Many people are enter a bulking phase of their training during the winter months. This simply means that instead of trying to look good, many people are attempting to put on a little weight and gain some muscle mass. As you can imagine, there are many methods to do this that will work and with that there are many myths that surround this style of training. So, let’s get into three myths about gaining weight for the bulk!
Myth 1: You need to eat everything in sight to hit your calories.
Truth: This one seems a little contradictory. It can be tough to hit the macros and calories that you need, but a well-organized plan can help keep you from gaining a lot of fat. It all comes down to eating a slight caloric surplus. If you add just a few items of food throughout the day, that can make a big difference. Simply by adding an extra 500 calories a day, you can look to gain about a pound a week. One pound is about 3500 calories so 500 extra calories for 7 days is 3500 calories.
Myth 2: Only your eating will change, not your training.
Truth: If your goal has changed, then everything to get you to that goal will also change. There is an old saying about bulking, “walk, don’t run. Sit, don’t stand.” If you are training at high volume still, then all of the extra calories that you’re eating will go to recovery instead of growth. You should still do some kind of cardio, just at a lower intensity. Workouts in this stage are focused on strength with about 3 days of rest worked into the week. Rest is paramount in bulking!
Myth 3: You need weight gainers to hit your goal weight.
Truth: Weight gainers can certainly help you gain weight, but there is no proof that the weight gained is correlated to increases in muscle size or strength. Weight gainers just give you a better opportunity to have a surplus of calories. They are not the only way to get the extra calories however. You can drink a regular whey protein shake right after you lift and then have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and that can be an additional 500-600 calories.
The trick is to not overthink it. By adding little snacks here and there, you can ensure a healthy, sustainable bulk that will last the entire season and help you reach your weight gaining goals! It’s all about finding what works best for you, some people can gain weight easier than others. If you are really struggling with weight gain (or loss) it may be worth the money to have a registered nutritionist make a personalized diet plan for you.
By: Ryan McIvor