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Bulking: where to start.

Bulking means adding muscle mass and inevitably some body fat so why should you do it?

In short, it's the best way to create shape and give your body power that it didn't have before.

What does it take: More food ( for energy and muscle mass), more workout intensity (less endurance) plus consistency.

Bulking goes hand in hand with cutting and together they lead to an amazing physique but will also give you access to a greater range of workouts thanks to the strength acquired.

The ideal bulking point is different for women and men. In any case, you should start lean and conditioned ( a PT can assist you with the whole process) : circa 12 % body fat for men and around 24 % for women ( you should be able to see the superior part of your abdominal section). If you're not there yet, then you should be considering cutting first (see post about cutting).

Let us now consider food intake as you will need to calorie count for this bulking period. First find your BMR ( Basal metabolic rate) and then adjust the calorie count to the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) of your physical activity (you can find calorie count per specific physical activity but it gets a bit tedious so instead, pick an activity frequency which is included in the calculator below).

In my case, this gives me a total calorie count of 1982 Cals/day at my current level of activity. I'm going to add 10 % to that to be in calorie surplus which will give me 2180 calorie/ day to play with and have more energy to push and pull heavier weights. (but not on my rest days). Evidently, these will be quality calories based on my needs.

Next, we must decide how we balance the macronutrients: protein, fats and carbohydrates to maximise lean muscle growth. This is probably the trickiest one to get right and will need some trialling and the experience of a pro ( nutritionist PT or coach). This is because there are different body types which respond differently to diets and exercise routines. Our metabolism and our endocrine system also play a big part in muscle growth and these will vary in each individual. For all those reasons, I won't guide anyone here through their macro intake. Of course, there will be articles on the Internet giving you percentages for macros (mainly bracket) but it is not accurate and might not be appropriate for you.

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