What is bulking?
Bulking involves progressively increasing your caloric intake beyond your body’s requirements, together with intensive weight training. It is a muscle-gaining phase where you intentionally take in more calories than your body needs for a predetermined duration. These surplus calories eventually provide your body with the necessary resources to improve muscle strength and size during weight training.
What to expect from a three-month bulk
There are various aspects to bulking that contribute to how effective your bulk phase is. Maximizing your bulk phase means that you address all these aspects during your bulk phase. Nevertheless, it is possible to gain significant muscle mass during a three-month bulk.
Depending on your pre-bulk weight, genetics, and whether you bulk safely, you can gain as much as 15 extra pounds and about 5% body fat. In addition, you can expect to lose your muscle definition as you put on more fat, but generally, larger but untoned muscles compensate for this.
Bulking can also increase your overall sleepiness as your body may get tired more often, requiring longer hours of night sleep and 2-3 daytime naps during the week. In addition, you may feel more energized after a workout, and generally too, as the increased fat storage provides the necessary fuel for your body.
How to ensure results from a three-month bulk
Eating is crucial to a proper bulking phase as it provides the body with the essential calories to build muscles – and unwanted fat. It is not enough to eat; you have to eat enough to keep your caloric intake at a consistent surplus.
You can estimate your daily calorie requirements with a calorie counter. It factors your sex, weight, height, age, and physical activity level to estimate your daily calorie requirements. Experts also advise consuming 10–20% more than your daily weight maintenance calorie requirements while bulking for a standard weight gain of 0.25–0.5% of your body weight per week.
Likewise, ensure you eat the appropriate macronutrient as you remain on a calorie surplus diet. You need to eat your carbs, fats, and proteins in proper proportions for optimal bulking.
This is also as fundamental as eating as it activates muscle growth. You will require focus on weight and resistance training for maximal muscle growth. Ensure your weight lifting goal is to stress your muscles with heavier weights and time under tension.
Also, ensure you implement progressive overload to your weightlifting to push your muscles to their limits constantly. Your muscles stop growing as they get used to the particular weight, so you need to increase the weights you lift consistently or your reps and sets per programme.
Sleeping is another essential element to muscle gains. Your body repairs your muscle fibres while you’re asleep, leading to muscle growth. Sleeping also helps you recover from a workout session in time for your next session. Sleeping for about 8-9 hours per night is excellent for maximum muscle growth.
These factors contribute to ensuring that you see impressive and desirable gains after your three-month bulk.