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Many people are doing hours of cardio and cutting their calories every day to lose weight and look ripped at the beach this summer. But for others, now is not the time for starvation diets and marathon aerobics sessions. Those can actually cause athletes to lose muscle mass. For anyone who wants to add some additional muscle over the next few months, here is a bulking plan that is simple and effective.

To add muscle mass, it is important to focus on compound, multi-joint exercises that target several muscles at a time and use heavy weights. Save the isolation exercises and high-rep training for another day.

This program consists of only five basic bodybuilding exercises performed for 4-5 sets using heavy weights that limit the rep range to 8-12 reps. Allow 2-3 minutes of rest between sets with up to five minutes of rest between exercises. This will enable the lifter to use the heaviest weights possible on each set and stimulate maximum growth.

Perform this entire workout up to three times per week, allowing at least one day of rest between workouts. Do not perform intense cardio sessions while bulking. Focus on muscle growth and recovery. Stick to this program for at least three months to see measurable results.

Simple Bulking Exercise Plan

Begin each exercise with a light warmup set, then add weight on each successive set while decreasing reps, as follows:

– 12 reps (warmup set)

– 12 reps

– 10 reps

– 8 reps

– 8 reps (or to failure)

The following five exercises will target all of the major muscles of the upper and lower back, thighs, chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, forearms, and abdominals.

  1. Barbell squat
  2. Barbell deadlift
  3. Barbell bent over row
  4. Barbell bench press
  5. Barbell military press

How to Eat When Bulking

It is also important to eat plenty of quality calories while bulking in order to support maximum muscle growth. All that hard work in the gym will be wasted without adequate nutrition to support muscle hypertrophy.

Serious bodybuilders should strive to eat at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight and two grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight. Choose protein sources that are low in fat, such as lean meats, egg whites, and non-fat dairy products. Avoid sugary beverages and processed junk foods as well, and drink a lot of water.

By following this muscle-building routine and these bulking tips, anyone can add several pounds of muscle within just a few months.