Bulking can either be the most rewarding or the most soul crushing phase of your training.
Done right, you’ll see an increase in lean muscle mass, you’ll feel great, and you won’t have to go insane with food restrictions. Done wrong, you’ll look and feel bloated and sluggish.
Bulking doesn’t mean you have free reign to eat whatever you want. You don’t want to be the guy pounding five Snickers bars a day and saying it’s for “bulking.” You still need to count your macros, and they still need to come from the right sources. My new ebook, Bulk with Buendia, provides full recipe videos, but it’s important to know what makes up those meals. Here’s my list of the 7 best bodybuilding foods. Let’s start with the protein.
When it comes to fish, remember: not all fish is created equal. For a lean, omega heavy meal, stick with salmon. Pair it with some asparagus to round it out.
Chicken is a great, lean protein that is super easy to ruin with the wrong cooking methods and additives. Ditch the skin and go for boiled or grilled. Chicken is inexpensive, and it goes with everything. It should be a staple in your bulking diet.
Ancient grain should be a key part of your diet. Carbs are the fuel your body needs to pound through your workouts. Quinoa packs some extra protein, so work this in to replace rice. Pair it with any of the above proteins to really pack in the grams.
Oats are a great way to get a little bit of protein and a ton of complex carbs. As far as steel cut, rolled, or quick, the type of oats you work in doesn’t matter. What DOES matter is that you avoid anything with added sugar.
Add fruit, peanut butter, or stevia to give it flavor. Or even just blend it up and use it as a carb powder for your protein shakes.
This one might be surprising. No, greens will not put on the pounds. But if you spend all of your time focusing on protein rich foods, it’s easy to miss out on essential vitamins, which leads to unhealthy bulk.
Throw some spinach in your smoothies, or just shove a few handfuls in your mouth everyday. Just make sure you don’t eat a pre-meal salad and fill up your stomach. Eat it during or after meals.
Chia seeds are an Omega-3 and protein dense super food that goes great in smoothies, or mixed with a nut milk for a healthy chia pudding. Mix in chocolate protein powder for a dessert that won’t kill your macros.
The one thing to be careful with is how filling chia seeds can be. They expand, so a lot of people use them to suppress their appetite. They’re a great resource, but don’t let them get in the way of your caloric intake.
While almond butter is the best choice, any nut butter is going to add some vital calories with some healthy fats and protein. Make sure you keep your macros tight. While almond butter is great, if it puts you over your fat goals, you’ll feel sluggish.
I can’t stress this enough: maintain your macros. This is going to vary person to person. Check out the macro calculator on my site to get yours set.
Bulking can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. To make it dead simple, pick up my ebook so you won’t have to wonder if you’re doing it right. If you buckle down, train hard, and up your calories selectively, you’ll be ready dominate the stage.