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Man flexing his back muscles.

Bulk Up, Bulk Up!

Bulk Up, Gain Muscle

Woman lifting weights in a gym.

A lot of us want to get BIG… RIPPED… SWOLE! Bodybuilder looking-esque. We all know bodybuilders have massive muscle, but on close inspection one will notice that championship powerlifters’ muscles are just as big as those of bodybuilders; yet there is a stark difference in appearance between powerlifters and bodybuilders. Bodybuilders are defined and cut, they’re lean; powerlifters are big wide and got a lot of excess non muscle weight on them – they’re bulked. Now whether you want to be cut like a bodybuilder… (or bootybuilder like many women have dubbed themselves today) or thick like a powerlifters, you’re going to have to bulk first no matter what. Ever heard of Michelangelo’s David? The fourteen foot statue sitting in a museum in Rome depicting the biblical battle between David and Goliath. Well whether you have or not… bulking is kinda like that statue. Before Michelangelo carved the statue, he had to acquire a block of marble (rock) way larger than the statue would ever be. Then he started to chisel away at the rock, breaking off the excess material leaving only his chiseled statue behind. The process of bulking and cutting works the same, you must acquire excess body material, fat and muscle, once that’s accomplished you can chisel away at the fat, burning off the excess material leaving only a chiseled physique behind. Let’s examine how to bulk!


Let’s get something out of the way first – there is no such as bulking without gaining any body fat… the idea that you bulk up purely with muscle without gaining any fat whatsoever is a myth. You’re going to accrue some sort of body fat in the bulking process, even if it is an extremely clean bulk, and really there isn’t anything wrong with that. That aside, let’s gets to it. Bulking is a phase of training in where you grow your muscles as much and as large as possible.

Woman holding large plate of pasta with sauce and cheese
  • EAT UP: The first thing required to grow your muscles as large as possible is a well constructed diet that will allow you to consume a caloric surplus – you need to eat more energy than your body uses in a day. These extra calories are what your body is going to use to help you build muscle. Bulkers should focus on eating the right proportion of protein and carbohydrates for their particular body type, usually a 40/30/30 percentage breakdown of protein to carbs to fats during the day is best, however different body types will require different needs. This is going to giving the body enough energy to transform gym exercises into muscles. I cannot stress how necessary it is to consume enough calories, no skipping meals! ANS Performance N-Mass is great for adding calories and nutrition.
Barbell with four heavy weights on each side
  • LIFT BIG: The second requisite is to cut out the cardio and go straight to the resistance training. Cardio’s main focus is to destroy calories by repetitive or highly intense anaerobic exercise in order to lose weight and burn fat – the opposite of bulking. While bulking you want to aggregate a caloric surplus, doing cardio is great for the heart, just make sure not to overdo it at this stage of the game. Old school resistance training is the way to go, whether by use of free weights, or machinery, and heavier is better. Heavy lifting, short repetitions with long periods of rest will maximize strength and muscle gain.

Check Out Some Mass Gainers

These two aspects of bulking are the essentials. There are a plethora of workout styles, techniques, and routines to explore. Even more meal plans and dieting strategies. This however is the core of bulking, if you commit yourself to eating a clean caloric surplus primarily in protein and train with resistance type exercises you will be on your way. Stay tuned for future blogs were we will take a more in depth look at some workout techniques and meal plans such as utilizing drop sets and the Spartan diet.

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