Gaining muscle size is sometimes called bulking up. To some, bulking up means gaining a lot of fat along with some muscle. While this method of bulking does indeed work, gaining too much fat is not a very good idea. In this step by step guide, you’ll learn how to bulk up without gaining too much fat. Remember that any fat gained will probably have to be stripped off if you want your muscular physique to look its best.
Step one – create a calorific surplus
You can’t build a house without bricks and you can’t build muscle without a calorie surplus. Aim to eat 500 calories per day more than you need to maintain your weight. If you aren’t gaining muscle size add another 250 calories a day. Continue adding 250 calories per day until you start to gain muscle. Track your waist measurement though – if your waist measurement is increasing noticeably, you are probably gaining a lot of fat along with your muscle. If this is the case reduce your calorie intake slightly.
Step two – get enough protein
To build muscle, you need around 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight so if you weigh 175 pounds, you need anywhere between 175 and 262.5 grams of protein per day. The protein should come from foods such as lean meat, fish, eggs or dairy. If you struggle to consume sufficient amounts protein, you may want to consider talking a whey protein supplement.
Step three – get stronger
Muscles get bigger ( a process called myofibrillar hypertrophy) when they get stronger. This means lifting relatively heavy weights and focusing on the exercises that are known for developing strength; squats, deadlift, bench press, pull up, shoulder press and bent over row. Getting stronger in these exercises will develop almost all of the muscles in your body. Focus your training on this “big six”, add in a small amount of work on exercises such as biceps curls and calf raises and you’ll be well on your way to stimulating new muscle growth.
Step four – evaluate your progress
Use before and after pictures, circumferential measurements and your body weight to assess your progress. If you are not seeing improvements from your efforts to bulk up, you are either not eating enough or not training hard enough. There is also the possibility that additional factors are holding you back e.g. too much stress, not enough sleep or training too long/too hard. Make changes to ensure you see progress on a month by month basis.
Step five – keep at it!
Rome wasn’t built in a day and nor are muscular physiques. Building muscle is a slow and laborious process that can take months if not years. Make sure you think about the “long game” and make haste slowly. Every workout and every well thought out meal will take you one step closer to your muscular ideal. Stick with it and eventually, you’ll get to where you want to be.
Developing a stronger, more muscular physique is not easy but the results are worth it. Good luck with your training!