T Nation

Bulking and Choosing A Split


After cutting down from 190-195 ish to currently 168 lbs, i have dropped down to 11-13% bodyfat and am ready to begin clean bulking. I have never cut before doing this, and have never bulked up either.
Current stats: 21 y/o 168 lbs 5'10
Deadlift 305x5 (335x1 highest i've done so far)
Bench 180x5
Squat (just started due to knee problems)205x5
Military 100x5 (weakest lift)

I really would like to do a bodybuilding split, but if you guys can convince me otherwise I am open for suggestions. Was doing Reverse Pyramid Training 3x a week with compound lifts and a few accessories, but most of my strength is from doing WS4SB and 5/3/1. I'd like to do a 4 day split and work on my arms due to them being so small since the last time i have done a program with curls in them was when i was 18.

Also with the bulk, i plan on hitting 3k calories a day, slowly working up to it. I'll have high carb days on my two hardest workouts, moderate on my 2 less intense workouts, and low carb on my rest days (<150 g carbs, possibly in the 50-75 range) Does this sound like a good plan, or should I not over complicate it(I am used to carb cycling during my cut, as i was doing high carb on workout days 3x a week and very low carb on rest days (50-75g))


Tbh I would focus on just getting the right and best macros and micros. Healthy fats, solid amino profile proteins.
Healthy fats i would probably eat 50-60g in your case and 150g protein where at least 120 is from dairy or meat products. Beans too.

As the program goes, i would recommend a fullbody 3-4 times a week. If 4.(mon. Wedn. Fri. Sat.) Where saturday is relatively light.

I have a template u can have whenever i get home


If you made good strength gains through 5/3/1/WS4SB, why not stick with it? I think your lifts could probably keep making gains on it. The beauty of 5/3/1 is in how customizable the assistance work is. If mass building is your ultimate goal, BBB might work well for you. If arms are a lagging point for you, there’s no rule that says you can’t add some additional direct arm work a few days a week after you’re done your compounds.


A classic split for growth that would suit you is Push ,Pull, Legs and it works very well. Choose bang for your buck exercises and train for around an hour per session and you’re golden. Hit the main lift for reps in the 3-7 range then hit everything else in the 7-12 range. This will keep you gaining strength but also will stimulate hypertrophy.

To add size I would use a website such as myfitnesspal and track your calories and macros. Try and hit 2.5 grams of protein to 1 kilogram of body weight. As for fats and carbs everyone responds a bit different but ideally you want to get your carbs from foods such as rice and potatoes and your fats from olive oil, coconut oil flax seed oil, nuts, avocado. Meat has good fats anyway so it’s pretty easy to get but avoid eating crap foods as they really will just make you fat. If you take supplements such as Plazma then you will get heaps of carbs as well so just keep track of all this.

To gain size you just need to track your current base then just increase it slightly. You increase it by just eating more of what you are already having. Keep a record of your weight and take photos. If you don’t go up then you increase it more. If you go up a bit then keep it at that.
Just remember that the body can only add small amounts of muscle over time. Seasoned lifters are lucky to add 2 or 3 kilograms in a whole year. At your age though you are primed to put on a huge amount of muscle in a short time. Make the most of this opportunity and train smart.
Read as much as you can by Clay Hyght.