Bulking For Beginners: Diet, Supplements, Workout Plan (& More Tips)

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Updated December 28, 2020

bulking seasonIf you’re looking to pack some lean muscle on your bones, you might find it to be more difficult than you thought. Maintaining the right diet and workout routine can make a huge difference in the rate at which you see your gains, so we’re here to make sure you are doing the least amount of work, while maximizing your results.

If you are a woman looking to bulk up, a lot of the same advice applies, but we’ll also dive into what the differences should be for your routine.

Bulking for beginners guide

1. What Is Bulking really about?

Bulking is the period of time athletes and bodybuilders spent putting on weight and not necessarily caring about a little bit of extra fat. The reason behind it is that the more calories you provide your body with, the more energy you will have to put on muscle. Since your feeding your body more, your muscles will be able to grow larger, even though you’ll be putting on some fat as well.

During this phase, you can eat however much you want (of clean foods) as long as you are consistently working out as hard as you can. When you’re in the gym, you typically want to do workouts that are low repetition and high weight, in order to put the most amount of mass on possible.

Bulking works at its best when you put yourself in a caloric surplus. This means you are eating more calories than you are burning. Even if these foods are extremely clean and have low fat, you are pretty certainly still going to gain some amount of fat. The plus side is all the extra food will give you a lot of energy to do more in the gym.

If you are currently overweight, you definitely don’t want to start your workout routine off with a bulking phase. In order to get the lean chiseled body men desire, it is important to get body to a healthy state. Overweight people should start with a ‘cutting’ routine, where they spend their time eating less and burning more calories.

2. When should you start bulking?

bulking seasonYou should only be worried about cutting after you’ve bulked sufficiently. Optimizing your bulking season is about 70% diet changes and 30% altering your workouts. Most people bulk during the winter time because they don’t have to worry as much about showing off their shredded bodies to the public

People usually don’t know exactly what to change up about their diet and workout routine, or what the right supplements to take during their bulking season. Bodybuilding takes time, and while you may think you’re doing everything right, it’ll be a while before you find the perfect system that works for you.

Throughout this article, we’ll be speaking about the basic and intermediate methods of putting on weight during bulking season. We’ll tell you our favorite training regimen that you can make your own, so you are more likely to stick to your routine.

3. Eat the best foods for bulking

Here we are going to tell you what the best foods are to help you on your bulking journey.

In order to make sure you are getting the right amount of protein, load your diet up with Egg Whites, Ground Turkey, Round Steak, Tuna, Fish, and a protein powder supplement. Protein should make up about 40% of your diet.

When it comes to complex carbs, stick to oatmeal, black beans, cereal, brown rice, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Carbs should make up 40% of your diet.

Fibrous carbs are important for putting on weight, so load up your salads with broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, celery, lettuce, bell peppers, and spinach. Fat should make up 20% of your diet.

Healthy fats are way better for you then you think, and can actually promote fat burning in your body. Try to get yourself proper servings of olive oil, almonds, peanut butter, salmon, and flaxseed oil.

4. Follow this bulking workout plan

During your workouts, you want to focus on low rep, high weight exercises. This can help you make sure you are getting everything you need to put on mass as quickly as possible. Working out your full body in two days, resting one day, and then working out your full body for the next two days is the best way to go about bulking.


  • Pull Ups – 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Dips – 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Lying Leg Curls – 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Barbell Squat – 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Barbell Shrug – 4 sets of 6 reps


  • Barbell Curl – 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Standing Barbell Calf Raise – 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Smith Machine Reverse Calf Raises – 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Standing Military Press – 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Side Lateral Raise – 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Barbell Rear Delt Row – 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press – 4 sets of 6 reps


  • Rest


  • Bent Over Barbell Row – 3 sets of 12 Reps
  • Barbell Incline Bench Press – 3 sets of 12 Reps
  • Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Barbell Lunge – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Barbell Shrug – 3 sets of 12 reps


  • Preacher Curl – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Standing Barbell Calf Raise – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Raise – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Side Lateral Raise – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Barbell Rear Delt Row – 3 sets of 12 reps

5. Use supplements For bulking up

Protein Powders

Protein supplements can make a huge difference in your bulking season. They can help make sure you are putting on as much pure muscle as possible, without making you have to worry too much about excess fat. The best protein powders on the market are made of whey protein hydrolysate.

Whey protein hydrolysate has the most amount of quick digesting, branched chained amino acid enriched protein on the market today. Branch chained amino acids are a great way to keep your energy levels high during a workout, and can also help reduce your time spent recovering. This means getting yourself back into the weight room as quickly as possible, to get the gains you are looking for.

Testosterone boosters

T Boosters help maximize the levels of your most important anabolic hormone, which is testosterone. Testosterone is the driving force behind your strength and power in the gym, and it plays a key role in your ability to build muscle. Natural testosterone boosters safely stimulate increased testosterone production within the body, which can cause you to gain a lot of muscle in a short period of time.

Creatine monohydrate

Creatine helps increase ATP production in your body. This can boost your energy levels during a workout, making sure you have all the juice you need to lift to exhaustion.

Nitric oxide boosters

N.O. Boosters help increase blood flow to your muscles so they can receive more oxygen and nutrients that will help them work harder and longer. They’re often found in pre-workout supplements for that reason.


There it is, everything you need to know about beginning your bulking season. Follow this routine and you are guaranteed to be larger and stronger than ever. Don’t forget to use the right supplements! The most important supplements during bulking season are protein powder and a testosterone booster.

View our top rated protein supplements here: Best Protein Powders Comparison.

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Joe Costello CNC
Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC)
Joe Costello is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Nutrition Coach, author, and internet blogger. Joe has more than 10 years of experience in the sports nutrition industry and over 3 years of experience as a supplement and nutrition blogger. As a Certified Nutrition Coach who specializes in dietary supplements, Joe strives to deliver accurate, comprehensive, and research-backed information to his readers.

You can find more of Joe’s work including his E-Books about fitness and nutrition at his official website joecostellonwc.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, or YouTube. Joe Costello is one of the founders of TheSupplementReviews.org and years after the creation of the site, partnered with TEK Naturals, a nutritional supplement company.