So you want to get bigger? No problem. You canít figure it out on your own? Also not a problem. Thatís what Iím here for! This is a short two part series to start off the New Year and will guarantee a huge 2011. Thereís no science, no calorie counting, no complicated training stuff, just a basic plan that works. Since diet is the most important factor in pretty much anything, weíll start there.
I suck at counting calories. To be honest, I really canít be bothered. Itís not because I donít have the time either, I donít make excuses, itís because I wonít make the time Ė thereís a subtle difference, and that difference is simply not caring. If you donít mind counting calories and whatnot all the power to you, most of this post wonít apply to you but it might be a good read anyway.
Still, even though Iím absolutely terrible at diet management Iíve never had trouble bulking up, its all about knowing your body, knowing what you usually eat, and adjusting a few things when you donít see the scales changing or you notice youíve gotten rid of all your mirrors.
Thereís a lot of chatter about clean bulking on the net and in the fitness mags, but I can tell you right now that itís a bunch of crap. To bulk (put on mass) you need to eat more than your body currently requires. Thereís just no getting around that fact and hereís why.
Right now your body is used to being the same size, itís used to your current activity levels inside and outside of the gym, and it even knows when you usually take your meals and when you wake up and go to sleep. All in all your body is pretty damned good at staying the same Ė itís this efficiency thatís allowed us to survive as a species so long when conditions may have killed a less versatile creature. After all, itís going to take a lot less effort to stay the same than to get bigger - youíll require less energy, less food, and fewer resources to keep alive. Ten thousand years ago this was a good thing.
But no longer!
To get bigger you need to FORCE your body to do so. A clean bulk is a huge oxymoron; the two words just canít co-exist unless youíre running a cycle of Ēspecial vitaminsĒ a friend of a friend got from Mexico. You know what I mean. If youíre eating more food than you need to stay the same youíre going to put on weight, and if you want to get any sort of appreciable results at the end of it get ready to get a little smoother around the edges for a while.
The critical step in bulking for idiots is to dispense with the bull**** and start some serious eating. Not 100-200 calories more, add another zero and youíre about right. Once you get that into your head (and the fact that you can just cut all that fat away later on, so why worry?) the rest is easy. Here are a few simple food choices that make bulking a piece of cake. In fact, cake could probably be one of them.
Milk. Milk is the most obvious secret in the iron game and has been for the last 60 years. Its cheap, itís full of carbs, protein, and fat, and itís available pretty much everywhere. Itís the poor-mans mass gainer, and in my opinion itís streets ahead of all of them. 100ml of whole milk has about 65 calories in it, a massive 370 calories per pint. If you eat three meals a day and have a pint of milk on the side instead of water thatís over 1100 calories extra every day! This is almost too easy. Milk is also great source of calcium and some B vitamins too, both essential nutrients in sports performance.
Next up, nuts. 100g of nuts is a sizable handful and can contain anywhere between 500 and 700 calories! If you split that into 4 small snacks throughout the day youíll barely notice youíre eating anything extra, but with the milk weíre already up to about 1800 extra calories. For some people this may have even doubled their total intake Ė how the hell these people think theyíre going to get anywhere is beyond me. Nuts are also a fantastic source of mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids which can help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, and can boost natural testosterone production.
Finally, olive oil. This is great if youíre feeling full at this point and just need to get your calories in and go to bed, and at 135 calories per tablespoon itís a god-send. I like to mix a few tablespoons in with my daily fruit smoothie for an extra 260 calories and some more of those healthy fats. I think that brings us over 2000 calories now, too.
If you havenít been keeping track, hereís a simple summary (you really are lazy, do you even go to the gym at all?):
Eat more, gain weight. If you eat enough to put on some fat youíve probably put on twice as much muscle. If you canít put up with this have fun staying small.
Drink a pint of milk with every major meal for an extra 1100 calories or more, and some useful nutrients.
100g of nuts throughout the day as snacks will give you an extra 700 calories and some hormone-boosting fats.
Finish up your day with a fruit smoothie containing a few tablespoons of olive oil. Youíll barely notice it and it should bring your running total of bulking calories over 2000.
All told you should now have no trouble eating upwards of 4000 calories and you didnít even have to count them. This is more than enough to pack on solid slabs of muscle over the next few months of training. Itís not easy, and most days youíll go to sleep feeling fit to burst, but stick with it.
Iíd also like to point out that just because youíre bulking itís not an excuse to skimp on the vegetables. Clean bulking is stupid, but healthy bulking should be common sense Ė get plenty of fruit, vegetables, fish, chicken, whole grains, cereals, and other healthy foods in your main meals and let the milk, nuts, and olive oil take care of your bulking.
Next time weíll look at the training side of things and what it takes to actually turn all that food into muscle.
getlifting.info Bulking for Idiots and Lazy People: Part I (Diet)