The ‘B’ word

Its time to talk about the ‘B’ word…. ok not that ‘B’ word… I’m talking about another word women hate- bulking. After taking a closer look at my goal to compete, I realized that I need to build some more muscle.
As I mentioned in my last post, one of the reasons I did so poorly in my last competition was because I had no where near the muscle mass I needed. So now,
as part of my action plan, I am implementing a bulk to try to put on some muscle mass.

If you have never heard of bulking, its basically a way to gain muscle. The idea is to eat more calories than your maintenance level and lift HEAVY. From what I have read, that the ideal way to reach muscle hypertrophy (build muscle) is to lift a weight 6-12 reps (the last rep should be difficult to complete) for 3-4 sets. Nutrition is a also a key component in building muscle. Especially the post-workout meal, which is where you can maximize potential gains by fueling your body with the right nutrients.

Here’s how I’ve changed up my routine:

1. Heavier weights. I was lifting weights for some exercises that I could do for 20 reps without failure, needless to say I needed to kick things up a notch.

2. More compound movements: No more adductor machine (I always knew it was a joke)! Now my workout consists of more squats, lunges, pull-ups, and bench presses so more muscles are targeted in a more functional way.

3. Post workout shake: I started taking in a post workout shake with a combo of protein and carbs to help refuel my muscles after my workouts.

4. Less Cardio: I have cut out most of my cardio-only days. I am still not sure if I should cut cardio out completely or not.

5. Split Days: I was doing total body workouts but now I have split up my muscle groups into different days so I can focus more and go harder on each body part before working it again.

Still, I have to admit that I am not exactly thrilled to gain fat along with muscle, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and I am willing to give it a try.

Let me know if you have any tips or if you’ve gone on a bulk before. Should I cut out the cardio completely?


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