For those who are aiming to build their dream body but don’t have enough body mass, bulking up is supposedly the fun part because of getting to eat whatever you want. But doing this ends up making you gain unnecessary fat, resulting in ballooning instead of bulking up. This will make it harder for you to actually bulk up and build your body. This part is a little challenging because you’re working out to build muscles and burn fat, but also need the growth of muscles but have to work to prevent the accumulation of fat. There are a bunch of different factors that go into this. 

  • Increase calorie-intake but eat clean

Eating junk, processed or fried food can actually add more fat than the muscle you’re working towards. Eating clean is essential to anyone who wants to build a good body. Focus on eating food that is rich in the proteins, healthy carbs and dietary fats and nutrients your body may need in this period of change. Carbs are necessary for many diets, but make sure the amount you’re consuming is reasonable and still considered healthy. These can come from the likes of sweet potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice and whole grains. Working out will cause your body to need replenishment for insulin and glycogen. 

  • Avoid over-exercising

If you’re hitting the gym doing cardio or high-intensity interval training can actually be slowing or completely holding back any and all progress. People that over-exercise actually destroy their metabolisms. The excessive amounts of time spent exercising actually force the adrenaline to dig deeper and deeper, functioning at a heightened state, which usually doesn’t allow for recovery. 

Building up this damage can actually make the adrenals force rob the amino acids and hormones from the other organs. This can even target the thyroid which, in turn, can cause a variety of different problems. This causes organs to function slowly, which also drags the metabolism down with them. Such a process can also deplete your testosterone which is essential to that muscle growth you are aiming for. 

Everyone’s endurance and strength levels differ and rely on factors like your sleep schedule and diets. It’s important to give yourself periods for recovery as well, so as not to let adrenals damage your muscles and progress further. 

  • Get enough sleep

In connection to avoidance of over-exercising, rest is essential to any workout routine. The recommended amount of sleep that anyone trying to get lean and bulk up is7-9 hours per night. Sleeping actually releases growth hormones, which is crucial to building your body. A 2010 study compared sleep of 5.5 hours versus 8.5 hours, the lack of sleep decreases fat loss by 55% and increased the loss of fat-free mass or muscles by 60% in just a span of two weeks. Cortisol or the stress hormone increases with decreased sleep, and good hormones like growth hormones and testosterone decrease. 

  • Trade in protein powder and try to eat more protein-rich foods

Research shows that whey and other forms of protein powder can be really beneficial to the bulking-up process, but some people may actually be allergic to these powders. If this is the case, chances are you may balloon from fat and water weight. Allergies cause inflammation, this causes insulin-resistance and unwanted fat gain. There are better options that can come from foods like eggs, rice a bunch of other fruits and vegetables that contain more amount of protein and in whole amounts, too. 

  • Track progress

Analyze all necessary measurements like body fat percentages and circumference measurements. This will help track your progress and help you see your progress. Try to track this progress can be easier between at least 2-4 weeks. See if any of your habits need to be changed to reach your goal weight. Caloric intake can help fix these deficits or gains that your body goes through.

It’s also important to take into consideration whether your body is in its best condition to bulk up. If your body is already at 10% of body fat, it can be easier for you to gain the weight needed since you’re already lean and the body can optimally distribute the gains where they are supposed to go, neutralizing and differentiating unnecessary fat from needed mass. Being skinny-fat or appearing thin but actually accumulating more fat on the inside can be a disadvantage. Bulking up with a body that is more fat than muscle can result in ballooning. Getting lean is the first step before reaching your desired physique.

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