Building muscle mass

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Bulking is a phase of your training where the goal is to increase muscle mass. You gain weight due to adding both lean muscle and fat.

What does "bulking" actually refer to?

Bulking does not mean only putting on muscle mass. It means that you put on weight from both increased body fat as well as lean muscle tissue. This is where the importance of training and nutrition comes in. It is possible to gain weight without gaining muscle, but it is also possible to lose weight without losing fat.

Weight gain seems simple, but building a maximum of muscle is much more complicated.

Is it easy to build muscle?

The answer is no. Everybody has a different capacity for building muscle. Genetics has a lot to do with it, and people can be divided into three body types.

  • Endomorphs: Athletes with this body type will find achieving results from weightlifting somewhat difficult. They have small bone structures, wide hips and narrow shoulders and tend to put on body fat easily, even while maintaining a balanced diet. They gain weight very easily.
  • Mesomorphs: This is the ideal body type for weightlifting. Athletes with this body type have large, strong bones and wide shoulders. They are naturally muscular and find it easy to both gain and lose weight. They will build muscle mass easily.

  • Ectomorphs: Athletes with this body type will find achieving weightlifting results the most difficult. They have small bone structures, are thin and not very muscular, and have narrow shoulders and hips. They can eat a lot but do not gain weight.

Regardless of your body type, you can still make progress and make changes to your body. However, results are highly dependent upon your nutrition and training, and will depend on the individual.

How to gain muscle

To gain muscle mass, you should follow a high calorie diet for several months (2 to 4 months). You should increase both your protein and carb intake so that your body has the necessary nutrients it needs to build muscle.

To avoid changing your eating habits, you can add powders such as Mass Gainer to your diet. These powders contain only protein and carbs, letting you increase your intake of these nutrients without changing your regular diet.

Bulking leads to increased muscle mass while the extra calories are stored as fat. This phase is generally followed by a period of dieting in order to lose fat tissue while not affecting the muscle tissue.

When taking these dietary supplements, you should be doing more frequent, intense training sessions than usual.

What happens after bulking?

The bulking phase is generally followed by a cutting phase. Although bulking leads to increase lean muscle mass, it also leads to weight gain from fat. During the cutting phase, the goal is to lose fat and better define the muscle you gained.

 

Marie Fauchille
Dietician | Nutritionist
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