Most guys these days don’t just want to get big – they want to get big, FAST.
It’s not uncommon to see threads online about guys looking to put on as much muscle as possible in only a couple of months.
The purpose behind this article is to create a resource for you not only to bulk fast, but to do it in a safe way that minimizes risk of injury and fat gain.
Before we start it’s important to note the difference between lean muscle mass and bulk muscle mass.
Lean muscle mass means having minimal body fat which means you can show off those gains a lot more easily.
On the other hand, while eating tons of calories and putting on fat might help put on a bit more muscle, you will actually look worse because of all the fat covering up your gains!
The Main Reasons People Screw Up Their Bulking Diets
1 – They Don’t Have a Plan. If you approach your bulk program without a clear plan it’s destined to fail. You need to know what you will be eating, what exercises you will be performing and which days of the week you will be training. If you have a clear plan you can measure your progress against it and make adjustments as necessary. However, if you just go with the flow you won’t know what is or isn’t working and won’t know where to make changes.
2 – Not Enough Calories. You need to eat big to get big. If your calorie intake is too low, you won’t be giving your body the nutrients it needs to build new muscle mass. Make sure you set a goal for daily calorie intake and keep track of what you are eating each day. That way you can add or remove calories as necessary depending on your progress.
3 – Too Many Calories. Similarly, some people go crazy with their bulk and eat everything in sight. The idea is they will put on tons of mass now and cut it later as part of their diet. Unfortunately, they end up putting on a lot more fat than muscle and have to spend months dieting down to fix their mistake.
4 – They Don’t Make Adjustments. If something isn’t working rather than make changes they just complain and claim it’s impossible to put on any muscle. This usually stems from not having a good plan, not tracking calories and not eating the right foods.
5 – Too Many Cheat Meals. Just because you are on a bulk doesn’t mean you can have a daily cheat meal. While it’s perfectly fine to indulge a couple times each week to keep you sane if your cheat meals become too frequent it can cause you to go over your daily calorie target.
Bulking Up 101: How to Do It Right
1 – Time Your Carbs. When it comes to bulking up, carbs are crucial for hitting your daily calorie target. However, where most people mess up is the timing. There are three times when you really need carbs when you are on a bulk. The first is in the morning with breakfast, the second is with your pre-workout meal and the last is in your post-workout meal. Carbs consumed late at night or away from workouts are more likely to be stored as fat.
2 – Eat Healthy Fats. Despite what the name of this macronutrient implies, dietary fat is extremely important when you are on a bulk. They help boost testosterone levels and are high in calories making it easier to hit your targets. Some great sources of healthy fats include olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado and eggs. Remember to avoid trans fats as these will actually lower your testosterone levels!
3 – Consume Enough Protein. Protein is crucial on any bulk and you should aim for 1 gram per pound of body weight. While whey protein is a great source of this key macronutrient try to also get some from real foods like meat, eggs and fish. Use whey protein isolate to get the last bit of protein to hit your target and to make it more convenient for you as it’s unrealistic to expect to get all your protein from real foods (not to mention very expensive).
4 – Post workout Meal. Right after you go to the gym your body will be screaming for nutrients. Your body will be ready to build muscle so this is when you want to feed it some fast digesting protein (whey protein isolate) along with some fast-digesting carbs.
5 – Get Your Cheat Meal. Cheat meals have two purposes. The first is to reward you for all that discipline with your favorite food. The second is to avoid your body from reaching homeostasis. You see, as you start to eat a certain way for a long time your body gets used to it and adjusts – in other words, it finds ways to get through those workouts with less effort. Now, your cheat meal should still fall within your daily calorie target so don’t use this as an excuse to go overboard and go way past your daily calorie target.
6 – Do Some Cardio. Cardio is good for you, even if you are trying to bulk up. It improves your heart and circulation – meaning your body will be able to transport nutrients to the muscles more effectively. Don’t go overboard with endurance training sessions or excessive high intensity interval training though!
7 – Increase Your Testosterone Levels. This one is huge guys. If your testosterone levels are low, you simply won’t put on any size. You want to know why some guys put on muscle with ease while others struggle despite following a strict program/routine? A lot of the time it is the result of differences in testosterone levels! There are a number of ways you can boost your testosterone levels. If you are following the other tips in this article you will be well on your way. However, if you really want to take them to the next level try taking a testosterone boosting supplement!
See our complete guide on the best testosterone booster here.