Bulking up is a very popular topic amongst body builders and many other athletes. There are several different ways to go about bulking, but the most common method is to bulk by “cutting” lean mass. This is often called “lean bulking.” To be more specific, it refers to the situation where you take a period of time (often just a week) off from weight training or cardio workouts so that your muscle-to-fat ratio can increase dramatically.
Lean bulking is a technique used by many bodybuilders who are looking for an easy way to pack on muscles without having to spend hours in the gym pumping iron. The benefits of this approach are obvious; you gain a lot of size with relative ease while spending much less time at the gym than if you were trying to build muscle through traditional means. For example, one of the most popular techniques for lean bulking is what’s known as “compound splitting”. If you’re not familiar with this technique, you might want to start there before reading any further.
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One of the reasons compound splitting works so well is because it allows you to get a substantial amount of growth done fairly quickly if you stick to it properly. To do this, you’ll need to cut back on your workout intensity a bit. Instead of doing a full, intense workout, you will only do part of the routine at half the intensity. For example, say you normally work out for 45 minutes, 3 times per week. You could then split your sessions into two parts: 30 minutes of lower intensity exercise (maybe 20 repetitions of squats) followed by 15 minutes of higher intensity exercise (30 reps of bench presses).
What makes compound splitting effective is that you’re still lifting weights, but you’re not doing everything at max effort like you would if you were doing a full session. As a result, you’ll burn more calories during your workouts – which will help you pack on more muscle mass.
The beauty of compound splitting is that you can make gains even when you have limited time to train. Say you only have 10 minutes left in your workout today, but you really want to maximize your output. You could use a low rep scheme such as 5×5 instead of going all out with 8×8.
Rule #1: Start With A Low Rep Scheme
When you first begin to bulk, you should try using a low rep scheme. This is because you won’t be able to see dramatic changes right away. Your muscle fibers will take longer to grow larger, so you’ll need to wait until they’ve changed their structure significantly before you’ll notice visible results.
Your goal here is to gradually increase the number of sets you perform each workout. So if you’re currently performing 2 sets every day, start with 1 set every other day. Then add another set after a couple weeks, then another after a month, etc. By following this process, you’ll eventually be performing 3-4 sets per workout.
Rule #2: Try To Get Your Rest Periods In During Exercises That Don’t Require Them
A great way to keep your rest periods short is to incorporate them into the exercises themselves. Some examples include resting between sets of push ups or push ups and sit ups, or resting after a set of chin ups. By adding rest periods into your routine, you’ll end up taking fewer total breaks throughout the entire workout.
Rule #3: Keep Your Volume High
You’ve probably heard the saying “the devil is in the details” – and it applies to bulking just as much as any other area of fitness. When you bulk, you want to focus on your volume. This means that you’re going to continue to lift heavy weights, but you’re simply going to do it more frequently.
For instance, let’s say you’re currently working out 3 days per week. If you try to double your workload, you’ll probably plateau pretty quickly. But if you instead focus on increasing your volume, you could do something like 4 x 8 at 90% of your current maximum or 5 x 6 at 85%. These are just guidelines, but you can figure out what makes sense based on your current level of fitness.
Remember that you don’t necessarily have to perform high reps either. Just because you’re not doing high reps doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be putting in plenty of volume. In fact, you may be surprised how much progress you can make if you follow these three basic rules.