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Week 1 article can be found here while the introduction of the whole series is right here.

So in this week’s segment, I won’t waste time and I’d like to get straight to the point.

Do you wanna gain weight?

Do you want to build muscle, become stronger and achieve personal goals?

Good.

You are in the right place to gain knowledge and inside experience on how to create a powerful physique.

Starting Point

 

As a starting point, I want you to review your personal stats. That includes:

  • Height: How tall are you? What’s your frame? Are you a mesomorph, ectomorph or endomorph? Taller people can build amazing physiques but sometimes they are not blessed with the best genetics, whereas shorter guys have a smaller frame and shorter muscle bellies tend to build muscle faster.
  • Weight: How much is your current weight? Do you gain or lose weight fast? How much and how fast do you want to gain muscle? Are you gonna clean bulk patiently or dirty bulk fast?
  • Bodyfat: Are you skinny fat, plain fat, skinny or do you have some muscle on your frame? Are you a beginner or have you been training for some time? Your current body fat is playing an important role to either choosing a clean bulk or dirty bulk.
  • Food Consumption: You are probably eating according to your current state. You might have a diet or maybe not. You might binge eat or eat healthy but a small amount. Well, now you need to up your calories in order to gain weight and create a nutrition plan
  • Training: How much are you training? Are you overtraining or are you unable to remember the last time you step foot in the gym? Gaining mass is not only eating a lot but training right as well.
  • Age: They say that building muscle is a young man’s game, but recently with the explosion of social media we see a variety of ages getting after it and building amazing physiques. Nevertheless, age plays an important role into how your body will respond to food and training. Plus your metabolic function is a key factor in this process of gaining mass. But remember never let age become an excuse.
  • Rest: Are you sleeping enough? Maybe your schedule doesn’t allow you to sleep 8 hours straight but through the day, you should be getting enough rest in order to replenish and rebuild your body and help your system process food while keeping your hormones in check.

 

Clean Bulk VS Dirty Bulk

 

So before anyone ever decides to gain weight they should know about the endless debate of Clean Bulk Vs Dirty Bulk.

In essence, it’s the plan you gonna follow in order to gain weight and more specifically mass. It comes down to, if you gonna do it steadily, patiently, with healthy food choices and build muscle with some fat, or fast, with drastic changes, gaining a lot of mass and fat which most of the times results in a lot of unhealthy food consumption.

My Recommendation

Since I have done I tell you this. If you are looking to bulk up for the first time you should clean bulk. You should up the calories progressively while training efficiently and rest properly. When I first began bodybuilding and powerlifting I wanted to get huge. But I wanted to do it my way and I chose the natural way always surpassing my so-called ”limits”. But I got caught up while trying to get huge that my body lost its athleticism and its aesthetics. I was big and strong but I also had put a huge strain on my system that took about a year to remove and get lean. All that weight lost, in a period of my life when I was studying to get into university, training 4 times a week and having everyday lessons resulted in a thyroid under function problem, which gave me excess stress, sleepless nights, anxiety and a lot of fears for almost a year.

Would I change my approach?

Hell no. That’s my choices and my own unique journey.

But if you follow the tips and instructions listed below your clean bulk will be a lot easier have immediate results. You don’t need to eat 10 times a day and train 6 times a week like I did when I first started. You need to be mindful and smart. Health and fitness is a marathon, not a run.

On the other hand, if you’ve been doing this for quite some time then you should give it a shot and dirty bulk in order to bypass plateaus and see new gains. But I live by principle and will always recommend clean bulks and healthy food.

