Bulking up for sports can almost seem like a rite of passage for the aspiring athlete, so much so that you might not even take the time to wonder what exactly the point of “bulking up” is in the first place. Bulking up refers to the building of muscle mass and the adding of weight to the body in order to facilitate a higher level of strength and stamina for a specific sport. Some sports are keener on bulking up than others. For instance, as a wrestler or a football player you will be more conscious of your weight and the need to meet a target number on the scale than if you were to play soccer or basketball, as those sports require muscle but are more geared toward speed and agility over sheer size. However, those that are on the slighter side by nature will probably want to follow some of the bulking up steps that Nutruvian.com has laid out below.
Bulking Up Step 1: BOOST YOUR DAILY CALORIC INTAKE
The most fundamental of weight gaining strategies is to eat more. Taking in more calories will cause the body to store excess caloric intake in order to be used as energy when stores are low. In general this is regarded as a bad idea as the energy is stored in fat cells, however, if you are trying to bulk up you will need the extra calories in order to facilitate your exercise regimen. You need to keep your food choices healthy as well. You will gain nutritional value this way, whereas if you eat high-calorie, low-nutrient junk foods you will end up with additional weight in the form of a pot belly or flabby arms, instead of increased muscle. Foods to eat include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, poultry and fish.
Bulking Up Step 2: EAT ALL DAY LONG
Athletes, whether they are in the training/bulking up stages or during the season of their sport, require constant intake of calories to keep their energy up and to support their advanced musculature. Eating lots of smaller meals will keep you in better condition than eating three spaced out meals throughout the day.
Bulking Up Step 3: COMPOUND EXERCISES ARE YOUR FRIEND
Compound exercises are exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time and include more than just one joint range of motion for the muscle groups being used. This is the best way to get the max advantage for the muscle groups so that the highest amount of muscle fibers are utilized leading to quicker muscle gain.
Bulking Up Step 4: FIND A NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT THAT WORKS FOR YOU
A nutritional supplement or weight gaining supplement can be very advantageous for you when you are trying to boost your weight. They can help with appetite, allowing you to eat the amount of healthy food necessary to support your weight gain.
Bulking Up Step 5: DON’T OVERDO THE CARDIO
Cardio workouts are meant to increase the heart rate and stimulate the metabolism as well as to burn through already existing fat stores. It is important to maintain some level of cardio training as an athlete but when you are attempting to bulk up you want to keep your cardio to a minimum as overdoing it will work against your weight gaining goals. It is recommended that you keep your cardio to low intensity, short term workouts (20 minutes tops) at a rate of about three times a week.
Bulking Up Step 6: REST AND REHYDRATE
Make sure you keep yourself well hydrated. Proper water intake is vital when bulking up and neglecting this aspect could cause illness and set you back a great deal. The same goes for sleeping. To build muscle is to literally break down the muscle tissue that exists and the healing process is what causes more muscle to grow in order to strengthen and fill the space that was damaged. Sleep is when the body does the majority of its reparations so you need to get a good amount of sleep every night.