To gain muscle while maintaining low body fat…
DON’T eat everything in sight. “#BulkLife!”
DO maintain a high protein, moderate carbohydrate and low fat diet. This has been shown to yield the best results. A safe estimate is 1.2g of protein per pound of body weight, 2-2.5g of carbohydrates per pound body weight and 0.35g of fat per pound body weight.
DON’T avoid cardio. “Can’t lose my gains Bro!”
DO maintain a moderate Cardio routine to keep fat gain to a minimum while bulking. This does not mean you need to spend hours on the treadmill. Instead, staying active, playing a sport or jogging in the park will not be detrimental to gaining muscle in the offseason.
DON’T neglect your water intake. “Water intake only matters for prep, not offseason bulking.”
DO keep your muscles hydrated; this is extremely important for muscle gain and for strength. When your muscles are dehydrated, they cannot perform the same contractions as well as when they are hydrated. Hydration also provides lubrication for your digestive system so it can shuttle the extra calories where they need to go. If you drink a gallon of water during prep, a good increase would be to add another half-gallon during the offseason.
DON’T rely on whole foods alone to gain the amount of muscle you desire.
DO use supplementation to help fulfill your calorie intake. Many times, when trying to bulk, it is unrealistic to eat only whole foods to hit your increased calorie goals. It is acceptable to add extra, high quality calorie sources, such as a Gainer supplement, to make your goals more attainable. Fluids are generally less filling and allow you to take in more calories than would otherwise be possible. IncrediBulk is jam-packed with 1230 deliciously-rich calories designed to maximize your calorie intake.
DON’T skip cheat day. “I have to strictly stick to my bulking meal plan. Cheat meals will throw me off track.”
DO add in cheat meals (1-2 times per week depending on your goals) to increase metabolism and help break through plateaus. While following a meal plan, your body will become accustomed to eating the same foods and same amount of calories which means, at some point, your body will plateau in regards to muscle gain. To change it up, a high calorie cheat meals will also increase metabolism. When having a cheat meal, it is ideal to spike insulin levels so the calories are shuttled into your muscles. I-Load will be your best friend for spiking insulin during cheat meals and transporting those carbs directly into the muscle tissue.
DON’T set unrealistic weight goals. “A successful off-season results in me adding 20+lbs of muscle!”
DO understand that a successful off-season keeps you as close to stage weight as possible while gaining as much muscle as possible. Success would also mean that you increased your metabolism so you can drop fat at 2200 calories instead of 1800 like your last prep. Remember, success is not measured by pounds on the scale.
Throw out the stigmas and get the most out of your bulk.