[4 WAYS TO BULK UP YOUR GAINS]
Are you thinking that bigger is better, but don’t know how to increase your muscle mass the right way? Adding ‘bulk’ or gaining is one of the most common goals for males who train, yet it’s not always a simple feat to achieve. Sometimes it seems to take forever and a day, while at worst it sees punters sacrifice their health to get there, or even gain fat instead.
Solution: you need to be smart in the way you gain. In turn, this will also optimise your results in the shortest time period possible. Want to kill two birds with one stone and be on your way to getting bigger, quickly and healthily? Follow this expert advice.
1. Train heavy and consistent
Like most big goals, it’s going to take blood, sweat and (maybe) tears to get there. But when you do, it’s going to be so worth it. If you want to bulk up fast, you’re going to need give it your all, every single time. It’s important to lift heavy loads and alternate your muscle groups on training days. “I would make sure you are training 5 days a week,” says fitness expert Blake Worrall-Thompson. Stick to simple exercises with heavy loads, like deadlifts, shoulder presses, bench presses and squats with the weight as heavy as you can handle in the 8-12 rep range.
2. Increase your calories with the right foods
To gain muscle, you will need a calorie surplus at the end of the day and when you’re using a lot of energy training, this means you certainly need to increase your overall fuel intake. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this means a free-for-all at the burger joint. The emphasis needs to be on choosing nutrient-dense, clean, balanced meals and snacks. Think protein and lots of greens, with moderate complex carbohydrates and good fats. Nuts are a great healthy shortcut to getting enough food in for gains, due to their calorie density. “One of the easiest ways I get my male clients to put on weight is by adding 6-10 nuts to each meal,” advises Worrall-Thompson.
3. Invest in a quality protein / amino acid supplement
The most important macronutrient for muscle growth and repair is protein, as the amino acids act as the building blocks for muscle in the body. Incorporating a high quality protein powder into your regime is an easy way to support muscle gains. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are thought to be especially significant when it comes to developing and building muscle and can also be taken in specialised supplements. “If you do decide to take BCAA supplements, pay attention to how you feel while taking them," advises registered dietician and personal trainer Sarah Currie. "If you think they're making a difference, go for it."
4. Train big, sleep big, gain big
Sleep is crucial to gaining muscle. When you snooze is when your body releases the highest amount of growth hormone, so make sure you get 7-8 hours of shut eye each night to support your overall wellbeing and faster results. Enough said.