In the world of bodybuilding, bulking is a commonly used practice in which bodybuilders put in a gradual increase in their calorie consumption to the point that it exceeds their body’s rudimentary caloric requirements.
This diet is accompanied by a rigorous and intense weight training program. The goal of this exercise is to ensure that there is a reduction in fat mass but also a significant increase in the body’s muscle composition and to gain weight.
This is often referred to as the first phase of bodybuilding and is used by both amateurs and professional bodybuilders alike.
While we do know that the premise of bulking is to build muscle mass at a faster rate by making significant changes to your diet and workout regime, there is a lot more to bulking that we do not know about it. Since bulking has not been experimented with on a scale enough to make it an exact science, many people have come to form certain misconceptions and myths that cause them to deflect towards unhealthy gymming and dietary practices.
Read on more to find out some myths and facts about bulking.
Myth #1: Eating More Is All You Need To Bulk
Bulking by definition refers to a dietary change in which bodybuilders consume more calories than their bodies require. A lot of beginners mistake this as a free pass to eat whatever they want and end up gaining a lot of unhealthy weight. In order to achieve proper muscle gain, your increased caloric consumption must be combined with resistance workouts. Failing to do so can massively disrupt your fitness journey.
Myth #2: Bulking Boosts Your Weight Loss
Most people assume that body weight and body fat are one and the same thing. Granted that the primary goal of bulking is to lose fat, but one must also remember that it also targets on gaining muscle. When you put on extra muscle, your body fat automatically takes a spike. If you are someone who is looking to lose weight, there are several in-home exercises that can help your goal.
Myth #3: Bulking Is A Fast Way To Gain Muscle Definition
Bulking is only stage one of your bodybuilding process to gain your ideal body. While it may help you gain significant muscle mass, it does absolutely nothing for your definition. Proper muscle definition is achieved in stage two, i.e cutting.
Cutting involves gradually restricting your calorie intake while continuing your resistance workout regime to the point that your muscles begin to tone themselves. Since most bodybuilders begin to bulk right about six months before their competitions or shoots, there is not enough time for gaining muscle definition via cutting, effectively proving that bulking is not likely to give muscle definition in the short term. This is applicable to all ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph body types.
Myth #4: Meeting Your Caloric Requirements Is Enough
While upping your calorie intake does seem to be the one stop solution for your bulking requirements, it is important that you are mindful of what you are putting into your body. While calories may have the same values on paper, various foods have different calories.
For example, hIghly processed foods, while being a rich source of calories, are also rich in refined carbs and saturated fats. Consuming these foods on a daily basis can give rise to a plethora of health related problems such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer, even if you are working it off at the gym. It has also been proven that consuming these processed foods can make it significantly harder for your body to build muscle composition and lose fat.
Myth #5: Bulking Should Majorly Be Derived From Protein Intake
Several bodybuilders who are new to bulking have a tendency to assume that their additional caloric intake during this stage must comprise purely of proteins. While it is true that consuming protein is beneficial for muscle building, it is not enough to sustain the various changes that your body goes through during this process.
Always remember to consume foods that are rich in protein as well as essential nutrients such as fat and carbohydrates in order to build muscle. These nutrients are beneficial for aiding your body with recovery after exercise.
Myth #6: You Must Eat Frequently In Order To Bulk
While there are several ways to ensure your minimum calorie consumption during the bulking stage of your journey, it is important that you remember to cut down your time at the dining table.
A more efficient and time saving alternative to preparing various meals that suit your nutrition requirements is to consume protein drinks and nutritional supplements which help fill in the calorific gaps and to build muscle.