How To Start Bulking

Alain Saint-Dic
Alain Saint-Dic, Health and Fitness Editor at 20something, brings over nine years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Though he studied pre-law, his love for the human body, it's adaptive ability and unlocking the largely untapped potential of human beings led him to pursue a passionate career in health, fitness, and athletics.

After experiencing the Avengers sequel, there were three unshakeable thoughts lingering more than four weeks later. First off, so much destruction! Second, damn, Thor’s biceps! Third, why does Hulk get to smash that?! Of course in my head number two and three are loosely correlated, so without a genetic predisposition to being a Norse god or access to gamma radiation, I continued my quest for more muscle mass with more intensity than ever. Here are the 4 most basic tips for guys on the quest to Hulk-dom for the summer.

 

1) EAT

Gaining and losing weight is a numbers thing. If you want to gain weight, you pretty much have to be in a calorie surplus. So EAT a lot, because you’re going to be burning calories at rest and in the gym. Basic math – 3,500 calories = 1lbs. So if you want to gain a pound per week, after calculating your total caloric intake through food and caloric loss through exercise, you should be in a surplus of 3500 each week.

If you have trouble eating to stay in a surplus, invest in a solid mass gainer which makes calorie consumption as easy as mixing a shake. If you prefer a simple homemade approach, a good formula is: 2 scoops of protein, two cups of milk, ½ a cup of oats, 1 banana, and a tbsp of peanut butter. Throw all of these ingredients in a blender, and BAM! Calories galore! (750-950 cals depending on the brand of the products).

 

2) LIFT

“Everybody wanna to be a bodybuilder, but don’t nobody want to lift no heavy ass weights” – Ronnie Coleman, 8 time Mr. Olympia.

Lift heavy, lift medium, lift for volume, high reps, medium reps, just LIFT with intensity. The key to bulking is training with intensity and knowing what works for your body. One of my favorite training splits is as follows:

Monday: Quads/Hams/ Calves

Tues: Chest/Back/Bis

Wed: Abs

Thurs: Quads/Hams/ Calves

Friday: Chest/ Shoulder/ Tris

Sat: Abs

Pick 3 movements per muscle group and go anywhere upwards of 4 sets, and upwards of 8 reps, minimal rest. Go crazy and create your own formulas!

 

3) MACROS

You want to gain weight, but you want it to be the right kind. So be aware of your macronutrient intake from protein, carbs, and fat. All of these macronutrients have a place in your diet. Carbs are your body’s main source of energy. Protein is predominantly used for growth and tissue repair. Fats cushion your organs, provide energy to the body and help your body absorb vitamins. While Proteins and Carbs similarly yield 4 calories per 1 gram, Fat yields 9 calories per gram.

A good ratio range to follow for bulking would be Carbs=45%: Protein= 40%: Fat=15%. This means that if you undertake a massive 4000 cal per day plan, your cal intake by macronutrient will be Carbs= 1,800 cals/450g: Protein= 1,600 cals/400g: Fat= 600 cals/66.6g.

 

4) SLEEP

Recovery is just as important as action! In addition to other things that you may do to preserve your gains, getting adequate rest ensures that your body is fully recovered and ready to resume the quest for gains.

 

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