Your Bulking Rule Book: 8 Do’s & Don’ts of Getting BIG
Don’t Let Your Bulk Turn into A Junk Food Frenzy
When you think of bulking, a common image that comes to mind is someone scarfing down several large, often unhealthy meals citing terms like ‘gains’ and ‘mass’.
There’s some accuracy to this image. Bulking does mean eating more in terms of quantity and frequency. But the most important part of the equation? Healthy food! Quality sources of protein include eggs, beef, fish, eggs, and clean-calorie gainers like BIG TIME. Get your carbohydrates from complex sources like quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, and oats. And of course, for healthy fats – think flaxseed oil, nut butters, and avocadoes.
So, while it’s easy to succumb to greasy fast food to meet your calorie count, a dirty bulk can affect your mood, digestion, and overall energy levels which all slow down your progress. You may get the gains you’re aiming for, but those gains definitely won’t all be muscle!
Don’t Neglect Cardio
Lifting is your prime focus when bulking – but that doesn’t mean cardio is strictly off limits. Getting your heart rate up at least 2-3 times a week, for a length of 20 – 30 minutes a day is highly recommended. If you’re conscious of possibly burning too much muscle, there’s another option – high intensity interval training (HIIT) of 2 -3 sessions a week. HIIT helps keep your fat mass low as you add on the calories during your bulk.
Pro tip: Regular cardio helps strengthen your heart and lungs while also increasing bone density. This ensures you can train as hard as possible to set the right foundation for your cutting phase.
Don’t Skimp Out on Carbohydrates
Individuals starting out on their bodybuilding journey are keen, enthusiastic, and full of vigour, often hoping to get big quick. In the process, shortcuts become favoured. A popular shortcut is obsessively and exclusively consuming protein as a means to build muscle fast.
The forgotten nutrient – carbohydrates. Carbs supply your body with the energy it needs to train hard and build muscle. Just remember, complex carbohydrates are the way to go (e.g. oatmeal, brown rice, yams, etc.). These guys help form muscle glycogen to provide your body with the short bouts of energy needed for activities like sprinting and weightlifting.
Another danger of limiting your carb intake – your body ends up breaking down protein into glucose for energy. Since protein is the main building block of muscle, using it as an energy source (in place of carbohydrates) will not only slow down muscle growth, it’ll also put a hamper on your overall progress.
Do Invest in A Good Creatine Supplement
In today’s world of sports nutrition, it seems like every few weeks a new product pops up boasting attractive claims about increased muscle size and strength. It can be challenging, especially for a novice athlete to decipher which supplement is best. Creatine is a longstanding performance enhancer that has been a top choice among athletes for over thirty years. It helps your muscle cells produce more energy, which allows for better strength in high-intensity exercise like weightlifting – perfect for when you bulk.
For a high-quality, micronized Creatine supplement with 5g of creatine per scoop, try Precision CREATINE.
Do Eat 7 Meals A Day
Meal frequency (and meal size) is a debated topic in the bodybuilding community. Some swear by eating every 2 – 3 hours while others recommend strictly 3 meals a day. Generally, when it comes to bulking the standard is eating 7 times a day. This means breakfast, snack 1, lunch, snack 2, dinner, and one final snack.
Remember, some of these meals can be liquid meals like protein shakes (think a smooth, creamy afternoon shake with I-PLX Triple Chocolate Sundae, Vanilla Frosting, or Cookies & Cream) to help ease the burden of preparing and assembling multiple meals a day.
Do Consume 1 – 1.5 lbs. of Protein per Every 1 lb. of Bodyweight
Protein is an absolute must when bulking! It’s a pivotal part of muscle growth – hence the thriving industry of protein supplements in sports nutrition. If at any time you feel you can’t quite reach your protein targets, a high-quality protein powder mixed in your beverage of choice is the ideal way to go.
Just be sure to choose a protein that contains whole protein without amino-acid spiking or cheap fillers. With 30g protein from 5 different isolates, 6g BCAAs, and GanedenBC30 (a natural probiotic that supports your digestive and immune health for effective muscle recovery), I-PLX stands as one of our top favourites.