Trying to bulk up can be incredibly frustrating if you do it incorrectly, because it can result in gaining a lot of excess body fat. But if you follow a proven path to increasing muscle mass, in the most efficient way, the results can be incredibly satisfying.
Here’s how to add 15 lbs of muscle without getting fat.
Increase Calories 25-50%
It takes a substantial amount of calories to add 15 lbs of muscle. More than most people realize. It won’t be enough to just eat a bigger dinner, or have one day per week where you eat more than usual.
For many people, trying to add 15 lbs of muscle will represent a 10-15% increase in total body mass. That’s a massive amount of growth you’re trying to achieve in a short amount of time.
If you’re going to start a bulking cycle, make sure you’re increasing your daily calorie total enough to influence significant growth.
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The easiest and most efficient way to increase your calories is to use protein powder. Most will include the needed carbs, protein, and amino acids per serving to build new muscle mass. Many will also include additional supplements like creatine, glutamine, and other muscle builders.
You’re going to need lots of protein to build new muscle, but it’s hard to get all of the needed calories from solid meat because you’d be eating all day. In addition to protein powder, increase your consumption of these meats:
Lean Ground Beef
Your muscles are comprised of a lot of water, and your body needs carbohydrates to help store all that water. When you’re too strict with carbs while bulking you’ll feel flat with an unimpressive pump after your workouts. Eat whole grains and other high quality carbs like:
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Limit & Avoid
Sugar has high calorie potential, and can increase your total calories quite easily. In the muscle building process, sugar is at the bottom of the totem pole and not very useful.
Here’s some stuff you’ll want to limit and avoid when increasing your calories:
Focus On Primary Muscle Groups
If you ask most guys where they want to bulk up, many are going to say the arms. It just looks bad ass when you have bulging biceps bursting out of your shirt. Unfortunately, the biceps and arms in general have very low mass potential.
During a bulking phase you won’t be able to utilize all those calories on just your arms, because their growth ceiling isn’t very high. Instead, you want to focus on large muscle groups with a high growth ceiling.
These muscle groups will better utilize the massive influx of calories, and add muscle mass more efficiently.
High Growth Potential
Low Growth Potential
Prioritize your workouts from high potential to low potential. So if you have to skip a few sets, due to time constraints, take the sets away from the lower yielding exercises.
The key to bulking without getting fat, isn’t by increasing your cardio. The key is to add more muscle mass as quickly as possible. The more mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate. This directly influences how many calories you burn each day, and will prevent you from gaining excessive body fat.
Increasing your cardio during a bulking phase, has the potential to be destructive to new muscle mass.
Lift often, lift heavy, and build new mass to keep the fat off.
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