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It’s getting to that time of the year where the summer cut is finally coming to a close and now the fun begins. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to bulk! For those of you just starting out, this is probably all new to you and you really don’t understand the concept of cutting and bulking and why things happen during certain times of the year.

The following are few tips to help you on your way to packing on some muscle.

1. Food

Here is a compilation of things that you should have on your grocery list. You can pick and choose the foods in those categories that you like.

Proteins

Complex Carbs

  • Oatmeal
  • Black Beans
  • Cereal
  • Brown Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes

Fibrous Carbs

  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Bell Peppers
  • Spinach

Other Produce And Fruits

  • Lemon
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Banana
  • Zucchini

Healthy Fats

  • Olive Oil
  • Almonds
  • Peanut Butter
  • Salmon
  • Flaxseed Oil

Dairy And Eggs

  • Egg Whites
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Non-Fat Milk

2. Compound Movements

Compound movements are what make you grow. Isolation movements are more for shaping muscles rather than jacking up the growth hormones in your body and gaining some mass. Compound movements are the squats, deadlifts, barbell presses, military presses, and similar movements.

They are any movement that requires more than one muscle to execute an exercise. These are the foundation to bodybuilding and bulking.

3. Rest

It’s a fact that you don’t grow while in the gym. You grow while you rest outside of the gym. Sure, when you have a nice hard pump in the gym and your muscles are swollen and look larger, you think you’re getting bigger and bigger with each set. You are incorrect. That nice pump that we all long for is only temporary.

After about an hour those effects start to diminish and you will be about the same size as you were before you stepped into the gym that day. You need to rest your muscles and get adequate sleep at night to help increase growth hormones in your body, which in turn help you gain lean muscle mass. You should be getting no less than 8 hours of sleep per night. Anything less and you will be cutting yourself short with your gains.

4. Post-Workout Meal

Post-workout meals are very important. You can think of it as an old coal train. You throw a whole bunch of coal in to start the train and then you stop giving it coals. What eventually happens? The train stops. Same goes with your body. The food you eat pre-workout gets used as fuel for the body during exercise.

Then as your workout comes to an end, the fuel has surely run out and it will be starving for more to grow. If you don’t feed your body, it can’t grow. And it is especially needed post-workout because that is when your body absorbs nutrients best.

Your body is literally starving for nutrients at the end of your workout. If you don’t feed it, it simply can’t repair itself and grow.

At the post-workout meal, you need to be taking in around 45-50 grams of protein. Add in one to two times that amount of carbohydrates (90-100 grams). If you are a hard-gainer, make it closer to 2 with most all of them coming from simple sources. If you tend to gain weight easily, it’s better to stay closer to the equivalent of the amount of protein and make it half simple, half complex sources.

5. Keep Cardio To A Minimum

This one isn’t rocket science; you don’t need a PhD to understand. Obviously when you do cardio, you use up fuel (calories). Calories are what you need to grow. You take away calories, you take away gains. Now I’m not saying to stop cardio altogether, because you don’t need to.

Cardio is actually a good way to keep from putting on body fat during a bulking phase and an excellent way to keep the heart healthy.

Cardio also increases your appetite so you will be able to down some extra calories to make up for the loss you experienced during your workout. You can get away with doing some low-intensity cardio without losing lean mass gains, so do not be afraid to do cardio while bulking.

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