T Nation

How Long Is Your Bulking Phase?


Hello, how long do you keep your bulking phase? 8 weeks? 8 months? i ve heard of many strategies yet usually i bulk for 8 weeks and then around 3 weeks of maintaining then i go into cutting...


Gee...I had this crazy notion of basing how I eat and train on the progress I am making.

Someone who would quit gaining if they are making great progress just because of what week it is can't expect much at all in the long run.

Some people just aren't cut out for this.


Why would you just maintain it for 3 weeks? That muscle will be so new that it will disappear if you cut that fast lol.

IMO set points are great, make a 10lb gain then hold it for a few months. Rinse and repeat.

There will most likely be a point where you have to get a bit soft and hold it for a very long time if you want to get way above "average" though.


as long as it takes.

your mindset fails on too many levels.

I would love to see what you look like based on your approach but the fact that youve been around since 06 and have to ask this says a lot


Until someone you haven't seen in awhile goes "Holy shit you look foooking huuuuuuge bra!"

Even then, I'd continue bulking. Unless you've got a contest, cutting shouldn't be something you do for the fun of it...or because you've got that beach party to go to and that girl you like's gonna be there and she's all about the Abs!

Joking aside. Get big enough to warrant a cut!


if you're gaining muscle, getting stronger and you arent getting too fat for your liking then why would you stop?

if you start to plateau in strength or weight gain or you get too fat for your liking then you should fix things and change things up but not go into a "cut" IMO




You should bulk year round haha, just change up the diet a bit to adjust your fat percentage!


Have you been lifting weights since '06? If so why don't you tell us how your 8 week bulk 3 week maintain then cut plan has been working.


I've been bulking for 32 years now......


well i do not look good if that's what are you asking, my 8bulk etc was becouse of the amount of time between fights ive got.some coaches (dan john) recommand 6 weeks bulking phases. as i went through knee surgery,i started to lift again. iam relearning things about lifting without my old "weight class" mind set, i know how to get weight down, not realy how to add mass. you guys wrote some decent points about it so it was usefull for me.thanks for all repl. :slight_smile:



Some don't like to call it bulking, because it sounds like getting fat is the goal in a short time frame (and if you expect decent weight gains in 8 weeks, you likely will get more fat than needed). Many call it "gaining", because instead of just concentrating on the scale going up for the sake of it, you are gaining in the gym too (getting stronger weekly, or as a more advanced lifter, improving form/increasing tut or whatever). So long as you are getting decently stronger, don't worry about the scale too much.

Gaining = adding quality size over time which shows in the gym (not gaining 6lbs of fat and 4lbs of muscle in 8 weeks...going round in circles)


Ahhhh the almighty bulk. I honestly believe a lot of guys use that as an excuse to get soft and justify losing abs.

The fact that you're asking how long it should be really says to me that you want to know how far you can let yourself go before trying to do damage control.

I remember guys talking about how they were gaining 20-40lbs a year while i was gaining between 13-15lbs a yr. I honestly thought i was doing something wrong. Only to realize by the time they cut down they had made as much progress as i did.

There should be no bulking phase, just set a goal and try to achieve it. If you're pleased with the results when you achieve that goal then maintain. If you're not happy with it then push the goal line further back.


Bulk until you're satisfied. That day has yet to come for me and I don't think that it ever will, but I'm still trying to chase it down.



Yeah, if you have less than decent genetics for this and don't plan on getting all that big overall....or if you have amazing genetics for staying lean in spite of making optimal gains in muscle mass.

Others will fall in between those extremes and should base their decision on the results they actually get...not some number.

Who cares if some other guys gained more than you and had to diet down? The main thing is who makes the most progress years dwn the road.

If they end up freaking huge despite possbly making a few dietary mistakes years later but you and your perfect gaining have less..guess what...they win!

The ends justify the means.


It all comes down to the individual. Bulk according to how you want to look. It's your body.


I don't understand "don't bulk" mentality. To me, bulking just means eating enough to get more muscular and stronger. Now people have to preface it with "lean" as if the other option is just getting fat. As prof X has said many times; the goal is not to get fat. Bulking is adding muscle and strenght by eating more. Some people seem to have a really hard time using there brain about their bodyfat however.


Most of it seems to be coming from people completely making up what I am saying and telling others the lie as if I wrote it.

That has occurred more than once just in the past week.

I know some people are koing...but clearly there are some slow ones here who think the jokes are meant to be real.

If they quoted what was actually written, there would be little debate.


^^This is why I dont like the terms "bulk" and "cut"

It seems like people take the word "bulk" or "bulking phase" to add a lot of bodyfat when that shouldnt be the case (some? sure. a lot? not necessary)