Swole, Jacked, Buff…Or FAT?
“You sure you need that fourteenth piece of pizza bro?”
“Dude – I’m BULKING!”
How many times have you heard the concept of having to bulk first, and then cut in order to look good?
On paper it makes sense – you eat big, lift big, get big. You become a raw powerhouse during the bulking phase and shed the fat during your cut.
Most dudes end up looking like the Michelin Man during their “bulking phase”.
Look, I’m not making this up. You look around the internet and you’ll see plenty of guys bragging about their “dirty bulk” and how they’ll “get shredded in summer” (which they never do).
I’m also not telling you this acting like I’ve never done it. I’ve been there myself multiple times.
I first used this method to bulk up from being 6’3 160 lbs to 206 lbs in about a years time.
The problem was that I turned into a chubby marshmallow, not the Arnold Schwarzenegger lookalike I was hoping for.
My diet consisted of endless amounts of pizza, Mcdonald’s dollar menu items, and pretty much any other high calorie food you could imagine.
You Need To Stop Chasing Numbers On The Scale…
Literally all I cared about was if that number on the scale was going up. As long as I weighed more than I did last time I was happy.
Weight means absolutely nothing. Pictured below is me at 206 lbs on the Michelin Man diet, compared to me at around 187 lbs on the “I want to look good” diet.
See the difference? I ACTUALLY thought I looked good and was getting “jacked” in the left picture. Even though I was nearly 20 lbs lighter in the right picture I looked way better. My arms and legs even measured bigger.
This is proof of just how deceiving the scale can be.
If you want to look good, the answer is not just shoving whatever shitty food you can down your throat, and justifying it with the excuse of “bulking“.
And that’s exactly what it is. An excuse.
It’s an excuse to be lazy. An excuse to eat like shit. An excuse to look like shit.
It’s easy to believe that eating another piece of pizza is actually healthy for you when you’re buying into the bulking lie.
Let The Mirror Do The Talking…
If you celebrate when looking at your gains on the scale, but feel like shit when you look in the mirror you’ve got a problem.
The mirror doesn’t lie. The scale does.
Don’t forget why you are working out in the first place. I bet it’s one of two reasons.
Be healthy. Look awesome.
Eating garbage food with zero regard for your health accomplishes neither of these goals, yet for some reason it’s the go-to strategy for younger guys looking to gain muscle.
Ok, So How Do I Bulk Properly Then?
“Jon, you’re sitting here making me feel bad for eating all of this pizza, but what do you propose is the right way to bulk then?”
Want the simple answer?
Eat real food. Lots of it.
You know this already. It’s not a secret. There really are no secrets in the bodybuilding world.
You more than likely understand the basics of diet and you don’t need me to break down the importance of protein, carbs, fats, etc…
You need to get honest and just start eating real food.
Does it come prepackaged? Is it loaded with sugar? Do you order it through a drive through? Does it come in a square box covered in cheese and pepperoni?
NOT real food.
I’ll be honest – you can also get fat eating these foods. It’s a LOT harder to do it though.
You’ve probably heard of the dieting concept of “If It Fits Your Macros”.
If not, the kindergarten explanation is that your body requires a certain number of calories and macronutrients in order to sustain itself.
If you go over on calories, you gain weight. If you’re under, you lose weight. You build or lose muscle depending on your macronutrient intake.
This means that you can eat pretty much whatever you want (so long as it fits your daily limits) and still reach your fitness goals.
Sounds like a pretty sweet deal right?
It is. If you have insane discipline and incredibly strong willpower.
If you’re able to eat every single meal, counting every single calorie and macronutrient then it works.
The problem is that, again, it becomes an excuse to eat junk and be lazy.
I focus on living my life and enjoying it – not spending so much of my precious time counting calories.
Let me be crystal clear on that. I enjoy life. I recommend you do the same.
I’m not saying to never again eat these foods. Just don’t shovel them down your throat while lying to yourself about the reality.
When you’re eating real, whole foods it’s very easy to reach your appropriate macronutrient goals without overeating and getting fat.
The other thing is that real food doesn’t have to be boring. There are so many ways to cook healthy, real food that will get you jacked.
You want to get big? Eat lots of real food, cut out the garbage, cut out the sugar, get in the gym, and watch the MIRROR – not the scale.
It really is just common sense but with all of the “bro-science” on the internet, it’s easy to fall prey to the bullshit.
It’s your choice, you can join in on the Internet “look how much I weigh” circle jerk, get fat, and destroy your health…
Or you can eat real food and look great. I think I know which one you’ll pick! 😉