How To Clean Bulk? Steps To Bulk Up Without Getting Fat The Healthy WayJake Felix
- 1 What is Clean Bulk – The Real Bodybuilding!
- 2 Clean Bulk vs Dirty Bulk
- 3 How To Do A Clean Bulk Bodybuilding?
- 3.1 #1. Finding the right surplus
- 3.2 Final surplus value
- 3.3 #2. Managing the Macros and Micros
- 3.4 #3. Adding and Subtracting Foods
- 3.5 #4. Try Out HIRT
- 3.6 #5. Getting advanced with the workout strategy
- 3.7 #6. Cardio Workouts
- 3.8 #7. Track, Measure, and observe your results
- 3.9 #8. Taking a break
- 3.10 #9. The time frame of Bulking
- 3.11 #10. Patience to achieve long goals
- 4 Conclusion
Bodybuilding is characterized by the phases of bulking and cutting.
Where Bulking is the state of calorie surplus where you fuel your body by building muscles and some fat.
Cutting is the calorie deficit state where you flush out all the excess fat accumulated during the bulking phase to create well-defined muscle mass.
However, out of these two phases, bulking is the most confusing phase, where a few mistakes can lead to excess fat that takes a long time to give you the right phase.
The thing that confuses most of the fitness freaks out there is the difference between clean bulk and dirty bulk.
Dirty bulking as the name suggests can cause excess and dirty fat gains that the cutting phase is not able to resolve, and clean bulking is more of what you need – muscle gains.
Considering the importance of clearing such confusion and helping bodybuilders correct their bulking routine, here is a review on how to clean bulk.
Starting the first and most important step is to understand what exactly is clean bulk and how is it different from dirty bulk.
What is Clean Bulk – The Real Bodybuilding!
Clean bulking is a process of keeping your body in a calorie surplus state to fuel your muscles with nutrients to grow.
But even during the calorie surplus state, people keep a strict regulation of their calorie intake along with adding high resistance training.
This helps boost muscle growth and strength without adding any excess fat but most people out there don’t see clean bulking as their off-season option.
Although clean bulking has got clear benefits to offer to prevent any excess fat gains, it has gradual results.
People who want quick results, often switch to the dirty bulk.
Clean Bulk vs Dirty Bulk
Dirty bulk is a popular choice during off-seasons, as it supports quick muscle gains and strength.
Unlike clean bulking, dirty bulk has no calorie regulation and you can add on as many foods as you want.
The main aim of dirty bulking is to put on as much weight as you can to build muscles irrespective of the fact it accompanies several side effects.
Some of the major side effects of dirty bulk over clean bulk are:
- Excess fat deposition
- Early fatigue
- High cholesterol
- Imbalance of sugar levels
- Hectic cutting phase with poor results
Hence, it is always better to stick with the clean bulk and be patient with the results.
Since many of you might not know How to Lean Bulk, here is how you can start bulking with the clean bulk formula.
How To Do A Clean Bulk Bodybuilding?
The main focus of clean bulking is getting enough calories from healthy foods that don’t add excess fat to your body.
Hence the first step is calculating the calories that your body needs for muscle growth.
#1. Finding the right surplus
The first important step of starting a clean bulk is first calculating the number of calories you need to start on.
Without adding enough calories, muscle cells don’t have enough fuel to start synthesizing new muscle fibers.
Since excess calories can cause an excess fat buildup calculating just the right calorie surplus builds up enough energy for you without side effects.
For calculating a balanced calorie diet for muscle gains and strength, you should:
- First, calculate your basal metabolic rate which is the number of calories your body burns even when you aren’t working out.
- For men – the BMR is calculated by adding 66 + (13.7 X your weight in kgs) + (5 X your heights in cms) – (6.8 X age in years)
- For women – 655 + (9.6 X weight in kgs ) + (1.8 X height in cms) – (4.7 X age in years).
The next step is to add up the calories you burn through your workout.
Since the calorie burn depends on the intensity of the workout, the following formula helps:
- Multiply your BMR with 1.2 if you follow a lifestyle that has zero to very few exercises.
- For easy exercises like moderate sessions once or thrice a week, multiply your BMR with 1.375.
