Second golden rule to build your aesthetic physique
What's the difference between a good and a great bulk?
Everyone uses the word ‘Bulk’ as an excuse to make their diets consist of Pizza, Doughnuts, Ice Cream etc... but not feel bad about it – because they’re ‘Bulking’!
As a natural weightlifter that’s been through all the stages Skinny, Skinny Fat, Fat, Shredded I’ve learned that there’s a massive difference between a 'good bulk' and a great bulk.
Don’t get me wrong anyone can bulk put lots of weight and think that they’re growing, but, truth is even though the scale might be telling you you’re growing, you could easily be putting on crazy amounts of fat and building a minimal amount of lean muscle mass.
Therefore, once you’d start your cut and start shedding the fat you’d soon realise that first, the cut would take twice as long for you to get in shape, and second that you didn’t build anywhere near as much muscle as you thought you did in the first place.
I will use myself as an example:
After a couple of months of me training I learned that for me to grow I would have to eat more than what I was eating at the time, therefore I would have to ‘Bulk’.
I started my first ever bulk weighting in at around 56-58kg, I managed to ‘successfully’ Bulk for a whole year – bear in mind back then I had no idea what Macro-Nutrients were – as a matter of fact, not even calories, so the plan was to eat as much as I could.
My daily intake would consist of 2 main meals consisting of Chicken Breast/Chicken Drumsticks with Pasta and Mixed Vegetables, 1-2 meal deals from Tesco (Sandwich or a pot of Pasta, Packet of Crisps & Chocolate bar), Protein Shakes after training and before bed, bowl of cereal for breakfast, and at some point I also started having packets of noodles.
Well starting at a body weight of 56-58kg at the end of the year I managed to put on roughly 20kg, ending up with a body weight of roughly 75-77kg.
Looking at the figures I’m sure it sounds amazing! Truth is the bulk wasn’t successful at all to be fair.
I ended up putting on loads of fat looking everything but aesthetic. I would not do any cardio, and once I decided to cut down instead of a simple 10-12 weeks cut, it took me a much longer time just to look lean and in shape – not even shredded!
Trust me when I tell you how surprised I was once I realised that the amount of muscle I had put on was nothing compared to what I actually had in mind, seeing how fat I was…
But Lean Bulking won’t be as enjoyable…
Yes, it is true that it won’t be as ‘fun’ as what you usually call Bulking, but it doesn’t have to be boring either!
Lean bulk is the best way for you to build quality lean muscle, and also be able to keep an eye on your progress and be sure that you’re not just getting fat.
Let’s be honest your mind won’t trick you by getting you to think your building crazy amounts of muscle, when you’re really just getting fat.
Also you’ll have a much better cardio-vascular system because cardio will still be implemented onto your training.
Even though some people don’t realise having a good cardio-vascular system is very important, obviously for the main health reasons, but also for the fact that if you train with high intensity and volume, having a good cardio-vascular system will improve your weight training drastically.
And one of the best things about it, is that you’ll pretty much be looking lean all year around, and who doesn’t want to look good year around ayyy!
What should I do to make my Lean Bulk successful?
The main rules in my opinion to make your bulk successful would be, to first and foremost like I said implement cardio onto your training regimen.
Also, be sure to be on a slight calorie surplus. You don’t need to go crazy and increase your intake by too much because that would obviously lead to you putting unnecessary fat on.
If you don’t perform any type of strength training go ahead and start doing it, could be any program from 5x5 to 5/3/1 depending on how long you’ve been lifting.
I really do preach strength training while bulking, as it is one of the easiest ways to be sure you’re progressing, and it’ll also be one of the best weapons in your arsenal when it comes to breaking through plateaus.
If I am honest if you’re main goal is to build an Aesthetic physique and you start implementing Strength Training into your routines, it won’t be easy… your sessions will be much harder and trust me your body will feel it.
Simply because you’ll be constantly looking for progress, your main lifts will constantly increase and all that will happen, while you’re balancing it with your usual bodybuilding training.
So my main tip when it comes to your training splits would be to follow your strength training program, and always start your sessions by doing your compounds.
Make sure you take good resting periods in between the heavy sets, and once you move onto your bodybuilding accessory work, focus on intensity and volume – and by volume I mean more sets and more reps, but less exercises.
Pick the main exercises for each muscle that work best for you, and focus on consistently improving them by increasing the weight and progressing week after week.
And to finish it all off after a great week of training, on the last day of the week be sure to reward yourself with a nice cheat meal!!
Like I said your Lean Bulk doesn’t have to be boring, and believe me when I tell you that doing it this way it’ll be way more rewarding than just going ‘YOLO’ on your diet!