We’ve all been there – searching high and low for a quick fix to build up some muscle mass. We wake up early, giving 110% on the bench press and taking whey supplements. But nothing seems to work even if we stick to a strict diet of six protein filled meals a day. So can you gain muscle without gaining weight?
How to Bulk Without Getting Fat
What’s the problem? Probably, you are not taking enough calories to be able to build up those guns of yours. To understand this, you must know how the process of muscle growth works, using some good old fashioned medical science which you will find below our step-by-step plan. Ready to get some gains while maintaining a consistent body fat percentage? Follow the plan below.
Plan for Bulking without Gaining Fat
Step 1: You need to keep an eye on caloric intake. Excess of 10 to 15 percent calories than you burn, will gain 1 to 1.5 pound of muscle instead of gaining fat.
Step 2: You must not take excessive cheat days or put too much food into your body. Even though it is a cheat day, weight gain doesn’t take any holidays. Cheat meals are to be planned carefully; a good option is a rich steak with a healthy serving of Mediterranean salad or deep grilled fish with olive oil, i.e., protein-rich meals.
Step 3: Reduce your body fat before you start bulking. This will increase your chances of excess calories being converted to muscle instead of fat. For men, reduce your body fat to at least 10 percent, whereas women should have it between 15 to 20 percent.
Step 4: Start taking whey! Whey enhances muscle growth, by releasing hormones such as Insulin, which speeds up the process of protein synthesis. Not only does whey promote muscle growth it also helps reduce weight as it suppresses cravings.
Muscle growth, also known in scientific terms as muscle protein synthesis, involves two stages:
1. The breakdown stage, which can be achieved through resistance exercises.
2. The growth or synthesis stage. The synthesis stage can be accelerated by consuming more proteins. The more protein-rich the diet, the more rapid the muscle gain.
As you exercise, small tears start to occur in muscles. As more of these tears occur, blood flow to those muscles increases. The synthesis of protein building molecules increases to repair these tears. Hence the muscle becomes tougher and bigger.
For muscle growth, you need to focus on workout regime and diet. The muscles must undergo exercise-induced injury to grow, and your diet must contain ample amounts of proteins to supply the fuel. Proteins are the main component of muscles and all body tissues. Since a body cannot produce all proteins, it must acquire them through animal and plant sources as food.
There must also be a perfect balance of growth hormones and testosterone in the blood to accelerate muscle growth. Since diet also affects your hormonal levels, it is vital that you keep a check on what you put in your engine.
One common misconception is that protein synthesis causes the development of new muscle cells. This is not entirely the fact; protein synthesis creates a medium in which muscle growth will be optimal, known as hypertrophy and will lead to muscle cells increase in size.
Apart from exercise, your diet has a major say in how muscles develop. So how can you regulate your diet to increase muscle growth? Well, that’s simple, just eat more. Yes, you heard me correct, just eat more!
It’s no surprise that as you exercise, calories burn, and weight starts to drop off. What happens when you are already restricting diet? Instead of burning fat, your body shifts to muscle reserves to meet the energy deficit. This results in a process where you start to lose muscle, known as muscle degradation.
For you to meet the energy demands of intense exercise and resistance training, you must increase caloric consumption. But simply increasing the number of calories is not enough. I will tell you why!
As you start to consume more and more calories, the body will convert it into fat faster than it can burn it. Not only will this ruin shape and physique, but it will also disrupt the biological processes taking place inside the body.
Firstly, as fat to muscle ratio increases, the body will become resistant to insulin and cause excess weight gain, making it difficult to lose weight and diminish protein synthesis.
Moreover, excess fat storage will disrupt hormone levels. Estrogen levels will increase while testosterone levels will drop. Hormone levels, as I mentioned earlier, are a crucial piece of the muscle-forming puzzle. If hormone levels continue to fluctuate in this manner, muscle growth will completely halt.
So can you gain muscle without getting fat?
By carefully following the step-by-step guidelines above, you will not only start to see muscle growth but will also start losing weight. This completely crushes the theory that muscle growth and weight loss are not possible at the same time.