How To Bulk Up Fast – 5 Hacks For Fast Gains
The majority of guys that choose to cut down and strip off body fat before entering a bulking phase are often left shocked… they thought losing fat was the hard part!
Yet now that they’ve made it to ‘easy street’ they can’t believe just how much effort they’re putting in to bulk up fast and how little they’re getting in terms of results.
When it comes to going through a bulking phase, and particularly when guys want to know how to bulk up fast there’s a number of diet and workout ‘hacks’ if you will that MUST be implemented for a successful bulking phase.
My 5 Hacks For Fast Gains
#1 - Perform Big Lifts For Big Results
Forearm curls and triceps kickbacks are not the way to bulk up and add serious size and strength to your physique, these are miniscule exercises we can use later down the road to hone in on certain parts of our physique.
If you want to bulk up fast you’ve got to focus on the big lifts, the lifts that allow us to lift a bulk of weight.
What exercises are we talking about here? The barbell bench press, the military press, the squat and the deadlift.
Without performing these movements (and heavy!) you’re going to find yourself receiving dismal results.
#2 - Become Best Friends With Your Blender
When you’re in a bulking phase your blender should become your best friend.
- 2 scoops of whey protein powder
- 1 cup of oats
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup of blueberries
- 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
- 1 drizzle of honey…
You’ve just made yourself a 900~ calorie shake that not only tastes amazing, but there’s a few other big benefits too…
You Save Time
There’s no cooking time, no dishes to try and no waiting for your meal to be ready. Ingredients in and a few seconds of pulsing the blender and you’re bulking shake is ready!
You’re Loaded With Nutrients
Bulking shakes or smoothies can be extremely nutrient dense. Spinach, blueberries, honey, peanut butter, bananas… your body will love you for it.
You’ll Feel Energetic!
Liquid nutrition will leave you feeling light and agile – if you’re an entrepreneur or value your productivity at all for that matter you’ll likely find that you’re not getting much done at all when you’re in a lethargic state as your body attempts to digest meal after meal.
If you’re in college or on a budget then you’re going to reap the savings right here. Oats, whey protein and whatever other greens or berries you’d like to add to your bulking shake are inexpensive in comparison to cuts of steak and free range chicken breast.
#3 – Utilize The 4 – 7 Rep Range
Progressive overload is the key to increasing both muscle size and strength. Incase you’re not familiar with the term progressive overload it refers to the ongoing increase of either repetitions, weight or time under tension for a muscle. You can read up on progressive overload on my previous blog post here.
That’s all well and good but in terms of rep range…
The majority of individuals tend to lift within the typical 10 – 15 rep range as prescribed by pro bodybuilders, fitness magazines and internet forums. However, if you’re an average guy that isn’t a genetically blessed god you should be lifting in the single digit rep range for optimal strength and size gains.
I personally recommend working within the 4 – 7 rep range for all of your major lifts.
Regardless of whether you are in a cutting or bulking phase your workout does not need to change at all, you won’t get increased vascularity or striations by performing a higher number of repetitions, that’s a load of crap. I keep my rep structure the same all year round and simply manipulate my caloric intake based on whether I want to gain mass (calorie surplus) or burn fat (calorie deficit).
I’m certainly not the first person to advocate lifting heavy for fewer reps…
“If you must use dumbbells for daily training, use heavy ones with fewer repetitions rather than light bells with numerous repetitions” – Arthur Saxon, 1906
If you don’t generally train in the lower rep range I recommend you give it a try, stop lifting in the 10 – 15 rep range for at least a month and focus on heavy, low rep sets. Once you start to see results you won’t want to go back.
Now, you may still think high reps are beneficial, but let me tell you they’re far from it.
High repetitions result in increased stress on your CNS, increase in localized inflammation and increased soreness.
“Movements or exercises that do not give the muscle the required resistance, but are the kind that involve a great number of repetitions, never break down any tissue, to speak of. These movements involve a forcing process that cause the blood to swell up the muscle, and simply pump them up”– George F. Jowett, 1926
#4 – If You’re Performing Cardio You Must Account For It!
There’s nothing wrong with performing cardio while bulking, the vast majority of ‘fitness gurus’ out there will tell you to avoid looking at a treadmill or spin bike while you’re in a bulking phase because it’ll sap your gains.
This is BS.
Without cardio you’re not going to be particularly functional.
If heart health, overall stamina and perhaps conditioning for another discipline such as boxing or basketball are anywhere on your agenda then you cannot afford to ditch cardio.
I recommend hitting cardio between 1 and 3 times per week.
But here’s the key when you’re bulking…
Your body must remain in a caloric surplus!
If you burn 500 calories on the spin bike you must eat an additional 500 calories to account for this.
Consider your caloric surplus to be a bank balance, you must replenish any additional funds (calories) you expend.
#5 – Ditch The Supplements In Favor Of Food (Carbs!)
Creatine, amino acids, HMB… there’s a ton of supplements out there that swear black and blue that they’ll help you stack on muscle mass.
These supplements may make a small amount of difference, but only if you’ve got everything else in order first.
Do not prioritize supplements over your meals.
Focus on using food, be it solid food or liquid nutrition to put your body in a caloric surplus with a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat (I recommend 40:40:20 or 30:50:20 ratios).