How to BULK without putting on FAT
Fall and winter has always been the main "bulking season" for most males (and females too) in order to make changes to their body and build new muscle in places that you desire. In order for a true bulk to work, it requires a calorie surplus for an extended period of time. A calorie surplus is a when a person consumes (eats) more calories than they are burning. This will lead to weight gain.
Here is the problem with bulking. Most people end up doing it wrong and overeat all winter. They make appropriate muscle and strength gains in their body, but fat accumulation is inevitable and very easy to put on if you are not careful. Today, I want to dive in on this topic so you do not make the same mistakes that I once did. Here we go!
1. Figure out your maintenance number of calories.
If you can dial in your nutrition and know the exact number of calories that it takes each day to maintain your weight at the same number, this makes the set up for a lean bulk easy. The body can only synthesize so much protein each day to create new muscle tissue.
There is a cap. The cap is usually around 400 calories on top of your maintenance number each day. Anything on top of that will typically be stored as fat. The goal throughout a bulk is to try and minimize fat accumulation and maximize muscle growth.
2. Focus on gym performance each week, NOT increase in scale weight.
This is the most crucial part of the equation when it comes to a proper bulk. The goal is to chase strength gain each week. By chasing strength, the majority of the emphasis during your bulk will be to have better, stronger, heavier workouts. This is called progressive overload.
There is many ways to overload a muscle. The first is increased weight at a set number of sets and reps. The second is an increase in sets or reps at a specific weight. The third is a decrease in rest between sets while keeping the other two variables constant.
This forces the body to change because it will realize that it has to. In order to maintain the new stimulus on the body each week, strength and muscle mass will be created. This training structure combined with a slight calorie surplus will lead to major gains.
3. Cap your weight gain at 1 pound per week.
Male or female, young or old, tall or short, or whatever the case may be, do not gain more than one pound of bodyweight per week. This is my own personal rule to make sure that fat gain is kept to bare minimum.
The key with this is to really realize that changes in your physique will be depicted on how you structure your training. Most people structure training wrong. They do not document performance and they do not shoot for new strength goals each week.
Keeping the majority of the emphasis on strength goals and not getting heavier will keep you in the "lean gains" mindset.
The truth is that you can not just eat whatever you want on a bulk. You need to set up the correct number of calories and macro nutrient breakdown each day to keep fat off.
Fall and winter is a great time to start eating more, but only if it is controlled and you know what you are doing. Calories still matter. Macros still count. Training still needs to be documented with an even greater emphasis on performance.
Attached is my video with my golden rules of lean bulking this winter!
Link to my mens ultimate bulking program right HERE