Not in my experience.
I have undergone several bulking cycles since I began lifting in early 2010. Now, I wouldn't take those back for the world: that's where I built a lot of my muscle, and it certainly helped me gain mental strength as well.
But the thing about bulking is, well, it's kind of a mind game.
If you're anything like me, you'll love bulking while you're eating....
|One of my favorite meals during last summer's bulk: recipe here|
....or lifting, and you'll have trouble with it the rest of the time.
People don't talk about the dark side of bulking much. (Yes, I've been guilty of this too.) We talk about how fun PRs are, and how great it is to have more time because we're not doing cardio, and how much food we get to eat... But it's not all fun and games and fairies and stardust.
Your jeans get tighter, and it's not ALL muscle. Your abs disappear under a layer of skin and you panic, wondering if you'll ever see them again - even though you know this is part of the process; this is a necessary step. You feel like you're doing something that is in direct opposition from everything you've ever been told. If you listen to the radio and watch TV and read magazines, you know that by virtue of your gender, you "should" be trying to eat less, not more. You "should" be trying to exercise more, not less.
But look. If you can survive the fat days, and stand against the ever-present background commentary about what a woman should and should not do, and if you can trust yourself to do what's right for your body, the reward is increased physical and mental strength.
Bulking is not easy, but it's worth every moment of the struggle.
(PS: Some of you wanted me to e-mail you yesterday, but Blogger doesn't supply me with your e-mail address! =( If you haven't heard from me yet, please e-mail me - SquatLikeALady@gmail.com!)