Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Bulk!

Recently I've just finished a 9 month bulk... the process of gaining muscle or making gainz as the fitness community calls it!. During my bulk I put on 6kg which consists of both muscle and fat. Yes my abs from the left picture disappeared because of the fat I put on but I also gained muscle (hooray!) it is all part of the process of the bulk. I'm happy with the size that I did put on and look forward to seeing my abs come back and my muscles more defined as I lean down. Being an Ectomorph (the petite body type) I struggle to put on weight and muscle... it takes a lot of food and a lot of time. I started gaining off 2200 calories and by the end it was taking me close to 3000 to gain. This was my 3rd attempt at my 2nd bulk as in my past 2 attempts I struggled with injury and the process of hitting my highest weight and dealing with the weight gain. My body dysmorphia wasn't as bad this time which has been a blessing, I choose not to take progress photos besides the one on the right as it was potentially a trigger for me this time around, I also avoided wearing certain clothes and choose more flowing tops as I tend to gain the fat around my stomach area and bloat a lot.

I look back a year ago and about this time I got my very 1st pull up unassisted which was such a massive achievement! Today I'm now adding a 2.5kg plate to my pull ups and can pump out more than 6 with the weight added, I am beyond happy and excited about this! My next goal... a muscle up baby! My training routine heavily involved leg days as they are my lagging body part and I wanted to grow them a lot especially my ass. My ass has grown but it is always a work in progress, my hamstrings and quads have grown nicely and I'm really pleased about the progress. 

Compound movements (uses more than one muscle group) are a must for me and I highly recommend them for others too, lots of deadlifts, squats, pull ups, and bench press or variations were always included in my programmes and are always a massive love for me. I've really enjoyed smashing out my programs and boy have I had some gnarly leg days which I have been in love with.

The last 3 months of my bulk were really hard even at times brutal, anyone who has bulked for any length of time will understand when I say how tired I felt from eating so much... your body is constantly trying to process it all and there is a point where you constantly feel tired, bloated and just yuck. I also struggled with getting the amount of food down, my body was starting to reject it and it felt like I physically couldn't eat any more. I ended up blending up 3 of my meals and adding in an extra meal time to space it out just to be able to get it down easier. During this bulk I also conquered some fears of mine... a fear of egg yolks, eating carbs at dinner and hitting my highest weight which I am proud of.

All in all this has been a gnarly, brutal and passionate bulk and I am pleased with all the progress and gainz I've made. I'm excited about my cutting phase (dropping body fat but maintaining muscle) which I started a few weeks ago and can't wait to see my abs again, my muscles more defined and smashing more work outs!

Here is what my training routine and nutrition was like during my bulk, this is what worked for me and my body... everyone is different. If you are interested in building muscle, losing weight, building strength or endurance I highly recommend seeing a Personal Trainer so they can help you with your training and nutrition. I also highly recommend reading lots of articles on Strength Sensei and talking to people around your gym.

Monday: Upper body
Tuesday: Lower body
Wednesday: 20 min light cardio/Rest
Thursday: Lower body
Friday: Upper body
Saturday: Lower body
Sunday: 20 minutes Abs/Rest

(This was towards the end of my bulk and keep in mind I'm vegetarian)

Pre workout:
1/2 cup oats
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 cup yogurt

Post workout:
400mls milk
1/2 scoop protein powder
1/4 cup quinoa

Meal 3:
1 wholegrain wrap
1 whole egg
2 tomatoes
2 cups spinach
1/2 avocado
1 slice wholegrain toast
1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Meal 4:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup broccoli
1/2 cup mushrooms
1/2 Tbsp. flaxseed oil
1/4 cup quinoa
1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Meal 5:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup broccoli
1/2 cup mushrooms
1/2 Tbsp. flaxseed oil
1/4 cup brown rice

Meal 6:
460mls milk
1/3 cup oats
1/2 scoop protein powder
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. flaxseed oil

Calories: 2940
Carbs: 358 grams 50%
Protein: 160 grams 20%
Fats: 99 grams 30%

With love
Rainbow :) xoxo

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