Clean bulking is in essence the act of gaining muscle without gaining fat. It’s easy to gain muscle and fat together and difficult to lose one without effecting the other. Clean bulking describes the practice of gaining JUST muscle, leaving fat gains behind. Understand that only the most dedicated and extreme fitness champs will be able to have the mental drive and focus needed for a successful clean bulking campaign. Unless you’re okay with never eating another carbohydrate again and walking around on the verge of hunger 24 hours out of the day, you might just skip down to the next blog post. For the rest of you, the ones who are daring enough and motivated enough to take their body to the next step, by all means, read on…
Eat often. Make sure you’re taking a bite of food every 30 minutes. Don’t take more than a couple bites, unfortunately. That’s it for you until the next 30 minute interval comes around. You want to keep your calorie count at a level that isn’t unhealthy but also doesn’t allow you to gain ANY fat. Ideally, in the 29 minutes or so that you’re not eating, you’ll be burning off the few dozen calories you consumed a half hour ago.
When you eat, make it packed with protein. Load up on the grilled chicken and the WHEYXX protein shakes. Avoid carbohydrates at all cost and try not to drink anything other than your shakes and water. We don’t want your body to have the opportunity to misuse the food we’re supplying it with.
Push yourself to the limit. You’re going to have to take the workouts to the next level. Keep a daily journal tracking your weight gains and the reps you’re doing at each machine in the gym. The daily logs will help you stay focused and keep you from being discouraged while simultaneously showing whether or not you’re on track to a successful clean bulk. You should gain a pound a week if this is your first clean bulk. This pound is pure muscle if you’ve been following the strict diet rules.
The reps that you’re recording is a little different than what you’re used to. Once you start hitting the weights on a particular machine, keep pushing until you can’t life, push, or pull for another rep. Give yourself a 90 second breather, then do it again. Write down the number of reps that you were able to push yourself to for both sets, then move on to the next machine. In just a week’s time, you’ll notice those totals climb.
Obviously you want your creatine and protein, the building blocks of muscle gain. Stock up on antioxidants, beta-alanine, and make sure you get plenty of caffeine in your system leading up to a workout . You don’t want to feel sluggish or weak during an intense, clean bulk session. The most underrated supplement? Sleep. If you normally get 6 hours of sleep every night, try to get 8. If you normally get 8, see if you can rest for 10 hours. Your body isn’t stupid. While resting, the body can more effectively repair muscles and prepare them for the next day’s grueling clean bulk grind.
- R. M. Hobson,1 B. Saunders,1 G. Ball,1 R. C. Harris,2 and C. Salecorresponding author1
Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis
Amino Acids. 2012 Jul; 43(1): 25–37.
Published online 2012 Jan 24. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z