Tips for Men Wanting to Bulk and Tips for Women Wanting to Tone
Toning Body Workout: Man Wanting to Bulk
If a man wants to bulk, let’s start with the nutrition. Nutritionally a man wanting to bulk up will want to increase his caloric intake by 500 calories per day. In order to gain a pound, you need an excess of 3500 calories. Therefore if you take 7 days of the week and multiply it by 500 calories it will equal 3500 calories. Now the 3500 calories has to be an excess number. Meaning if you normally eat 2000 calories per day you will need to start eating 2500 calories per day in order to gain a pound. I highly recommend that a man wanting to bulk eats 1 gram to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. That is what has worked for me in the past when wanting to bulk up as well as for other clients who have wanted to bulk up. To keep it simple, since this is beginners that we are talking about, I would have them keep a food journal every single day with an emphasis on tracking two key numbers which are grams of protein and calorie intake per day. I would have them keep a very close eye on these numbers to make sure that they are getting the necessary nutrients that they need to grow.
Just because you gain a pound does not mean it is automatically muscle, therefore you must be working out intensely with weights. So now let’s get to the weight training aspect of bulking up. When you want to bulk up, you want to stick to compound exercises such as the bench press and squat. Compound exercises when done correctly and with enough weight will stimulate the body to grow. It will at least give you a much better chance of bulking up as opposed to doing isolation exercises such as cable press machines and stationary machines. I like to suggest when bulking up to lift the heaviest weights you can possibly lift with good form for 5 to 8 repetitions of 5-8. This repetition scheme worked really well for me and past clients as well. The key goal here is to make sure you are pushing yourself to your max and lifting as heavy as possible. When you are lifting the weights, you will want to make sure that you are lifting them in a controlled fashion without arching your back or locking out your knees or elbows on any reps as this will put unnecessary stress on your joints and can cause injury.
When you are lifting, make sure that you are paying close attention to how your muscles feel and you are feeling it in the desired muscle group. For example when people do bench press they usually do not pay close enough attention to their chest muscles and making sure that they are doing all of the work. A lot of times when people are doing bench press they are working their shoulders more than their chest. The easy remedy is to focus 100 % of your energy on making the muscle you are trying to work do all of the exercise. At the point of contraction, be sure you are breathing out and at the point of lengthening breath in. For example, when you do a bench press, as you are pushing the weight up you would be breathing out and as you are bringing the bar in towards your body you would be breathing in. The goal is to have this as natural a breathing pattern as possible.
When you are lifting to gain bulk you will also want to separate your muscle groups. What I mean by that is, each workout day choose 1 to 2 different muscle groups such as chest and triceps on a day or back and biceps. By isolating 1 to 2 different muscle groups you are giving yourself a chance to really focus on lifting as much weight as possible without fatiguing other muscle groups. For example, if you lift chest and legs. If you do your legs first you may fatigue your body just enough to not get the most out of your chest workout. Which, when you are trying to build bulk, is a bad thing.
Since you are trying to bulk, and most people who are trying to bulk are what we call “hard gainers,” you will want to be very careful that you do not do too much cardio. For the very best results as far as bulking up and putting weight on I would not do any cardio while you are in your bulking phase and only lift heavy weights and eat an increased calorie diet. If you need to do cardio then I would suggest you do the minimum while you bulk up–somewhere along the lines of 1 to 2 times per week for 30 minutes.
Once you bulk up to the weight that you want, I would then start to incorporate more cardio into your program. If you are in the bulk stage I would also suggest that your cardio be a short version of doing sprints or an incline walk but nothing too long where it becomes too aerobic. In my experience and other clients as well the more cardio you do, the harder it becomes to bulk up.
Now, one of the most important aspects of bulking up is rest. Because we want to keep your body in an anabolic state, the more sleep you get the better your body will recover, and the more results you will see. I want you to directly relate the amount of sleep you get with the kind of results you want. The more sleep you get, the more bulk you will be able to get. The less sleep you get, the less bulk you will get and the slower your results will come. This is all in my experience of training clients, as well as training myself. I suggest sleeping anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day. Also get yourself in a routine of falling asleep at the same time each day so it becomes easier for you to get quality sleep. Sleep is not the only form of rest that I highly recommend you pay attention to. Also make sure that you are getting at least one day, if not two days, of rest per week where you do not lift weights or do any cardio so your body can completely repair. One thing you have to pay close attention to when you are trying to bulk up is not overtraining, because overtraining will put you in a muscle wasting state and it will be extremely hard, if not impossible, to get your results. So I cannot emphasize enough the importance of rest and bulking up.
