Bulking Tips For BJJ Athletes

Bulking Tips For BJJ Athletes

Bulking is among the most effective strategies that BJJ athletes may utilize to pack on muscle mass and achieve a decorated BJJ body. When examining how to bulk up effectively, it is critical to evaluate some factors.

What does bulking really mean? It is the strategic understanding of your current body condition Including precise measurements of your body weight, body fat percentage, and the proportion of lean muscle. It also includes your bulking objectives and the timeframe in which you wish to achieve certain objectives.

1. What is Bulking?

Bulking is a process of taking in more daily calories than you normally consume. These calories add up to your muscle mass with the proper guideline, exercise, and training. 

2. How to Bulk Up Fast and Gain Muscle Mass

Bulking proves to be beneficial if you follow the right approach and suitable routine. It helps the BJJ fighters to add up muscle mass and strengthen their bodies. However, everything needs proper time and above all, consistency.

3. 6 Ways to Increase Muscle Mass By Bulking

3.1. Proper Calories Consumption

Bulking is purely a matter of calorie intake and exercise. It is often regarded as the fastest approach to gaining muscle mass. If your daily calorie intake is equal to or less than your daily energy consumption, your body simply does not have enough fuel to create much muscle mass.

So, it's necessary for BJJ fighters to maintain a caloric surplus (intake of more calories than consumption) to speed up muscle growth.

3.2. Maintain Protein Concentration

There is a direct relation between protein concentration in the body and muscle growth, which means more protein can enhance muscle mass.

1 gram of protein is needed per pound of your body weight. For example, if you have 180 pounds, your daily protein intake would be 180 grams. Now the question that might come to your mind is how you can maintain a balanced protein consumption. You can do that by taking a protein-rich diet.

3.3. Give a Challenge to Yourself

If you are determined to put on muscle mass for Jiu-Jitsu then you have to challenge your muscles to do an extra effort. Multi-joint movements can help BJJ practitioners in this regard. Adopt those training and exercises that involve multiple joints. Exercise like deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups stimulate multiple muscle groups at a time, which are helpful in muscle growth.

3.4. Drink Protein Shakes

Before going for exercise, drinking a shake containing amino acids, carbohydrates and proteins can help the BJJ fighters to store essential amino acids that are the building blocks of protein.

“Since exercise increases blood flow to your working tissues, drinking a carbohydrate-protein mixture before your workout may lead to greater uptake of the amino acids in your muscles,”

(Kevin Tipton)

Amino acid-rich drinks stimulate the synthesis of muscle proteins that contribute to adding up muscle mass.

3.5. Proper Rest

BJJ fighters should set their schedule in such a way that their bodies also get proper rest. It's necessary to do hard practice every day but make sure the heavy workout does not exhaust your body so, always be mindful of the importance of proper rest.

Set a schedule for 12-16 sets of work, and gradually increase the limit. It can affect the muscle recovery process and chances of growth.

3.6. Follow a Good Sleep Schedule

Sound sleep is frequently the overlooked element in the challenge of BJJ training and muscle mass gain. BJJ practitioners spend a lot of time in training, they should consider the fact that their muscles recuperate and the body grows during sleeping. Hormones that promote muscular growth are also secreted at this time.

That’s why 6-7 hours of daily sleep routine is essential to speed up the process of muscle building. 

4. Diet Plan of BJJ Fighters for Bulking

Bulking requires a good diet plan. A good diet plan includes the proper intake of protein, minerals, and vitamins. Good protein sources include beef, eggs, chicken, and dairy products. Fruits and vegetables also contribute to daily protein requirements.

Protein intake of 1-1.5 grams/pound of body weight is advised for persons who desire to increase muscle growth. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you must consume 150 to 225 grams daily of protein.

As we discussed, you have to maintain the intake of minerals and vitamins with proper protein.

4.1. Foods for Muscle Building

Here we enlist the foods that ensure adequate protein, healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins in your body.

  • Starchy Vegetables: Potatoes, Peas, Arrowroot, etc.
  • Dairy: Cheese, Milk, Yogurt, Butter, Cottage.
  • Grains: Corn, Cereals, Popcorn, Rice, Bread, Oatmeal.
  • Fruits: Bananas, Berries, Grapes, Pears, Kiwi, Pineapple, Oranges, Apples, Pomegranates.
  • Meats, eggs: Beef, Skinless Chicken, Egg with the Yolk.

Proper consultation with a nutrient is advised.

4.2. Food that Should Be Avoided While Bulking

Some foods have fewer nutrients. BJJ practitioners require food that replenishes the recommended nutrients. They must follow a healthy diet schedule by avoiding the following stuff.

Added Sugar

Added sugar is commonly present in desserts and soft drinks. BJJ fighters must avoid such edibles to increase muscle growth.

Fried Food

Fried food increases the risk of cardiac problems. Cardiac health is much more important, especially for the grapplers. That’s why it's necessary to avoid fried food during the bulking process. 


Alcohol interferes with the muscle-building process. Excess intake of alcohol slows muscle growth. So, BJJ practitioners should restrict the intake of alcoholic drinks.

5. Weight Lifting Exercises for Muscle Growth

BJJ fighters should lift weights in order to increase muscle mass in addition to consuming a healthy diet. The best activity for developing muscle mass is proper weight training under the guidance of an expert trainer.

These recommended weight-lifting exercises that are beneficial for grapplers are Squats, Pull-Ups, Bench Presses, Shoulder Presses, and Deadlifts.

6. Things to Remember While Doing Weight Exercises

  • The BJJ fighters should start gradually and increase the intensity of the training to get the desired results.
  • Overdoing weight-lifting exercises might result in injury or muscle strain.
  • Starting with lesser weights and performing more repetitions.
  • Giving your muscles time to relax.
  • Exercise three to five times a week. This allows your muscles to rest in between sessions, which accelerates results.

7. FAQs

7.1. Can I Lose Body Fat When Working Out for Bulking?

Yes, you can lose body fat while bulking. You just need to add up a low-carb portion to your diet. Also, consume protein with every meal and take proper sleep.

7.2. Can You Bulk While Training for Jiu-Jitsu?

Building up muscles does not guarantee success on the mat. However, BJJ fighters can continue their bulking exercises with Jiu-Jitsu training. 

7.3. Is It Possible to Bulk up By Just Using Body Weight Exercises?

Yes! Bodyweight exercise potentially helps you to add up muscle mass.

8. Conclusion

BJJ athletes use bulking as a method to develop bigger, stronger muscles and for achieving a decorated BJJ body. It entails eating 10-20% increased calories, as well as weight training.

BJJ fighters must watch their calorie surplus and avoid eating too many highly processed edibles if they want to bulk up in a healthy and effective way.

Photo credit: @galvaobjj

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