Bulking is a word used to describe the process of gaining muscle mass. Someone who is bulking will be eating a calorie excess and will be exercising intensely so that the muscles can use the extra calories for the purpose of growth. Calories will subsequently be cut to allow any excess fat to be burned while maintaining the muscle.
Bulking up and gaining muscle is often a challenging task but a rewarding one too when you consider the results that are possible. it has to be done properly and safely if you are going to succeed. It takes the right combination of diet, training, and supplementation for it to work.
There are two common ways to bulk, one is known as a ‘clean bulk’ and the other is known as a ’dirty bulk’. As names would suggest, a clean but is obtained by eating a proper healthy diet and a dirty bulk is obtained by eating sugary foods, chocolate, cakes, alcohol etc. A clean bulk is recommended as a more healthful way forward. Remember that your bulking diet is only temporary and if you were to consider using the dirty bulk method, it would take a great deal of discipline to change your eating habits when the extra calories are no longer required.
You will need a combination of protein, fats, and carbohydrates as part of your bulking diet. You may have to eat around 6 meals per day.
Exercise is around strengthening and therefore weight training exercises are recommended as a big part of the programme. You would normally have to commit to an intense programme of training on at least 4 days per week. It is important that you spend time researching a programme of exercises and ask for advice if required. Too much too soon can lead to exhaustion and injury.
The best types of supplements for guys trying to bulk up are given below
- Protein Powder
Your body breaks the protein down into its constituent amino acid parts and uses the amino acids to build muscles (amongst other things), in the same way, that a small child would use building bricks. Amino acids will also repair muscle tissue, it is usual for muscles to be in need of repair after a workout programme.
There are two main types of protein powder used for ‘bulking’, whey and casein.
Different proteins contain different amino acids. Whey protein powder has all of the 9 essential amino acids (there are 20 amino acids but 9 are classed as essential as the body cannot make them). Whey protein is absorbed rapidly.
Casein protein, on the other hand, is much more of a ‘slow burner’.
It is recommended that you use the whey protein after exercise to help repair your muscles, whilst the casein protein can be used before going to bed. Both can be taken in a variety of ways and often they are made into nutritious shakes. Read more about how to find the right supplements through the following online resource -> www.menshealthandsupplements.com
- Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine is a chemical found mainly in the muscles of the body. It is used to build muscle strength and to increase performance. It is also considered to help the muscles recover more quickly after exercise. It works by helping the muscle cells produce more energy.
Glutamine is an amino acid, it is the most abundant amino acid found in the muscles of the body. Amino acids are responsible for muscle building and repair. Glutamine stocks are depleted after exercise and it can take a number of days for them to return to normal after your training session. Glutamine can help the recovery process after training and it has a key role to play in protein synthesis.
A good multivitamin as always a good idea to supplement the diet. It has to be remembered that all of the body’s processes work in synergy and when one part of the chain is broken, it will have an effect through the entire chain. So by taking a multivitamin, you are making sure that you are keeping your body balanced and healthy. Look for a product with a wide range of ingredients, expensive is not always best. Check the DV amount at the back and make sure that you check the expiry date.
- Branch Chain Amino Acids
More commonly known as BCAA’s. These are specially shaped amino acids which are used in particular ways compared with the other amino acids due to their shape. Whey protein contains BCAAs but even a good whey protein will only contain a set amount. This amount is also mixed with other amino acids and since amino acids compete for absorption sites, a separate supplement is recommended. BCAAs will help with endurance, muscle growth, improved recovery after exercise and increased mental clarity and reduced mental fatigue.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a commonly overlooked vitamin and if you live in a sunny climate, you are out in the sun each day, uncovered for a period of time, you will have enough vitamin D. The body requires the sun to make this vitamin and a great number of people are short of it. Vitamin D has a number of functions in the body, it increases the absorption of calcium to maintain bone health and vitamin D can improve muscle function. It protects you from cardiovascular disease and decreases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Vitamin D deficiency is relatively common in sportsmen and it is associated with muscle weakness and muscle wasting.
With any type of supplementation, it is important to consider the optimum times of the day to take your supplement. Read the back of the pack and follow instructions. Remember you can take too much of a good thing and it is not a good idea to take more than the recommended amount. DV’s are listed on the back of packs for your perusal and convenience. Used properly, supplements can be very helpful and are a central part of a ‘bulking’ programme.