Natural Bodybuilding Tips for Making Bulking Up Work Without Gaining Fat
Because I have gotten tons of emails over the last few weeks asking about bulking up for gaining muscle, I decided to put this article together in order to clear up the confusion.
Problems of Traditional Bulking Up Methods
Many people who start natural bodybuilding and want to gain serious muscle mass make the big mistake of thinking that in order to get muscular you need to get fat. As someone who has experimented numerous tactics over the last 2 decades, I can tell you that the strategy of eating like a pig in order to gain muscle will leave you, unfortunately, looking like one.
With the exception of the super fast metabolism of people that are hardgainers, most of us need to focus on consuming quality calories in order to gain muscle. Furthermore, we cannot consume calories indiscriminately as again, doing so will invariable result in too much fat gain.
The worst is that once guys go over 10% body fat, and girls go over 14% or so, the body’s estrogen levels increase and, as a result, additional calories consumed are more easily stored as fat as opposed to muscle. Thus, in order to make the best bodybuilding gains, it pays to stay lean. As a matter of fact, the leaner one is, the easier it is to gain.
How Can I Bulk Up to Gain Muscle Without Gaining Fat
1-Get Lean First: In order to gain muscle at the most accelerated rate by using a clean bulk up method without gaining fat you need to first get lean. There is no way around this. If you are not lean enough, your body simply will turn most of the extra calories as additional fat.
2-Prime Your Body For Gains: You have to remember that your body is an incredible machine who likes to remain in a state of homeostasis. In other words, the body does not like to change much and will always fight change. Thus, if you are constantly providing more calories to your body than what it burns, it will build muscle and store some fat. If you are training hard, most of the gains will be in the form of muscle. However, the minute your body gets used to your training routine, and also starts to adapt to the diet, your muscle production will go down and fat gain will go up. And like I said before, after you go past 10% body fat, extra calories get more easily stored. In addition, the body starts to become insulin resistant as well and that makes further muscle gains harder as well. The key to priming your body is to diet down. By following the right calorie restricted, fat burning diet, you get to lose fat, you optimize your insulin sensitivity and you start to prime your body for future muscle gains. By depriving your body of calories you put your body in a state that it becomes very “hungry” for nutrients. This is especially true after an extended fat loss period, such as the one prior to a competition. When the body is “hungry” for nutrients, this is the optimal time to do a clean bulk up phase because when you do, most of the calories, if not all, are re-routed towards muscle production! Any of you who have done a bodybuilding, fitness or figure show know what I am talking about. If you are smart, after a show you will go back to the gym, raise your calories, and slowly but surely start upping the intensity as you regain your strength in order to make the best use of this anabolic effect that comes after a period of dieting.
Calorie Cycling – The Secret To Making Muscle Gains While Staying Lean
As you probably figured out by now, a good strategy to accelerate muscle mass gains is to alternate between periods of dieting with periods of bulking up as I propose in my Body Re-Engineering program. If you are already lean, then you can also implement a strategy that I have used several times with great results where you do mini periods of bulk up cycles with dieting cycles in order to maximize gains while keeping fat gain away. This mini periods allow you to gain at the fastest rate possible.
Like anything, the body gets used to anything if you keep it long enough, but you can use this strategy of mini bulk up and dieting periods for super accelerated muscle gains for about 6 weeks every six months. And keep in mind that to get the absolute best results from such a strategy it is best to be as lean as possible.
How to Implement Mini Periods Of Bulking With Dieting
When I use this strategy, I personally, I like to do 2 weeks of high calories using a nutrient split of 50% carbs, 30% proteins and 20% fats followed by a week of lower calories with around 50% proteins, 30% fats and 20% carbs. During high calorie weeks I do 18 x lean body weight in calories and during low calories I do my lean bodyweight times 10.
As far as training, I modify my training to be high volume during the 2 weeks of high calories and lower volume but use heavier weight during my low calorie weeks. (Please see the routines here: http://www.hugorivera.net/natural-bodybuilding-routine-with-periodization.html / My high volume training is like what you see in weeks 1-3 while my low volume training is what you see on weeks 4-6)
In regards to cardio, on the high calorie weeks I do two sessions a week of 45 minutes (monday/thursday) first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and during low calorie weeks I up that to 6 sessions a week.
For More Information On This Strategy
I know a couple of natural bodybuilding authors who have done a great job at covering this strategy so if you are interested in a program that makes use of this concept, check out the two free e-books below:
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Until next time, take care and train hard!