Steps Toward Your Goals

 

So finally let’s get down to the details. The steps below are the ones that will help you pack on muscle and reach your goal:

  • Drink WaterSome of you might already know this, to others, it might seem completely ludicrous. Human cells are 75-85% made from water. Water is essential for helping your stomach break down food, help your blood flow into all areas, pee more and remove useless elements from your body. The benefits from drinking water are too many to count and they should be analyzed in another article. If you want to gain muscle you need to drink at least 2-4 liters of water per day. That’s about 1.2 gallons.
  • Diet is KeyBefore you do anything you need to understand that Diet is key so if you been eating like shit, or your food consumption has no structure then you really need to start with the basics. Create a plan, eat at least 3 times every day and have 1-2 snacks. Know how much weight you wanna gain and below I break it dow for you.
  • Up the calories progressivelyIf you gonna bulk either that is clean or dirty bulk don’t do it too fast. Eat more calories steadily while increasing every macronutrient. Protein, Carbs, Fats. That will give your body and training time to adjust and you will see progress being made.
  • Train EfficientlyIf you gonna gain muscle you need to put all that food to good use. Plan your workout routines to last around 1-hour ( Training Legs can take longer). Train with a purpose, focus on having the best form possible and try to gain strength while not ignoring high rep training sessions. Besides, you should not train every day nor should you train high intensity/high volume every time you workout. You should program for deload weeks and weeks where you don’t train at all and let your body rest and rejuvenate.
  • Mix it UpChange your training routine every so often. Change exercises, rep ranges and weight. Follow this principle on nutrition as well. Don’t eat the same food every single day  (unless you have no choice). Different foods have different effects on our body and give another look.
  • Macros-Focus on ProteinProtein should be the main focus. It is the main building block of muscle and will rebuild your tissue after you have trained hard in the gym. Carbs and Fats are essential too, but they should be manipulated to yield the best results while protein should be in almost any meal. Best protein sources are meats, vegetables, fish, plants, seeds and dairy.
  • Use carbs effectivelyCarbs are sugars. They are energy sources and if used correctly, they can yield amazing results. Of course, your carbs are most likely gonna be higher than your proteins when you bulk up (1 gram of protein/ 1.5 grams of carbs per pound of BW) but remember that timing is everything. Make sure you eat a carb snack before you workout and take your carbs, like oatmeal in the morning. They will make you look bigger and fuller and help your blood go into your muscle when training. Keep in mind though, that too many carbohydrates, which aren’t used by your body on a daily basis will turn into fat cells and give you false mass. Of course, when you bulk up not all calories go into your muscle tissue. That would be magical. Nevertheless, it is always best to no eat excess food even when you bulking. If you chose like I told you, to clean bulk then upping you carbs should be a slow process. Sometimes you should go low carb in order to confuse the body, make good use of your own energy sources, up your metabolism and enhance your testosterone levels.
  • Keep an eye on FatFats are energy sources as well. They are the tricky devil in any phase whether you are bulking or cutting. Fats should do damage control and you should not eat any more than your body needs. Search the internet for macro counting apps. One that a lot of people use is FitnessPal which helps you monitor your calories based on your goals and your current intake. Fat should be consumed in your breakfast and post workout. Always remember especially for women, that fats play a key role for our hormonal system and helps the production of testosterone and estrogen. Actually, fats have an immediate link to our sleep, our skin, our sexual drive, so keep an eye on them while eating as much as needed without excess.
  • Rest ProperlyLast but certainly not least make sure you rest properly in order to see gains instead of injuries. When I first started training and bulking I used to sleep around 5-6 hours. Thank god I have good genetics, or else I would be piling on injuries after injuries. I understand that with our busy lives most of us can sleep for 8 hours straight. That’s ok just make sure you rest or nap through the day and replenish your body from all that strain. A great way you can help your body’s healing process is through meditation and corrective breathing which I will talk more about in another article.

 

In Conclusion

Follow the steps that were discussed above and I guarantee you will see the results you want. But never forget that you have to visualize what you want your body to look like and work towards that vision. Same thing applies to anything in life.

 

Marios Kanellos

Author Marios Kanellos

Marios holds a degree in Political Science & History. He is also a certified NASM CPT & CES AND FMS Level 1 Coach. His personal study is primarily focused on health, exercise, spirituality, and business with soul.

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