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How to Bulk Up Without Getting Fat. Gain Muscle, Not Fat.

Updated on February 11, 2014


Doing exploding push ups while wearing a heavy backpack full of books and weights.
Doing exploding push ups while wearing a heavy backpack full of books and weights. | Source

There are exercises that are good for burning calories and there are exercises that are good for building muscle. People that are trying to bulk up usually stay away from the exercises that are good for burning calories. They focus on exercises that are good for building muscle, keep the workouts short and spend a lot of time resting. Burning a large amount of calories is considered bad when you are trying to put on more weight.

My calf muscles are large because I bike long distances once in a while. People that do a lot of biking are usually slim. Biking and running burn too many calories. The calf raise exercise is an exercise where you raise your body up using your toes while holding onto or wearing weights. It can increase the size of your calf muscles and does not burn very many calories. So people that are trying to bulk up are much more likely to do calf raises than to run or bike.

Workout routines for bulking up are usually full of exercises that don't burn very many calories.


For the typical diet the person would try to consume fewer calories to lose weight. The person consumes fewer calories to help them get rid of fat. Bulking up means getting bigger and weighing more. The typical diet does not work for that. People eat to gain weight when they are trying to bulk up. They want to consume more calories so they can build muscle. Weightlifters often use supplements and overeat to pack on the pounds.

Doing dumbbell curls to build up my biceps
Doing dumbbell curls to build up my biceps | Source

Gaining Weight

An ectomorph has trouble gaining muscle and fat. Mesomorphs and endomorphs gain muscle and fat easily. Endomorphs gain weight more easily than mesomorphs and have a harder time getting it off. Gaining weight easily means you can gain fat and muscle easily. It also means that losing weight is difficult. If you are doing things to make it easier to gain muscle then you are doing things to make it easier to gain fat.

You can change your body type. I changed my body type from an ectomorph to a mesomorph. Now it is easier to gain muscle but harder to keep the fat off. People want results fast. So they tend to overdue it. A person changes themselves into an easy gainer and they gain fat. Becoming fat is considered normal while bulking up. That is why they have a bulking phase and a cutting phase. In the bulking phase the person tries to gain weight. In the cutting phase they try to get rid of the fat they gained in the bulking up phase. You can build a lot of muscle to bulk up without gaining a lot of fat.

Weights | Source

Gaining Muscle, Not Fat

Weight lifting and consuming a lot of calories is the best way to bulk up if you don't mind putting on a lot of fat. Going on a weight loss diet and doing a lot of cardio is the best way to lose weight if you don't mind losing muscle. They are both extremes. You gain muscle and fat or you lose muscle and fat. To gain muscle while keeping the fat off include some cardio and bodyweight exercises with the weight lifting.

Pay attention to your body and change your routine as you need to. If you are having trouble gaining muscle than burn fewer calories during your workouts. If you are having trouble keeping the fat off then do more cardio and bodyweight exercises.

Workout your legs with exercises that workout a bunch of large muscles.
Workout your legs with exercises that workout a bunch of large muscles. | Source

I recommend including exercises that burn the most calories per minute. Just limit the amount of time you spend on them or it will make bulking up more difficult. Exercises that are good for burning a lot of calories work a bunch of large muscles like your chest, back, abs, glutes, quads and calves. Try to workout all of those muscles in your workout routine. It will help you bulk up and keep the fat off. Squats, lunges and deadlifts workout most of the large muscles.

Don't overeat. When you eat more food than your body needs it causes your body to store fat. If you need more food to build muscle then your appetite should increase. I started eating a lot more food and gained weight without gaining fat. The reason I started eating more was because my appetite increased. Exercising and building muscle made me want to eat more food. Skipping meals and not snacking can cause your body to burn fewer calories. If you want to burn more to keep the fat off try to eat frequently. Avoid being hungry but don't overeat.

Your Legs

In my opinion the main reason people have trouble keeping the fat off when they are attempting to bulk up or maintain the muscle they have is because they neglect their legs. If I neglect my legs because I am too focused on my upper body then I get fat. Large leg muscles look good and they support your upper body. They are also seen more than any of the other large muscles. I workout my legs with weight lifting, body weight exercises and cardio. Usually I avoid exercises that only give my legs a good workout.

© 2013 Michael H


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