As everyone in the gym knows, gaining weight can be a good thing as long as the added pounds are in the form of muscles and not fat. So no matter if you’re skinny and trying to pack on muscle or not-so-skinny and working to convert your body mass into lean muscle mass, bulking up isn’t as easy as it sounds. The trick is to give your body the nutrition it needs to change your body on the molecular level by adding nutrients and clean calories so it can add muscle, and not fat. Here’s what you should do to bulk up.
When trying to build lean muscle mass, tearing muscle fiber in the gym is only the beginning. Working on the molecular levels with the cells between and around muscles allows for greater absorption of protein and therefore muscle gains.
Protein is a macronutrient, one of three large molecules we get from food and need in large amounts—the other two macronutrients are fat and carbohydrates. We need to eat protein to maintain the structure of cells, hair, bones and connective tissue, for enzymes that digest food, for antibodies that keep the immune system functioning, for energy and for muscle strength and mass. Each gram of protein you eat gives you four calories of energy.
Protein molecules are made up of smaller components called amino acids. They link together to make long strands, which then fold up to make large, three-dimensional structures that do everything from creating structural underpinnings in the body to catalyze reactions and transport other molecules within and between cells. These branched-chain amino acids are essential nutrients that your body obtains from proteins found in food, especially meat, dairy products, and legumes. They include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. “Branched-chain” refers to the chemical structure of these amino acids. People use branched-chain amino acids for medicine.
Cardio is always going to be needed, but it is not as important as lifting weights to build muscle mass.
There are some exceptions to this. If you’re are skinny and looking to build muscle and mass, you’ll want to leave cardio totally out of your workout routine. Adding cardio to weight training can decrease your strength gains and muscle growth while burning more of your calories. But, If you’re a bigger person who is looking to slim down and build muscle, incorporating cardio into your strength training workouts may result in better fat loss and muscle gains. When it comes to the relationship between cardio and weight lifting, not all cardio activities are equal. Cycling, ellipitcal and rowing machines are less detriminal to your body than the pounding effects of running.
One or two 30-minute sessions per week of cardio is more than enough, but make sure you’re doing your cardio on non-weightlifting days.
Protein powder is an essential supplement for bulking up.
Protein will become your best nutritional aid as you try to build muscle mass. You may think by eating more food that will help but you do not want to add too many calories since calories (even from protein) will only add extra fat. There’s no absolute answer for how many grams of protein a person should consume each day — it depends on your weight and your activity level. Most official nutrition organizations recommend a fairly modest protein intake. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound.
This amounts to:
You can get your fill of protein from protein supplements, shakes, bars, and most importantly, natural high-protein foods like meat, eggs, peanut butter, and nuts.
OK. So bulking up while on a Keto diet is extremely hard becaise of the limitation of carbohydrates consumed. Yes, carbohydrates are important to build muscle.
Many people put their focus on the importance of protein when trying to build mass, but carbs play an important role in building lean muscle as well. When you exercise in the gym your body converts stored carbohydrates into ATP molecules that are used for energy. If you reduce your carb intake you will have lower energy leading your workouts to suffer. The website Livestrong.com recommends eating a simple carbohydrate one to two hours after your workout. The carbs will drive nutrients into your bloodstream to feed your muscles while stimulating the release of insulin. This helps your muscles start the post-workout repair process.
The most substantial difference with using the ketogenic diet for bulking as opposed to cutting is the carbohydrates. During the bulking phase a 36 hour carb load is recommended. This will allow a influx of carbs into the muscle but does not overdo it. The next major difference is that you are to have 1000 calories’ worth of carbs, contrary to most keto diet plans but with a good amount of whey protein, approximately two hours before your mid week workout. The main goal of this carb spike is to allow you to have a substantial amount of muscle glycogen to maintain workout intensity.
Now one last thing as far as the carbing-up goes, one option is to start with very high-glycemic carbs, then taper down to lower-glycemic carbs. The other route is to eat what you want. For a hard-core bulking routine this is what most people will do. If you are going to follow the “eat whatever you can get your hands on” route, definitely try to choose the lower-fat route.
Calories will help you bulk up. Calories are simply a measure of energy, normally used to measure the energy content of foods and beverages. As one of our favorite weight loss authors, Dr. Jason Fung has said, Your body does not know what a calorie is but it knows how to use them.
You use the calories that you eat and drink for essential functions such as breathing and thinking, as well as day-to-day activities such as walking, talking and eating. Technically speaking, a dietary calorie is defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius.
Any excess calories you eat will be stored as fat, and consistently eating more than you burn will cause weight gain over time.
For muscles to grow (bulk up), they will need to be fed. According to experts at Columbia University, this means eating an additional 2,270 to 3,630 calories a week to build as much as 1 pound of muscle during that period of time. When broken down into daily needs that equals about 500 additional calories a day. Which with so many high calorie food and beverage options does not take much. Firrst thing though is to calculate your daily activities. If you’re hitting the gym regularly for an intense weight-lifting session where you are breaking up your muscles, you could be burning up to 500 calories an hour, shifting your caloric intake goal to be around 1,000 extra calories a day.
Building muscle takes real work. It is not something that can be done overnight. Unlike weight loss it takes longer to add more real lean muscle mass.
To see results, you’ll want to lower the number of reps and increase weight. Men’s Fitness magazin recommends doing between six and 12 reps with a lower number of total sets per workout. Using heavier weights and slow, controlled movements to complete each rep. Each set should last between 40 and 70 seconds to ensure you’re tensing your muscles long enough to stimulate muscle growth. For the best results, set up your training schedule to either train the entire body in a single workout or concentrate on the upper body one day and the lower body the next. Don’t try to isolate one muscle group in a single session. We know, doing the same exercises day in, day out may seem boring, but, unfortunately, for most people, most of the time, staying consistent with the big lifts makes a big difference.
As far as the supplements go, I advocate essential vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, and E, and a high-quality multivitamin. But a great supplement for maximum benefit are glucose-disposal agents. These will allow you to hit ketosis faster, and also allow you to cram even more glucose into your muscles during carb-load periods. A powerful glucose-disposal agent is alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), which mimics insulin.
If you want to know how to build muscle, follow these tips to maximize gains from your weight training and nutrition regmen.
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