I get asked a variety of bulking-type questions a lot ‚Äì mostly from females ‚Äì so I thought I’d just cut and paste a question and answer it here for reference. My opinions here would not be gender specific, applying both to males and females.
Q: Still tossing around the idea of doing a figure competition. Would I have to do a bulk and how long would I bulk for?
A: Ok, just to put some context to the term ‘bulk’ here, it simply means eating at a caloric intake that is above your assumed maintenance calorie requirements for an extended period of time ‚Äì with the obvious goals of adding some size and strength to your physique. It is NOT an excuse to get sloppy.
To address the first question ‚Äì would you have to do a bulk? This is entirely dependent on three primary things:
1. What do you look like now relative to what a figure competitor (or whichever your goal physique is) generally looks like? For some, it will be obvious that yes, you definitely need more muscle if you’re going to hope to be competitive. Competing isn’t just a fat-loss contest. Good competitors have well developed physiques with strategically emphasized muscle groups (lats, delts, etc) in addition to carrying contest-levels of body fat … and yes, the developmental aspect takes time.
2. Do YOU want more muscle? What are your own goals and preferences for your physique? Some people like the idea of being more muscular than they are now; some people don’t. It comes down to your goals first and foremost. Only you can determine if you want more muscle.
3. Are you willing to gain a least some body fat? Or, are you presently lean enough right now that you can stand to gain a little body fat and not lose your mind?
To the issue of how long, the short answer is ‘it depends’. But that’s about as helpful as well, not answering the questions at all. :lol: I’ll be back to answer that question tomorrow.