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I'm looking to get some supplements to help bulk up. I know some of you guys are into lifting so I figured I would ask here. I'm not looking to stay at the gym or get crazy swole, just help gain weight and build muscle. I'll probably work out 3-4 days a week for 20-30 mins at home. Can anyone point me in a right direction or suggest where I should start?

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3-4 days a week for 20-30 minutes will not get you bulked up in the least.  To get bulked up you basically need to eat a ton and work out a ton.  You will gain some weight by getting in shape and increasing muscle mass but to get bulked up is a completely different ballgame and will require probably triple the amount of time you are looking to spend.

 

I am sure RaiderNationFisher will chime in soon enough....

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Beer only supplement you need. I used to take jack3d and all kinds of protein and test booster but let me tell ya what beer is working by far the best for putting on weight...........

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Ok, maybe not bulk up but gain some weight and get some definition. I'm 5'8 and 135-140 lbs. Ultimately I would like to get up to 150 - 155 and maintain that weight. I've tried heavy protein diets when I was younger but I could never keep the weight on.

Maybe raider can help me out.

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Beer worked for me too but it all went right to my gut lol.

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Change your diet and ditch the supplements.

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Supplements ain't gonna help if you don't put in the work. There's no such thing as a magic pill or powder. You got to put in the work and time for them to have any affect. 20 or 30 minutes working out will get you trimmed and cut up, depending how you do it. It is possible to put on mass doing this. I've gotten great results before by just working out at home. How much bulk are you trying to get? What are your goals?

Whey Proteins work great for increasing mass and supplementing caloric intake.

Creatine will aid in the amount of reps you can do. Which can lead to gains in mass. It can also cause you to bloat. When you stop taking it your muscles generally look more cut due to the water loss. At least that's been my experience

If you need a pep up look into a prework supplement. Most are essentially caffeine in a large quantity. So take that for what its worth. I think they are a psychological thing, but the non caffinated ones have always done good for me.

Leave the test boosters alone. They ain't gonna help you that much. Least not for how you are talking about lifting.

Nitric Oxide supplements will help you get that pumped up feeling. Most are mixed with prework out supps. They make your veins swell and aid in absorption of nutrients. Also make you look and feel like a beast.

All in all though. Slam some whey and slam some creatine. Then lift your ass off. Cause it ain't gonna happen if you half ass it.

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Food is gonna be one of the best supplements you can use for your size. It sounds like you have a high metabolism. Increase your quantity and quality of food you are consuming. Devouring peanut butter like it is going out of style is a good way to start. Totw a spoon and a jar around with ya and snack on it all day. Forget regular whey protein. Get Mass Gainer to help supplement your intake of calories and protein. Basically carb load and protein load. Do heavy sets with low reps to build muscle mass. You got to feed them though. Quality carbs and quality protein will go a long way.

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I really appreciate your reply raider.

I definitely have a fast metabolism and I know part of my problem is lack of appetite. I try to eat as much as I should but I just can't which I why I figured some calorie packed nutrients would help out.

I only have a set of adjustable dumbbells and a bench so I'm kinda limited on how much I can lift and what exercises I can do. Gym membership is out of the question at the moment too. My wife is dieting/exercising as well so we will both motivate each other to keep on it.

As far as all the proteins and supplements, I see there are a ton of different brands and such. Are some really better than others or is it more of a preference thing? Anything I should avoid when looking into these? I would prefer to do it the natural way or with as little artificial help as possible. No roids or test boosters for me.

I'm not trying to turn into the hulk and lift cars or qualify for the crossfit games. Just gain some weight, muscle and strength.

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As for protein and mass gainer. I've always been told stick with the larger companies. The quality between cheap and name brand is night and day. BSN and Muscle Tech both make quality Whey and Mass Gainer. Only thing is you HAVE to workout when taking them. Or it will turn to fat. Thats why my 130lb BIL now has a gut. Changing your diet around is a huge change in lifestyle. You have to be committed to it. I generally eat healthy six days out of the week. I keep the seventh day as a cheat day. That way you aren't missing out on stuff. It really helps you stick with a diet plan. Your not craving junk so you don't go out and binge or flatout quit your diet. As long as your exercising one day a week makes no difference. With Creatine stick with the name brands. Don't skimp on the cheap stuff it doesn't work. Cellucor makes an amazing creatine. You will notice a difference. I try to avoid caffeinated supplements such as the prework out stuff. It makes me jittery and I can't sleep at night if I had my ADHD meds that day. Honestly I would use creatine, whey or Mass Gainer, and that's pretty much it. Leave the other stuff alone.

