Winter is coming in quick and for a lot of us that means bulking season is about to commence!
Whilst you may hear that term thrown around quite loosely, people often have misconceptions about what bulking is and how to do it right. So, with the help of health and fitness expert, gym owner and all round legend Chris Dalmau, we've decided to clear a few things up for you.
What is bulking?
Explained very clearly by Chris, "bulking is a phase of training and planned nutritional intake that is focused towards adding a significant amount of muscle mass".
During a bulking phase you will predominantly engage in heavy weight training whilst gradually increasing your calorie intake. The goal is to provide your body with the right amount of fuel it needs to build strength and increase your muscle size.
How do you bulk?
There are two main ways people tend to bulk, the "dirty bulk" and "progressive bulk".
The dirty bulk:
This tends to be the most popular method and can be thought of as a sort of 'get rich quick scheme' . "This type of bulking strategy involves excessive eating and will usually lead to a simultaneous gain in fat mass" says Chris. "This will then require a 'cutting' or 'shred' phase to remove accumulated fat in order to reveal the gains in muscle mass'.
The dirty bulk can be seen as a bit of a double edged sword. You might be able to add mass quickly whilst enjoying a reasonable amount of food freedom, however, it does require a much stricter cutting phase.
As the name suggests, this involves a gradual decrease in your calorie intake in order to lose the excess body fat gained during your bulk. If all goes to plan, you'll be looking as ripped as ever and the end of your cutting phase. However, if you do not see to the end of the process, you may end up with more body fat than you begun with.
The progressive bulk:
Another way we can add mass is through a progressive bulk. "This method requires a more thoughtful and much slower approach, where you incrementally increase your calorie intake in response to your changes in body mass" says Chris. "Whilst this method involves greater planning and time, there will be less body fat to get rid of at the end".
This bulking phase does require you to keep the long game in sight. A good way to think about it is like the story of the tortoise and the hare. Whilst it may take a little longer to get there, in the end, taking the process slow and steady will help us reach our desired goal.
Now that you know the in's and out's of bulking, it's time to go build those muscles! 💪 And as always, if you need any more advice, you can always get in touch with our expert team!