by Kris Pitcher
Every now and then I'm smacked in the face by my own palm at the dumbing down of this sport. It's really about applying concepts with broad strokes, to everyone...because it worked for you. That's not how you apply science.
I hear a lot of competitors, or potential competitors say, "My coach says I have to do a bulking phase before I can start prep." And for a moment...I am speechless.
Does the first time bikini competitor need to gain more muscle to create better shape? Probably. Does she need to put off her prep to bulk? Not in my opinion. Here's what I think about bulking. Keep in mind I (almost) never worry about my popularity.
Here's the thing, women, in general, put on muscle very slowly. Any beginner is going to put muscle on more quickly, and some just have better genetics than others and are going to gain faster. Do we need to fuel for that? Of course.
Adequate fueling is important for growing. Eating 3,000 calories however will most likely just make you fat. Fat isn't "bulking", it's getting fat. A "bulking" phase of several weeks or months is a method used by men who are supplementing with the perfect drug profile for that same period.
The supplementation assists in utilizing the large quantities of food, metabolizing all that fuel and putting it to use. Let's assume that is not the situation for most of us. Most are not supplementing (anabolically) to assist in "bulking".
If you look at athletes who compete at high levels off season, they don't bulk to an additional 20+ pounds. They stay within 10-12 pounds of their competition weight...AND make gains. The key is adequate fuel and rest to grow. It takes time.
I'm usually growing into my contest. Meaning, I'm able to keep my calories high enough to continue to make progress. Why? Because I didn't get so fat off season that I have to diet hard. You're fooling yourself if you think you need to gain 20 pounds to bulk, and those gains are muscle.
And why aren't you making progress, gains, through your prep? Because you got so fat off season bulking that you have to diet into a deficit and can barely sustain the muscle you have. And this is why bulking is a big fat lie.