“Bulking up” is a phrase you’ll often hear come up wherever muscle building is being discussed. But is it a good thing or a bad thing?
The phrase may be used by some people simply to refer to gaining weight and building muscle, but the real meaning of bulking up involves the practice of adding large amounts of extra calories into your diet to gain muscle fast.
Eating a sufficient amount of calories is a necessity to build muscle, but when bodybuilders refer to bulking, it is often mindlessly consuming a high volume of food that could be much more than what’s needed to gain muscle.
Should You Practice Bulking Up To Gain Muscle Fast?
Whether or not you should bulk up would be determined by your goals, body type and definition of bulking up.
If you use the phrase bulking up to refer simply to eating to build muscle, then obviously this is what you need to aim for when you are after a muscular physique. But if your intention is to do the “bodybuilding bulk up” which means consuming large amounts of extra calories beyond a reasonable weight-gaining quantity that could lead to high levels of fat, you may want to reconsider your decision depending on the type of physique you want to end up with.
Most people who want to get a muscular body would have the desire to build muscle fast, but I’ll tell you this right now, bulking up in the form of filling your body with excessive calories than you need for muscle weight gain is not the right approach to building lean muscle mass.
Some people believe that you can gain a great deal of muscle quickly if you have extra calories at a high level in your body. The truth is, you’ll gain muscle from the extra calories, but when bulking up involves excessive calorie intake, it results in a lot of body fat as well.
Bulking up may be recommended by many bodybuilders, and maybe a good approach if your aim is to get that big swollen bodybuilder physique. However, it may not be the right approach for you if your intention is to build a lean, toned muscular body with an exceptionally low body fat percentage.
Your body type and other personal factors would determine exactly how much calories you need to consume to gain weight, but it’s important to make sure that your mass building phase is based on gaining lean muscle, not a load of fat.
Here are the main reasons why bulking up (with fat) is not the right approach when trying to get a lean muscular body.
1. It’s Good To Minimize Fat Gain When Building Muscle
By avoiding bulking up, you’ll avoid gaining excess fat in the first place which is the best way to stay lean. Since you do not want excess body fat at all you’ll need to take all measures necessary to add muscle on your body while keeping fat gain at the lowest rate possible.
Bulking up provides an easy way for fat storage to happen quickly, therefore would not make it possible for you to build muscle while keeping a low-fat percentage. Importantly, when you stick to gaining muscle with minimal or no fat gain you’ll have a lot less difficulty getting and maintaining a lean body.
2. Gaining More Fat Cells Makes It Harder To Lose Fat
People who choose to bulk up would usually have the idea that they would easily get rid of the excess fat when they reach the cutting phase of their program. But this is not so simple.
If a bulking phase is causing fat storage in your body at a fast rate, you’ll quickly accumulate a great deal of fat over time. With that rate of excess fat storage, you could reach an unhealthy percentage of fat from bulking up.
There is a huge disadvantage to this. Whenever a high level of fat is stored in your body, you would eventually possess more fat cells which makes it much more difficult to get lean and stay lean.
Not only would you have more fat to lose, it’ll also be much harder to get rid of body fat and keep it off.
For example, people who have been overweight or obese at a certain point in their life and got lean would find it harder to stay lean than people who’ve been at a healthy body fat range all their life. Why do you think many overweight and obese people are always quickly regaining fat after losing weight?
So it’s important to be very careful with bulking up because it’s easier to gain weight back if you have a large number of fat cells in your body.
3. A High Surplus Doesn’t Guarantee Gaining Muscle Faster
It is known that a calorie surplus is important to gain muscle mass, but the same amount of muscle that you’ll gain while adding high levels of excess fat may be built with a moderate surplus that doesn’t involve excessive amounts of calories.
There would always be a limit to the amount of muscle that you can produce within a certain period of time no matter how much extra calories you bulk up on. Therefore, gaining weight faster than the maximum rate that the body can build muscle is often the wrong kind of weight, which can set you back months or even years from getting an ultra lean physique.
Build Muscle And Stay Lean – The Best Approach
Building muscle without fat is the best way to add lean mass. A strategic eating plan and good workout program would allow you to stay lean while you add muscle to get the muscular build that you want.
I understand some people use the phrase bulking up as another phrase for muscle gain which is cool in my opinion. But you just read that bulking up is also used as the term for excessive calorie consumption.
If you are not going after the buff pro bodybuilder look, it really doesn’t worth intentionally putting lots of fat in your body when gaining muscle. This may put you in a frustrating situation of having to work much harder to lose excess fat to get lean later on.