There are a lot of misconceptions in the fitness world. One of these plays into the belief that in order to build muscle mass you have to gain fat.
We make a lot of errors when trying to bulk. A lot of these come with not paying attention to the amount of fat that we take on. A great example of this comes with powerlifters – they often eat whatever they want, whenever they want or down litres of milk a day and don’t mind putting on the fat as long as their lifts are high. The strength is there, so it doesn’t seem important – but to be a bodybuilder, or to achieve similar results, we shouldn’t be going to that extent during our bulking phase.
What Can We Do To Safely Bulk?
The best thing we can do is find our maintenance amount and add 200 calories above this amount. Painfully, this will require counting calories to make sure that we are precise. We just have to stick to this 200 calorie surplus until we start to hit a plateau – such as when our lifts aren’t going up any more. After that, jump it up 200 calories more and continue. This can be continued until a sufficient amount of muscle mass has been added on and then we can maintain our new physique or lean down.
The great thing about taking this approach is that it makes cutting a lot easier down the road. We only have to cut a few hundred calories instead of 500 or more. People may argue that this makes it take a lot longer, but the truth is that constantly bulking and cutting over and over again at extreme intake levels will easily take just as long. Plus, this allows for constant strength gains – no need to build up your lifts only to watch them freefall once you start cutting!