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Lean Bulking For Beginners

Learn How To Maximize Your Bulk From Day One!

Posted by TimeIsMuscle - February 10th, 2017

The Basic Principle For Bulking

To bulk, you have to be in a caloric surplus. This means eating more food than your body normally requires to maintain your weight.

For example, if you calculate that you roughly consume 2500 calories each day and you are not gaining weight, or losing weight, then I would just add an extra 300-400 calories each day, along with a structured training plan, in order to gain lean muscle mass with minimal fat.

Food Frequency & Amounts

My advice to newbies is to go for 7 x 400 calorie meals each day for a consistent calorie surplus which will allow for lean gains. As this is a basic guide, I would not worry too much about calories burned, and instead you should place more emphasis on hitting your macros consistently.

If you need help figuring out how many calories you need, and what your macros should be, you can visit the MEAL PLAN page on this site and use the free calculator.

Macronutrient Food Sources



  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Cottage cheese
  • Whey protein
  • Milk protein


  • Oats
  • Wholegrain pasta/rice
  • White rice and pasta
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Vegetables


  • Fatty fish (e.g. salmon)
  • Nuts
  • Oils
  • Peanut butter
  • Olive oil

Daily Meal Plan Example

  • Breakfast – Eggs with some yolks, wholegrain toast or oats.
  • Supplements – Green tea extract, multi vitamin and fish oils.
  • 2-3 hours later – Whey Protein Shake.
  • 90 mins later – Hit the Gym and take BCAA’s during the workout.
  • Post Workout Shake – Protein/Carb Shake.
  • 1 hour later – Chicken breast with rice, or pasta, or potatoes, and salad.
  • 2 hours later – Low fat yogurt with half s scoop of whey, and nuts.
  • 3 hours later – Beef/fish/turkey salad (A low carb – moderate fat meal)
  • 2-3 hours later –  Casein Protein Shake or Cottage Cheese with a spoon of Udos Oil.

(A few Examples of on-the-go snacks you may also consider to fill in the gaps in-between these meals are beef jerky, boiled eggs, rice cakes or pumpkin seeds).


Weight-training workouts should be intense, structured, and cardio shouldn’t be neglected. If you want to make lean bulking gains, be sure to perform 2-3 High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions, or at the very least, include 3-4Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) training sessions.

Note:  If you do decide to do more cardio than this weekly, then more calories may be needed on those days (depending on your expenditures).

Split Example (Typical Bro Split)

  • Monday - Chest and triceps
  • Wednesday - Back and biceps
  • Friday - Shoulders and calves
  • Sunday – Legs

Rep Range & Sets

The 8-12 rep range will help you to achieve lean mass and minimize any negative impact on joints. I advise you to perform a warm up set for each exercise, and then perform 3 working sets (Warm-up + 3 Working Sets = Total of 4 Sets).


Compound exercises, such as bench presses, squats, military presses and deadlifts are always a great foundation to start off your workouts. Therefore, I would place one compound exercise at the beginning of each session, and then also add a few isolation moves afterwards to help breakdown the muscle, as well as pumping blood and nutrients into them as well.

For example, on the day you train chest and triceps, begin with a barbell bench press, before proceeding with the following isolation exercises:

  • Dumbbell chest press
  • Dumbbell chest fly
  • Tricep skullcrusher
  • Tricep overhead dumbbell extension


The final piece of the puzzle is recovery time. You need to give your body time to recover. Without adequate time to recover, you will break down already broken down muscle tissue, making it harder to that muscle to regrow bigger and stronger.

There is a lot of debate over how long a muscle needs to recover from a workout before you should work it out again. I am firm believer that you should allow three full days of recovery time before training the same muscle or muscle groups (depending on your split) again. Therefore, as a rule of thumb “if the muscle still seems to be sore, give it another day of rest. The last thing you want to do is to injure yourself”.


With these simple tips, you can make sure your bulk is a successful one from the day you decide to start gaining weight. Remember, the less fat you gain during your bulk, will mean the less fat you have to lose when you switch to a cut.

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Very solid article Jason! I hate dirty bulking!

TimeIsMuscle  Edit  Delete  Close

Thanks Bro! Yeah we only do Lean Gainz!!!!!!!!!