Bulking Up Can Ruin Long Term Muscle Growth
In the days of the legendary bodybuilders like Arnold and Franco, bulking up in the off-season and then cutting up was considered gospel. Aside from the obvious health concerns linked to packing on yard, extreme bulking is an inferior approach to trying to achieve your best body. Here are ten reasons why you can RUIN your long term muscle gains through extreme bulking up in particular bulking up for muscle growth:
Reason #1: You can not force muscle growth. Putting back 7,000 calories is not better than putting back 4,000 calories if that’s what your body needs to grow. It’s not what you put in your mouth that counts, it’s what gets digested and absorbed.
Reason #2: Extreme bulking leads to insulin-resistance, which makes it harder to gain muscle down the road. Insulin-resistance results in carbs going primarily to fat stores, not muscle tissue.
Reason #3: You’ll be forced to diet down harder, which can result in losing the muscle you gained during the bulk up! That’s called 1 step forward, 1 step back.
Reason #4: That fatter you get, the harder it becomes to get lean because of insulin resistance is hard to reverse. Ask anyone who bulked up excessively if they had a pleasant time traveling back down to a low body-fat levels!
Reason #5: The primary metric for measuring success while bulking up is gaining weight on the scale. Using Increased scale weight does not mean increase muscle gain.
Reason #6: Getting fat, intentionally or carelessly, results in decreased thyroid production – not ideal, because thyroid is critical for fat loss.
Reason #7: Calories are not created equal. Calories from quinoa and bison are great for adding muscle; calories from nachos and beer are not. Bulking up with unhealthy calories can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, excess inflammation and cardiovascular diseases.
Reason #8: The leaner you are, the easier it is to gain quality muscle because your body becomes more efficient at nutrient partitioning. This means when you eat, your body transfers the nutrients to the muscle (as muscle tissue or glycogen) or in the liver (as glycogen) and less gets transferred to your abdominal wall!
Reason #9: The more time you spend bulking up, the more time you spend cutting which means less time you have to gain muscle!
Reason #10: The biggest reason is that extreme bulking can lead to fat cell hyperplasia. Essentially, when you overeat for a prolonged period of time, your body increases its number of fat cells. Sadly, you can not remove fat cells without surgery so by adding new fat cells your body you’re actually making it more efficient for gaining fat and worse at losing it! Bulking up and then cutting down a few times in your life is forgiving, but attempting to bulk up and cut down every year is a sure-fire way to ruin your physique.
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