Some people use winter as an excuse to pack on the pounds, they call it bulking season. But there’s more to it than just adding a few extra slices of pizza or cake to dinner, at least there is if you want to maintain your fitness levels and increase functional strength.
What is bulking?
Most of you are probably familiar with bulking, but to clarify — there’s more to it than just putting on weight. If we all got stronger just by getting fatter, there’d be a lot of happy lifters around. The quality of the weight you put on is incredibly important, and doing it safely takes some time and effort.
In essence, bulking is one of the most effective ways of raising strength numbers by altering your weight. The idea, is that the heavier you are (within reason) the more weight you’ll be able to move, but remember: The quality of the added weight matters.
Why do some lifters bulk?
If you’re doing all that you can with your training and your numbers aren’t moving up as much as you’d like, then putting on some weight can help you to find gains in your strength, in ways that lifting alone can’t.
Bulking can add a few kilos to your lifts, or it can completely transform how you train. Some people perform much better when they bulk, while others don’t notice the change as much. It’s trial and error.
Five quick tips to bulk effectively
We’ll get into some calculations and what have you next, but if all you’re looking for are some quick and easy tips to gain weight safely, here are five that Mass recommends:
- Eat more quality carbohydrates (pasta, brown rice, whole wheat bread, potatoes)
- Eat more protein (all kinds of meat and fish, oily fish especially)
- Eat more healthy fats (cook in organic butter, spread ripe avocado on toast with eggs)
- Up your compound lifts (deadlift, squat, cleans)
- Moderate your cardio (maintain fitness, but avoid burning excess calories)