”If I Lift Heavy Weights, I’ll Bulk”
No. Lifting heavy weights will not make you bulk. ‘Bulking’ is a complex formula of nutrition, gym routines and recovery.
Nutritionally – to bulk, the individual must be in a calorie overload. To bulk the individual is going to have to carb up, massively. The human body converts cabs into glycogen which is needed to keep the body energised and will/should be the main source of fuel. Make eating their full-time job. Make sure protein levels are increased post work out, pre and post recovery and pre-bed. Amino acids are important – adding them to the diet will help the body build new muscle tissue which in turn, with increased calories, will allow the body to bulk.
Gym – Heavy weights, working on the same muscle groups 2X per week, compound lifting, slow negatives, longer breaks between sets, cutting cardio down, changes in rep range…must I go on?
Recovery – our muscles generally need 48 hours to recover from the previous workout, especially if you’re training with heavy weights. So…don’t go training legs on a Tuesday then legs again on the Wednesday or Thursday unless you enjoy active recovery and are happy to do small amounts of body weight movements. Sleeping is a necessity to bulk. The more you sleep, the better the body will recover. Again, nutritionally, protein post exercise is the most important to help with muscle repair and growth, along with added amino acids into the diet.
So, upon reading the above 3 paragraphs, are you still worried that lifting heavy will make you bulk? Lifting ‘heavier’ weights than you’re used to is initially going to grow your muscles and eventually tone your muscles, but it will not bulk you out. Especially if you are not consuming a surplus of calories each day. Lean muscle increases the metabolism, which allows you body to burn fat quicker, that’s why we recommend strength training into programmes for fat loss and muscle building! Keep it in mind – you are shaping your body, not making it bigger. To make you feel even more relaxed about not bulking, remember that you train for the results you want. That’s another reason to work with a personal trainer before starting training for certain results. They can help adapt and change training habits or programmes to suit you.
If you’re to take one piece of advice away from this blog post, let it be this – to bulk up your body, you’d have to bulk up your diet…