How To Bulk

how to bulkAre you looking to put on weight but don’t know how to bulk or are getting frustrated with your efforts so far?  I know many people think you have to go to the gym and do a bunch of squats and deadlifts to put on some muscle, and while that can work, I don’t think it’s the only way to do it.  I know there are many skeptics that think you can’t build muscle with P90X or other Beachbody programs but I couldn’t disagree more.  Everyone’s body is different so adding size can be harder for some people than others but no matter where you’re at here are some tips on how to bulk.

How To Bulk – Eat A Lot

I put this first because it’s by far the most important aspect of bulking up.  If you want to know how to bulk up you’re going to have to put time into figuring out your nutrition plan.  The key here is eating at a calorie surplus.  You need to eat more than your body naturally burns throughout the day and how many calories you burn with your workout.  If this is foreign to you check out more details in my articles How To Use The P90X Nutrition Guide and HR Monitors.  Those two articles are key to figuring out how much you need to eat.  And in my opinion this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to eat a ton of protein either.  I’m in a bulking phase right now and since I eat a vegan diet, only about 20% of my calories are coming from protein.  The extra, clean carbs I eat give me more fuel for my workouts which helps me get the most out of them.  But the bottom line is that you must eat more than you burn if you want to put on size and gain muscle.  As long as they are clean foods, then you shouldn’t have to worry about putting on too much fat.

How To Bulk – Supplements That Help

I’m not a huge fan of just taking a bunch of supplements to help you reach your goals, but when you’re figuring out how to bulk you will find that there are some supplements that help. The two main supplements that have helped me to put on some size are creatine and BCAA’s. Creatine mainly helps with recovery and stamina during your workouts. When I take creatine I have shorter recovery times between workouts and am able to do more in my individual workouts. Recovering faster and being able to do more during your workouts really helps you build muscle and put on size. I typically use creatine monohydrate which does cause bloating in some people but I never seem to have that problem.  BCAA’s are branched chain amino acids and are the building blocks of muscle.  They are critical to recovering and building muscle, so they are important to include as well.  They also help reduce recovery time. I often like to put one serving on my water bottle to sip during my workouts which helps keep my stamina up.

How To Bulk – Lift For Size

The weights and reps you shoot for are also very important when figuring out how to bulk. When you’re lifting you want to lift for size. So you should pick a weight that allows you to stick in the 8-12 rep range.  This is the ideal range for hypertrophy, or building size, so it’s important to stay in that rep range.  If you’re using a weight and are able to do 15 reps, you need to up your weight. If you’re only getting 2-6 reps the weight is too heavy. That’s the ideal range for strength but not for bulking up.  So when thinking about how to bulk up, make sure to play close attention to your weights and reps as you work out.  This is critical to track, so make sure you’re always recording your workouts.

I know it can be frustrating for some people, especially the naturally thin guys, because it can seem like no matter what they do, they can’t put on size.  So if you’ve been frustrated with this, hopefully these tips on how to bulk have been helpful.  Many people don’t track their calories, and therefore probably don’t end up eating enough to have an effective calorie surplus.  So make sure you’re tracking everything, eating enough, taking the correct supplements and lifting in the right rep range and you should be good to go!

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