Learning how to bulk up the right way is definitely easy and I don’t really understand why there’s so much misconception on the internet nowadays.
It all starts with the question: “how to bulk up” and when you look at the answers, everybody gives you a different opinion so you are usually stuck with a myriad of answers without the actual nuts and bolts on what you should really do.
I had this questions many years ago and the sad thing is that I didn’t really knew the “right answer”.
I didn’t had someone that would tell me straight: “Florin, just go to a gym, train like this, eat this and that, weight yourself like that, etc.”; I had to experiment them myself.
And believe me, I failed so hard, plenty of times: one time I wanted to bulk up but all I did was to get fatter without any noticeable muscle mass increase.
I remember another time when I wanted to bulk up, I didn’t tracked my daily caloric intake so I stayed at around the same weight for almost half a year without knowing why I didn’t get bigger and so on.
Frankly, learning how to bulk up the right way will be easy for you now.
I want to start by breaking up different type of bulks, look at each other’s characteristics and see what’s the approach that I favor and consider to be the best for everyone.
How To Bulk Up – Approaches:
1. The Lean Gains Bulk Up Style
The idea behind this style of bulking is that a person should try to put only muscle mass on its frame without gaining an ounce of fat.
While this would be the “holy grail of muscle gaining” for everybody, you will see that applying this in the real world is not so easy.
Benefits Of Using The Lean Gains Approach:
- You will look great year round because you will be staying at under 10% all the time
- Any additional weight you put on (if any), will be mostly comprised of muscle mass
Disadvantages Of Using The Lean Gains Approach:
- You won’t really observe any noticeable progress
- Muscle mass/strength gains will come slow
- You will have to track your training and caloric intake meticulously
- You won’t be able to get off your diet so easy
- You can develop eating disorders because of all this tracking and adjusting
- Binges are a real danger and after one is done, the guilt can set in, and from there, you know what’s next – dieting fail
2. Old Bodybuilding Erra Bulking
In older bodybuilding times, the normal approach to gaining muscle mass was the GFH model.
GFH – get fuc***g huge.
Basically, all that was required for you to do on a diet like that was to eat everything in sight and get as huge as possible without caring how much fat you put on your body
Advantages Of GFH Method
- The possibility to eat everything in sight
- No meticulous caloric calculations needed
- Will grow no matter what (the weight added depends on genetics, hormones, training program and many other things)
Disadvantages Of The GFH Method
- If you are a natural bodybuilder, this approach will definitely backfire because of the simple fact that natural bodybuilders have a certain maximum of muscle gaining rate which I explained here, so trying to get huge too fast will only get you fat.
- Performance decrease in athletes
- You will look fatter most of the time
- It takes longer to get the fat off your body because it will be way more, compared to a more relaxed approach
- The potential stretch marks that can appear
My Recommended Approach
Bulk Until You Don’t See Your Upper Abs
I usually don’t like extremes, so for me, taking the GFH approach or the lean gains approach is not viable for the simple fact that the results they give are suboptimal.
This approach states that one should first get to a nice body fat level 8-10% for men and 15-20% for women after which the bulking period should start.
This approach takes advantage of the maximum muscle mass gain that you can get weekly, while making sure you don’t get too fat because you will be eating only with a slight caloric surplus.
You will avoid staying too much at the same weight, with slow progress (as lean gains style) and you won’t get too fat either (as the GFH style).
This is the middle approach in which you will try to gain as much muscle mass as possible while accepting some amount of fat – as little as possible.
You will aternate periods of fat loss and periods of muscle gaining to get the maximum benefit of your time spent bulking and cutting.
Advantages Of The “Bulk Until You Don’t See Your Upper Abs” Method
- You will be a little more flexible than with the lean gains method and not so chaotic as with the GFH method
- Muscle mass gains will be optimized and fat gains minimized which is a WIN situation compared to the other two methods
Disadvantages Of The “Bulk Until You Don’t See Your Upper Abs” Method
- You won’t get that huge as with the GFH method and also you won’t stay as lean as with the lean gains method
The summary of this method:
- Start bulking little by little only when you are around 8-10% body fat for men and 15-20% body fat for women
- Bulk until you don’t see your upper abs or until you don’t like your overall look
- Cut down again to low body fat while trying to keep all the muscle mass you’ve gained
- Repeat these steps indefinitely until you reach your goals
As a side note, if you’ve been in a cutting phase for a while and you are preparing to bulk, my recommendations is to eat 1-3 weeks at maintenance caloric intake to normalize your hormone levels.
How To Bulk Up Conclusion
While people can bulk up in many different ways, compared to this recommended method, you have to realize that there are countless bulk up solutions and the truth is that you will have to experiment until you see what works best for you.
As I’ve said in my book The No Bs Flexible Formula To Six Pack Abs, autoregulating your approach after your body’s feedback is the most optimal.
What’s your strategy when you bulk up? Share it with other people because sharing is caring.
Also, if you liked this article, share it with your friends or people that might interested in bulking up the right way.