There are three sides that must be done properly if you want to gain muscle mass.
-Eat more than you burn (food)
-Progressive micro trauma in the muscle (training)
-Adequate rest and recovery (recovery)
Here’s what happens. You go to the gym, you lift weights and damage your muscles, come home from the gym and eat enough so your body has excess fuel, you go to sleep so your body can repair the damaged muscle tissue and super compensate. Rinse and repeat, but with slightly heavier weights and slightly more food each time round.
Here’s how to bulk up in more detail for you
How to bulk up lesson 1- Eat Enough
Let’s start off with the basics. If you want to grow- you need to eat more calories than you use. It’s simple physics; energy in must be more than energy out otherwise there’s no fuel for your body to build the muscles! You can’t build a house the raw materials such as bricks and similarly you can’t build muscle without proteins, amino acids and carbohydrates in plentiful supply.
The perfect amount is to eat between 500 and 700 calories extra per day. 3500 calories is equal to one pound of weight gain- therefore by eating 500 to 700 calories more per day, you’ll gain around 1- 1.5 lbs of weight per week. This is perfect.
Any more than this is going to make you fat. I don’t care what anybody says about eating until you’re about to explode- your body can only grow muscle mass at a certain rate, beyond that rate no amount of food is going to make any difference. Your body will simply store it as fat, and believe me there’s really no point getting fat because you’ll just have to cut it off later.
In terms of macro nutrients, you need to make sure you’re getting adequate protein (around 1kg of protein per lb of body weight), plenty of low GI carbohydrates such as bread, rice, pasta, wheat, oatmeal and potatoes (simple carbohydrates or sugars are kept to a minimum). Fats are low but should contain plenty of essential fatty acids in a good balance.
Eat 5 to 6 times a day of smaller sized meals with protein at such sitting. A protein shake in water is recommended before breakfast (when you wake up) and immediately post workout. In the post workout shake, add some simple sugars such as glucose to kick start your body out of the catabolic state that it gets in after training. This is the only time you can use simple carbohydrates because at any other time during the day they provoke insulin spikes that is a haven for fat storage, Any other time you have a protein shake during the day is up to you but those times are a must.
Get enough real food guys! Protein shakes are good on occasions but there’s nothing that’s going to rival the anabolic effect of getting a chicken or some nice red meat down you.
How to bulk up lesson 2 – Progressive Muscles Stimulus
Moving on to the training. A lot of beginner body builders or people who are looking to add mass will tell you that 80% of gaining muscle is down to diet. This is absolutely rubbish. If you don’t train properly then no matter what you eat you’ll never gain lean body weight. However, if you train progressively and don’t eat very clean, then you can still gain muscle; don’t underestimate how important the training is!
The most important thing you need to consider when you’re training is that the body will only react to the stimulus that it is put under. It will not grow bigger if you lift the same weights week in and week out. You must have PROGRESSIVE micro trauma in the muscle. This is absolutely fundamental.
To achieve this, start off with your weights at round 80% of your max; add 5lb to them each week. The momentum will take you past your old maximum and you’ll keep adding the weight until you plateau. At which point either take a week off or reload so that you only lift 80% of your new maximum. Using this method for beginners is so powerful.
Compound movements are essential. If you’re one of these people who does barbell curls in the squat rack then you’ll never get anywhere. You need to do heavy squats, heavy dead lifts, the bench press; military presses and bent over rows. These 5 best squat racks for home will do the job. The main part of your routine should consist of the above. Anything else you want to do you can, but only after you’ve done the mass monster exercise!
Spend no more than an hour in the gym. Spending too long in the gym will hamper your gains in the long run. Get in there, do your business and get that protein shake down your neck.
How to Bulk Up Lesson 3- Get Enough Rest
If you don’t give yourself enough rest, not only will you not grow but you’ll put yourself in to an over trained state which means your body will suffer big time. You need 7- 8 hours sleep at night and you should only go to the gym 3 times a week maximum. The four day spilt is overkill and not necessary. Most people who have been in the game for any real length of time will you that to build muscle 3 days in the gym is more than enough.
If you want to play football or do some other kind of sport then that’s fine, do it – don’t listen to these folk that tell you can’t gain weight if you do any cardio whilst bulking.
If you’re feeling extremely tired one day and don’t think you’ll get the best out of your training session then give it a miss. If this happens more than once in a few weeks then consider taking a week off and then hitting it hard from scratch again.