Do you need to eat a lot of food (bulking) to build muscle = yes
However, having just that singular focus (bulking) will inevitably only lead to one thing = fat gain
Here’s why and how to bulk without gaining fat, only muscle….
There are 3 main elements that have a negative impact when people try and ‘bulk’
Gaining Muscle mass
Have you ever eaten a lot of food in the pursuit of gaining muscle only to find yourself getting tired all the time, lacking in motivation, and losing appetite?
That’s your body telling you this isn’t right, it basically begins to shut down.
There are 3 main elements that have a negative impact when people try and ‘bulk’ to grow large amounts of muscle:
Leptin is a hormone that suppresses appetite.
Leptin is produced when your fat cells have been exposed to fats or insulin for a certain period of time.
It kills your appetite making it harder to consume excess calories.
This can lead to people eating junk food just to get their calories in.
This creates a massively acidic body, which slows recovery and promotes injury.
Constantly elevating the amount of glucose in your body through poor food choices.
Leads to an elevated amount of insulin being constantly secreted into the body.
Cells become resistant to insulin.
When insulin sensitivity drops, fat gain is inevitable.
Increased fat gain from constant overeating leads to increased aromatisation of testosterone to estrogen.
Fat cells produce the enzymes that do this. It’s a vicious cycle – more fat, means more enzymes realised that turn testosterone into estrogen.
For men, a lack of testosterone has a multitude of negative impacts.
For the sake of our argument, it makes it a lot harder to build muscle, if not almost impossible.
For females, more estrogen being produced by more fat cells will inevitably lead to gaining fat easier and quicker.
For this reason, the most ideal body fat to be at in order to gain muscle without much fat, is no more than 12% for males and 20% for females
You can see that with just these 3 aspects, large and long term bulking is not effective. It greatly disrupts key hormones in the body.
How to Bulk Effectively
The answer is Nutrition cycling! A cyclical cycling approach.
Nutrition cycling allows us to overcome these aspects and greatly improve our ability to build muscle.
It is not a magic solution that means you suddenly gain lots of muscle, fast. It still requires hard work and dedication.
But, if you’re willing to put that time in, then huge results can be achieved in a short space of time. I know because I’ve done it.
This is exactly what I do to gain relatively large amounts of muscle as a natural athlete with just my TRX suspension trainer, bodyweight, and resistance band workouts.
This is a cyclical approach. The goal is never to be stationary.
You’re always either gaining muscle or cutting fat.
Coasting at this level get’s you nowhere.
If you feel things slowing down, make the necessary adjustment before things come to a complete stop.
How does Nutrition Cycling Work?
The cycling works by training in a period of relative calorie deprivation for as short a time as is necessary to restore insulin sensitivity.
And drop body fat (down to 12% for males and 20% for females) for hormone utilisation.
After this brief period, we dramatically change things up and aggressively ‘bulk’ for a period of time.
But, we never do it for too long before resetting again with the shorter period explained above.
This allows us to gain quality muscle but stop and reset before the body begins to utilise the additional calories ineffectively.
Due to insulin resistance building and in turn, fat gain increasing and deprivation of effective hormone utilisation.
You’re going to need to get to know your body in order to use nutrition cycling correctly.
Once you begin, this doesn’t take long and will help you become more in tune with your body as a whole.
The two phases of nutrition cycling are:
- Growth phase: Bulking – High amounts of carbs, medium protein, lower fat (high overall calorie intake)
- Reset phase: Cutting – High amounts of fat, medium protein, low carbs (low overall calorie intake)
Depending on how long each phase lasts, will depend on your body and lifestyle.
As a general rule of thumb:
- Growth Phase = 5 – 8 weeks
- Reset phase = 4 – 10 days
Both cycled continuously.
That’s nutrition cycling and How I Bulk For Muscle Mass Without Gaining Fat
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