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What Should You Be Doing If You're Trying To Bulk Up?

Close-up of a Man Lifting a Dumbbell
Close-up of a Man Lifting a Dumbbell

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There are a lot of guys smaller guys who dream of putting on a lot of muscle mass but don't know how to go about it. So in this article I'm going to discuss steps needed to put on that extra muscle.

Eat Lots of Food for Bulk

This should be a no-brainer, but there's no way that you can sustain a solid weight without proper nutrition. Some people think that bulking is simply a matter of piling on the calories, eating anything in sight. This is one of the worst things to do because haphazard eating habits lead to serious health problems most notably is obesity.

To add muscle to your frame make sure to eat four to six meals per day. You must choose nutritious foods that will stave off hunger and provide energy. Here would be a sensible meal plan for a man who wants to bulk up without adding excess fat:

Breakfast: whole grain cereal, whey protein shake, low fat milk, fruit, fish oil, water

Midday snack: whole grain cereal, low fat milk, lean meat or poultry, vegetable, water

Lunch: whole grain cereal, low fat milk, lean meat or poultry, vegetable, water

Snack: nuts, fruit, water

Supper: lean meat or poultry, vegetable, whole grain bread, water

Fruit is a good source of energy and should be part of your regular diet, but choose low glycemic index (GI) fruits because they have fiber and take longer to digest. Apples, pears, mangoes are examples of low GI fruits that will provide you with energy and stop hunger. Sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli  are very nutritious vegetables that fill you up without contributing to wasted calories.


Bulk Up By Lifting Heavy Weights

Healthy bulking means that you add muscle not fat. To develop solid muscle, you have to lift heavy weights three or four times a week. Don't waste time doing isolation exercises e.g. bicep curls, to get real results concentrate on compound exercises. The best exercises for bulking are deadlifts, squats and bench press- all of which belong to a special class of compound exercises known as power lifting. There's little chance that you will develop substantial muscle mass without performing these exercises.

Deadlifts, squats and bench press recruit many different muscle groups which work together to accomplish the lift. These exercises are not easy. From personal experience I can tell you that powerlifts create an incredible demand on the entire body, it will take time and practice to learn proper form. Once you learn how to do them, the benefits are enormous. The feeling that I get from deadlifting 2.65 times my body weight is incredibly satisfying. Powerlifting stimulates testosterone production - a natural growth hormone - which helps your muscles to grow. If you're serious about bulking up, make sure that you perform powerlift exercises. Your body will thank you for it.

I also recommend the clean and press exercise. The clean and press is a strength training exercise which sets it apart from powerlifting. Nonetheless, it is very good for building muscle mass because it draws upon muscles in the legs, abs, shoulders, arms and chest. The amount of power required to execute such a lift is substantial and there are very few people who dare to do them these days. Personally, they're fun and very challenging.

When considering a heavy lifting regimen I would suggest the following:

Mondays - clean and press and bench press

Wednesdays - squats

Fridays - deadlifts

Some lifters use straps and belts when performing powerlifts. I have a personal bias in favor of lifting unassisted. The goal of powerlifting is to build and strengthen muscle. Belts and straps take some of the exertion off the muscles which defeats the purpose of those exercises and will hinder your progress. You have to do them on your own.

If you're unfamiliar with weight lifting, I suggest that you visit Great Chest and Whole Body Workouts. On that website goes into greater detail than this article does. Great Chest and Whole Body Workouts also features how to videos that will teach you proper technique for powerlifting exercises, so go check it out.


One More Thing

Don't forget to rest. You want to bulk up, not mess up. Devotion to training is very important, but you must allow your muscles to grow. Heavy weight training breaks down muscle tissue, and the body needs time to recover. You could seriously harm yourself if you overtrain. If you follow the nutrition and weight lifting suggestions in this article, you should see results. Just be patient.

Remember safety before vanity: consult your doctor before beginning any exercise or nutrition program.


6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; Romans 8:6

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"What Should You Be Doing If You're Trying To Bulk Up?" copyright © 2011 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.



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