What Are The Pros and Cons Of Bulking?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What are the pros and cons of bulking? When you are bulking you are eating more calories than you burn. And when you have a goal of bulking it means you want to add muscle to your body. A bulk is a phase of eating in a caloric surplus. Which means consuming more calories is needed to maintain your body weight.

Before you start the bulk, you need to determine what is your maintenance calories. Meaning what is the number of calories needed to maintain your weight. A good calorie surplus would be an extra 10 to 20% daily calories.

What are the pros and cons of bulking? iStock- photo credit: subtropica

A good example is a 180-pound person would add an additional 250 to 500 calories for their daily caloric intake. To support muscle gain you would want to add 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound. And the rest of your calories would balance out with carbs and fats.

Here are some of the pros of bulking:

  • Increase strength.
  • Increase bone density.
  • Increase muscle gain.
  • Promotes a healthy sex drive.

Here are some of the cons of bulking:

  • Excessive fat gain
  • Make you feel sluggish and tired.
  • Can decrease athletic performance and ability.
  • Can affect blood values.
  • Decrease of insulin sensitivity

One of the biggest negative things when you try to bulk up is the extra fat you will most likely gain. It is inevitable you will gain some extra fat. The amount of fat you gain will determine how quickly you are bulking. And how many extra calories you are consuming to achieve that bulk.

When bulking it is best to focus on foods that are high in nutrients and calorie content that will help promote muscle gain and strength.

Some good lean proteins to eat for bulking are: chicken, turkey, fish, cottage cheese, protein powders, eggs, tofu, etc.

Some good high-quality carbs to eat for bulking are: sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, whole grain pasta, oats, etc.

Some good healthy fats to eat for bulking are: avocado, nuts, fatty fish, olive oil, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.

Some good non-starchy vegetables to eat for bulking are: asparagus, green beans, carrots, celery, mushrooms, etc.

Some of the foods you want to limit are high processed foods. And any foods that have high saturated fats or trans fats.

The best way to bulk or to minimize any excessive fat gain is to do a slow bulk. And this means to consume around 10 to 15% extra surplus daily calories.

Along with the excess calories that you must consume you want to make sure what accompanies this is incorporating resistance training at least 3 to 4 days a week. And this will help with increasing muscle gain.

The Bottom Line is the pro to bulking is an increase in muscle gain and strength. The con of bulking is the extra fat that may come with bulking. So, it is best if you are going to bulk to do a slow bulk which means consuming an extra 10 to 15% calorie surplus.

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About Author- Obi Obadike

About – Ethical Inc

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  1. Helms, E.R., Aragon, A.A. & Fitschen, P.J. Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 11, 20 (2014).
  2. Iraki J, Fitschen P, Espinar S, Helms E. Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season: A Narrative Review. Sports (Basel). 2019 Jun 26;7(7):154. doi: 10.3390/sports7070154. PMID: 31247944; PMCID: PMC6680710.

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