How To Bulk Up Like A Pro

According to Sporting News, Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney are currently tied in the record books when it comes to the coveted Mr. Olympia title, with eight wins each.

Yet it’s Dorian Yates who everyone knows as the bulkiest bodybuilder of all time. This all-time legend managed to bulk up his 5’10” frame to 265lbs in his prime.

While few could ever achieve these records, every bodybuilder aspires to achieve as much muscle mass as possible.

Would you like to cut down on your body fat in favor of solid muscle? Keep reading some pro tips on how to bulk up and gain muscle faster.

What Is Bulking?

Bulking basically means increasing your body mass by increasing muscle mass while reducing fat.

According to Science Direct, muscle growth depends on a trophic response prompted by intracellular signaling. In simple terms, that means the harder your muscles work and the more stress they endure, the bigger they become.

This is old news for bodybuilders, but for newbies at the gym, it’s difficult to know whether their efforts are paying off or not. The biggest hiccup beginner bodybuilders encounter is the belief that you can bulk up fast.

If you’re searching for answers on how to bulk up fast, you’re on a wild goose chase. There is no way you can put on 10lbs of muscle in a short space of time. Muscle growth occurs at a much slower rate than your body stores fat. If you eat too much in an attempt to gain muscle, you’ll end up with more fat than you’d hoped for.

Optimum muscle growth depends on a well-balanced diet, adequate protein intake, a dedicated training program, and genetics.

You can’t achieve the correct mix of these factors overnight. It takes consistent hard work and comprehensive monitoring of several lifestyle factors.

8 Tips on How to Bulk Up Fast(er)

When you first embark on a training regimen, you can expect to gain no more than 0.5 to 1lbs weekly. Once you’ve found your stride, or if you’re genetically inclined toward muscle growth, you could expect to gain double that.

Now that you’ve set your unrealistic aims aside, try some of these muscle-building tips to help you achieve your bulking aims as safely and as swiftly as possible.

1. Start Lean

It’s best to start your bulking program from a lean state, which means men should aim for less than 10% body fat, and women should aspire to 16% body fat or less.

The leaner you are at the outset, the more your body will turn to calories instead of fat to fuel your training efforts. 

When you attempt to bulk from a less-than-ideal body fat percentage, your metabolism is already accustomed to accumulating fat stores. If your body fat starts to increase more than you’d like during bulking, it’s best to take measures to reduce your weight again first.

2. Increase Calories Gradually

If you want to gain muscle mass and weight, it makes sense to eat more calories than you burn. A caloric surplus is essential to gaining weight.

Eating whatever you want isn’t a good choice if you’re serious about muscle gains. Rather, it’s best to eat at a rate that maximizes muscle growth and minimizes your body’s propensity to accumulate fat.

It’s normal to gain some body fat while bulking, but you need to monitor this carefully.

The best way to do this is by progressively increasing your calorie intake in line with your workout schedule and keeping track of your muscle-to-fat ratio.

3. How to Gain Muscle with Sensible Nutrition

Of course, you need to eat the right kinds of foods too, if you want to encourage muscle growth and weight gain.

Protein is an important building block of muscle, and insufficient protein intake can hamper muscle recovery and growth.

You should aim to consume as much as 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight while bulking. If you can’t meet these targets, consider taking protein powder to increase your intake.

Carbohydrates are another preferred fuel used by your body to power your muscles. They’re essential for high-intensity weight training.

You should start by including 2 to 3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight in your diet and increase it as needed. Some of the best sources of carbs are grains, potatoes, and brown rice or pasta.

4. Train Harder and More Often

Instead of increasing your training sessions and risking muscle damage, try training one group of muscles more frequently. For instance, switch up your leg routine to include two shorter weekly sessions instead of increasing your leg day workout.

Too many repetitions of the same exercise over an extended time subjects your body to unnecessary stress and fatigue.

When you train more frequently, you can perform more reps spread evenly across the week. Lower reps performed more often help you focus more fully on muscle contraction and stretch to avoid soreness or injury.

Higher volumes and more frequent sessions are vital to a bulking phase. While you’re filling up on calories and good nutrition, you’ll have more energy for short, intense workouts with heavier weights.

Start by training between 12 and 20 sets at a time and keep tabs on your recovery rate, soreness, and progress. This is the best way to find your ideal weekly sets range.

Focus on your results instead of mindlessly counting weights and reps.

5. Go For Almost-Broke More Often

To achieve maximum muscle growth, it’s important to push your muscles to the brink of their endurance. That means you should take every set to near failure, which basically means ”quit while you’re ahead”.

Stopping just before you can’t carry on anymore is preferable to training so hard you can’t even pick up the weights anymore. This helps you focus more fully on your technique.

6. Weigh Yourself Often

Bulking is all about weight gain, but you need to make sure you’re putting on muscle instead of fat. Here’s where patience comes into play.

Realistically, you can only expect to gain 0.5 to 1lbs of body weight weekly if you’re putting on muscle. Any more than that means your body is storing fat.

