Today, our guest is Adam Nagy. Adam Nagy is a close friend of mine and a professional physique competitor who never fails to amaze the judges with his top-tier physique. Adam has participated in many respectable competitions such as: NPC Physique and Arnold Amateur Physique. His rationale is that everyone can look fantastic if they’re willing to invest the time and effort necessary. I decided to pick his brain on the basics of an effective bulk. This is what he had to say about the subject.
Adam: The pleasure is all mine. I am glad I can help.
Adam: Fortunately, I have always been an athlete. I started learning martial arts, specifically Karate and Kickboxing, at the age of 4 in my home country, Hungary. I have practiced martial arts till the age of 19. I started weight lifting at the age of 14 as a way of improving my performance in martial arts. I had the honor of participating in numerous martial arts completions and placing 2nd three times in world championships. My focus shifted to strength training when I moved to the U.S. at the age of 19. That’s when I lifted weights to build muscle and improve my aesthetics.
Adam: I honestly loathe the term “dirty bulking”. In fact, I am willing to slap anyone who says there is a such a thing as dirty bulking. I believe there is just “bulking”, which involves eating at a slight caloric surplus to build muscle at an effective rate. What’s commonly known as “dirty bulking” is a stupid approach that involves eating garbage and eating too much. Consequently, you end up gaining tons of fat and very little muscle that’s hidden under your newly-gained fat.
Adam: Eat at a slight caloric surplus. You can get away with a bit of low-quality foods without any problems, however, around 80% of your diet should be composed of whole foods. This means that if your diet is mainly composed of high quality food choices you’ll be able to throw in some junk and treats without hindering your progress.
Adam: Frankly, it depends. This varies significantly from an individual to another. What may be an ideal rate of weight for you may be sub-optimal for someone else, and vice versa. Generally speaking, I think 0.5 lbs. to 1 lb. per week is a good estimate for most people. But, everyone is different, therefore, the person in question should experiment to find out his own ideal rate of weight gain. This will depend on genetics, effort, starting point, and how much fat gains that person is willing to accept.
Adam: As simple as it may sound, train hard and eat smart. There’s no secret to it. Consistency is key. Do both for a long period of time and you will build a ton of muscle. Just make sure you’re training really hard and intelligently. Every person likes to think they work the hardest. The truth is that you can work even harder if you want.
Adam: It comes down to weighing the benefits and costs of social events. Since most people don’t compete and are not interested in competing, they’ll have a bit more leeway with eating out. But, for competitors who are prepping for shows, things are a little different. For example, most people want to look fit and good, therefore, they can eat out occasionally without causing any substantial harm. They should still be careful and not overindulge but, they can get away with more frequent “cheating”. On the other hand, if a competitor is getting ready for a show and he is 8 weeks out, he might be better off avoiding unplanned cheats to avoid caving in and risking his/her progress.
Note: It comes down to matching; the results you’re looking for with the effort you are willing to make to archive those results. If someone decides to compete and would potentially like to take the shiniest medal home, she will most likely have to take a rain check for social events involving eating out, drinking, staying up late in the period of her preparation for the show. In the last weeks any competitor who is serious will try to plan everything in order to take her best shape to stage and avoid doing anything that can hinder her performance. On the other hand, people who are not interested in competing should find a right balance between the fit lifestyle and enjoying social events. Most people without a doubt could and should go out and enjoy a nice meal occasionally. There is no harm in enjoying yourself every now and then. Most people aren’t the lonely wolf bodybuilder type and find less joy in eating the same food out of a Tupperware every day and there is nothing wrong with that. You can have a social life and still be fit.
Adam: I know it is a cliché but It’s quite simple. All you have to do is be smart. The best way to prevent overeating is to order only what you really want to eat. Also, try to order foods that are not calorie-dense. However, if one goes crazy at a social gathering, he can simply reverse the damage by adjusting their food intake and activity level accordingly the following day. For instance, our hypothetical person would decrease his food volume slightly over the next day or two. Or, he can simply do some cardio, play a sport, or go swimming to burn some extra calories. My advice is: have fun! You can look great and have a healthy social life.
Adam: Keep it simple: a good multivitamin, BCAA’s (Xtend Scivation is very good and has a 2:1:1 ratio), and whey protein. I think these should be staples for anyone who is serious about lifting weights. I also like pre-workouts and Creatine. They can help if someone has a larger budget for supplements. Those supplements should be enough for most people.
Adam: I’d like to advise those who achieve some success to pass down the knowledge to those who are starting out. No one knows it all and, we’re all in this together. Luckily, I had great support from everyone when I had just started lifting weights. Everyone was very supporting and willing to help me and answer any questions I had. I am a firm believer that we should all help each other and pass on the knowledge.
Adam: You’re more than welcome.