Have you ever tried to bulk up but struggled to gain weight or pack on muscles? Uncertain about what type of food or supplements to consume to help in the muscle recovery process to maximise muscle growth?
When it comes to bulking up and achieving maximum muscle growth, there are multiple aspects to focus on, and gaining muscle mass is a much slower process than what most people think! It takes time, patience, and consistency in three crucial areas: your workout routine, your diet, and your rest and recovery.
In this blogpost, we will explore the most effective and efficient ways to gain lean muscle mass! So, if you're looking to achieve your muscle growth goals, buckle up and get ready to commit to the long haul.
When it comes to building muscle, it is important to exercise regularly and do it consistently.
In particular, the principles of progressive overload are extremely crucial. Progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress on your muscles over time, which can help stimulate muscle growth! You can do so by
Increasing weights used: As you get stronger, you can increase the amount of weight you lift in each exercise. This will introduce new stimuli to your muscles and encourage growth.
Increasing repetitions: Once you can lift a certain weight comfortably, you can increase the number of repetitions you do in each set. This can help increase the overall volume of work you do and challenge your muscles in a new way.
Decreasing rest time: By reducing the amount of time you rest between sets or exercises, you can enhance the intensity of your workout and not only train up for hypertrophy, but endurance as well.
Using exercise variations: Incorporating different exercises into your routine can stimulate your muscles in new ways! For instance, if you've been doing regular squats, try switching to front squats or lunges to enhance your workout programme. Adding variety to your workout routine can also make it more enjoyable and prevent boredom. Trying out different exercises can keep things fresh and exciting, making it easier to stay motivated and committed to your fitness goals. So don't be afraid to mix things up and have fun with your workouts!
Here we have one of trainers Brandon Choo, executing the Single Leg Barbell Deadlifts to switch things up!
Increasing workout frequency: If you've been working out once a week, you can gradually increase your frequency to twice or three times a week to increase the overall volume of work you do and encourage muscle growth.
To maximise muscle growth, it's essential to push yourself during your workouts until your muscles feel fatigued or close to failure. Additionally, make sure that you're hitting all of your muscle groups to support the full development of all your body's muscles. We recommend training each muscle group at least once per week.
But what if you have a busy work schedule or limited time to devote to working out? One option is to group different muscle groups together in a single workout. For example, you could focus on your chest, triceps, and shoulders in one session, and then target other muscle groups on a separate day. Keep in mind, however, that the optimal frequency of training can vary depending on how long it takes your muscles to recover. Remember that rest is just as important as exercise when it comes to muscle growth! So make sure to take the time your body needs to recover and come back stronger.
When it comes to bulking up and gaining muscle, diet plays a crucial role in helping you achieve your goals. However, it's important to note that bulking ≠ binging or overeating! You want to avoid consuming an excessive amount of food which would result in an increase in body fat mass and percentage. Keep these essential tips in mind to ensure that you're maximising your muscle gains while keeping fat at bay:
Increase your protein and carbohydrate intake: Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth, while carbohydrates provide energy for your workouts. Aim to incorporate a larger proportion of lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, eggs, and tofu, as well as complex carbohydrates like brown rice, sweet potatoes, and quinoa.
An example of one of our trainers meal prep food for lunch!
Eat frequently: Eating more frequently throughout the day can help ensure that your body has a steady stream of nutrients to support muscle growth. Look to consume 3-5 meals per day, spaced evenly apart and each with a protein source!
Avoid "dirty bulking": This type of bulking involves consuming excessive calories, often from unhealthy junk food or high-fat sources, in an effort to gain weight rapidly. But beware: this can result in unwanted body fat gain that's difficult to shed later on. Instead, prioritise clean, nutrient-dense foods to fuel your muscle-building goals while maintaining a healthy body composition.
Avoid processed foods and sugar: Processed foods often contain unhealthy additives and preservatives, while sugary foods provide empty calories that can contribute to fat gain. Instead, choose or replace them with whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Eat in a caloric surplus: To gain muscle mass, you need to gain weight! How? Eat more calories than your body burns in a day. However, it's important to do so in a gradual manner to avoid excessive fat gain. A good gauge for tracking your caloric intake would be around 250-500 calories per day.
Achieving your dream physique is within your grasp! With these guidelines, you can pack on lean, healthy muscle mass without worrying about excessive body fat. Just remember: consistency and patience are the keys to unlocking your muscle gain potential.
Last but definitely not least, let's talk about the unsung heroes of muscle-building: rest and recovery! While these crucial aspects of your fitness routine are often overlooked, they're just as vital as your training and nutrition. Here's why you should give your muscles the rest and recovery they need to reach their full potential:
Muscles need time to repair: When you lift weights or engage in any form of resistance training, you are essentially breaking down muscle fibres. It's during the rest period that these fibres repair and grow stronger, resulting in muscle growth. Without proper rest and recovery, progress will be hindered.
Prevents overtraining: Overtraining is a common problem among fitness enthusiasts who push themselves too hard, too often. This can lead to a decrease in performance, fatigue, and even injury. By taking rest days, you give your body time to recover and better set yourself up for success!
To sum it all up, never underestimate the importance of rest when it comes to building muscle. This crucial element provides your muscles with the necessary time to repair and grow stronger, prevents overtraining, and reduces the risk of injury. By incorporating rest days into your training program and prioritising sleep and recovery, you'll be able to unlock your full muscle-building potential. Click here to find out more about the significance of sleep in achieving your fitness goals!
So do remember to pay close attention to these 3 main aspects when it comes to bulking up! However if you are still unsure or not confident how to get started, our dedicated personal trainers at FITLUC are more than happy to customise a training programme combining a variety of other important fitness components, such as strength, functional and plyometric exercises to help you achieve your bulking goals! So what are you waiting for? Give us a try and #GetThatFITLook! Drop us a WhatsApp message at +65 8812 0110 or book a personal training trial with one of our dedicated trainers to explore if personal training is the best choice for you!
Just a heads-up, it will probably be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
Looking for a Personal Trainer in Singapore? Look no further! At FITLUC, we specialise in In-Person and Online Personal Training, and we also offer house-call PT with a small additional fee. We currently base our Personal Training clients at a well-equipped gym just a stone's throw away from Outram Park MRT.
We are recognized as one of the Top 12 Best PT in Singapore and were featured on Mothership, The Straits Times, YES 93.3FM, Yahoo News, etc. Our Personal Trainers have worked with clients aged 13 – 84, from Celebrities to CEOs, working professionals and homemakers, with goals ranging from fat loss, weight loss, muscle gain to athletic performance and elderly training. Our celebrity clientele includes Tay Ping Hui, Maxi Lim, Hazelle Teo, Tayying, Lee Teng, Ze Tong, Benjamin Tan, Jaspers Lai and more.
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