- People following moderate exercises will have a calorie burn rate of BMR X 1.55.
- Those who indulge in intense exercises with a routine of workouts on 6 -7 days should multiply BMR by 1.725.
- While those on highly intense workouts have a burn rate of BMR X 1.9
Post this calculation, you will be getting your total daily energy expenditure or the total number of calories you burn in a day.
Hence the final steps of calorie calculation should now be establishing the number of extra calories you need to build muscles.
Final surplus value
According to experts, taking 10 – 20% off more calories than you burn is enough to put you on a healthy calorie surplus day.
Hence along with adding calories that equal total daily energy expenditure, you should take a diet that adds up the extra 10-20% too.
Since adding calories often confuses people with which nutrients should go in to give that right balance.
Then, the next step of How To Clean Bulk is focusing on proportioning the right balance of nutrients.
#2. Managing the Macros and Micros
Once you have planned how many calories you need to create a clean surplus, it’s now time for creating a Clean Bulk Meal Plan.
For creating a proper meal, we need to create the right blend of nutrients before deciding on the right foods to go in.
Setting up the nutrients:
Proteins – the very first nutrient that should go into the diet are proteins for muscle growth, repair, and recovery.
For building muscles, you need to maintain at least 1.3-1.8 grams per kilo of your weight.
This would give you around 4kcal per gram of protein you intake.
The next nutrient that can give you the right amount of calories is fat.
Fat – although fat carries a great number of calories, why do we insert it into a clean bulk diet to ensure that your body creates enough testosterone?
Without enough fat, your body won’t produce enough testosterone creating problems in building muscles.
According to experts, you just need 1 gram of fats per kilo of your weight for adequate calorie surplus and testosterone boost.
With the proteins and fats already supplying your calorie needs, the next step is adding the remaining amount of calories.
This could be best done by using carbs.
Carbohydrates – adding carbs to your diet will give you the energy to complete your workouts, and also add volume to muscles.
Since 1 gram of carbs provides you with 4 kcal of calories, you can calculate the remaining amount of calories you need to check how much carbs you can add to your diet.
Once the nutrient profile is ready, its now time to add in the foods that make a good source of all these nutrients.
#3. Adding and Subtracting Foods
An important step to creating a healthy clean bulk process is to look out for the foods that you can eat in the bulking phase.
Since, now you are aware of how many calories your body needs, this becomes easier.
Though there are many ways of selecting nutritious foods for a clean diet, what we prefer is the 80 – 20% rule.
The rule suggests taking 80% of healthy diets while 20% can be any food that you like.
For best results, you can add and avoid the following foods.
Foods to Add
- Sources of lean proteins – fish, turkey, chicken, beef, pork, fat that has less cheese, eggs, and eggs white.
- Healthy fats – nuts, fishes high in omega-3-fatty acids, seeds like chia seed, flaxseeds, and hemp.
- Legumes – chickpeas, kidney beans, navy beans, black beans, and other northern beans.
- Carbs that are of high quality – oats, whole grain foods, sweet potatoes, and brown rice.
- Fruits – apples, bananas, pineapples, and berries.
- Non-starchy veggies – like green veggies containing asparagus, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and tomatoes.
- Dark leafy green veggies – like spinach, collard greens, and kale.
On the other hand, for 20% you can go for any type of food that you like but try avoiding the following foods as much as you can.
Foods to Avoid:
- Processed foods – fried and processed foods, sugary confectionaries, fast food, and ice creams made of full fat should be avoided as much as you can.
- Saturated fats – like butter and certain oils
Now once the food part is done, its now time to focus on what workouts you are preferring during clean bulk.
#4. Try Out HIRT
If you are thinking that clean bulk is just about eating then that’s not the complete truth.
Clean bulking does comprise workout routines, which are mainly composed of high-intensity resistance training.
It helps in creating muscles, even when your body is burning calories.
Hence, including them in your routine for bulking phase can help you with greater muscle build and strength.
Here is what you can add for that perfect off phase:
- Compound exercises that target your whole body like squats, pullups, and presses.
- Perform workouts that start with targeting your upper body and then move on to target the lower body.
