When it comes to bodybuilding, there are two main ways you can build muscles depending on what you body type goal is. First way is bulking and second is cutting. As the names suggest, bulking results in a strong, buffed body type whereas cutting gives you a lean physique. Both ways are beneficial to your body. They both allow you to build muscles cut out fat effectively. We will save the topic of cutting for another day as today we will be focusing on bulking and 5 simple hacks to do it.
1. Lifts! And I mean BIG lifts!
When you think of bulking, what type of body do you imagine in your head?
Probably a dude with a big, chunky, bulky body trunk with impressive pecs and massive shoulders who seems to take up all the space in a waiting line.
So, how did the guy get so big? Did he only do forearm curls or lateral raises or kickbacks? If you notice, those types of exercises only target a separate group of muscles. Those are called isolated lifts, which are not going to help much with bulking. To bulk, you need compound lifts that engage a lot of muscles in your body at the same time.
Good compound lifts to do are barbell bench press, barbell squats, dead lifts, dips, and most core/abs workouts.
These exercises will focus on a lot of muscle groups at the same time, especially at the core, allowing you to build up muscle mass very quickly and achieve an overall buffed body.
2. Little reps count, extended duration
Have you ever thought that doing more reps means you'll develop bigger muscles?
While it sounds intuitive that in order to get bigger muscles, you need to do more reps. But if you really think about the science behind muscle growth, you'll realize something off about that "intuition".
Let's review. Muscles grow by regenerating after first being torn off. What is more likely to cause muscle to tear apart? A lot of weights or a lot of repetitions?
A lot of weights, of course!
Lifting light weight multiple times isn't enough to tear up muscles. Lifting heavy weights does.
Lifting heavy for extended periods of time also helps tear up muscles more effectively. It's because it takes more and more effort to hold something the longer you hold it.
So next time, instead of doing light weights with more reps, try doing less reps, ideally 5-7 reps, and increasing the weights. Hold for a few seconds at the end of muscle extension before you start contracting.
3. Doing cardio
This one may surprise you. You may have heard a lot of "fitness gurus" out there telling you not to do cardio when you're bulking because it will sap your game.
This is not true.
Doing cardio is an essential part of working out. It helps warming you up and regulating your breathing by boosting your heart rate.
It boosts your overall stamina and endurance, allowing you to optimize your bulking game in the gym. And most importantly, it trains your heart muscles and, thus, educes the chance you will get a heart diseases in the long run.
I'd recommend doing cardio ideally between 1-3 times a week.
And keep track of the calories you burn during the cardios because you have to make sure you're in a caloric surplus. For however much you burn during your cardio, eat the additional same amount.
4. Have a blender - Make it your best friend even
With a blender, you save time and money on preparing a fully nutritious protein shake when working out. No cooking time, no dishes to wash, no time waiting for your shakes to be ready, and you can make the exact same protein shake as the smoothie stand at the gym for half the money you spend.
Just prepare some ingredients and press the button.
- 2 scoops of whey protein
- 1 cups of oats
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup of blueberries
- 1 tbsp of peanut butter
- 1 tsp of honey
Voilà. You've just made yourself a 900 calorie protein shake that's nutritious and tastes amazing!
What if you can make your blender small, compact, and portable? You can blend and prepare your workout meals anywhere and anytime! It's also easy to wash; just add some soap and water, let it blend and it's just as good as new.
So, if you don't have a portable blender yourself, visit our premium blender here. It's currently on a Summer discount for 30% off and this will end soon so make sure to grab one before the price goes back up.
5. Food > Supplements
When you're bulking, you'll very likely be hit with promoters that promise black and blue that their supplements will help you stack on muscle mass fast.
Though it's not bad to consume vitamins and supplements like creatine, amino acids, HMB, BCAAs, etc., you should not make it the main source of nutrition for your muscle gains.
These supplements will only make a small of difference, but only if you've got everything else in order first.
Focus on your food. Make your meals more nutritious and healthy rather than consuming more vitamin tablets. Your overall fitness is 20% workout and 80% diet.
There are two things you want to watch out for.
- Make sure you're on caloric surplus (calorie consumed > calories spent)
- Maintain a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and fat. I recommend ratios of 40/40/20 or 30/50/20.
So there you go. 5 simple hacks to bulk up fast and easily. In terms of good foods to take to bulk up, I will be doing that in the future. So stay tuned!
Feel free to share whether it works for you and your results below in the comment.