The concept of "bulking" might seem like an effective method of achieving muscle hypertrophy, but overloading your frame with abnormal amounts of body mass can be detrimental to your overall well-being. For some, bulking is a phase of progression leading up to competition. The process of adding body mass at an accelerated rate is typically followed with the phase referred to as "cutting," which is essentially the process of burning the thick layer of fat that may ensue as a product of bulking. Most gym-goers don't frequent the weight room for competitive purposes, though. While bulking boasts certain advantages when working to gain muscle mass, it also adds stress in the tendons and ligaments in the body, which can lead to injury.
Fat Storage Increases Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Bulking typically requires execution of a high-carb, high-protein diet, which may increase the body's ability to build muscle, but commonly results in excess amounts of stored fat. The addition of unhealthy fat deposits in the body can lead to varying health defects, such as increased risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes. Although serious conditions arise in extreme circumstances, it's pivotal to understand the health risks associated with ill-advised exercise-related behavior. Do not "bulk up" without direction from a certified professional trainer or a health care professional. It's much more difficult to burn excess fatty tissues that occur as part of the bulking process than it is to tack them on.
Bone-Muscle Connector Damage
Bulking causes enormous strain on bone-muscle connectors. Adding excess body mass will force unhealthy strain on ligaments and tendons. It's important to understand that these crucial connectors do not grow, as body composition becomes manipulated during the bulking process. As muscle fibers become denser over a short period of time, ligaments and tendons become more vulnerable to tearing free of bones and muscles due to stress impact. These types of injuries are excruciatingly painful and often require surgery.
Your inherent body type dictates how susceptible you might be to a serious injury as a result of bulking. Ectomorphs are individuals who are typically referred to as "slim." They are more likely to suffer bone-muscle connector tears from bulking as opposed to endomorphs, who are naturally able to sustain more body mass.
Extreme Danger for Teenagers
Bulking has become specifically prominent among males between the ages of 18 and 25. Whether it's the need to feel "buff" or the idea of impressing a date with protruding biceps, young men are most inclined to the idea of executing a bulking cycle. It's important to realize, regardless of age, that bulking has negative consequences on the body, but is especially dangerous for growing teenagers. The act of bulking up is simply counterproductive to the body's natural progression of growth. A 16-year-old who attempts to perform a bulk may incur the risk of stunting his growth.
Understandably, teenagers who participate in sports, such as football and wrestling, may be required to tack on body mass. Athletes typically have the advantage of receiving guidance from strength coaches and personal trainers, as opposed to someone who strictly wants to add as much mass as possible over a short period of time. You should not bulk up without proper guidance from a professional.
John Shea is a team sports fanatic and fitness aficionado. His work has been published across a wide platform of online audiences in the realm of health and fitness. His passion for fitness is exemplified in his writing, as he aims to help readers improve their overall well-being.