Listen to the Episode
What does successful bulking look like in the real world? What are the key success factors in a successful bulk? WHO is a good candidate for bulking, and — perhaps more importantly — who isn’t?
- Scott and Kevin emphasized the timelines. Building a significant amount of muscle does not happen overnight. It just doesn’t.
- A corollary of this is that mentally, you have to be prepared to bulk, and to keep bulking, and then to stay bulked up for not just weeks or a few months, but a year and longer.
- Scott compares building a body to building a house: you need to bring in the workers, you need to have enough material, and you need to keep them there. If you send them home, it’ll take awhile to bring them back.
The ABCs of Bulking
- If in doubt, eat.
- That said, avoid big meals. Eat a bunch of small meals. This isn’t magically stoking the metabolic fire, but it is stoking things like subjective hunger.
- Never stop listening to your biofeedback.
Protein and other macro needs for bulking?
- Protein needs not *that* huge. Your body can only build so much muscle. If you take in excess protein, what happens is deamination: it’s broken down and used for glucose. That’s expensive physiologically and actually, in terms of your wallet.
- The “building blocks” of the house are the protein-sparing nutrients (carbs and fats)?
- 16-20 X BW in calories is a good starting point for total calories.
- After that starting point, it’s about biofeedback: elimination, digestion, energy, etc.
- Don’t ignore biofeedback. If your’e not hungry, don’t force feed. Stoke your hunger and build your way up.
- Bulking is one of those situations where you can “drink your calories” (as opposed to dieting, when you don’t want something that won’t fill you up).
- Don’t load up on veggies if you’re bulking. Don’t cut them out entirely, but by virtue of your increased total intake, you’ll get what you need, and overdoing it can be…. unpleasant.
- Bulking is not that complicated. Stick to the basics.
- Cosmetically bulking is not pleasing. But if you quit too soon you’ll be gaining fat for no reason!
- We’re talking at least 6 months, and more likely something like 2 years, if you’re doing a real, serious bulk. But you can’t give an exact timeline. The body will take the time it takes. AND once you get up to a certain point, you need to stay there.
Signs things are going well:
- You’re doing well in the gym. Stronger, good energy, etc. If suddenly you can’t perform because you’re so out of breath, you’re not doing your physique goals any favours.
- Some of what you gain is clearly muscle.
- Hunger is still up.
Who should NOT bulk?
- Someone who puts on fat very easily. This might mean endomorphs, or people who’ve lost a significant amount of fat previously and are pre-disposed to put it back on.
- Anyone over 50 years old. Gaining a lot of weight is a form of stress on the body that you shouldn’t be applying to it at that age.
- Anyone not able to mentally make the long-term commitment. It is a mental game too.
Links / Resources mentioned
The Sh*tter: A Cautionary Tale About Biofeedback: http://scottabelfitness.com/the-shtter-cautionary-tale-about-biofeedback-metabolism-and-diet-cults/