Spring is right around the corner and many are ready to shed the winter weight and get in shape for the summer months. One of the factors that don’t come into play is that you may not have enough muscle mass to maintain a muscular looking physique once you’re shredded. Use these next 6 week to put on as much clean weight as possible to build some new lean muscle tissue before it’s time to peel down.
Follow these guidelines on nutrition, supplements and training to get the most muscle on your frame in the next month and a half to be able to maintain mass when its time for the board shorts.
The training when trying to put on mass should be a mixture of strength work combined with pure hypertrophy working sets. Different from trying to get lean, putting on weight should be focused around heavy compound sets to maximize your time in the gym. Things like squats and lunges for legs, bench press for the chest, deadlifts for back and clean & presses for shoulders should all be staples for these next 6 weeks.
Rather than attacking this from a strictly bodybuilding standpoint where each body part is only worked on its perspective day (once a week), we will focus these workouts around doing as much work as possible by enabling us to hit everything twice a week. Spending as little time as possible in the gym by incorporating supersets and giant sets helps us to maximize output and minimize rest time. This type of training was made famous by the Golden Age bodybuilders who were looking for more mass in their off-season training regimen.
Limited rest time was usually some of the only cardiovascular exercise performed during these bulking weeks or months. We’ll replicate this training style as well and keep cardio to a minimum but not avoiding it completely. Many think that when one is bulking that it has to be heavy weights, whole pizzas and never darkening the doorstep of the cardio room. Not true! Keeping your heart rate up for a consistent amount of time is great for a healthier heart as well as keeping your conditioning up to allow you to push it that much more in the weight room. If you’re not one to perform cardio very consistently, start with small amounts or take it a step further with HIIT cardio.
If you want to get big, then you’ve go to eat big. I’m not talking about pounding cheeseburgers, ice cream and nachos. Dirty bulking is the worst approach to putting on weight as you’ll not maximize muscle mass, rather you’ll be adding unwanted fat. Besides, you’re going to be stripping a pretty significant amount of weight off after this bulk, so adding unnecessary weight will only make it harder.
Getting big in this short amount of time does require some serious thought and planning when it comes to eating enough clean calories. Carbohydrate intake should be primarily the biggest component of your macro breakdown, making up about 45%-50% of the three. Protein should come in next with your intake being about 30%-35%, which should allow the body to put on lean muscle tissue. Fat consumption should be the smaller component with it making up around 15%-20% of your total caloric needs.
Although fats do have their place in helping with bodily function and health, calorically speaking, carbs and protein are the big two to putting on mass. Choose to eat your fats later on in the day and before bed to slow down protein digestion and keep you fuller longer.
Supplementing while bulking is fairly easy and affordable if you are able to plan wisely. The need for a pre-workout is generally not as necessary due to the high energy available from all of the excess carbohydrates you’re taking in.
If you’re in the need for a little pick me up, try drinking half a scoop of pre-workout, MYPRE or MYAMINO BOOST, along with some Creatine Monohydrate to keep the body functioning at optimal capacity to make the most possible progress.
Whey protein must be an essential item in your supplement cabinet and should never leave whether you’re bulkingor cutting. This will allow you to hit your protein macros without spending a fortune on real meat sources. I would recommend Impact Whey Isolate, as a lean protein source.
BCAAs can also provide some added musculature when supplemented around and during your workouts to avoid your body falling into a catabolic state (breaking down muscle for energy).
Take Home Message
Bulking may be the last thing on many people’s brains right now when swimming suits and trunks are hitting the racks, but ensuring you have enough muscle is key before deciding to peel away all the fat. Hit these next 6 weeks with intensity – ensuring all areas, including training, nutrition and supplementation are down to a science and you’ll see some great gains!