Here’s the thing about gaining mass and bulking up
I know it’s a stereotype, but there’s some truth to this one:
Many women I have coached have expressed concern about bulking up from lifting weights. Meanwhile, many man are frustrated they can’t seem to gain mass even though they’re lifting weights and think they’re eating a lot.
Perception is everything, though. Often when I dig into what they’re eating, they tell me they eat two eggs and bacon every morning along with a piece of fruit or a smoothie. That might just not be enough food.
Lifting weights can help you get strong, but what will make the biggest difference, in conjunction with weight training, is food, food, and more food. And most people just don’t understand how much they’d actually have to eat to “bulk up,” specifically protein.
7 Foods that are particularly useful
It’s really hard to gain mass without getting enough protein. The trusty cow can help.
Beef is filled with iron, zinc, B-vitamins and creatine, which help with growing muscle. It also has high levels of amino acids, which also promotes muscle growth. This 2014 study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24477043) found a correlation between consuming lean beef and lifting weights. The result: lean muscle mass gains. 20 oz. steak anyone?
From salmon to oysters to mackerel and halibut, fish has all sorts of good things to help with muscle growth and recovery.
Shrimp is another great one, as it’s almost pure protein. Every 3-ounce serving has 18 grams of protein and zero carbs. It has has a great deal of amino acids, specifically leucine, which is important for muscle growth.
3. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has a lot of casein, a slow digesting dairy protein. This means the amino acids in casein help supply your body with a good amount of muscle-building fuel. Many bodybuilders like to have cottage cheese before bed, to encourage recovery and muscle growth overnight.
Forget what your mom told you about eggs and cholesterol. That theory has long been debunked as a myth. Eggs are a great source of protein and have all nine essential amino acids, as well as healthy fats, vitamin D and choline. If there’s a 4-egg omelette on the menu, order it.
5. Greek Yogurt
Another great protein source, Greek yogurt is also high in calcium and Vitamin D. Just make sure there’s no added sugar.
6. Protein supplement
If a 20 oz. steak and 6 eggs for breakfast seems like an unreasonable amount of food, consider supplementing with protein powder. It’s useful for increasing muscle mass and preventing the breakdown of muscle and promoting muscle recovery. Just make sure there’s no added sugar.
Read more about choosing a good protein supplement here: (https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/everything-you-should-know-about-protein-supplements)
7. Healthy fats
As we now know, fat isn’t the devil, sugar is. Fat is also important if you’re looking to gain muscle mass. It’s also important for the production of hormones like testosterone and growth hormone, which are needed for gaining muscle. Some great ways to get healthy fat include fatty fish, nuts, oils like coconut oil and olive oil, as well as flaxseeds and avocados.
So, there you have it. If you’re looking to bulk up, you gotta protein up, and if you’re looking to gain lean mass without bulking up, still eat the protein. Just maybe don’t eat a 20 oz. steak and 6 eggs and a protein shake for breakfast.