- Perform at least 10 – 15 minutes of each circuit
- Look out for the right rep range which should be at least 8 to 12 reps. You can also switch to lower reps with heavier weights during HIRT. The basic rule should be to reach fatigue.
Other than this you can even add some other workout programs.
#5. Getting advanced with the workout strategy
While HIRT works well for building muscles, you can even try some other muscle-building workout sessions like:
The giant sets are characterized by grouping 4 or more exercises targeting the same muscles and then repeating them without rest.
Though the exercises could be tiring they work efficiently in making you bigger and bulkier.
For example, you can prepare the following giant set for targeting your shoulders:
- Dumbbell shoulder press
- Lateral raises
- Front raise
- Upright row
- Reverse flyes
Choose a weight that you can go on training for 8 – 12 reps in one go and then reduce the weight by 10 – 25% and then continue.
Continue with as many sets as you can carry on with.
With two forms of workout down the list, another one that you can add for great muscle stimulation is cardio.
#6. Cardio Workouts
You don’t have to do long sessions of cardio but just a few sessions which could be as small as twice per week.
Also, focus on choosing an exercise that works for muscle by boosting testosterone and growth hormone.
Try going for high-intensity interval training where you train for a short time and then take a rest.
This will not only help in building more muscles but also help in reducing the breakdown of muscles.
Some of the workouts you can try are bike and sprint intervals, battle ropes work well too.
However, post these workouts, and diet, it is also important to measure your growth during the cycle.
Hence a very crucial step of How to Do a Clean Bulk that promises results, is measuring and evaluating your progress.
#7. Track, Measure, and observe your results
When following a clean bulk make sure to report your progress by:
- Keeping track of what foods you took
- Your calorie count
- Workouts done
- Measures of body fat
Next use tools like a weighing scale to keep track of how many pounds of weight you have gained.
For example, if you were just expecting a pound or two of muscles in a month, but the value is higher than that, it must be some extra fat taking up the space.
In such a case you might need to re-evaluate your workouts and diet.
But that doesn’t mean you need to go on and on with the bulk phase, your body needs some rest too.
#8. Taking a break
While clean bulk sounds strict with so many calorie regulations and workout planning, it isn’t necessary to avoid breaks.
You can go in for a rest day from the gym or a cheat day from the diet to enjoy doing what you love the most.
But that doesn’t mean your break has to be for too long as that could risk your gains and hard work.
Hence, go for short breaks like once in two weeks where you have your cheat meal and skip your workout for a day.
Further, we don’t even suggest staying on the bulk phase for a long time, it has to cease after some time to let the cutting phase in.
#9. The time frame of Bulking
Though there isn’t a specific time frame for bulking experts suggest that bulking for a long duration is often not good.
Once you start noting an increase in the numbers on the weighing scale or in the fat levels as you notice yourself in the mirror, it’s time to stop.
For example, if your body shows too much of fluff with your abs almost disappearing, we suggest taking a quick short break.
Although it’s normal to gain some fat during the process of bulking, the disappearance of abs isn’t the right gain.
You might have pushed a little hard.
Hence always check for your gains, and take short breaks from bulking.
Finally, the last step of completing a clean cycle is to stay patient and wait for the gains, instead of switching.
#10. Patience to achieve long goals
Clean bulk often takes a long time to put your body in bulk, and hence you have to be patient to see the results.
Since bulking also depends on your muscle mass, and your fat levels when starting the bulk, the growth rate of muscles can vary.
As you go on following bulk cycles, there is also steadiness in the rate of muscle gains.
- Beginners – gain 1 – 1.5% of total body mass per month
- Intermediate – have a growth rate of 0.5 – 1% per month
- Advanced – have a lower growth rate of 0.25 – 0.5% of body weight per month
Clean bulking is often looked upon as a slow process of bulking, but when you see the results, you find out that it’s just the best.
It gives you almost lean muscle gains which are easier to sculpt during the cutting phase and can give quicker abs!
But when following a clean bulk, always make sure to start with a calorie count, following with adding the right foods and nutrients.
The most important part of clean bulking is diet and hence you shouldn’t mess with any step of diet planning.
With the perfect diet planning, and a strict workout plan you can achieve great results with clean bulk.