If your goal is to gain as much muscle mass as possible then going on a “bulk” is definitely the right way to go.
While bulking routines come in many different shapes and sizes, many guys will tend to make some simple mistakes here or there which ultimately leads to them not being able to achieve the goals they set out for when they began their bulk.
Here are 5 simple tips to keep in mind while bulking to make sure that you stay on track throughout your cycle.
1. Make Sure That You Are Eating A Ton of Food Everyday
In order to grow, you need to eat a TON of food. There are a lot of people who like to argue about how they are “hard gainers”, because they are naturally skinny and they have fast metabolisms, which is the reason why they can't get big. The simple truth is that they are just not eating enough food.
You might not think of “bulking” as dieting, but it is a form of dieting. It is a diet intended to make you grow, which means that instead of normal diets where people force themselves to eat less than normal, bulking means that you are going to force yourself to eat more than normal.
For people who have never truly bulked before, they might think that bulking sounds amazing. Like who wouldn't enjoy eating a ton of food all the time right? The truth is that bulking is uncomfortable at best and downright painful at worst. It is not very fun to force yourself to eat when you already feel bloated and full and to continue doing so day after day, week after week.
To help manage the crazy amount of calories they need to eat, many people choose to split their food into 5-6 meals each day. Doing so can help keep your blood sugar levels more stable, provide a steady influx of energy, and prevent your body from feeling bogged down while building muscle in the most efficient way possible.
Just remember, if you are training hard and you think that you can't gain muscle, it just means that you aren't eating enough. Get those calories up!
2. Strategize Your Carb Intake
There are only a couple times per day that it is beneficial to have your blood sugar levels very high, and that is right when you wake up and post-workout.
At these two times, faster digesting carbs, which spike your blood sugar more abruptly, are preferred because your body is in a vulnerable state where it craves nutrients.
The faster you can get nutrients to the muscle the better, so eating some simple carbs that are fast digesting will spike insulin, and drive those nutrients into the muscle at a faster pace. This is why your pre-workout meal and your post-workout meal two of the most important meals for helping your body grow during a bulk.
All other meals during the day should ideally feature non-starchy carbs like vegetables and whole grains, which have a more gradual blood sugar response.
3. Stay Hydrated
One of the biggest mistakes we see is when people are not drinking enough water.
Your muscles are comprised largely of water, so keeping them hydrated with adequate water consumption each day will not only help them stay fuller, stronger, and bigger, but it will help them grow more.
Shoot for drinking 1 gallon of water spread throughout the day to keep your body properly hydrated. Also make sure that you aren't poisoning yourself with tap or bottled water by drinking distilled water as much as possible.
4. Keep A Workout Log So You Can Track Strength Progress
Keeping a workout journal is one of the most rudimentary components of achieving success and gaining maximum amounts of muscle, yet maybe 5-10% of gym goers actually do this.
If you can’t remember what you lifted last week, or even what exercises you did, how can you possibly gradually overload the muscle and become stronger?
You need to keep track of your lifts and the weights you used on them each and every week. By doing so you can try and slightly improve each week, progressively overloading the muscle to continuously make progress.
If you want a free online version of a workout journal, feel free to upload your workouts to the Red Forum to keep track of your progress and link up with other people that have the same goals as you.
5. Have Lean Protein In Every Meal
In order to ensure that you are continuously maximizing your muscle growth each and everyday it's important to eat a lot of lean protein. The protein that you eat gets broken down into amino acids in your body, which in turn are used by the body to help create new muscle tissue.
The best sources of lean protein are lean beef, turkey, chicken, fish, low-fat dairy products, Whey protein, tofu, beans, and soy.
Whey protein is the most beneficial protein source to have immediately upon waking up and after your workout because it digests the fastest, and gets to work on muscle-protein synthesis very quickly.