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To Bulk Up or To Not Bulk Up

In the last 50 years the knowledge of how the body works when gaining muscle has improved dramatically and we have learned a lot from sports science and continue to do so. When bodybuilding first started the only way that muscle was gained was by eating lots and training hard for hours at a time.

But since fitness and bodybuilding has now become big business there continues to be a lot of money spent on finding the most efficient way to gain muscle on a long-term basis. It is these clinical trials that continue to teach us that the concept of bulking up and losing fat to in order to compete as a bodybuilder is not only unhealthy but can limit your success in gaining muscle.

In the last ten years we have learned from these studies that it is not necessary to add 20 or 30 pounds of fat during the off-season in order to add muscle to your frame. Beginners and intermediate body-builders can very effectively continue adding muscle WITHOUT adding any fat to their frame.

As bodybuilders or people who train with weights specifically to gain muscle we need to very clear that weight gain has nothing to do with muscle gain. They are very different and always will be as eating like a pig and gaining weight is just fat gain and has nothing to do with the hard work you put in at the gym or at home.

It is easier to get ‘bigger’ when wearing clothes just by eating junk food, which increases the amount of fat that you have on your frame, but does not increase the amount of muscle or the amount of strength that you have in any way. Proper muscle gain without adding fat can now be achieved by adding some attention to how you train and how you eat on a daily basis.

Science has now conclusively proven that we do not have to train for hours at a time in order to get stronger. It only requires a maximum of an hour a day hard intense training and often less than an hour a day is more than sufficient for most beginners who have been training for a year or less.

Gaining muscle without gaining fat is now well proven and but requires discipline when it comes to your daily nutrition that you get. Most bodybuilders know very well 1 gram of protein per pound of body-weight is required to build muscle on a regular basis.

However this amount of protein does not include the amount of total calories that you eat during your day, which if any excess is eaten will simply turn to fat. Your calories that come from protein is only about 4 calories per gram but that is without any preparation and is measured raw.

How you prepare your protein to cook it, fry it or grill/boil it will be the amount of calories that you consume during your day. But eating your protein raw and then just eating chocolate and ice-cream to make up the difference will not help you gain muscle you need to also eat good quality fat with complex carbohydrates.

To add muscle without bulking up you should try and eat every 2 or 3 hours during your day. These meals should have your total protein requirement divided by how many meals you have together with just a small teaspoon of good quality fat like olive oil or flax seed oil and some complex low GI (glycemic index) carbohydrates.

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