Working out to bulk upIf you asked five different people about how to bulk up, you’d probably get five different answers.

It seems like everyone has their own idea about what works. That’s because everyone has varying fitness goals and distinct body types.

However, some foundational fitness principles stay consistent regardless of whether you’re trying to look like Superman or you’re just trying not to look like Spiderman (before he was Spiderman).

In today’s blog, we’ll tell you how to bulk up the right way. The “right way” means these straightforward tips are based on science, not trends or taste. Let’s take a look!

Fill up on whole foods, not fats

One thing most people tell you about bulking up is, “Eat more!” But there’s something missing from that piece of advice. You need to eat more of the right foods.

Your body certainly needs food (calories) to build muscle, but empty calories won’t give you muscle. Instead, they’ll turn into fat.

Seek out whole, nutritious foods that make your body stronger and more energized. Not only do healthy foods strengthen your muscles, but they also give you more energy to push yourself harder during workouts. Harder workouts translate to better results, and that means more of the bulk you’re looking for.

Work, work, work

Lifting is an essential part of bulking up. However, it’s important to give your muscles a chance to recover after workouts and even between reps. Take at least one rest day a week, and definitely vary your workouts from one day to the next.

If you work arms and shoulders every day, you’ll likely end up with an injury—and probably flabby legs, too.

Don’t feel like you have to dedicate every workout to weights. It’s always a good idea to throw in some cardio. Don’t worry, a two-mile run is not going to hinder your muscle growth unless you give up weights altogether.

Pack on the protein

Protein is the ultimate muscle builder. Eat a lot of protein, but be sure to especially eat it after workouts. Protein replenishes the muscles you’ve spent the last hour fatiguing at the gym.

In order to build muscle, your protein intake must exceed the amount of muscle breakdown that occurred during your workout. (Lifting actually breaks down your muscles. The process of breaking down muscles in order to strengthen them is only completed when you feed your muscles protein.)

If you truly want to bulk up the right way, be picky about your proteins. Don’t eat a ribeye every night of the week. Instead get your protein from meats that are low in fat like chicken and fish.

Put the brakes on

Bulking up should happen over a determined period of time. A diet and workout routine dedicated to “bulking up” isn’t meant to be maintained forever.

What happens if you never stop bulking up? Eventually, the opposite happens because your body’s sensitivity to insulin begins to decline.

Your body uses insulin to carry nutrients to your muscles. If you don’t have enough insulin, your muscles aren’t getting the nutrients they need to grow. Make sure you stop your bulk-up routine before you get to this stage.

If you have more questions about finding a fitness plan that will help you achieve your goals, contact the team at Balance Fitness. Give us a call at our San Mateo location at (650) 348-1259, or our Santa Clara location at (408) 244-3010. You can also contact us online any time!