As your muscle size and body weight increase, you should shoot for an optimal gain of 1 to 2 lbs per week. You can’t argue with these simple physiological truths, so stick within the guidelines for lasting results.

Gaining too much fat will only send you straight back to the deprivations of a cutting regimen.

7. Supplement Your Diet

The constant juggling act between calorie intake, optimum nutrients, and your training schedule vs. how much you can physically eat is enough to wear down even the most dedicated bodybuilder.

One way to make things easier is by taking carefully-measured supplements to help enhance your diet for optimum muscle gains. Some of the best ones are:

Carbohydrate-Based Weight Gainers

Most of these high-carb, low-protein supplements contain over 1,000 calories per serving, so it’s important to ensure you really need that many calories for your workout.

This is a difficult balancing act, and you won’t see significant muscle gains from these powders unless you’re already consuming enough protein.


Creatine is one of the most popular and effective solutions for muscle gain, proven to increase lean muscle mass. It’s a naturally-occurring molecule that provides energy directly to your tissues and muscles.

That helps increase the work rate of these systems, enabling you to lift heavier weights and push yourself harder at the gym.

Additionally, creatine help increase your muscles’ water content. Not only does this make them appear bigger, but it produces signals for muscle growth.

HMB Supplements and BCCAs

Your body can produce Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methyl Butyrate molecules, but only in conjunction with leucine.

It’s essential to ensure your body gets the best benefits of protein and leucine and helps prevent muscle proteins from degrading. When you add 3 to 6 grams of HMB to your diet, you might notice improved mass gains as a result of your weight training efforts.

The good news is that HMB works best when you increase your workout; thus, it’s good for those starting their weight training journey.

Branched-chain amino acids, or BCCAs, comprise the amino acids isoleucine, leucine, and valine. They come from animal proteins like fish, meat, dairy, and chicken.

The human body can produce these essential amino acids, but they’re vital for muscle growth and important for soothing muscle fatigue and soreness. Again, they’re best in conjunction with a carefully-planned exercise regimen.

BCCAs work well for those who are struggling to consume enough protein for maximum gains.


The human body produces Beta-alanine naturally. It’s a non-essential amino acid but assists in the production of carnosine, which can enhance muscle mass.

In this way, it ensures you can endure high-intensity workouts with less fatigue and achieve better results, faster.

Selective Androgen Receptor modulators (SARMs)

SARMs are a safer alternative to steroids, and although they’re not as potent as the latter, you may enjoy significant muscle gains by taking them. SARMs originally came about as potential treatments for multiple sclerosis, muscle wasting, and osteoporosis.

They can increase muscle strength and size, enhance fat loss, are more socially acceptable than steroids, are legal, and don’t need to inject them.

The potential risks of taking SARMs include a small chance of developing elevated blood pressure, or gynecomastia.

Some of the best sarms for bulking include:

Andarine (S4)

Andarine is a good defense against osteoporosis and helps block the formation of new fat cells better than all the other SARMs. The jury is still out on why it works so well, but test results speak for themselves.

Ligandrol (LGD-4033)

Ligandrol is another good choice for promoting bone density. As such, women bodybuilders prefer this SARM as a way to increase muscle.

It works by mimicking testosterone’s ability to bind with androgen receptors to produce muscle.

Ostarine (MK-2866)

Ostarine is one of the most widely used SARMs and works like Ligandrol does to promote muscle growth by stimulating androgen receptors.

Although this triggers faster muscle growth, which can cause complications, its highly-targeted characteristics mean it’s safe overall.

Testolone (RAD-140)

Testolone came about as an experimental drug for treating breast cancer patients, but now it’s a top choice for bodybuilders who want to build bulk faster.

Along with muscle growth, Testolone can boost energy levels, as well as athletic performance in some individuals.

Cardarine (GW-501516)

Cardarine is a fat-burning SARM that helps create better muscle definition, by stimulating fatty acid oxidation and increasing glucose uptake.

Proceed with caution if you intend to take this SARM, there is little research available concerning its pros and cons.

Ibutamoren (MK-677)

Ibutamoren doesn’t meet the strict definition of a SARM but does increase the secretion levels of human growth hormone. This helps stimulate appetite, so you can increase your daily calorie intake.

More calories mean you’ll have more energy and achieve better muscle growth. For this reason, many bodybuilding enthusiasts add Ibutamoren to their bulking stacks.

8.  Sleep Well

Getting enough sleep is a well-worn mantra in the realm of physical and mental health. That’s because sleep is vital for good overall health.

Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a day to operate at their best.

While you’re asleep, your body goes about restoring your muscles, nervous system, and adrenal system. Hormone production, including that of growth hormones, speeds up while you sleep and this can assist in your bulking endeavors.

Find Your Balance

These tips on how to bulk up may help you understand some principles of maximizing your muscle growth, although it all boils down to dedicated diet monitoring and a well-thought-out exercise regime in the end.

Would you like to discover more about interesting topics like this? Browse our blog for useful lifestyle tips and hacks.

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