by Team ON Athlete Bryn Ray.
Team ON Athlete Bryn Ray is a dedicated fitness model and life coach who works hard to inspire others to achieve more.
If you’re looking to bulk up and pack on some serious muscle, then hitting the weights hard is fundamental. Putting the time in to break your muscles down triggers a cascade of changes which in turn will stimulate muscle growth. Muscles adapt and develop in response to the challenges you place upon them, so you must give them sufficient reason to grow.
When you train hard, you feel a pump response and delayed soreness that lets you know you’re working hard. Those feelings are easily recognised and provide quick gratification for your efforts. However, when it comes to nutrition, the immediate effects are less apparent and this can lead to it being overlooked.
There are many factors that contribute to size gain, but here are my five fundamental rules:
1. Train each muscle group twice a week – the number of sessions completed will vary depending upon level/ability and your other commitments. But, however many sessions you complete, split the groups to ensure each is targeted twice.
2. Progress the intensity – your muscles will adapt over time to the given stimulus. To avoid a plateau, keep a log and focus on progressing. There are many different ways to do this, but a few key ones are to incorporate heavier weights, increase time under tension and include dropsets for increased volume.
3. Get sufficient rest – your muscles grow and rebuild during your time outside of the gym. Be sure to allow your muscles adequate time to adapt to the demands you’re placing on them. Rest also encompasses sleep, so plan a solid, regular sleep pattern of between 6-9 hours to help optimise the body for growth.
4. Eat plenty and regularly – building muscle is energy intensive so you must be sure to provide the body with enough fuel. This fuel should be taken in at regular intervals to help the body process it effectively.
5. Focus on protein – Protein is important as it is the only nutrient capable of stimulating muscle growth. When looking to increase muscle size, protein should be consumed roughly throughout the day.
Keeping nutrition clean and effective can be difficult, especially if you’re busy or have limited resources. It can also be a challenge to consume enough of the correct nutrients for muscle development solely from your diet. This is where dietary supplements become extremely useful.
As an absolute minimum, anyone looking to bulk up should be getting a sizeable intake of protein upon waking, pre-workout and immediately after a workout. Including carbohydrate in your post-workout nutrition plan is also important to replenish the glycogen stores.
Products like Serious Mass have been specifically designed to cover these key diet needs. Serious Mass is the ultimate weight gain shake to provide you with a clean and easy protein and carbohydrate source. To start with, use a half serving (1 scoop) for a solid serving of protein to support muscle growth, carbs and calories.
Another supplement that can be incredibly useful while building mass is Creatine. Creatine increases your performance in successive bursts of repeated, high intensity training such as lifting weights, allowing you to get more out of your training sessions. An additional few reps on each set will help further induce hypertrophy and stimulate the muscles to grow.
Bulking takes time, perseverance and a dedicated routine of training consistently and a clean nutrition plan. Effective and sufficient nutrition goes hand in hand with training to achieve muscle development. Always remember that how you fuel your body during the 23 hours of the day outside of the gym is as, if not more, important than the number of reps squeezed out or the weight lifted.