Bulking up basically means eating more than your daily calorie needs.
There are 2 methods of bulking: traditional bulking then cutting and clean bulking. I used to bulk then cut, but I would now encourage clean bulking
Why? Because it is much healthier, plus I get to look good all year round.
Bulking then cutting entails exceeding your daily calorie needs by obscene amounts to gain as much weight as possible, and then cut down from there.
Clean bulking on the other hand, means eating just above your calorie needs and getting your calories from “clean”/organic food.
I used to bulk then cut, and managed to gain 44lbs! Of course, I gained quite a bit of unwanted fats.
However, this section will still look at the merits of traditional bulking then cutting.
Why Bulk Up?
If you want to gain significant muscle mass which will allow you to stand out from the crowd and gain respect, you have to bulk up as an ectomorph.
Next, ask yourself, are you willing to grow fat for 3 to 6 months and then stand out from the crowd after that, or do you want to make small gains in muscle mass which will take much longer and in which case you won’t be as big?
If you have answered yes to the first question, traditional bulking up would be more suitable for you.
Muscles can only be built from fats, so for that to happen, you have to accept being fat through intense bulking up for a short period of time.
It passes by quite quickly, trust me, I have been there before. The gains I made by bulking up more than made up for it.
Do You Know?
That a lot of bodybuilders actually look and are fat in their off seasons!
They don’t look anything like what you see during the fitness shows, exhibitions or on magazines.
During this time, they will try to put on weight if they need.
In other words, they bulk up during this time and then blast those fats into muscles for their next competition.
If you want a rough indication of how many calories to consume to bulk up, an example is Vince del Monte.
He is an ectomorph and an ex-skinny guy. He ate over 5000 calories per day and his weight rose from 149lbs to 208lbs!
His mantra was: to bulk up, you have to eat like hulk!
Warning though, 5000 calories per day is pretty crazy.
If you are just starting out, gradually increase and see how much your body can take and adjust from there.
For those who are serious about bulking up, supplements are your best friends, but don’t rely on them on solely!
Still, get most of your nutrients from real food.
Articles in This Section (Ectomorph Nutrition):
- Ectomorph Diet Guidelines: start here. If you only have time for one article, this is it.
- Metabolic Rate & Calorie Count: it’s simple, eat more calories than you spend. But too much more = fats; too litte = no gains. Answer: Count it.
- What to eat to gain weight healthily: incorporate as many of these foods into your ectomorph diet
- What not to eat to gain weight healthily: avoid these if you are serious about healthy weight gain
- When to eat to gain weight: learn to leverage the 4 phases for maximum muscle and weight gain
- Clean bulking: gain muscles and weigh while minimising fat gains