Hack Beast Mode
It’s a dirty bulk, but someone’s gotta do it.
Whether you’re clean bulking or dirty bulking, it’s important to get the facts right. And like a lot of the health and fitness industry, there is a lot of misinformation around how to bulk (and how not to).
Get it right, and you’ll reach your dream body target more swiftly. You’ll also power up overall health.
So, what are the myths that are holding you back from reaching your muscle-building potential?
What is bulking?
In case you don’t already know, bulking is a term used to describe the weight you put on to build muscles.
Bulking, is a phrase used in the bodybuilder community to describe a cycle that involves increasing your calorie intake so that you can gain muscle weight. It involves progressive excess calorie consumption alongside some intensive weight training.
Unsurprisingly, everyone’s looking for that new way to get to the bulk quickly. The gym is full of bodybuilders who know all the “shortcuts” and the “best way” to perform specific exercises, but Chinese Whispers is a dangerous game to play, especially with your health.
So it’s important that you cut through the misinformation and figure out exactly how to bulk in a way that will get you to your goals quicker.
The phases of bodybuilding
Bulking is just one part of the cycle when it comes to muscle growth and making it as visible as possible.
Bulking is usually followed by a cutting phase that involves lowering your body fat percentage to make your muscle gain more pronounced. To do this you’ll gradually decrease calorie intake, and increase aerobic activity and resistance training to make the muscles pop.
It’s common to alternate these cycles in order to achieve your desired physique.
Busting bulking myths…
So, let’s cut out the bull and go straight to it. It’s time to get your head back in the game and get those urban myths out of your head now.
1. You can eat what you want
To bulk up, you’ll need to put on weight, so it stands to reason that you’ll need to have surplus calories in your diet. But if you want to bulk up, it’s essential to choose those calories wisely.
If you don’t add ‘quality’ calories to your diet, you’ll find it difficult to add muscle to your bulk and end up with excess body fat, which might be tough to lose. Plus, you’re taking a massive risk with your health as issues such as heart disease and high blood pressure go hand in hand with consuming an excess amount of food that is processed or high in saturated fats.
Dirty bulking has merits, but if you want to create your best form, you must respect your body. Avoid processed food and concentrate on lean proteins like chicken, fish, beef, and pork. High-protein food like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, and protein powders should be at the top of your list.
Weave healthy fats in olive oil, fatty fish, avocados, and nuts into your diet. Eating ‘whatever you want’ is a short-term plan and can lead to health complications. Take control of what you eat, respect your body, and you’ll reap the rewards.
Read: How to bulk up on a budget to gain muscle mass for less—the healthy way.
2. You lose body fat when bulking
This is one of the more popular myths, which bizarrely goes against what bulking is all about. Bulking is what it says; it bulks up your physique, and you’ll need to consume excess calories.
So, you’re adding weight. Not just through muscle but also fat.
Shredding—the stage that can come after bulking—is the part where you have to lose fat from your system. But let’s be clear: bulking is all about weight gain and building muscles through intense resistance work.
3. You can achieve muscle definition by bulking
Bulking means adding weight to your body, and it’s the muscle-building phase of bodybuilding.
To do this, you need a calorie-surplus diet alongside a regular and thorough workout routine. During bulking, you can expect to consume plenty of calories in the form of protein, carbs, and healthy fats in order to gain a calorie surplus and put on weight.
So, those looking to get muscle definition from bulking might be bitterly disappointed. Properly bulking up takes several months, and the aim is to increase muscle mass.
You can achieve sharp muscle definition if you go through the cutting process afterward and cut down on calories while continuing to work out. Bulking alone won’t achieve muscle definition. Myth busted.
4. You only need to bulk to gain muscles.
The main goal of bulking is to gain muscle mass. But to achieve this, you have to throw resistance workouts into the mix.
Bulking up alone will cause you to gain weight and look out of shape. Yes, you will need to bulk up if you want those muscles to be the envy of every other gym-goer. But, the recipe for success involves a number of different ingredients.
Dedication is one of these. If you want it, you need to work for it. You’ll need proper resistance and strength training programs if you want to earn those muscles that make your friends green with envy.
Bulking alone will add weight to your body and potentially make you look out of shape, but if you use this to turn your excess weight into excess muscles, you’ll get your bulk and shape too. Combining the consumption of excess calories with intense and regular resistance workouts will help to achieve muscle gain and shape.
Read: Our epic guide on free weights vs. machines to discover your perfect workout routine.
5. You only need protein to build muscle bulk
You can get plenty of amino acids and calories from protein-rich food, but it’s not a one-person show.
Protein should be your top priority as far as nutrition goes if you want to see significant gains, but it shouldn’t be your only one.
You should also include carbohydrate-rich foods like wholegrain bread and pasta, sweet potatoes, oats, fruit and legumes. Eating healthy fats like fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oils will also help you bulk like a beast.
How to build muscle and bulk…
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to bulking up. Some strategies will work better for others, and it will be a case of trying and testing before you find what works best for you.
However, there are specific rules that apply to everyone, mainly diet and exercise. The correct combination of proteins, carbs and healthy fats and an exercise schedule with plenty of progressive resistance training will set you on the right course.
You’ll also need a healthy dose of dedication and resilience to cope with the bad days (there will be some) and the good ones to complete your bulking journey.
There are no shortcuts, but ignoring the myths will save you a lot of time. Now go get it.
If you want that extra boost that takes your body to the next level in record time, check out Crazybulk’s extensive range of mass-gainer bodybuilding supplements. They will help build muscle (and cut when required) to help you achieve those gains faster.