The bulk phase preceeds the cut phase, in which a bodybuilder burns off the fat gained during a bulk.
Bodybuilders gain muscles for mass and lose fat to allow their muscles to shine through. Bodybuilders often refer to the phase of muscle gain as a вЂњbulk.вЂќ In this phase, they eat an excess of calories to supply their muscles with more energy to grow. While this method works in theory, it can add fat to your belly. Understanding how a bulk works and is related to belly fat can help you design your ideal bodybuilding program.
Fuss Over Your Food
The idea of a bulk is to increase your overall caloric intake to give your body extra energy in order to build muscle. Bodybuilders use the bulking technique under the belief that they can build muscles quickly. However, because the body builds muscles at a rate that is more or less fixed, as long as you have a sufficient caloric surplus, more calories past that surplus does not equate to more muscles. When you вЂњgo on a bulkвЂќ to build more muscle, stay within a reasonable limit, such as by adding a caloric surplus of around 500 calories a day instead of 2,000 or 3,000.
Watch Your Belly
Belly fat comes to your body the same way as does the fat of any other area - through an excess of calories. Some people tend to store more fat around their bellies than other parts of their bodies, a phenomenon of pure genetics. Thus, if you are eating at a caloric surplus, you will certainly gain some fat around your belly. Because the nature of bulking is to eat at a caloric surplus, you should expect to gain some belly fat during your bulk.
You can still do away with your belly fat during a bulk through cardio and through changing your diet. Cardio - such as cycling, shadow boxing or even walking - can help you burn calories; when you engage in cardio and have a caloric deficit - eating fewer calories than you burn - your body begins to burn off stored fat. Changing to a diet lower in fat without changing your daily calories is possible by switching out high-calorie, high-fat foods for high-calorie low-fat foods. For example, you could replace a meal of fatty pork chop with a meal of lean turkey or chicken.
Monitor Your Progress
Because the goal of a bulk is to build muscle, not fat, you should engage in occasional checks on your bulk's progress. According to Kingsborough Community College, you should expect to build no more than 7 pounds of muscle per year. If you see your weight gaining quickly over your bulk, don't fool yourself into believing it's all muscle. Too quick of a weight gain implies a high gain of fat, not muscle. Thus, occasionally inspect your weight throughout your bulk and decrease your caloric intake if you see too fast of a weight gain.