Every fitness freak and bodybuilder out there ponder upon this very question. “Can you get abs while bulking?”
And the answer to that is “Yes, you can.”
Abdominal muscles or “abs” are muscles that all of us have. So, with some severe training, you can get them to pop out. But it is not as easy as it sounds.
It ultimately comes down to your workout routine during this bulking season. So, the thing to note here is that the results will not be immediate. Since you are on a calorie surplus diet, your physical maintenance will require some changes as well.
So if you are up for it, you need to set a goal and follow some strict regulations. Let us look at the essentials you need to know during this regime.
Why the bulk? Is it Necessary?
Most people will wonder how getting bulky will aid in the road to achieving a six-pack. And they are right in assuming that to a certain extent.
When you are “bulking,” you are technically adding more weight to your body. But then the time comes to shed those extra layers and start stiffening your muscles. This is when we get the bigger picture. The answer to the question, “Can I get abs while bulking?” is justified here.
However, not many people can step up for this kind of regime. The primary reason is that they are afraid they might not get their old physique back. They do not want to sacrifice their bodily structure and directly work on the exercises.
But what we need to know here is this will help you in the long run. When you are more “bulkier,” you are likely to develop a more aesthetically pleasing physique.
What is the minimum “bulk” you need to achieve?
So, you’re now convinced to take that big step towards glorious abs. But, how much weight do you want to add to your system?
You must have less than 10-12% of body fat. We call this a “lean bulk.” This is the minimum most bodybuilders, and gym enthusiasts maintain. You could also aim for 8%, but this is not easy for most. One needs a great deal of care and commitment to pull this off.
However, the 10-12% model is the widely accepted standard. So, you can still go for this and achieve great results. But that doesn’t mean it is easy. Nevertheless, with a systematic workout routine and diet, you can manage this.
What Exercises should you follow during a Bulk?
It is a common belief that training your abs during a bulk will give you bigger abs. We should remember that our abs are just like any other muscle and grow in the same manner.
Additionally, during this period, you are going to be more energetic and robust. This means heavy-lifting will be much easier, and there is less chance of fatigue.
But before you proceed, you need to set your end goal. Do you want a chunky set or a slimmer waist with sturdy abs?
If you want your abs to protrude more, go for a “direct ab” approach. But if your goal is the opposite, compound lifts are your best friends.
But whatever your goal is, you need to follow a precise workout routine. Here are some essential exercises you can follow.
1. Hanging Leg Raises
This exercise relieves pressure on the spine and helps to loosen it up. Our abs work to flex our spine forwards and backward. It also helps isolate your abs while you’re hanging.
2. Compound Lift Exercises
Compound lift exercises like overhead presses and squats target your inner abs. These exercises will help build the core of your abdomen muscles and provide better stability. Overall, it stiffens the external abs as well.
3. Plank Exercises
It is an excellent exercise for your transverse abdominal muscles (TVA). The TVA is the front and side layer of muscle that runs between the ribs and pelvis. This exercise requires you to compress your abs with some force to get the best out of them. It will be laborious at first, but it becomes much easier once you get the hang of it.
This exercise works on the back area of your body. For this, you need a specific piece of equipment called a Roman Chair. Or you can also perform this by lying face downwards and lifting your arms, legs, and upper torso. It works effectively for the hips as well.
5. Cable Crunches
Similar to the hanging leg raise, this exercise is an effective one for spine relief. It requires you to kneel and crunch the weight while you move your head downwards. This compresses your midsection and enhances fiber growth in the muscles.
What Kind of Diet do you Require?
During a regime like this, you need to watch your calorie intake. Of course, the whole idea of bulking is to consume more calories than average.
But that doesn’t mean you must build up more fat than you require. Calories are the main culprit for fat accumulation. Therefore, you need to cut corners.
To illustrate this, let’s look at an example. Let’s say you get about 2,000 calories daily from a diet of beans and vegetables. On the other hand, your friend consumes the same amount of calories but on a diet of junk food.
Despite the similar amount of calories, you will look healthier and more composed than your friend. This is because you get more nutrients from the food you consumed.
So, we suggest increasing your regular calorie intake by about 15-20% during this phase. For instance, if your standard intake is 1,000, you can go for 1200-1500. You can make use of a calorie counter to measure your calorie intake.
There are multiple nutrient-rich foods you can include in your diet. Beans, nuts, eggs, poultry, grass-fed meat, etc., are rich in proteins. Your carbs should consist of potatoes, fruits, oats, grains, etc. And of course, butter, cheese, yogurt, olive oil, etc., are essential fat sources. Plus, your beverages should not contain any sweeteners. And you should also lower your alcohol intake and eat fried foods occasionally.
So, to summarize: Can you get abs while bulking?
Yes, you can if you work for it.
You must remember that diets and workout commitments can get rough sometimes. Most people give in after just a short duration. But like everything, there is no “gain” without a little “pain.” The path to attaining your dream physique is bound to be rough. So if you are ready to commit to this expedition, we hope this article can help you. Can you get abs while bulking?