Around this time of year is when the majority of us start our bulking phase: the winter months can be long and cold-all the more reason to throw on the warm clothes and a few extra pounds in the process.
The problem with bulking is that most people think it just comes down to simple arithmetic and that calories an equals calories out and the more food you beat the bigger you’re going to get. While this does have a ring of truth to it, the types of foods you eat are going to have extremely large impact on the type body tissue you’re going to put on in the process.
During your bulking phase you want to put on as much clean muscle mass is possible, as you’re going to just make more work for yourself in the long run if you choose the wrong foods. Here are some tips you going to want to take a look at before you start this year’s bulk.
The Optimal Time to Bulk?
The first mistake many people make when it comes to their bulking phase, is that they’re under the impression that the best time to do so is during the winter months. While ideally this is the best time to do so due to the changes in weather and how an increase in calories can help you stay warmer through these cold months, it certainly isn’t for everyone.
Shouldn’t the revolving this phase around the time of year but more so around yourself. What we mean by this is that’s your body composition is what should be the determining factor in when you start this bulking phase.
This is because the body is best and most efficient at putting on muscle mass when it is relatively lean. This has a lot to do with the hormones like cortisol which are fat cells themselves produce, which can lessen the influence of other hormones like testosterone which are essential in building muscle.
Basically if you’re not at 15% body fat are less and are male, you should definitely consider going through a cutting phase to lose some body fat before you transition to the bulking phase.
How Much More Should I Eat?
When it comes to losing fat or gain muscle it all boils down to how many calories you’re consuming vs. How many calories your body needs. If you radical or deficit your body is going to lose weight and if you’re at a caloric surplus you’re going to gain weight in return.
Most of us know this however balancing this properly is extremely difficult for most of us. The first thing you need to do here is to determine how many calories you consume in a day which is going to be determined by many different factors.
Primarily this is going to be determined on your current size and weight, and in addition to that your activity level.
Second, you’re going to want to determine how much protein you be which is going to be the most important macro in regards to muscle growth and repair. How much protein you’re going to need is going to be largely determined by your weight.
Also all the amount of protein you want to be consuming compared to other macro nutrients is going to be determined on your fitness goals.
If you’re someone who’s just looking to maintain the muscle mass that you’re really have, then eating 0.6-0.8 grams of protein a pound of your body weight is what you want to be going. If you’re somebody who wants to be put in a lot more muscle mass you going to have to be eating more protein per pound of body weight, in the neighborhood of 1 g of protein per pound of body weight.
Account for Other Macros
At the determined how much protein you’re going to need on a daily basis, you can then determine how much carbohydrates and fats you’re going to need in addition to meet your caloric needs.
In doing these calculations it is important to remember that protein and carbohydrates contain the same amount of energy per gram, while fat is going to contain more than twice that amount of energy per gram.
This means that eating the same portion of fat vs. carbohydrates is going to give you more than 20 steam out of calories and is definitely something you need to keep in consideration when planning out your meals if you’re going to bulk properly.