A bench and dumbbells are perfect. The combinations of exercises possible with just that are endless. You can target all your muscles with just that set up. Your not trying to get huge so you don't need a gym membership and massive amounts of weight. Starting out stick with the basics. Do dumbbell press', dumbell military press, dumbbell curls, inverse dumbbell curls, forearm curls, and dumbbell fly's. You can also do shoulder shrugs as well. For legs you can do calf raises(same set up as shrugs only you push your body up on your toes instead of shrugging your shoulders. Dumbbell squats, lunges, and most all plyometric exercises. Be creative. Sit ups and pushups are good too. These are just a few exercises there are variations on these and countless other ones.

Focus on your form and the muscles you are working at the time. Clear your mind of distractions and other things. Just focus on your form and the muscle being used. I stress that point. You want to be in tune with what you are doing. I guess its Zen and the art of lifting.

Keep your weight lower when your learning a new exercise if your form is wrong it can most certainly injure you. Hence why I'm having problems with my upper hamstrings still. I used WAY more weight then I should have. Get your form down then start adding more weight. Your form is the most important thing of all. Otherwise you will not get the results you want. You want to do between 5 to 7 reps for 3 sets. Its all trial and error at first. If the weight is to light finish the set and add more for the next one. If its too heavy finish the set and subtract from the next one. Always try to finish your sets. Don't cheat yourself. Keep notes of the exercises and the weight you are using. Keep notes of how you feel during the sets, ie your tired, the weight was to much/little, you were sick that day, the weight feels fine, etc. Don't lie to yourself, its your notes no one else will ever see them. Again be honest with yourself and don't cheat yourself. Most importantly have fun with it.

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Raider is right.  The only two things I would add is this:  eat fat-free as much as possible (think chicken, tuna, rice, noodles, etc.) and increase your workout to 2-3 hrs, 6 times a week.  Yes, you heard me. Bulk doesn't come easy.  You gotta spend time lifting.  Less reps with heavier weights bulk up; higher reps with less weights cut-n-trim.

 

When I was bulking up, the first 45 mins was just a warmup!  Bike, stairs, running...getting the hearbeat up and stretching was what it was about before I started lifting!  Stretching is critical for muscle growth, btw.  It might seem girlish, but it works!

 

It's a lot of work and dedication, but it DOES pay off!

 

Good luck!

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I definitely have a fast metabolism

Don't be discouraged if it doesn't work out, my brother has it too and he tried to get hulked up with supplements and workouts and didn't go anywhere.

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I usually stay out of threads like this to avoid a ticking match and no disrespect to anyone here but I feel like there is misinformation in this thread so I wanted to chime in.

You are completely capable of gaining muscle working out 20-30 minutes 3-4 times a week as long as you are doing things correctly.

When it comes to weight training, less is more. If you are spending hours working out, that will lead to over training.

When it comes to reps, don't get caught up in the high reps is for definition and low reps is for bulk. What happens when Guy 1 is doing high reps (with low weight) while eating 6000 calories a day and Guy 2 is doing low reps (heavy weight) eating 1500 calories a day?

As far as gaining weight, its calories in vs calories out. If you consume more calories than you are burning, it will gain weight. It you burn more calories than you are cosuming, you will lose weight. You want to make sure the calories you are consume are good calories and not junk food.

A simple formula I have always preached is:

Workout + nutrition + rest + dedication/consistency = success

If you are not seeing results you need to look at the formula and see where your weakness is. It's 100% guranteed you will be able to identify what is holding you back (sometimes its more than 1).

When it comes to supplements, I feel you can benefit from them but people depend on them too much. A supplement is "an addition to" what should already be a healthy diet. Real food will and always be your first priority. Supplements that I do recommend are protein (isolate or a blend), creatine (scientifically proven) and a multivitamin/fish oil. If you have any health issues please check with your doctor first.

Last but not least is the weight training. Always remember that reps is important that the weight. What I mean by that is select the weight you use by knowing how many reps you are trying to archive for that particular set. A lot of people select random weights without knowing exactly how many reps they will get. That is a big no no. A basic guideline for reps would be

:

1 set - 12 reps

2 set - 10 reps

3 set - 8 reps

Focus on your form and go slow on all your exercises. One day at a time and consistency is key.

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I will aslo chime in that a set of adjustable dumbells and a bench is plenty to do a good workout.  Throw in a pull up bar and you will be set.

 

I do the P90x and P90x2 workouts and you can definitely bulk up and get ripped if you so desire.  They are designed to work out in your home and yes they are expensive but it is something you have forever and still cheaper than a gym membership for a year.

