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Tips on How to Bulk Up

by
author image Sam Ashe-Edmunds
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.
Tips on How to Bulk Up
Use maximum resistance, or close to it, for bulking up. Photo Credit Minerva Studio/iStock/Getty Images

Bulking up, or increasing your muscle size, requires resistance training and proper nutrition. You can bulk up using a variety of exercises and workouts. Proper technique not only contributes to quicker muscle growth but also helps you avoid injury. Following a few simple training and nutrition guidelines will help you increase your muscle mass.

Loads

Tips on How to Bulk Up
You'll need to lift heavier weights to bulk up. Photo Credit jdwfoto/iStock/Getty Images

To build muscle, you'll need to damage them in a way that causes them to grow back larger, which means lifting very heavy weights or using high resistance settings on machines. Performing fewer repetitions of an exercise at higher loads promotes faster muscle growth than performing many repetitions at a lower weight or resistance setting. To calculate your maximum weight for a particular exercise, find the weight you can lift one time before you have to stop then multiply it by 67 and 85 percent. This is the range of weight you should use to produce muscle growth.

Volume

Tips on How to Bulk Up
You should only do three to five repetitions per set when lifting close to your one repetition max. Photo Credit Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images

The amount of repetitions and sets you do is an important factor in how soon you bulk up. Depending on your starting strength, you should do only three to five repetitions per set, if you are lifting your max or close to it. After you recover for several minutes, repeat the same set, rather than moving to a new exercise. Perform two to five sets, depending on how often you plan to work out. Start with one or two warmup sets using lighter weights.

Technique

Tips on How to Bulk Up
Proper technique will promote maximum muscle growth. Photo Credit Barry Austin/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Proper technique promotes maximum muscle growth and reduces your risk for injury. When lifting weights, performing body weight exercises or using a weight machine, do not let gravity drop your weight. Lowering weights with muscular effort maximizes the benefit of these eccentric muscle contractions, which provide the most benefit of any contraction for muscle growth, according to fitness author and radio host Gabe Mirkin. Consult a trainer or friend who can show you the proper technique for each exercise you wish to do, or research the exercises online.

Rest

Tips on How to Bulk Up
Rest is a crucial part to repairing your muscles. Photo Credit LUNAMARINA/iStock/Getty Images

You bulk up as your body recovers from resistance training, repairing your muscles and making them larger. Most of this process takes place during the 24 to 48 hours immediately following your workouts. Don't exercise the same muscles less than 24 hours after a workout. If you plan to work out twice a day, work on your upper body during one session, then your lower body the next.

Nutrition

Tips on How to Bulk Up
Increase your calories to build your muscle mass. Photo Credit Goodluz/iStock/Getty Images

Increase your calories to build your muscle mass. Make approximately two-thirds of your calories carbohydrates and one-third lean protein each day. The closer you are to your workout, the more carbs you should eat to fuel your lifting. After your workout, eat more protein to let amino acids better aid in the muscle repair process. Drink enough water before, during and after workouts to satisfy your thirst and keep you properly hydrated.

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