Bulking on a Budget

It is often said that the road to six-pack abs or buns of steel starts in the kitchen. Here we’ll be giving you a couple of tips to help you on your way, and how you can do it on a budget!

Location matters

There is a lot of emphasis around in the media at the moment around so called “high quality meat” and food in general, but what does it actually mean for you and your pocket? Well first we’ll start by saying that there’s never been any real scientific evidence that suggests that organic food is better for you or that GM food will harm you. So you can look away from that £10 chicken breast and not be afraid to take a peek at the own brand food that’s on offer from Aldi or Lidl.

Trying not to cheat

It can be tempting in between meals to open up a bar of chocolate and nibble on it. But by doing that you are only cheating yourself. Try to stick closely to the foods you should be eating, believe us when we say the rewards will outweigh the hardship. (Don’t worry, a cupcake every once in a while won’t kill you.)

And now onto the most important part, the most essential foods that will give you the most nutritional value for your money.

Whole Chicken

A whole chicken is not only economic, but is also a great way to obtain a lean source of protein and energy. Every part of a whole chicken can be used towards your daily meals – you can even use the bone to make chicken stock.  Some upmarket stores will charge a higher amount for “improved quality”, but as always its up to you. The price of a medium sized chicken is only £3 a kilo.

Ground Beef

In terms of bulking foods, beef is the winner. It’s easy to prepare, doesn’t leave any food wasted and can be bought for a good price. In addition, beef mince has a large number of cooking possibilities. Beef mince will cost around £4 per kilo.

Tuna

Tuna is an excellent lean source of protein. To make things even better, it’s usually a case of opening a tin of tuna and eating it straight from the can. No mess, no fuss. Depending on the type of branding of tuna bought, tuna can be bought for as little as £1.00 per can.

Oats

The key to a perfect breakfast is oats. When added to water or milk, oats blend to make the perfect breakfast. What makes oats even better is the range of foods you can put into a bowl of oats. Common additions include bananas, cinnamon and honey. Oats can be bought at a dirt cheap price. A kilo’s worth will cost about £1. Excellent value.

Oats

Rice

Long grain rice is our carbohydrate of choice, and is a fantastic accompaniment to meat. Rice is one of the best carbs around for digestion, gaining mass and cutting. Rice is best bought in bulk, and will cost around £6 for 5kg of long gain goodness.

And that’s it! Let us know about some of your favourite recipe/bulking choices in the comments below!

 

 

Photo Credit:

http://www.rinzlermeats.com/html/chicken.html

http://test.transformationisbelieving.com/?page_id=1239

http://fillyourplate.org/blog/50-things-oats/

Bulking Up and Adding Muscle: Our Guide

So you’ve just spent the last few weeks glancing at your reflection. You aren’t going to admit it to anyone, but you’re feeling a little bit self-conscious. You’ve just starting working out and realise that you don’t want to be stick thin anymore. Or maybe you’d just like a bit more muscle on your frame. But how do you do it?

After several years of combined experience dealing with this issue, we would like to share our knowledge with you. Luckily, it’s straight forward and easy to implement. There’s 3 main areas that we need to address, and to get the best results we’d suggest you follow them all.

Eat more food

  • How much more? Well download yourself the myfitnesspal app and start tracking your calories along with your weight. You want to find the balance where you are eating a few hundred calories more than your maintenance calories (this is essentially the calories you need to maintain the same weight).
  • This should mainly consist of carbs, and should be as healthy as possible. If you start gorging on chocolate bars and snacks you will add a lot of fat: we’ve been there, and it isn’t pretty.

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Lift between 6-8 reps

  • Ignore the common phrase “low weight high reps” for hypertrophy (size). This just simply isn’t true, and training the traditional 12+ reps is only good for endurance and minimal increases in size.
  • This rep range is scientifically proven to be the best area for muscle hypertrophy. Not only that, but training in this range will also contribute to increased strength.

Stick to the compound movements

  • One huge issue that most of you suffer with is an obsession with isolation exercises and “chasing the pump“. Isolation exercises have their time and place, but when new to lifting (less than 2 years training) you should focus at least 80% of your workout to compound lifts.
  • The big four compound lifts are bench press, overhead press, deadlift and the squat. These should be the foundation of your training programme.
  • Compound movements give you the most bang for your buck“. This means that they recruit the most muscles in the shortest amount of time, not to mention you can lift the heaviest weight with these movements.

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So now you know what to do, go on and bulk up! Come next summer, you’ll see all of the hard work pay off. Fitness is a long term game, so don’t give up if you haven’t added those 2 inches to your arms in a month: it doesn’t work like that. Enjoy what you’re doing and you’ll reap the rewards. If you want a great workout to follow, check out ours and put into practice what you’ve learned.

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Photo Credits: Flickr – cc