T Nation

The Right Way to Bulk


The biggest T-Nation members claim that bulking is by far the most effective way to go when it comes to building large amounts of muscle. But many people try to bulk and just end up fat because they did it wrong. From the most experienced guys, what are some guidelines to "bulk right"?


First of all "bulking up" is not a method or even a goal, for fuck's sake. It is merely a consequence of eating a caloric surplus to gain bodyweight while (usually) lifting weights, thats all.

Secondly, MOST people reading this site have wretched potential, and should avoid the idea of "bulking up" altogether. You are most likely not prof X or someone who can someday step on stage carrying enough size and development - and if you WERE you would realize it in your first 1-2 years of training. Eat a slight surplus, track your weight change and add weight to the bar = gain muscle with some fat. Hold the size gained till you have some density and then lean out slowly = you can add 15-20 pounds of muscle to your frame. If you want to call that "bulking up" feel free to do that.

Thirdly, the fact is that most people who have added well over 55-60 pounds of lean mass after puberty allowed themselves to bulk up in the initial stages of their development - thats a far cry from saying that the best way for you to gain muscle is to bulk up since that assumes that you HAVE the potential to gain and keep significant size by allowing yourself to bulk up and then lean out.

In conclusion, allow yourself to "bulk up" ONLY if you know you are young enough
AND have the genetic inclination to hold on to size while dieting down
AND the frame to not look fat in everyday clothes after gaining 30-40 pounds of bodyweight (narrow clavicles and wide hips = a LOT of grief while you're gaining bodyweight) unless you have the patience to build heavy deltoids over the next 10-12 years or so.
AND if you have the "add weight to the bar" mindset
AND if you have a clue how to make your muscles grow (understand movements within your first year or so of training).

if you satisfy most or all of these conditions, bulking up naturally is a possible solution to try and gain as much size as your body will allow you.


brr eat a lot, train a lot.. training more will create greater appetite.. also try to make it healthy with moderate carbs, mostly from fruits, high fibre intake.. personally I found that a 33-33-33 approach will lead to the most significant lmgains.. and sleeep.. take naps. personally I like doing cardio too, helps me to recover, furthermore creates greater energy expenditure which equals more food can be ingested without getting fat.. :stuck_out_tongue: And eating was always a great joy..


Blatant sticky attempt, straight bitch slappedâ?¦

Ha ha


It's simple. You find your maintenance level. Then you eat more than that and lift hard.
If you start getting too fluffy, cut back a couple hundred kcal or so.
If the gains are coming too slow, add a couple hundred kcal on.


There's an interesting thread by a dude named Fulmen called "excuses" or something. If you have decided to let yourself bulk up, read that first.


But IMO its a great way to confront the second elephant in the room on this forum (the first one was taken out in the "most useless machine" thread).

This site attracts both the "below average" and "the genetically above average" specimens - some of us old timers wanted to prevent the "genetically above average" from short-changing themselves by EXCLUSIVELY following a full body that was ad-hoc recommended to everyone assuming everyone belonged to the first category - but whats happening now is that people from the first category are trying to over-reach past their limitations taking advice meant for people in the second category.

So from everyone considering himself/herself sub-par and over-trained 3-5 years back, we now have everyone on the forum thinking they have the potential to turn pro.

And yes, I realize you can only figure out 100% where you lie after you give it an honest try.


Agree completely.


I wouldn't be this size if I had followed most of the advice given on this site. They create these articles mostly for people with very weak genetic potential. they assume EVERYONE is a "hardgainer" and act like those who aren't are so rare that they need not even be discussed.

That is one retarded way to approach bodybuilding UNLESS you have something to sell. It "cock blocks" every single guy with more potential than that.

I am not one of these guys who still had 15" arms after 10 years of "training". I had 18" arms in less than three years total, mostly from eating as much as possible and leaving my heart on the floor in the gym.

Most of these guys clearly don't even understand what "training hard" even means or they would be making more progress.

That means while I agree with what you wrote earlier, my hope is that people quit holding others back simply because they themselves don't loo like they lift after several years in the gym.


Is that even posible? I hope not.


Lol, That's me TD. Gonna see if I added you as a friend yet under this name.


Some people on here have made that possible.


don't eat like a slob. Eat a caloric surplus, don't do it on shit like ice cream and cookies. Do it on tuna, steak, pork, oatmeal, etc.


My personal opinion is that too many people think in terms of calories when it comes to this. Most would do well to think in terms of nutrients. The single most important thing you can eat while adding muscle is protein. Eat your meat...


Fucking awesome post tribunaldude.


Nah, you are right, as usual. I'm just pissed I jumped the gun on being a wiseass and quoted the short version.

But then again, as has been said before, some of this should be pretty self evident to people. But, what do I know?






I copied, pasted and tossed that into my personal training docs file. Great post tribunaldude.


hey you really sound like you know what your talking about, any chance you can help me, ive been body building for about 5 months, im 17 and ive seen improvements, i heard that body supplements may help is that true like stuff called createin, if so what should i use??? what would you recomend? please reply or message me.