When you think of the term “Bulking Phase”, I’m willing to bet a sense of ease– and maybe even delight — fills your heart (and stomach). Usually, this sets the stage for an onslaught of unhealthy eating all for the sake of putting on mass.
Well, I’m here to inform you that just because you’re bulking, it doesn’t mean you can ignore your health. A proper bulking phase sets the stage for a more efficient cutting phase. And when done correctly, you may even be able to keep your abs and some definition throughout the entire process.
CHECK OUT THESE FACTORS TO ACHIEVE CLEAN BULKING
START PLANNING IT OUT
So where to begin? A bulking diet must consist of a well-calculated amount of complex and simple carbohydrates, healthy proteins, and healthy fats.
Let’s start with your carbohydrate sources. While there is a variety to choose from, there are certain staples that always find their way into a proper diet due to their high nutritional value as well as bodybuilding benefits.
In terms of complex carbohydrates, brown rice and oatmeal provide a constant source of slow-burning energy and are both nutrient dense. You can also opt for sweet potato or squash which both contain high amounts of fibre and low glycemic carbohydrates.
Your simple carb sources are a little more flexible. These are usually consumed after a training session when you need to replenish your glycogen stores quickly and in a healthy manner. What this means is you don’t reach for a chocolate bar and a soda. Instead, a perfect post-workout, simple carbohydrate would be white rice or something as simple as mixing dextrose with water.
It is important not to neglect vegetables during a bulking phase for the nutritional value they possess. However many vegetables while or nutrient dense, or not calorie dense therefore they should not make up a large part of your diet plan.
Proteins can vary on a daily basis, however, all protein sources should be lean and are of high quality. This includes chicken, lean beef, eggs, and fish (shellfish and bottom dwellers such as shrimp are not a part of this category).
Finally, your fat sources should also be high in unsaturated fats, and low in saturated fats. While many people will tell you that saturated fats are good for you, the medical science available to us today keeps pointing to the fact that saturated fats are the only cause of atherosclerosis and a large contributor to heart disease.
CALORIE CONSUMPTION: HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?
Once you determine the source of your nutrients, the question remains, how many calories should I eat per day?
A simple rule one can follow is to consume more calories than you burn. With that in mind remember this does not mean you should be overeating to a point where you can hardly breathe. The idea of a bulking phase is to be as functional as possible while at the same time, putting on the most quality weight possible.
A caloric surplus is what you should be aiming for without “spilling over”. Aim to consume 3.5-4 calories per kg of body weight. For example, a 100kg male should aim to consume between 3000 to 4000 calories per day if he is training consistently and properly enough to utilise the nutrients he is consuming.