The Zig Zag Bulking Approach

A bodybuilding bulking method that helps pack on muscle mass while minimizing fat gain. Based on the latest science.

Zig Zag BulkingIt’s time to get radical!

Conventional bulking involves eating a large amount of calories for weeks on end. This is a proven method of packing on muscle. But it also is a proven method of packing on fat.

I want to provide you with an alternative method of gaining muscle. One that won’t turn you into a bloated sumo wrestler.

Zig Zag Bulking

Here’s how it works. On training days, you eat more. On non-training days, you eat less. And one day a week, you eat like a monster! We’re talking 5,000 to 6,000 calories, or more.

Before we start putting numbers to paper, you must first know your daily caloric maintenance level (DCML). This is the number of calories you can eat each day, and not gain or lose weight. If you’re not sure, spend several weeks logging everything you eat and your morning weight. Take some time, and find your maintenance level. Once you know your DCML, it’s time to rock. Grab a pen, and start scribbling.

Aggressive Plan

The aggressive zig zag diet plan is for lifters who carry around very little body fat. On non-training days, you will eat your normal DCML levels. On training days, you will eat 500 more calories then normal. And one day a week, you will eat as much of anything you want. On this monster eating day, it’s your goal to eat at least 5,000 to 6,000 calories.

The day following your monster eating day, your muscles will feel full and engorged. I recommend working a lagging body part on this day. It is also a good idea to train deadlifts or squats following a monster day.

Here is a sample aggressive zig zag plan for a natural bodybuilder who requires 3,500 daily calories to maintain weight. He trains 4 days a week.

  • Monday (training day). 4,000 calories
  • Tuesday (off day). 3,500 calories
  • Wednesday (training day). 4,000 calories
  • Thursday (off day). 3,500 calories
  • Friday (training day). 4,000 calories
  • Saturday (training day). 4,000 calories
  • Sunday (off day).  5,000+ calories (Monster day)

Moderate Zig Zag Plan

For lifters who are carrying around a little more body fat then they desire, I recommend the moderate zig zag plan. The only difference between the moderate plan, and the aggressive plan, is that on the moderate plan you will be eating 500 fewer calories on non-training days.

Here is a sample moderate zig zag plan for a natural bodybuilder who trains 4 days a week, and requires 3,500 daily calories to maintain weight.

  • Monday (training day). 4,000 calories
  • Tuesday (off day). 3,000 calories
  • Wednesday (training day). 4,000 calories
  • Thursday (off day). 3,000 calories
  • Friday (training day). 4,000 calories
  • Saturday (training day). 4,000 calories
  • Sunday (off day).  5,000+ calories (Monster day)

As you can see, it’s not important when you have your monster day each week. It’s best to eat more when convenient and appropriate. Most of us enjoy a good party or barbeque on the weekends, so naturally, a weekend monster day generally works best.

Why Zig Zag?

Is it really necessary to zig zag calories? No, it’s not necessary. But zig zagging is a more effective method. When you over-eat during a standard bulk, the body generally takes 2 weeks to adapt to this new eating style. During that time, your body is very anabolic, and will pack on muscle mass at an accelerated rate.

But after 2 weeks, and once the body has adapted itself to your gluttonous behavior, you become a fat storing machine. Read that again…you become a fat STORING machine.

By cycling your calories, you can confuse your body, and stave off adaptive responses. Hence, it will take longer to become a fat storing machine.

Don’t be fooled, you can still gain fat on a zig zag bulking diet plan. But with that said, you won’t gain nearly as much as you would with a long term bulking diet. Again, the body remains in more of a neutral state, not switching to fat storage mode.

Notes

There’s no doubt about it…you gain more strength during a prolonged bulk. With that said, the zig zag approach isn’t far behind. Expect very good strength gains, and slightly more energy then when on a standard bulk.

Cyclical bulking is much easier to stick with. Instead of eating like a pig every day, or cutting every day, zig zagging allows you some fluctuation. As a lifestyle, it will be far more enjoyable.

Because the zig zag approach keeps you in a more lean state, you will rid yourself of long term cutting cycles.