 

I have a buddy that owns a few gyms and he always tells me that diet is 70% of the workout success equation.  Lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, low sodium & processed sugars and limited other junk and you will see results much more quickly.

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Thanks to everyone for their lengthy replies. I'm going to pick up my bench from my parents house today and set up my mini gym. My wife is talking to a nutritionist friend to help plan some meals for me. I'll get started tomorrow and go from there. I'm willing to put in the time to get to my goals. I've been eating unhealthy for too long and owe it to myself to get into shape. I've cut back on smoking and drinking and feel more motivated to get it done.

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I'm proud of ya. Making that change and staying motivated. That's the first step in your journey. Before its all said and done your gonna be working out longer than 20 or 30 minutes. Its addicting.

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Id also recommend crossfit too.  Its an awesome way to get a great workout in and its only an hr a day.  Check and see if theres a crossfit near you and go try it out I love it. Its a very high intensity workout that mixes cardio, lifting, and others all together. Do this once a day 5 days a week plus protein/creatine and I guarantee you bulk up.

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There is one right up the street from me and holy crap it's serious. I'm definitely not ready for that right now. Maybe once I get into shape and find out what I can do without hurting myself I'll consider it.

I also watched some of the crossfit games on espn and all I have to say is wow.....

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Its not as bad as it sounds and it is not the same as the games haha.  Is it hard? yes but at my gym there are people of all ages/body types. yes there are people in there that are very built and very good at it, but id say half are average people just looking to get in shape that are somewhat beginner's at lifting.  Id say go try it out for a day and just see how you like it! you've got nothing to lose!

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you should also take a multi vitamin once or 3 times a day...some vitamins will help your body use more protein and when you are lifting you need a calorie surplus of at least 500 calories more than it takes to maintain your current weight

 

egg whites are excellent protein source as is chicken and fish and even red meat(but get the lean meat)

 

you shouldnt stretch before lifting but you should stretch after lifting though to stop the build up of lactic acid...jog or so to warm up then lift then stretch 

 

also careful with caffeine cause its also an appetite suppressant 

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you should also take a multi vitamin once or 3 times a day...some vitamins will help your body use more protein and when you are lifting you need a calorie surplus of at least 500 calories more than it takes to maintain your current weight

 

egg whites are excellent protein source as is chicken and fish and even red meat(but get the lean meat)

 

you shouldnt stretch before lifting but you should stretch after lifting though to stop the build up of lactic acid...jog or so to warm up then lift then stretch 

 

also careful with caffeine cause its also an appetite suppressant 

I have to disagree on a lot of what you are saying here.....If you take a multi vitamin 3 times a day there is a good chance you are going to be ticking out the majority of the vitamins.  With the exception of protein, your diet should have pretty much all the vitamins and nutrients you need but i know setting up a meal plan that has everything that is needed is not super easy so supplements are ok.

 

Also not stretching before a workout is a bad idea.  You should warm up and stretch any muscle groups you will be working out that day prior to and after working out.  If you aren't stretching before you increase your possibility of injury not to mention you are limiting the motion and flexibility of the muscle groups which again, can lead to injury. 

 

I actually do Yoga once or twice a week and while i originally thought this is the stupidest thing ever, downward dog this, warrior I, II or III that.....i will tell you that it is not easy, you will be sweating buckets by the end and your range of motion and flexibility will increase and your strength will increase a lot more than you think it should.

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ah the 3 times was just to show that you must have all the vitamins everyday to aid in the repairing muscles and such..if you eat healthy like you should you really shouldnt need vitamins in pill form buts it good to take at least one just to make sure you get all of your total dailies

 

stretching before you lift doesnt do more or less harm than not stretching at all...in the 60s and 70s they thought you needed to stretch before to not pull a muscle but now they are learning that if you do stretch before it actually makes you weaker and signals your body to tense your muscles more which would put you at greater risk of pulling a muscle

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I've worked out before with out stretching and then with stretching and personally I prefer to stretch. I also recall reading that it was Arnolds 'secret' to getting that serious chest he had when he competed.

There's a lot of contradicting replies here but the nutritionist got back to me with some guide lines to follow and I'll post some of that later cause her reply was a bit lengthy.

I did pick up some no xplod and syntha 6 supplements and they seem to help me with feeling less fatigued during and after my workouts. I've been doing assorted exercises with the dumbbells, resistance bands and the elliptical for over 45 mins at a time. Don't know why I doubted myself previously and felt I could only do less lol. I've really been enjoying it and look forward to keeping at it.

Thanks again for everyone's replies.

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