Diet For Bulking Up – A Different (better) Approach To Adding Lean Muscle
What is the first thing that comes mind when you think about a diet for bulking up? Food. Lots and lots of food. Right?
But if you are like me and have tried (a long time ago) bulking up by stuffing your face with as much high calorie, high protein and dense food as possible, you know how much fun that is isn’t. Ok, it does sound like fun, but after a couple weeks it gets old. Not fun.
Not only does the nonstop stuffing of the face get filling, it also gets quite expensive.
What if there was a different approach to bulking up other than eating mass amounts of calories for months at a time? A better (more effective) approach? You’d be in, right?
Now, don’t get me wrong. You do need to eat above maintenance to gain muscle. It’s science. There isn’t any proven way around that. At least not long term. But you still need to be careful. The bad side to eating above maintenance for too long is that your body adapts. Muscle growth slows down. Fat gain does not.
To make a diet for bulking up more effective you need to mix things up.
Periodic overfeeding mixed with periodic under feeding. This is where it’s at!
I talked a little about this a while back when discussing how to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. That was a bit of a cheat, I admit. But after 30 days you will have gained muscle and you will have lost fat. Basically “at the same time” … it’s within a month’s time anyway.
That wasn’t so much of a diet for bulking up though. More of a body re-composition plan. Here’s a glimpse of what that plan looked like:
Five days of losing fat alternated with five days of gaining muscle.
- Days 1-5 = Lose Fat
- Days 6-10 = Gain Muscle
- Days 11-15 = Lose Fat
- Days 16-20= Gain Muscle
- Days 21-25 = Lose Fat
- Days 26-30 = Gain Muscle
I talked about changing your workout and your diet every 5 days. So you would focus on gaining muscle for five days and then focus on losing fat for five days. You can see how well this would work … provided your main goal wasn’t to lose fat or to gain muscle. This is a good plan to get a bit of both. It actually does work.
But if you want to bulk up and that is your MAIN goal … a bit of tweaking is required.
Forget fat loss. Focus on gaining lean muscle without the extra fat. This is NOT a traditional bulk/cut phase. Not even close. Those aren’t very good.
The Diet For Bulking Up With Minimal Fat Gain
Research shows that after several weeks of over eating and working out that your gains slow down. You add less and less muscle. But by alternating periods of over eating with periods of under eating you can trick your body.
Much like the example above, a good plan of attack is to go all out for short periods at a time. This is actually pretty darn easy …
I’ve bet you’ve told yourself that you are “going to workout regular from here on out” only to find that after about 3 weeks you fizzle out. Why? Because it’s easy to get ramped up about something but to then lose interest, get sidetracked, (insert excuse), whatever the reason.
The point is – we are going to use this negative tendency to our favor.
We are going to go all out for a short time and then … take a break. On purpose. Not only will this keep our interest, it will work better. The body will become more responsive to surplus levels of calories which will keep fat gains to a minimum.
So all you have to do is eat enough calories (above maintenance) to gain muscle and alternate that with periods of under eating.
A few tips for under eating while trying to bulk up:
- Rest. No need to try to build muscle during this time.
- Eat just slightly below maintenance. Not trying to lose weight either.
- Only do this twice per week. Or …
- Alternate one week of under eating with two weeks of over eating like I mentioned on this bulking up workout routine.
That’s it. Cool, huh!