No matter the goals you have with your body, to get the most out of your exercise sessions, your daily calorie and nutrient intake must be organized correctly. Using an improper technique to do large-scale dieting could bring about an unexpected result – such as gaining excess body fat. And your strength performance could take a major hit.
Here is your complete guide to achieving your desired muscle gain objectives with the correct lean bulking macronutrient intake instead of not knowing what to do.
What is Bulking?
When discussing bodybuilding, it is common for people to experience two distinct dietary stages: losing weight and gaining muscle mass.
The objective of a cutting cycle is to shed excess body fat while preserving as much muscle mass as possible (i.e., get ripped).
In a bulking period, the purpose is to put on weight, mainly muscle, instead of adding too much fat.
Losing weight necessitates burning more calories than are consumed, whereas building muscle mass necessitates consuming more calories than are used.
Riding a bike while transitioning between gaining and shedding muscle mass is a frequently utilized method of organizing and refining one’s approach to physical exercise. By consuming a great amount of food, many individuals will put on weight, thus necessitating a reduction in consumption to reduce body fat and keep their lean body mass.
Benefits of Bulking
No matter what your fitness objectives are, there are numerous advantages to building bulk.
The main benefits are:
The principal target of bulking is to gain more muscle, and it is a beneficial purpose. Having more muscle not just boosts physical strength but also increases metabolism. Put in another way, the higher our muscle mass, the more calories we expend each day.
The more physical activity we partake in, the more we are allowed to consume in terms of food – the more we are able to eat, the simpler it is for us to build muscle!
If we are habitually consuming fewer calories than we burn, it can be a challenge for our hormones to work correctly. This can disrupt our restful sleep, hinder recovery, reduce our strength, impede our body’s capacity to become muscular and hinder fat burning (and of course, other health problems). Doing a comprehensive checkup at least once or twice a year can help make sure your hormones stay balanced, and you can get the results you desire.
Finally, after eating a large portion of food, your body is better equipped to process fat and maintain (or protect) your muscle mass. This will make it much easier for you to attain success further down the line, especially if your aims are focused on slimming down and becoming more toned.
When You Should Start a Bulk
It can be useful to start a bulk in several scenarios, not just for bodybuilders or other dedicated gym-goers.
You Are Plateauing
We won’t be able to build muscle and boost our strength if we aren’t consuming adequate amounts of food. If you have difficulty lifting heavier weights in the gym, it may be time for you to do a muscle-building regimen.
If you are attempting to lose weight but not getting anywhere, it might be because your hormones are off balance, so you should take steps to bring them back into balance so you can be successful in slimming down in the future.
You Are Aging
Adding muscle becomes even more important as we age. Beginning in our mid-thirties, it becomes harder to build lean muscle, and the amount of muscle we have started to decrease. Getting a lot done when we are older will aid in expediting the process of gaining muscle.
You Are New to the Gym
The earlier in life we start to train, the simpler it is to raise our muscle mass and strength. If you are unfamiliar with the gym and lifting weights, it would be optimal for you to build up and do a bulk, so you can benefit from the strong progress made when first starting.
4 Steps to Calculating Macros for Muscle Gain
The most straightforward approach to figuring out your macronutrient intake is to utilize a fitness tracking app or an online macro calculator that performs the calculations for you.
To gain an understanding of the role each macro has in maintaining your fitness, here are details of how to configure the perfect macro balance for building a lean body.
Step 1. Determine Your Bulking Calories
Although it can be done, it is likely that very small amounts of muscle will be gained if the body is under the caloric requirement. A great starting point for muscle growth is to increase the amount of food consumed.
You can work out the number of calories required on a daily basis for weight gain by looking into your existing daily energy output (TDEE). This is the number of calories you must consume in order to stay at your current weight.
Be sure to factor in any physical exercise you plan to do that includes weight lifting, as this will require more calories for your body.
You can increase your daily calorie intake by 5 to 15% in order to gain about half a pound to one pound of body weight each week. Most people would typically be able to gain between half a pound and two pounds of muscle per week.
The rate at which one can build lean muscle mass and how quickly progress is made depends on the original body fat percentage, training history, genetics, and various other factors.
If you are a beginner when it comes to bulking up, it is a good idea to start off with a few lower calorie amounts and then gradually increase every 3-4 weeks in order to gain a healthy amount of weight. If you have decent muscle bulk or are having difficulty putting on mass, you should probably begin with a higher caloric intake.
Step 2. Calculate Your Protein Needs to Gain Muscle
In order to build muscle, it is crucial to make sure that you have an adequate amount of protein in your diet since proteins supply the amino acids that are necessary for developing lean muscle.
It is essential for recuperation after exercise, aiding in restoring harm to muscles and preserving existing muscle mass.
Furthermore, protein is the least prone to being stored as fat when people consume too many calories – likely decreasing extra body fat.
Your protein intake requirement to build muscle is decided by your current musculature and activity level; the more muscle you have and the more often you use it, the higher amount of protein you must consume.
It is advised to consume a quantity of protein equalling one gram per pound of lean body mass in order to sustain current muscle growth, and a slightly bigger amount if intending to build more muscle.
