Ben Hartman Muscle Gain Interview(Natural Bodybuilding Muscle Building)

We just talked to natural bodybuilder Ben Hartman about his fat loss methods but what about how he build muscle?

Q:Everyone likes to talk about the post contest rebound. After you’ve dieted for awhile, your body is prime to grow when it has more calories coming in. How do you manage it properly for your clients?


That is the most important part right after a show, as I’ve seen (and experienced) people blow up to their pre-prep physiques in a matter of a few weeks. That ruins all the hard work from prep and doesn’t set someone up any better for a productive offseason.

After a show I recommend hopping right back on the prep diet, but back a few weeks, so maybe following the diet at the 4 or 6 week out mark. From there, I recommend a weekly cheat meal on a weekend night to get people back into their normal, pre-pep social routine. Finally, I’ll slowly recommend certain days having calories added over time (such as lifting days), with off days being last to be added to.

Q:Trying to build muscle isn’t an excuse to eat pizza every night. How do you determine macronutrients for a client trying to bulk? Do you have a certain % of carbohydrates?

A:It’s based on consistency. If someone can stick to a regular, consistent eating pattern (in terms of macros and cals), then you can always just add calories to certain days or the entire week as progress stalls. Calories can be added from carbs or fats depending on the person as mentioned above, but I usually recommend starting with carbs to augment insulin mediated protein synthesis, muscle cell volume, and anticatabolism.

Q:Do you favor the idea that when bulking one should alternate periods of maybe 8 weeks high calories and a week or two on a almost precontest diet in order to keep your body insulin sensitive?

A Do think that cycling calories can help prevent fat gain during the offseason, but I don’t necessary think it needs to be broken down into strict 6-8 week “bulks” and 2-4 week “cuts”…I hate those terms, LOL.

If you notice fat gain piling on, simply reduce slightly until a desired body fat is achieved. You can still gain muscle strength and size while essentially doing a recomposition of sorts. If you have a shorter offseason, then periods of higher and low might be more justified as a recomp can take a significant amount of time.

Q:Do you keep your protein, carbohydrates and fats level during a typical week of bulking or do you cycle them?

A:I tend to favor cycling, but it can be as easy as keeping a consistent 6-day diet and just adding in some extra carbohydrates pre- and post-workout. This created a cycle without any additional effort or complicated cycling plan.

First thing that comes to mind when you hear the following statements

Cardio when bulking…

Ehhh….I hate it, lol

I do think it can help, but I don’t think low intensity cardio will do anything other than burn a few calories. Doing some HIIT can make you a better metabolic machine by increasing fat oxidation at rest, insulin sensitivity, and FT motor unit recruitment.

Your favorite training split when bulking…

Due to lifestyle reasons (weird work and social scheduling), I tend to favor a rotational type of routine, much like DC training.

I’ve gone through periods of Dorian inspired training, Max-OT, DC, and volume, and I think a good moderate volume, moderate reps, moderate frequency, no BS type of routine works best. As long as progression is being made, keep going. KISS.

Most effective supplements to use when bulking..

Same as dieting, but maybe add a carbohydrate powder peri-workout is warranted for extra calories and insulin secretion. The most important think is calories and protein. Everything else is secondary.

Check out the Ben Hartman Fat Loss Interview

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