A Basic 8 Week "Bulking" Plan

Here is a basic 8 week bulking guide which you are able to adapt for your personal goals.

The basic principle is to eat more food than your body requires to maintain your weight. For example if you calculate you roughly consume 2500 calories each day and are not gaining or losing weight then I would add an extra 300-400 calories each day plus a structured training plan in order to gain Lean Body Mass (muscle with minimal fat).

Food Frequency and Amounts

I would opt for 7 x 400 calorie meals each day for a consistent calorie overfill which will allow for Lean Gains. As this is a basic guide I would not worry too much about calories burned more emphasis should be given to hitting the right foods at the right time consistently.

Food Types

Please refer to The basics of bulking – a beginners guide

8 Week Plan – Step By Step

  1. Set realistic goals – on average without the use of hormone enhancing aids, one should aim for 1-2lbs of lean body mass each week.
  2. Aim to eat 300-500 calories more than your body requires to maintain your weight each day to prime your body for growth. Any more could result in fat dependant on calorie expenditure.
  3. Don’t be scared of carbohydrates or fats just know when to utilise them. Carbs should be consumed before, during and after weights. For example I use a Weight Gainer or Meal Replacement before a weights session (Performance Mass V2), Pure iBCAA 8:1:1 with Pure Maltodextrin or Pure Waxy Maize Starch Intra workout (During training) and Pure Whey Protein Concentrate 80 and Pure Maltodextrin PWO. Fats should be consumed at all other meals not the three mentioned above.
  4. Protein is the most essential building block for your goals. And i would consume 1.5 grams per KG of your body weight.
  5. Know your food groups and frequency of meals to put your body in to growth mode.
  6. As your bodyweight increases, you will need to up your calories from week to week in order to keep your body in a calorie surplus state for growth.
  7. Curb cardio to 3 sessions a week tops anymore and you will need to eat more.
  8. Know your rep ranges for growth. In my opinion the 8-12 rep range is optimal for growth. Anything less will just put unnecessary pressure on joints and tendons. Don't forget to warm up.
  9. Know what exercises to adopt. Big compounds moves should be utilised:
    • Bench Press
    • Squats
    • Dead Lifts
    • Military Presses
    • Pull Ups
  10. Use the right supplements, but remember that they are supplements and not a replacement for food. The main ones should be Whey protein, Casien Protein, Fast Carbs, Weight gainers, creatine, Natural Test boosters, Pre Workout formulas.
  11. Have an exercise split set in place for you to follow. In my opinion its best to swap it round 4 weeks in to your bulking phase in order to shock your body in to growth.
Day Split 1 Split 2
Monday Back and Biceps Arms
Tuesday Rest Rest
Wednesday Shoulders and Calves Shoulders and Calves
Thursday Rest Rest
Friday Chest and Triceps Chest/Back
Saturday Rest Rest
Sunday Legs Legs

By Mark Marcou

Posted 19 Apr 2023