The research suggests that in a diet aimed at “bulking,” consuming 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day may lead to more muscle growth and less fat gain.
A two-hundred-pound grownup should consume two-hundred to three-hundred grams of protein each day, with the source of their energy intake being up to one thousand two-hundred calories made up of protein (1 gram of protein equates to four calories).
The proper amount for you to use can depend on numerous elements. It isn’t essential to consume large quantities of protein each day in order to see an increase in muscle mass.
The goal is to consume approximately 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight, and increase to a maximum of 1.5 grams per pound if necessary.
Step 3. Track Your Progress
Track your progress as you bulk.
It is significant to monitor your advancement so that you can determine if your efforts are having a positive effect.
You’ll want to track three main things:
- Body fat percentage
- Progressions in the gym
Record your body weight every single day for at least two weeks when you begin your bulking routine.
It is important to obtain a variety of bodyweight information to recognize any advancements since multiple aspects can affect a person’s weight daily.
If your weight stays the same or decreases within 0.5-1 percent of your body weight after two weeks, it means you are not getting enough calories. So, add an additional 10% to your caloric intake.
Body Fat Percentage
If you have access to body composition scanning, measure yourself when you begin your bulk and then again every 1-3 months following.
But who has access to body composition scans? Don’t worry; most people won’t.
You can buy special scales from Amazon that measure your body fat. They do a quite satisfactory job in approximating body fat percentage, which will assist you in ascertaining if you’re going in the correct direction.
To find a body fat scale, look up something like that phrase, and you will come across a variety of brands in between $20 and $25.
Why is it important to track body fat percentage?
Figuring out your body weight does not provide any info about whether the weight you gained consists of muscle or fat.
It is to be expected that you may put on some body fat when you are bulking up. Be certain that you are not putting on more than 1% of body fat per 30 days while you are bulking up. It may be beneficial to examine if there is an increase in muscle mass, which can range from .25-2 pounds per month depending on your fitness level.
Keep a record of your physical activity so that you can follow the improvements in your strength. One excellent method of doing this is by using a program such as the Fitbod App.
Fitbod determines the number of sets, repetitions, and amount of weight to be lifted for each activity in accordance with muscle-building principles. As you get stronger or master exercises,
Fitbod will challenge you to exceed your previous level of performance on your upcoming workout.
You can guarantee that your exercise program is tailored to the objectives of your bulk when you use an app like Fitbod.
Step 4. Determine How Many Carbs You Need for Bulking
Protein is indispensable for the development of muscles, but carbohydrates are also vitally important.
Carbohydrates can provide energy to fuel your bodybuilding workouts as well as aiding with exercise recovery and stopping additional muscle deterioration.
A higher amount of carbohydrates could possibly be the best route to take when looking to gain weight, with some research hinting that consuming a large amount of carbs is less likely to cause the body to stockpile fat when more calories are being taken in than necessary.
It is contingent upon the individual and how frequently they utilize carbohydrates to generate energy.
In order to come up with an exact calculation, it is best to determine how much protein and fat is needed first and then use that to figure out the amount of carbohydrates that should be consumed (1 gram of carbs is equivalent to 4 calories).
A two hundred pound individual who requires 2,500 calories, eighty three grams of fat, and two hundred grams of protein, would need to ingest
- 2500 calories – (83g of fat x 9) – (200g of protein x 4) = 953 carb calories /4 = 238 grams of carbs per day
What To Do After a Bulk
Generally, individuals will bulk up in order to make preparations to cut down, since this will give them higher amounts of muscle mass and an improved metabolism.
Nonetheless, it is not advisable to transition from a period of bulking to one of cutting, as it is likely to lead to the potential loss of the muscle you have diligently built up.
Rather than continuing on the same path, make the switch to a maintenance period that reduces calories by no more than 10% of your overall food consumption. The objective here is to keep your weight and figure in check. This will take approximately 4 to 6 weeks before you start to lower your intake of calories and move into dieting mode.
You should approach beginning your cutting phase slowly in order to conserve your muscle mass and to prevent negative hormonal changes.
How Long Should You Bulk?
It is not a good idea to anticipate remaining on a mass gain or weight loss program for a long period of time or permanently. Consider dividing your diet into 12-week cycles and alternate between bulking, cutting, and maintaining for each cycle.
You have enough time to observe improvement over a period of 12 weeks (or 90 days), but it is not so long that you will become exhausted or do too much.
Each season is approximately three months long, which makes it simple to plan out and organize your objectives for the year. Many people prefer to bulk during the winter months, as the extra body weight tends to be accepted more easily during this period.
Counting Macros for Weight Gain
Figuring out precisely what your macro requirements are is only one piece of the puzzle. To achieve the best possible outcome, you should make use of a macro-compatible app to keep track of your macro intake.
It requires strong self-control and generally calls for carefully recording everything that is consumed, with accuracy. If not, you are basically taking a guess at what you eat nutritionally.
Making sure your macro split is correct every day, and sticking with your diet regimen, is the most effective way to achieve the results you desire.