Before you bulk up, read this

Both body fat and muscle serve as storage tanks for excess calories – generally unused carbohydrate calories. If you have a good amount of body fat around your mid-section or a thick layer covering your entire frame, now is the time to appreciate that this is a storage vessel of USEABLE energy that you can access. Before you even THINK about increasing your calorie/carbohydrate intake to “fill” muscle, know that you already have a “full” tank on you. The key is to empty THAT calorie storage vessel as you build a better one. This process – “gluconeogenesis” is the term for the body’s ability to convert stored fat back into glucose (carbohydrates energy).

If we are eating abundant carbohydrates, this process will not be necessary. maybe we want gluconeogenesis to take place – if we are ttrying to lose weight.

Leave insulin alone

The second thing to be aware of is that while it IS true that insulin helps refill depleted muscle reserves it is also the reason most people have high fat reserves. Don’t mess with insulin. It is like taunting a bully. Respect that it will happily smash your blood sugar DOWN if you eat too many carbohydrates at a time, and gladly dump those calories into fat (since that’s what it’s been doing for some time, anyway). While a strong, muscle-dense athlete can eat whatever they want to refill glycogen stores and repair torn muscle, most of us do not have that luxury. Fruit and vegetables do you just FINE in repairing muscle, thank you very much. Leave insulin alone or you may find that the influx in high calorie carbohydrates is not the answer to your lean dreams.

Is bigger always better?

Finally, it’s a question of excess. Why do you want to bulk up? Is it for your sport or are you living a second life as Superman? If it is for the sake of your health, consider developing lean, dense muscles that are agile, flexible, and functional. To be strong you don’t have to be bulky or huge. You can be strong and fit without being gluttonous. All too often in the fitness world, vanity takes centre stage. Bulking up means you eat a LOT. As I mentioned earlier, think about the fact that both body fat and muscle are storage vessels for extra calories – food that you aren’t BURNING. If you’re an athlete, you want to draw on that energy at your leisure, but it is a big time investment if you are anyone else. What are you doing it FOR? When you get bored of sustaining the effort to maintain firm bulky muscles, you will have a LOT of unused fuel to burn off. Don’t chase your tail with exercise and eating. It’s a waste of time really.

So what do you think?