From a nutrition perspective, getting big is often boiled down to “eating big,” a philosophy iron hoisters have lived by for years. In reality, for many bodybuilders. This is about packing away plenty of food. This is just as effective as training. One of the biggest dilemmas facing a bodybuilder is how to gain mass without getting overly sloppy-looking.

Avoid the following 10 mistakes, and you’ll bulk up without the bulge.

Common Mistakes #1: Eating Too Much Per Meal

Your body can only use so much food in one sitting. So if you’re not getting enough nutrition, your muscles will suffer and your body mass will be undefined. That’s why I’m here to find ways to meet your nutritional needs without getting too many calories or giving up on muscle definition and tone. One meal could be a protein shake, a turkey burger, or a chicken breast with cooked pasta.

A diet rich in protein and healthy fats that’s low in calories is a great way to help you shed weight and feel good about your body. It will also help prevent an increase in the number of fat-storing enzymes and hormones.

Common Mistakes #2: Ingesting Too Many Calories

Many people talk about how many calories you should consume to build muscle. But according to a recent study, that isn’t necessary! Some of the recommendations here are a little over-exaggerated, with 4,000 calories getting cut down to 3,400 for someone 200 pounds. For those with a mediocre metabolism, the total should be a little less.

Start with 16 or 17 calories per pound of body weight and check a mirror after a week or two. Experiment with gradual increases until you find the level that feels and looks good for your body. If you’re gaining size in your midsection and still look fine, your calories may be too high You’ll want to bump up your intake a bit and experiment to see what level feels and looks good for you personally.

Common Mistakes #3: Knowing the Best Meal Times

People want to support muscle growth, so they know that if their body fat increases, chances are their muscle gain will also increase. To prevent this from happening, they eat more carbs and protein each day — as long as the extra energy is balanced with a healthy balance of fats. These are the two most important meals of the day, and if you fail to consume them properly, you’re destined for a dismal day.

When you eat breakfast first thing in the morning, you can benefit from improved performance and suppress harmful muscle-depleting hormones which can lead to increased muscular tissue. Muscles act like a vacuum, which is why it’s important for people to train them and also why muscle mass gets depleted faster with every workout. For many people, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you forget to eat in the morning, it can prevent your metabolic rate from reaching its peak which can make it harder to lose weight.

Common Mistakes #4: Not Consuming Enough Carbs

Protein is the most important nutrient for muscle growth. Carbohydrates can help provide you with an extra boost of energy, but only in small amounts. Eating too few carbohydrates can actually limit your progress in the gym. It’s important to take in carbohydrates daily when trying to achieve a specific body weight. Carbohydrates will help blunt cortisol levels and prevent muscle breakdown, but also be mindful of your testosterone levels.

A post-workout meal for a physical endurance activity would include about 40 grams of fast-digesting protein, such as whey, and 80 to 100g of fast-digesting carbs, such as white bread, baked potatoes, sugar, honey and fruit. Carbs at this time spike insulin, which helps to drive glucose, amino acids, and supplements such as creatine into muscle cells, spurring muscle protein synthesis.

Common Mistakes #5: Relying on “Diet” Foods

To get ripped, you’ll need to consume turkey, chicken breast, fish and egg whites. These protein sources have the fewest calories and many healthy benefits. To curb your appetite, it’s important to have a lot of veggies. As the price of protein supplements and fortified foods such as milk has increased, more people have been looking for other ways to supplement their diet.

Many are turning to low-calorie, non-hybrid diets that help them lose weight and maintain a lean body mass. The benefits of eating protein and healthy fats outweigh the effects of eating fiber. Beef, for example, is a great source of both and can provide ample amounts of vitamin D & B12 to help optimize your testosterone levels. Additionally, these nutrients are also known to inhibit cortisol production at a more constant rate which can reduce plaque buildup in arteries.

Stick with breakfast essentials like dairy products and lean protein like beef or chicken, rather than overcompensating with lower calories by including low-fat foods. Mix in egg whites in place of yolks, but also avoid excess dairy as it’s not always as high quality as you might think. The use of AI writing assistants in the workplace is becoming more widespread and for good reason. Not only do they save time and effort, but they also provide a level of quality that is at par with human copywriters.

Common Mistakes #6: Avoiding Important Aminos

The BCAAs can help prevent muscle breakdown during hard workouts and may save you from feeling soreness more often. Taking BCAAs before and after training is a great way to promote muscle growth. For example, proteins are the building blocks of muscles, and when you take them beforehand it increases the chance that muscles can be protected from being catabolized, torn apart, and burned. This will also indirectly boost muscle growth because now your body has more energy to promote.

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One essential BCAAs is leucine. It has two primary functions: stimulating the hormone insulin, which acts as a catalyst for muscle growth and ‘turning on’ genetic pathways in muscle cells that promote growth. Try a combo of five to 10 grams of BCAAs before and after training, or simply take five to eight grams of leucine before and after training.

Mistake #7: Skimping on Recovery Time


All good nutrition plans start with a proper rest! If you’re looking to get the best results, nap and sleep are essential. Remember to avoid high-protein diets, or anything that restricts your supply of rest. You can also reduce your stress levels with meditation and exercise, which will help to prevent catabolic hormones from rising. Once you take the right steps in maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, it’s all about rest.

Instead of triggering your body to grow, you are hammering it too hard, and not even the ideal nutrition scenario can save you. Take a closer look at your training schedule and add another rest day or two to your current regimen. 

Mistake #8: No Eating Before Working Out

Researchers have found that it’s crucial to provide the body with protein and carbs in a pre-workout meal. The nutrients will be used directly as energy, saving your muscles from drawing on their own stores for fuel, and they will induce the activation of your body’s post-workout anabolic processes much sooner and more effectively. In the 30-minute window before your workout, take in 20 grams of whey protein and about 40 grams of carbs.

Mistake #9: Skipping the After-Midnight Meal

The real name of the game in mass building is maintaining an anabolic state, in which the body is constantly delivering amino acids to muscles and creating growth. During sleep, the body can fall out of this precious state, but there’s an easy way to get around it. Drink 20 to 36 ounces of water before bedtime. That should cause you to wake up during the middle of the night. At that time, drink a protein shake with three grams of the amino acid arginine added.

The shake will provide amino acids to support around-the-clock delivery of protein, and arginine supports growth-hormone production that impacts muscle growth. If you dislike the nasty taste of arginine, use glycine instead.

Mistake #10: Being Consistently Inconsistent

There’s a book called The Automatic Millionaire, about how “typical” Americans become millionaires simply by consistently contributing to their savings. To become an “automatic mass monster,” simply implement the tips outlined here. You’ll automatically get to where you want to go, in this case with more mass and very little body fat. That’s one of the “secrets” to getting ahead. You have to take small steps, but take them every day and, over time, you’ll make the gains you really want.