Supplements for bulking up that I have found to work best are multi vitamins, creatine, glutamine, whey protein and casein protein, and fish oils. Creatine really helps with bulking up and weight training because it allows the body to have more energy for lifting heavier weights. Creatine helps you recover from short bursts of intense exercise such as heavy lifting as well. Glutamine is a great supplement for helping your body recover which, as we stated earlier, is an important factor for bulking up. Whey protein and casein protein helps the body to rebuild the broken down muscle tissues that lifting heavy weights does to your body. Fish oils help the body recover and help to keep the body in a muscle building state.
Take creatine before your workouts–usually about 2 hours before you lift weights. Take glutamine before and after your workouts. Take protein before and after your workouts, and take fish oils throughout the day. When taking these supplements, of course, consult with your physician first and follow the instructions on the bottle.
Toning Body Workout: Woman Wanting to Tone Up
When a woman wants to tone up, she will want to pay very close attention to her nutrition. So to start, she should be reducing her calorie intake by 500 calories per day to lose weight. The goal when you are trying to lose weight and tone up is to be the opposite of bulking up, which is to be in a state of calorie deficit. For example if a woman normally eats a 2500 calorie per day diet then she should start to eat a 2000 calories per day diet to be in the deficit, because to lose a pound you must be at a calorie deficit of 3500 calories. Of course those calories must be of high quality to make sure your body is getting the nutrients that are necessary to have the energy to increase your metabolism and allow you to exercise hard. The key numbers that she will want to pay close attention to will be carbohydrates, protein, and calories. I would also suggest that a woman who wants to tone up eats 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight but that she lowers her daily carbohydrate intake. A woman toning up, to keep it simple, will want to focus on eating high quality proteins and high quality fats while minimizing her carbohydrate intake. She will want to spread her meals out to where she eats 4 to 5 times per day with 3 meals and 1 to 2 snacks per day. This will allow her metabolism to be at its peak and work for her instead of against her. She will want to make sure that she is drinking enough water as well, so her body is utilizing all the nutrients that she is eating. When toning up, I would suggest that she sticks to chicken, fish, and turkey as her main sources of meat and avoid red meat and pork. For a woman wanting to tone up, she must keep a very detailed and accurate food journal to get the best results.
When a woman wants to tone up, her workout routine must increase the heart rate to burn calories. In my experience, getting women to be more toned is all about performing more intense workouts than she is used to performing. Again this is based on current fitness levels and what she has been doing. For example, if a woman is 300 pounds and has been living a very sedentary life, then simply walking around her neighborhood for 20 minutes would be considered high intensity. So all of this is relative to where you are currently as far as fitness levels are concerned.
Also the weight training portions–I suggest that a woman wanting to tone up do higher repetition schemes of 10 to 15 repetitions per set and rest very minimally, if at all, in between sets. The goal would be to get her body in the shape that she can perform 30-minute to 60-minute workouts with little to no rest. This will keep her body in a calorie burning mode and can really help in toning up her body.
A woman wanting to tone up should choose 1 to 2 muscle groups per workout as well but, for variety and muscle confusion, can incorporate full body workouts into her routine to get the most calorie burn. I recommend, for a woman wanting to tone up based on her current fitness levels, exercising 5 to 6 days per week for best results. As far as exercises to perform, I would also suggest for maximal calorie burn that she focuses on doing exercises that do emphasize large muscle groups. She can do cable machines as well as stationary machines. I would just focus on making sure that she is doing exercises that are not too isolated, especially for a beginner. For example, just doing the inner and outer thigh machine. Isolation exercises will be more for intermediate and advanced exercisers.
When a woman wants to tone up, in my experience, the cardio exercise part is extremely important to burning additional calories. Of course, she still must have a balanced program of doing weight training so she too can build more muscle to increase her metabolism. But she will want to do cardio during every workout. Her cardio workouts should be of high intensity (remember this is based on where an individual is currently at) focusing on getting the heart rate up to a level that is challenging by doing the cardio programs that I recommend. Some of the best ways to get the heart rate to a level which is challenging is sprint training, high intensity training, incline walking training and hill running. There are plenty of ways to get the heart rate levels up but those have been the best ways in my experience with past clients.
Rest is still crucial for seeing the results that you want because the more rest you get, the better your body will recover and the more energy you will have to do more intense workouts. Because you are exercising intensely, this step should not be neglected as it often is. I suggest sleeping 7-9 hours per night and trying to get a sleep routine as well, so it is easier to fall asleep and get quality sleep. Be sure to have at least one full rest day where you do not do anything, so your body can recover and you can go into the next week of your workouts with full intensity. Remember, exercising is the breakdown of the body so the real results come from the rest you take not the breakdown you are creating.
As far as supplements are concerned, the best to take are fish oils, multi vitamins, and protein. It is best to stay natural. I get a lot of questions on the effectiveness of fat burning pills and if they work and are they safe? The answer to that is, a majority of fat burning pills are pills just with caffeine in them. For the most part, what they will offer to you is an energy boost if you use them for your workout. Before ever taking any of these supplements be sure to consult with your physician. You will take these supplements as directed by your physician