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At one time, that simple off-season approach for adding mass – eat as much as you can while pushing around the heaviest loads possible – was commonly followed by lifters in pursuit of greater gains. However, its simplicity belies the fact that those gains were, at best confusing.

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Sure, you’re bigger, but in solving one problem you created another: a disproportionate amount of added body fat.

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That’s why bulking phases today have been redefined to address this. With a clean bulk, your goal is to add selective size, namely, as much muscle as possible, while minimising gains in body fat.

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Of course, it’s more complicated than those five simple words, which today we refer to as a dirty bulk. You’ll also save a lot of effort not having to spend months leaning down. You look a lot bigger when you’re in fact leaner.

Here are the 10 rules you’ll want to know as you begin your bulk.

1-Reset Your Expectations

How much muscle can you realistically expect to add in two months without tipping the scales toward greater body fat gains? For most trainers under most circumstances, you should strive for gains of about 0.5% to 1.0% of body weight per week. For a 200-pound individual, that amounts to 1 to 2 pounds per week, or 8 to 16 pounds in that eight-week time frame.

We all know people who gain faster, but consider them outliers. While 1 to 2 pounds per week may sound measly, like the compounding interest that accrues on your 401k, it’s the long run that counts. Consistency and a long-term commitment are a must.

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