Bulking up. You hear this all the time. Many people are under the misconception that to gain muscle mass, you must “bulk up.” They think that to put on appreciable muscle size calories must be consumed in excess to fuel the muscle growth process. This is simply not true and, more times than not leads to poor eating habits that promote less muscle growth overall while packing on the fat.

When it comes to getting rid of all the extra fat put on by bulking up, the dieting it takes to do so usually catabolizes what muscle you did gain during this misguided process. When it’s all said and done, and you’re finally not too embarrassed to take off your shirt you have less muscle than when you started this crazy trip.

Gain More Bulk – Build Less Muscle

When you are stuffing in all those extra calories your macro ratios, meal timing, and supplementation become all out of whack. Your nutritional precision is gone. Building maximum muscle takes precision. Precision training and precision nutrition. Bulking up is anything but precise.

See Also:
Real Muscle Growth Begins When Your Workout Ends

When most people “bulk up” they use it as an excuse to eat pretty much anything and everything they want. They justify this lack of discipline and commitment to the whole bulking up concept. If you eat to build muscle and stay lean year-round, you’re going to provide your body the nutrients it needs to build muscle while keeping fat at bay. Your nutrition is focused on muscle growth and not arbitrary weight gain. Precision eating fuels the anabolic process, eating to bulk up does not.

In the long run, you’ll be much better off by investing the extra nutritional effort to build lean mass and avoid excessive fat gain. You’ll build more muscle because you’ve focused so much on the extremely important and precision eating process all year-long. You also won’t mistakenly believe that the size you’ve added in the off-season is quality muscle only to discover that too much of it was actually extra body fat that you had to get rid of anyway.

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Bulking Up or Staying Lean? Which is Best?

by AST Sports Science time to read: 2 min