This week I met a thirteen year old boy who wanted to learn about lifting weights for strength and hypertrophy aka bulking. It gave me the idea to write a blog about the everyday gym goer who is looking to ‘bulk up’.
For me there are three contributing factors to successful hypertrophy: training, nutrition and recovery.
In my opinion you should always have a solid foundation to your training before starting hypertrophy. Work with your bodyweight and concentrate on your technique and posture. Once you’ve become comfortable with this you should do your research and speak to someone who knows what they are doing. For example, a natural bodybuilder who competes.
Remember this is just my opinion. There may be many trainers out there who would do it differently.
These days hypertrophy is what most young guys are training for when going to the gym.
What becomes extremely hard for people who are trying to bulk is they struggle to get lean at the same time.
A lot of people in gyms are making the same mistakes when training for hypertrophy.
Let’s see if you’re one of them…
You’ve joined a gym and been in a training routine for the last couple of months leading to a successful bulk. Now summer is around the corner you start eliminating your carbs to get lean/ripped/cut, but end up with a visual decrease in muscle size. Bummer!
This leads to you doing one of two things: continuing to pay your gym membership but never going or ending your gym membership.
Over the next couple of weeks/months you then become unfit and unhappy with yourself and decide to rejoin a gym and get back in shape.
Let me guess. IT WORKED!!! You are back in shape and seeing fantastic changes. You are now wishing you never left the gym in the first place. You have told yourself ‘if only I had kept on training. Imagine how big I would be now’. This has lead you to totally forget why you stopped training in the first place.
Another two/three months pass and it’s back to square one.
As the years go by you’ll continue to repeat the same mistakes AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN. This is a vicious cycle of gym life.
How do I know? Because I was one of those people many years ago. I’ve never been one to quit, but I was guilty of staying in the same routine for months on end. It was never going to work was it?
Here are some pointers to get you started in the right direction for successful hypertrophy:
* Train with longer times under tension per reps and sets. For example 3030 tempo, 8-12 reps, 45-60 seconds rest will elicit more sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and give you a visual increase in muscle size.
* BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) will improve recovery and will indirectly increase muscle gain.
* Protein 0.8-1g per KG bodyweight and carbs 1-1.2g per KG bodyweight. It’s important to keep the muscles full so you need to have your carbs just make sure they are from good sources and train hard so they get stored in the muscle as glycogen.
* Improve gut health and nutrient absorption to help with increasing muscle size and getting leaner. Aloe vera juice, probiotics and eating more pickled foods like sauerkraut will help.
* SLEEP!!! Sleep when you can as rest is where the magic is at.
I really hope this helps a you. Remember to keep changing your routines. It really does make a big difference.
Please feel free to leave comments and/or ask questions.