T Nation

Tips for a Clean Bulk?

Hi there, been a lurker for a while so I decided to join. Just looking for some advice re bulking. I’m 5’6 and 60Kg. I’ve been going to the gym for about about a year now and haven’t made the gains I want in both muscle size and strength. I would really like to get bigger and put on some muscle. I’d love to bulk up to the 70Kg mark but I know as females it’s harder for us.


10kg is alot allot of lean mass. You re looking at a few years at least. To bulk you have to be in caloric excess. Find your body fat percentage. Eat in a caloric excess (with lots of protein) until you feel like you are getting too soft and then cut back down to your original body fat percentage. In general you want within 5 percent so it doesn’t get out of hand. So if you’re 15 percent now you want to not get above 20. This approach works for me so far. I’ve went from 150 to 205 with around 15 percent body fat. It just takes time. And in a side note look at what you are doing in the gym. I lifted with a girl for a long time and She always felt that she got her best gains from big compounds especially squats/deads. This is true for everyone I think but especially women.

Thanks, I never thought to think of it in terms of body fat before. I’ll get that checked next time I’m in the gym.

Nutrition is going to be most important for you here. I have your height and weight, how old are you? I’ll calculate an estimated calories/macro target for you to hit each day. Tracking is extremely important. Load MyFitnessPal or FitGenie (both free) on your phone to make tracking easier.
Also, I agree with the previous post. Heavy, compound movements are your best friend. Look at CTs article “hardbody training for women”

I just take measurements with a tape and use an online calculator. They aren’t super accurate but close enough for this purpose.

I’ll check it out thanks. I’m 30. What would be a realistic goal to aim for weight wise? I know it’s going to take time but I can’t find any good info or coaches that have experience here in Ireland, It’s all weight loss etc.

A 30-year-old woman, 5’6" tall, can weigh 120 to 160 pounds – – depending on frame size.
As far as a specific goal weight for you, I can’t say. It depends on your body composition, and the appearance you’re going for. Unfortunately, at 30 years old, your ability to gain muscle without gaining fat will be more difficult than it would have been in your early 20s. Not impossible, just going to take more attention and effort.

I think this is a good example of what a drastic difference body composition can make in overall appearance. She wasn’t going for any specific weight, just wanted to bail body fat and gain muscle.

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Hi Ruth, glad you decided to join. What do you typically eat in a day and what do your workouts look like?

Train with a decent amount of volume and then load up on intra workout supps -ideally Plazma, but if on budget stuff like Bcaas, Karbolyn products, glutamine, leucine,hydrolysed whey etc…

For training these are great options…

I would ear turkey sausages and eggs for breakfast. Snack on fruits, rice cakes and sometimes a protein bar. Lunch would be chicken salad or chicken with pasta. Dinners are steak/fish with salad and sweet potato fries or brown rice. Or stir fry type.
My workouts involve a bench day, squat day and deadlift say then the 4th day I do my weakest lift technique wise at a lighter weight. I’ll post full info and pics later. I appreciate all your posts, thanks you.

and Sorry about my pale Irish skin :slight_smile:

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As far as eating goes I would add more calorie dense snacks like nuts or peanut butter with your fruit, avocado in your salad, oatmeal with cinnamon & raisins or yogurt. Also adding more protein is a must, maybe a protein shake or extra piece of meat will help. Just adding a couple of these a day can make a big difference.

I’m not sure what your workouts look like as far as sets, reps, weight but increasing the intensity with more weight and adding accessory exercises will help. For bench add tricep dips, over head press, rows, any tricep work, etc. For squats add lunges, step ups, glute ham raise, front squats. For deadlifts add hamstring curls, hip thrusts, good mornings, and kettle bell swings. The more intense the workout the more hungry you will be so the extra food wont feel like you’re trying to choke it down.

Hi Beliver423,

Great photos, but who is she? She looks like a competitor, this more than just a diet…or? Any relation with you? (sorry, I´m new at the forum)

Thank you!

For a clean bulk I recommend 100g of fiber from vegetables, 300g protein, 2-3 gallons of water, lots of salt (iodine). 5/3/1 big but boring program.