Best time for bulking & the best ways to bulk

One of the most popular goals for gym-goers across the globe is to gain muscle and bulk up. And if this is your goal too, you’ve probably wondered at some point or another what’s the quickest, most efficient way to make those gains. That isn’t taking some form of performance-enhancing drug, or injecting your arms with oil (yes, that does happen).

Here are our tips for making those gains healthily & effectively:

Is there a ‘best time’ to bulk up?

First things first, is there an ideal time where you should focus on hitting the weights more than others? Some bodybuilders recommend the optimal time to concentrate on bulking up is when you have come to the end of some form of cutting period – as your body will absorb all the nutrients quicker than it would before. 

A lot of people out there stick to the archetypal bulking and cutting ‘seasons.’ Where you focus your efforts bulking up in the winter months and cutting down for the summer season, when it’s usually the time to head to the beach.

In reality, there isn’t actually a ‘best time’ for bulking up – its down to you, your needs and goals. So just have those in mind before you start to make any drastic changes to your workout routine.

Tips for bulking:

Eat more

Eat, eat and eat some more. To bulk up effectively you need to be in what’s known as a calorie surplus. This means you have to be eating more calories than your body is burning on a daily basis. Now, we don’t mean heading to the nearest McDonalds to grab a large big mac meal. The aim will be to gain weight in the right areas i.e. minimising fat gain. Aim to eat meals rich in protein – as this is the key macronutrient to build muscle.

Our ambassador, PT & physio Josh Bryant states:

“I recommend that you have an intake of around 1g of protein per lb of lean weight. For example, an 80kg man (176lbs) would aim for 176g of protein. The remaining calories then get divided into carbs and fats. Carbs should be the majority of your calorie intake for muscle building as they will boost your performance in the gym.

Muscle gain meal prep, consisting of meat (turkey, chicken or beef), egg, salmon and other fish. Along with carbs such as wholemeal pasta, sweet potato should do the trick nicely.”

Take the right supplements

Food is the key element you need to bulk up and gain weight. But there are certain supplements you can take to help the process along, some of which can be incredibly handy.

If, like a lot of people, you struggle to hit a calorie surplus, adding one or two daily protein shakes into your diet can be just what’s needed to take you into one. Not to mention, its high protein contents will help on this front too.

Progressive overload

Moving away from the food you eat day to day. Of course, the other key element to helping you hit your bulking up goal is going to be what you do in the gym. 

At the end of the day, your body won’t change, if you don’t challenge it do so. By taking your body out of its comfort zone and increasing the demands you put on it, you’ll force your muscles to work harder and they will adapt accordingly.

This is what’s known as progressive overloading i.e. always adding a little bit of extra weight to that bench press, bicep curl, or leg press. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 10kg plate or 2.5kg one – always keep pushing forwards.

Don’t underestimate the power of rest 

When you’re hitting in the gym 4-5 days a week and pushing your body to its limit. You’re going to need to rest adequately so that you can keep your performance at its optimum. If you don’t rest your body properly, this can lead to complications such as injury, which will of course hamper your muscle development.

Here’s what Josh had to say about the importance of rest: 

“You must ensure that you take time out of training and ensure you get enough sleep. A lack of sleep or overtraining can lead to fatigue and injury. This will lead to a lack of performance which will affect your ability to build muscle.”

Bulking is a lot more of just stuffing your face with whatever you see in the supermarket. Getting the basics right is key, such as tailoring your training routine for bulking and getting the right muscle gain meal prep in place. Taking it steady and being patient is also a key ingredient – if you stick to the above tips, you’ll definitely be on your way sooner rather than later.

For more info on our muscle gain meal prep, or any other goal for that matter, click here.