Most people are so obsessed with gaining mass that they forget it’s muscle that really counts while bulking and not fat. The quest for more muscle is a lifetime goal of every aspiring bodybuilder, yet a lot of the enthusiasts make detrimental mistakes during bulking period when try to gain mass and as a result they get fat. Eventually they get frustrated and immediately start cutting/losing weight and Gainz.
In the end they have not only spent a lot of money on mass gaining and fat burning products, but have also exhausted their bodies from so much overeating and consequent dieting. When I gain mass I try to focus on gaining muscle while still maintaining a decent percentage of body fat. This helps me increase muscle mass at a slow and gradual rate, at which more muscle is packed than fat resulting in a better ratio between muscle gain and fat gain. Here are the top mistakes people make when bulking. Take notes, apply my advice and do bulking effectively! This will save you both money and time plus it will preserve your health in the long run.
1. Increase calories gradually – In order to gain muscle mass you should eat more calories than you burn. Still, eating is a very broad term. Once you establish an approximate maintenance caloric uptake, add an additional 300 calories, no more. Gradually you will start gaining weight without getting fat. After a period of several weeks add an additional 300 calories. Continue like this until the end of your bulking phase, but don’t add more than 1500 calories for the entire period. The slow introduction to new calories to your system will make it adapt and rise your resting metabolic rate, which increases your capacity for food consumption and muscle gain, without much fat deposition.
2. Quality over Quantity – When bulking you should be concerned not only on how much food you eat, but also on WHAT foods you eat. The quality of the food is very indicative of whether it will be digested and used by the body efficiently, or it is more likely to be stored as fat. Thus, I recommend you choose foods sources that provide quality calories. For example: you can get 100 grams of carbs from 1 liter of Coca Cola/Pepsi, but you can also get them from 150 grams of brown rice. In this situation the sugar-filled beverage will create huge insulin spike, which will make you retain some of the extra carbs as fat, while the complex carbs from the rice will provide you will long lasting energy and fill the muscle glycogen stores much more efficiently.
3. Don’t bulk for too long – Too many people do bulking for too long. We all have those friends who are on constant bulking for the past several years, a.k.a. permanent bulk. Why is this not optimal in the long run? The body is a very complex system, which quickly recognizes and adapts to whatever it is forced upon it. In a typical bulking phase carbohydrates are increased, as they provide the easiest and cheapest source of energy. The maintenance of high levels of carbohydrate consumption for long period of time causes a drop in insulin sensitivity. Lowered insulin sensitivity means that your body doesn’t respond to insulin very efficiently and this creates a “damaged” glucose deposition and usage system, which will ultimately lead to more fat deposits and less muscle glycogen. My advice is to do bulking for 2-3 weeks followed by 1-2 weeks of lowered carbohydrate intake. Another way is to eat high carbs for 2-3 days of the weeks, followed by 1-2 days of low carb consumption. This rotation will help maintain good insulin sensitivity and the body will continue to use carbs efficiently and prevent unwanted gain in fat. Carb cycling is essential for optimized muscle growth and fat loss!
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