Bulking up without gaining fat is actually quite straightforward depending on your metabolism, though it requires you to lift heavy and understand diet and nutrition.
Your diet plays a major role in how successfully you bulk up without gaining fat and it’s not just how much you eat but what you eat and when that’s equally important. Also, it’s often wise to forget everything you think you know about calorie consumption, diet and nutrition and start afresh with a blank slate.
In terms of how much food to eat to maximise muscle growth, as a simple rule of thumb you should eat ten percent more calories than you burn to maximise muscle growth and minimise fat storage.
This might seem as though you risk gaining fat, but by maintaining a small calorie surplus you’re aiding your body’s ability to synthesise proteins and turn them into muscle and you minimise fat storage in the process.
A major mistake many bodybuilders are guilty of is exercising more than they should and not providing their bodies with ample rest.
If you look at weight training programs to bulk up you won’t find any that advocate training every day and most limit workouts to three or four sessions a week so as to allow the body ample time to recover.
Weight training programs for those looking to bulk up usually involve a 45 minute workout three to four times per week and they consist of low repetition sets using heavy weights with short breaks or breathers between each set.
Working out every day won’t help you to bulk up because your body needs time to recover if it’s to gain muscle mass and the only result you’re likely to see in addition to fatigue is atrophy.
Post workout cardio
Opinions differ on the subject of post workout cardio with some advocating it as a means of burning fat at a higher than usual rate and others claiming it results in atrophy, which is muscle reduction and the opposite of hypertrophy which is muscle gain.
For maximum effects, post workout cardio shouldn’t exceed 30 minutes – 15 to 20 is more advisable – and shouldn’t raise your heart rate above 50 to 60 percent of your maximum.
Moreover, if you’re going to engage in post workout cardio, stick to less intensive forms of exercise, with a relatively light spin on an exercise bike being one of the most preferable, and don’t forget to have a post workout protein shake beforehand otherwise atrophy really will kick in and you’ll waste the gains from your weights session.
Since cardio exercise is such an excellent way to burn fat, it’s highly advisable to add one or two pre-breakfast cardio sessions per week to your training regime, though have a whey shake beforehand so as to ‘break the fast’ and prevent atrophy.
Pre-breakfast cardio – just 20 to 30 minutes – is widely recognised as being one of the best ways to burn fat fast.
There are seemingly countless supplements on the market, many of which should be given a wide berth regardless of your exercise goals.
Many bulk and mass gainers are excellent examples of supplements that you should avoid when trying to bulk up without gaining fat, for although they’ll certainly help you bulk up, many contain such high carbohydrate levels that you’re going to need to do extra cardio sessions to burn those carbs and prevent them from clinging to your body and cling they will.
However, there are a few bulk and mass gainers on the market that come highly recommended – most of these contain higher levels of protein than carbohydrates – so take a look at some reviews and make your own mind up.
The best supplement for building muscle mass and bulking up is and always has been whey protein powder pre and post workout. It’s important to have protein in your system when working out and then immediately afterwards also.
Bulking up without gaining fat is likely to be a lot more straightforward than you think or have been led to believe and requires you to eat sensibly – including understanding what to eat at what time – lift heavy and use the right supplements.