Maximum Muscle By Controlling Your Bulking Macros

How to Calculate your Macros for your Next Lean Bulk

Oh, it's that time of the year again - bulking season, where the real excitement in your fitness journey begins! Now is your chance to ramp up your food consumption, crank up the intensity of your workouts to ignite muscle growth, and ensure you maintain a surplus of calories to pack on the pounds.

For those embarking on their first bulking journey, the misconception may be that devouring anything in sight is the key to boosting calorie intake for muscle development. Yet, the concept of "clean bulking" flips the script. By meticulously calculating your macros - protein, fat, and carbohydrates - you ensure that your muscle gains are lean while maintaining an optimal body composition.

Don’t be too frustrated when you realize you can’t eat anything you want, please keep reading; we’ll answer them all for you below!

Why Do You Need to Have A Bulking Season? Lean Muscle Weight Gain!

The primary goal of bulking involves elevating your body mass through an uptick in calorie consumption. While commonly linked with bodybuilding, individuals across various athletic backgrounds and casual lifting enthusiasts frequently discover that maintaining their current caloric intake leaves them wanting in terms of both performance and appearance.

Newcomers to muscle building may find contentment in merely expanding their physical dimensions. Conversely, seasoned athletes frequently segue into a muscle-building phase following a period of cutting, where emphasis is placed on shedding body fat and reducing overall body fat percentage. Throughout the bulking phase, these athletes strive to accrue lean muscle mass while mitigating fat accumulation.

How to Succeed at Clean Bulking and Calculating Lean Bulking Macros

Whether you simply want to gain muscle or to become a master at calculating macros for bulking, we'll cover key steps to these processes:

Know How Many Calories You Should Eat

To kick off the process, begin by pinpointing your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), a figure easily determined through online calculators and resources. Once you've nailed down your TDEE, it's advisable to tack on approximately 10% to this figure, ensuring you're ingesting ample calories to fuel muscle development.

For example, if your current TDEE stands at 2500, increasing it by 10% (represented by multiplying it by 0.1) results in an extra 250 calories. Hence, setting your sights on consuming 2750 calories per day should mark the initial step in commencing your bulking phase.

Remember, particularly when embarking on this journey, boosting your calorie intake can pose a challenge. The best strategy to meet these elevated calorie goals is to start with gradual increments, like the 10 percent increase mentioned previously.

Determine Your Ideal Bulking Macros Ratio

Now, we come to what could be considered the linchpin of the process: fine-tuning the ideal balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat for your bulking phase. Let's explore the core principles of macro distribution.

An ideal macronutrient distribution for bulking might look like this:

  • Carbohydrates: 40%
  • Proteins: 25%
  • Fats: 35%

In terms of grams, here’s what you can follow for this macronutrient distribution:

  • Carbohydrates: 2 - 4 grams of carbs per pound of body weight
  • Proteins: 1 -1.25 grams of protein per pound of body weight
  • Fats: 0.25 - 1 gram of fat per pound of body weight

Let's take a closer look at each macronutrient:

  • Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are indispensable for bulking, serving as the primary energy source for our bodies, with each gram providing 4 calories. They fuel intense training sessions by breaking down in the body, and also contribute significantly to the muscle growth process.

It's important to bear in mind that consuming excessive carbohydrates can lead to the accumulation of surplus body fat. It's crucial to exercise caution and avoid overindulging in carbohydrate calories and macros. However, if you're unconcerned about gaining body fat and opt for a 'dirty bulk,' you may choose to increase your carb intake. Just remember, I've cautioned you about the potential repercussions!

  • Protein

Protein intake holds immense importance during bulking phases due to its muscle-building capabilities. Ensuring sufficient protein consumption is vital for clean bulking, despite the fact that the total calorie count from protein tends to be lower than that from carbohydrates.

With 4 calories per gram, protein is a potent source of energy, and foods rich in protein often offer greater satiety compared to carbohydrate sources. This aspect proves beneficial when aiming for weight loss, as protein-rich meals can help curb hunger. However, during bulking periods, ensuring adequate protein intake may pose a challenge if you frequently feel full.

  • Fats

While protein often takes the spotlight, fat macros are equally crucial for supporting various internal bodily functions and processes, in addition to serving as energy reserves. It's important to note that unlike carbohydrates and proteins, each gram of fat consists of 9 calories.

In a bulking diet, like many others, fat grams are kept to a minimum, so it's important to watch your overall fat intake. Since high-fat foods pack a lot of calories, it's easy to overindulge without noticing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I avoid during a bulk to minimize fat gain?

While understanding your ideal macros for bulking is crucial, it's equally important to recognize the significance of consuming the right food items in the correct quantities. Consequently, there are certain foods you may want to limit during your bulking journey:

  • Limit your intake of overly processed foods and fast foods as they tend to be low in nutrients compared to their calorie content. Additionally, they are often easy to overeat.
  • Avoid alcohol as it can interfere with and slow down the muscle - building process.
  • Limit and reduce the intake of added sugars, as they are high in calories and offer little nutritional value.

 What should I eat when bulking to maximize my bulking phase?

Selecting foods during bulking phases can be challenging. Use the following list as a "cheat sheet" to help plan your meals:

  • Walnuts and cashews, seeds and nuts, such as sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, and peanuts.
  • Vegetables such as spinach, kale, cucumbers, mushrooms, celery, broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus, peppers, and green beans.
  • Lean meat, poultry and seafood such as beef, chicken breast, chicken, salmon, shrimp, and cod.
  • Fruits such as apples, berries, bananas, mango, and oranges
  • Whole grains such as rice, oats, pasta, and quinoa
  • Starches such as sweet potatoes, yams, and potatoes

What are some of the benefits of bulking phases?

Besides increasing your overall muscle mass, bulking phases result in:

  • Increased strength
  • Reduced hormonal dysfunctions and dysregulations
  • A larger, more imposing physique

Final Thoughts on Bulking Macros

Bulking can seem easy and straightforward, but for optimal results, it's crucial to learn how to track your macros. If you're interested in taking your tracking seriously after our discussion today, consider using one of the many macro calculators available online.

Once you get the hang of it, you'll discover that tracking macros is the most effective way to navigate your clean bulking journey. While a clean bulk may not offer the same indulgence as a dirty bulk, I believe you'll find much greater satisfaction in your results!

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