The Incredible Bulk

How to pile on quality muscle

If you’re a model looking to shred excess fat and gain a few pounds of muscle, now is the perfect time to begin your fitness regime.

When a modelling job requires models of a certain build, there are several basic principles which will have your muscles primed and in peak condition. The aim is not a rapid Arnold Schwarzenegger-like transformation – more a safe, gradual modification that’ll benefit you in the long term. There’s a danger of wanting too much too quickly which, whilst understandable, is not the healthiest of ways to add on muscle. Read our concise guide to bulking up and you could be booking yourself a hot new modelling contract this summer.

1. Eat plenty of protein. As obvious as it sounds, protein is vital for muscle gain, but the amount is crucial. As protein is essential for muscle production, it’s better consumed in relatively small but frequent amounts throughout the day. Generally speaking, aim to eat about 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 200lbs, a daily protein intake of 150 grams is ideal. Protein is composed of building blocks known as amino acids – think of them as bricks building a house…the more building blocks you use, the larger the house. Foods to concentrate on include beef, chicken (without the skin), egg whites, semi-skimmed milk and whey. 

2. Count the calories. A typical male should consume about 2,000 calories daily. Aim to double that, but increase the number of your meals. If you want to consume 4,000 calories / day, try eating six meals – at an average of 650 calories / meal. 

3. Don’t skip on carbohydrates. Yes, protein is essential, but carbohydrates are required for fuelling exercise, so that these are used for energy instead of protein. 

4. Eat “good” fats. Fats are important in muscle growth, but only certain types will aid bulk. Steer away from saturated fats commonly found in sugary items like cakes and biscuits. Instead, try eating foods high in mono / polyunsaturated fats like nuts, vegetable oils and fatty fish.

5. Prepare a pre-work out meal. Eating a designed meal prior to exercise / lifting weights is also key in bulk gain. Try foods rich in slow-burning carbohydrates like brown rice and pasta. Slow-burning carbohydrates take longer to convert into glucose, thus maintaining consistent sugar levels, allowing you to train longer.  

6. The basics. There are two rules of thumb that everyone should know / adhere to: drink lots of water, and allow yourself plenty of rest. One pound of muscle can hold up to three pounds of water – it’s a no-brainer! As is rest – if you deprive your body a period of rest  / repair, it’ll have long-term detrimental effects that could undo the good work you’ve been putting in. Don’t push it, and stick to a regular regime of sleep, quick naps and water consumption.

7. Supplement your food intake. There are plenty of effective (and legal) food supplements on the market, from fat burners to protein shakes. Read the ingredients carefully, as well as the instructions. Creatine powders are also useful, as they help muscle’s grow to their fullest, and also delay fatigue. 

Increasing exercise and lifting weights in accordance with the above guidelines will increase muscle bulk. Models Direct advises all “first time” muscle gainers to seek advice from a nutritionist or GP before embarking on their bulking up regime. Don’t expect miracles overnight, and stick to it – you will be rewarded.