How to bulk: The Ultimate Guide to Building Muscle & Transforming your Physique

picture of women deadlifting. Build muscle. how to bulk

Wanting to Build ze muscles, aka Bulk? I got you!⁣ Let’s build your body brick by brick.

First things first, bulking isn’t just for men. If most women actually trained like they want to get bulky, they would actually look like they lift!

What is bulking:

Bulking is just another word/phrase for building muscle. It is intentional. It requires a person to eat a surplus of calories to elicit muscle growth. This is how muscle is built. You can’t build muscle if you don’t send the right signal to the body. Again, one of those signals is food – eating enough calories and eating more than your body burns on a consistent basis, aka a calorie surplus.

STRONG friend, if you are ready to go into a real, true intentional bulk, aka building muscle, I am laying it out for you in this blog!

Doing a dedicated build phase, aka bulking, is the answer to the toned physique you have been chasing year after year. You will have to put dieting on the backburner! No more calorie deficit-ing yourself for a good while!

What is toning, aka building muscle:

Toning is building muscle. You can’t tone muscles that you do not have.

Pink dumbbells and high repetitions won’t get you to the toned look (the appearance of muscle at rest and when you flex)! That way of exercising won’t tone your body. I know you want your arms, shoulders, thighs, back, etc., to have shape and definition. Yes, correct?! I know you do.

The muscle-building process is lost on most. Thank you fitness industry promotes the toning narrative for women, cardio over strength training, and endless dieting. You’ve probably believed forever that losing weight and doing cardio-style workouts is the way to get toned. Most women do this for years and never actually achieve the toned look. Sis, it’s your way of training and the endless yo-yo dieting.

So, let’s dive into the ends outs of bulking, aka muscle building…

First of all, you must get your mind right about the muscle-building process. It’s a slow process, so strap in for the long haul.

While building your muscle, you can expect to gain some weight/fat. It doesn’t have to be sloppy, though. We aren’t doing a during bulk. We will be intentional. More on that in a moment.

The scale will go up… remember you asked for muscle! Muscle weighs something!

Where to start your bulk phase:

If you’re coming out of fat loss, spend at least 3-6 months consuming your maintenance level of calories before going into a bulk (surplus of calories)! Check out this blog for more on spending time at maintenance before moving into a calorie surplus!

In doing so, this will help with getting used to eating more food.

You’ve spent some good time in maintenance, and you’ve gotten used to eating more food; let‘s go into a bulk phase!

Are you ready?

How to set your bulking calories:

Since you know your maintenance calories, you won’t be guessing about where to start with your bulk.

My recommendation is to start your bulk somewhere between 250-500 calories over your maintenance. Continue to track your surplus. Don’t get into the free-for-all mindset, and stop tracking. This is when folks tend to gain too much fat. Then you’ll want to run back to cut. So keep your surplus calories in check by tracking it consistently.

Tracking your progress:

  • Track your weight daily
  • Track your measurements
  • Take progress photos monthly – relaxed and posed
  • You can also get your body fat tested through a Dexa or Hydrostatic Underwatering Weighing.

We are looking for Approximately 1-2% weight gain per month.

How do I know I am gaining muscle:

  • Your weight is increasing, or you’re at least maintaining your weight.
  • Your clothes are fitting differently in all the right places.
  • You’re weights are increasing over time. Your performance in the gym is the! Your lifts are progressing!
  • You’re feeling STRONG AF!
  • You feel and look firmer.
  • You’re using more weight.
  • Performing more repetitions.

Just to name a few!

How long should I bulk for:

Think months, not weeks! At least 6 months!

Muscle building is a lengthy process. So, Sis, strap in for the long haul to get ze gains.

Don’t run back to a calorie deficit in a month when you start to feel fluffy!

Commit to the process of building muscle. It’s SO worth it.

Muscle building checklist:

To wrap things up a bit, this checklist ensures that you aren’t leaving any gains on the table. STRONG friends, it’s imperative that you honor your recovery. And honoring your recovery is more than just taking a day off from the gym. It’s eating well, hydrating, sleeping, etc.

  • Take rest days
  • Sleep well – 7-9 hrs a night
  • Eat well
  • Keep your protein in check – .8 – 1 gram per lb of body weight.
  • Eat your carbs to fuel your performance in the gym.
  • Monitor your calories to ensure you stay in a Surplus!
  • Track your lifts to make sure you are progressing over time!

Let’s go to work! This is gonna be an amazing time.

STRONG friend, train like you mean it, aka with intensity – lift challenging weights. Please, please train with a Structured Lifting Program with Progressive Overload!

That’s that STRONG friend. I hope you found this blog helpful. If you send the right signals, you’ll build the muscle! So go forth and build it.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about the bulking process or if you like to work with a coach through this process. I’d be happy to help! I may be the coach for you. If you are interested in working with me, book a STRONGER Way Connection Call here!

Happy Gainz, Happy Lifting!

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