Imre Çecen is a fitness influencer and Instagrammer with over 330,000 followers on her page. During a gap year, she looked in the mirror and realised the years of partying, excess and lack of exercise had taken it’s toll on her body and her general health as well.
Imre decided from then on to learn about health and fitness and started eating right and training. Putting some myths to bed about women and weight training and the importance of measuring weight. Imre has shown eating 2500 calories and lifting heavy means the scale can actually go up, but you will look and feel a lot fitter and healthier.
On her amazing blog, Imre detailed out her guide and tips for girls who want to ‘bulk’ up, build muscle and get the body that they have always dreamed of.
Imre Çecen’s Social Media:
Imre explains what bulking means to her and how you should adjust your expectations to putting on size.
“Bulking; conciously gaining muscle mass by training and eating a certain way. Sounds great but how do you make sure that you really do gain muscle mass and not just fat? And does randomly swinging around some weights magically transform your body? No.. You’re going have to eat and train in a special way. Today I’m explaining you how to train!”
Imre Çecen’s Bulking Training Tips:
Train For Hypertrophy And Progressive Overload.
“To grow your muscles you need to train for hypertrophy. This is achieved by constantly making sure there’s a progressive overload. You can do this by increasing the weight you’re using, do a repetition more or a set more. By doing this you’ll start the process of hypertrophy, but what is that? Shortly explained this means that you grow your muscles by the progressive overload.”
Where Should You Start In Regards To Reps, Weights & Sets?
Imre recommends going for “6 to 12 repetitions” and “3 or 4 sets” per exercises. Stating you should go for progressive overload and do a little bit more, in some way, each workout that you do.
“To achieve hypertrophy you really have to work those muscles. If you go for 6 repetitions make sure that you choose a weight which you can barely lift in that last repetition. So do NOT choose a weight with which you can easily do 20 repetitions cause that means no more overload. This weight is different for everyone and if you’re working hard you’ll get stronger and stronger!”
Exercises To Focus on?
It’s important to focus on the main compound lifts, as these build strength in the entire body and give you a solid base.
“Compound exercises are great to start with and really make you sweat. With compound we mean exercises which put different/multiple muscle groups to work. Think of squats and deadlifts. With isolation exercises we mean exercises which work only 1 muscle group. Think about the leg extension. Start your training with some compound exercises (after your warm up) and then do some isolation exercises.”
Imre recommends splitting up your workouts into body parts, or upper body and lower body days.
“We all have different genes and some people easily gain muscle in their legs where others have back muscles which develop easily. By training these muscles on different days you also give your muscle group which doesn’t easily develop all your attention 1 day a week. This also gives your other muscles time to recover.”
Another big component people don’t think about is rest. Getting enough rest is as important as working out in the gym, as the recovery actually builds the muscle back up.
“You might think that your muscles grow during your training but they don’t! During your training you’re actually tearing your muscles apart. With the right nutrition and enough rest they recover and become bigger. With not enough rest your muscles will not recover. So if you train too much and don’t take enough rest it can eventually lead to losing muscle mass. I recommend having at least 1 rest day a week. Personally I’m also totally okay with 2 or 3 rest days cause it leaves time for other things.”
Imre Çecen’s Bulking Checklist:
Hompound & isolation exercises
Take enough rest
Nutrition With Bulking.
Adding muscle isn’t just about training, your diet plays an equal or even greater role in your body composition and results.
It’s impossible not to gain a little bit of fat during a bulking phase, but if done right, you can change how you look, get stronger and feel fitter, even while eating in a surplus.
“Personally I do not recommend counting every single calorie whilst bulking and being super strict. Enjoy life cause those normally unnecessary calories are now really needed by your body!”
“How big you want your caloric surplus to be is also a decision you have to make for yourself. Too many calories and you might gain some extra fat, too little and you won’t gain muscle. As a general “rule” I’d say eat about a 10% surplus. So that means about 10% more than the calories you’d normally eat to stay at the same weight. I’m calling this a general rule cause every body works differently and you’re going to have to see how your body reacts. If you barely gain weight I’d recommend you to slowly start eating even more. If you gain huuuuuge amounts of weight I’d say eat a little less. I can’t give you a standard cause there is no such thing.”
Rather than immediately upping your calories from one day to the next, it would be smart to gradually increase them
“It could be that you’re in a caloric deficit at the moment. That means eating less than your body needs which causes you to lose weight. I’d recommend you to slowly build the calories up. Switching from 1800 calories to 2500 calories a day is a huge step for your body.”
Food is broken down into the 3 main macronutrients, protein, fat and carbohydrates, each of which is very important for your body to function and for muscle growth.
“You hear so much about protein cause firstly protein is indeed important and secondly cause many people eat too little protein. If you start training heavily it’s important to make sure you get in enough protein. you don’t have to exaggerate though. With a simple calculation you can decide how many grams of protein you should probably eat in a day. Eat about 2 grams of protein per kg of body mass. Or 1 gram of protein per pound of body mass.”
Fats and carbs often have a bad reputation but both are important in your diet, especially when bulking.
“Fats kinda got a bad name over the years. Completely undeserved cause for a balanced diet you sure do need fats too. Fats are important for multiple processes in your body. Especially during a bulk fats can be really nice to have in your food schedule. You want a caloric surplus which means you have to get in more calories than you burn on a day. During a bulk you’ll be eating a lot and although this might be fun in the beginning it can get very tiring.”
“Did you know that carbs are incredibly important to get your muscles to grow? You can eat as much protein as you want but without carbs not much is going to happen. Carbs give your body the energy it needs to build muscle. Especially around your training it’s super important to eat enough carbs. So yes, carbs are an important part of your diet during a bulk!”
To work out your macronutrient goals, you should follow a simple formula for protein, then adjust the fats and carbs to see which works best for you. A usual target for fat is 40-60g, with the rest of your calories being carbs.
“Calculate how many grams of protein you need a day and fill in the rest of your calories with fats and carbs. In which ratio you have to do this for the best results is different for everyone. Try different things and find out what works for you!”
To learn even more, be sure to follow Imre on her social media and check out the rest of her blog here: imrececen.com