right supplements will greatly help you during the clean bulk process. Supplements such as fish oil, multi vitamin/mineral tabs, BCAAs and whey protein shakes can speed up the muscle building process big time.
The Clean Bulk Diet Plan Framework
You can use the following plan as a template and tweek it for your own needs. Follow this plan and you will absolutely see improvement in your strength levels and lean muscle mass as well.
The meal plan template
– 500 ml of water,
– 2 scoops of whey protein powder,
– 1 cup of rolled oats,
– 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
– A handful of mixed nuts
Post workout snack
– 500 ml of a sugary soft drink
– 2 scoops of whey protein powder
– 300g of lean beef or chicken
– A couple of pieces of brown bread or a sweet potato
– Green salad with a tablespoon of olive oil
– a piece of fruit
– 300g of fish or 5 whole eggs
– Steamed vegetables
Before you go to bed
– 5 egg whites or a casein shake
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That’s it, bulking up takes hard work and eating good amounts of quality food. Nothing magical about it.