Winter is almost upon us, and you know what that means… bulking season!
“Getting big” is often boiled down to “eating big” a philosophy lifters have sworn by for years. However, therein lies one of the biggest dilemmas facing a bodybuilder: how to gain mass without getting downright sloppy looking
Most everyone wants a lean, muscular physique. However, a physique like such is not acquired overnight. It takes hard work, dedication, and KNOWLEDGE on how to correctly achieve this goal efficiently. The bulking phase is essential to putting on muscle mass and gaining strength; let's begin by breaking down what your bulking diet should include based on your body type.
In order to have a successful bulking phase it is important to follow the right diet for your body type. You must first determine if you are an endomorph, ectomorph, or mesomorph, the rest then becomes simple. In this article we will analyze different body types; keep in mind some people have mixed body types. If this is the case for you, you may want to mix some of the suggestions from the other body types to create a diet which best works for you.
There are 3 different types of bulking depending on your body type:
Clean Bulking (Endomorph Bulk):
Clean bulking is for individuals with slower metabolisms, which tend to be endomorphs. Endomorphs have a higher percentage of body fat with less muscle mass. If you are looking to clean bulk your goal is to put on as much lean muscle mass as possible and tediously watch the amount of fat consumed (stick to healthy fats).
Clean Bulking Diet (Mesomorph Bulk):
Some examples of what you can expect from a “clean bulk” diet are, rice, quinoa, pasta, lean chicken breast, fish, lean turkey, steak (with all the fat cut out), avocado, olive oil, non-fat milk, cottage cheese, fruits and many other healthy foods.
Read about the benefits of these foods in our “20 Must-Have Foods for Bulking Up”.
Big Bulking (Ectomorph Bulk):
Big bulking is typically for mesomorphs, a person with an average metabolism, they find it relatively easy to build muscle and lose weight. They typically have more of an athletic build. If you are a mesomorph in your bulking stage, you are going to want to put on as much lean muscle mass while moderately watching your fat intake.
Big Bulk Diet:
The “Big Bulk” diet will include foods such as steak, chicken breast, fish, tuna, skim milk, low fat yogurt, eggs, pizzas (not too greasy), bread, beans, fruits and other food.
Dirty bulking is for lucky individuals who can eat as much as they like of ANYTHING and still find it hard to put on mass. We call these guys ectomorphs; they typically have a slender build and not much muscle mass. Ectomorphs have very fast metabolisms, making it harder to put on mass.
Dirty Bulking Diet:
Typically a dirty bulk diet may include, junk food, burgers, fries, ice cream, chicken thighs, fatty steak, full fat milk, whole milk yogurt, pizza, rice, oils
We suggest staying away from the fast food eat whole foods that are fatty and get extra calories, carbs, and proteins in shakes.
Determining which category you find yourself in will help determine which type of bulk is best for body type. Once you determine what type of bulk you should do the next question is:
How Much to Eat and How Often when you are Bulking?
Clean Bulking Diet Regimen:
If you are an endomorph, we suggest you have 6 meals a day spaced out every 2.5 hours. You are going to want to eat your high-carb meals before your workout to use up the energy from your carbs so less of those carbs are converted into fat. To maximize muscle growth eat your highest protein meal after your workout to increase muscle building.
Big Bulking Regimen:
For Mesomorphs we recommend having 6-8 meals a day around every 2 hours. You do not have to watch when you consume carbs as much as endomorphs, however we still recommend eating your highest protein meal after your workout to maximize muscle building.
Dirty Bulking Regimen:
Ectomorphs should eat 6-8 meals a day around every 2 hours; as it is harder for ectomorphs to put on weight, you’ll need a more strategic plan. We suggest eating twenty five to thirty times your body weight in calories and one and a half times your body weight in terms of protein.
Tips and tricks to putting on weight while staying healthy:
If you are an ectomorph, you may be tempted to eat straight junk food in order to bulk up; however, this is not the most efficient way to bulk up, nor will it leave you feeling the best. Most junk foods are simple carbohydrates and as we all know, aren’t the best for you.
So, how can an ectomorph put on weight in a healthy way?
Mix your protein shake with peanut butter, olive oil, oatmeal, egg whites, cottage cheese, ice cream, or flax seed oil to get more fats and proteins in. However, limit the amount of carbs you ingest to make sure these fats are being used for energy.
Adding supplements into your bulking diet can take everything you are currently doing and maximize the results.
Don’t Skip Cardio
It is important to add 30 minutes of cardio 2-3 times a week. Keeping up with your cardiovascular health is important. Cardiovascular training improves the heart's ability to pump blood and increases oxygen uptake into cells.
What Supplements to take when Bulking:
Whey Protein is a great addition to get in extra calories and protein for all body types.
Read about different types of Whey and why it is a good protein source here.
EC Sports will be launching (very soon!) a whey protein isolate called Whey+.
Unlike other protein powders, we can have gone the extra mile to include more BCAA’s per serving than competing brands. We’ve also added collagen peptides to the mix, making Whey+ a truly unique and superior protein powder.
Benefits of Whey+:
1) Collagen Peptides
We have included collagen peptides, the most abundant protein in your body, which not only improves your physical physic, but is used to repair your ligaments and skin so you will be healthier all around.
2) BCAA’s and Leucine
Our Whey+ contains 7 grams of BCAA’s: including 4 grams of leucine. BCAA’s are some of the most essential amino acids for muscle repair and development, and leucine has been clinically shown to stimulate muscle synthesis.
Your body only has so much time to break down the large protein molecules before they pass through digestion. Thus, with the inclusion of digestive enzymes in Whey+ you will get more protein out of each shake you drink. More so, these enzymes reduce the stomach discomfort and gas usually caused by protein powders.
We recommend taking with OptiNOs to maximize your protein intake. OptiNOs turns on protein synthesis, which helps the body use protein for muscle building versus being burned as energy.
Creatine is naturally produced in the body but only in small amounts. Taking a creatine supplement can help restore the depleted creatine stores in the body that occur due to weight lifting.
Supplementing with creatine before a workout has been shown to increase physical performance in successive bursts of short-term, high intensity exercise like weight lifting.
Supplementing with creatine after a workout can also help restore creatine levels that have been used during weight lifting.
Nitric Oxide helps dilate your veins, allowing more nutrients to flow where they need to before and after your workout. During your workout you will get that vein popping look everyone loves and be able to push out more reps and lift heavier. Nitric oxide also promotes recovery, helping your muscles repair faster.
We recommend taking clinically tested OptiNOs Nitric Oxide and Muscle Builder before your workout and drinking or eating a high protein meal immediately after training to maximize your protein, boost recovery, and improve your performance in the gym.
After an intense workout our body becomes depleted of water and vitamins. Replacing these vitamins with a multivitamin is one of the most efficient ways to replenish your body.
Tips and Tricks for Bulking:
Track your Progress:
When bulking you want to make sure you are eating in a calorie surplus. In doing so, you don’t want to gain fat too quickly. This will result in your cutting season even harder than it already is. More so, you also want to make sure you are putting on enough weight to bulk properly. Try to put on 0.5-1lb a week.
Drink about 1.5-2 liters of water a day to keep your body hydrated.
Rest & Recovery:
Rest days are just as important as training days. Without adequate rest between training days your results will suffer. Also, you need your sleep to grow, try to get 7-8 hours a night.