How To Bulk Up Fast: The 5 Tip Ultimate Blueprint

Is bulking the right solution to achieve the muscle mass you desire? Maybe. But there is a smart way to do it with cutting edge information. 

As a certified personal trainer, that’s why I’m bringing you the ultimate blueprint on how to bulk up fast. You’ll finally get the scoop on wether bulking will get you jacked, or just more fat. 

It’s time to stop wishing for gains and start making them a reality.
Here’s what’s coming up. 

How To Bulk Up Fast: Quick Breakdown 
The Idea Behind Bulking
How To Bulk Up Fast 
TIP 1: Small Surplus Is Best 
TIP 2: Slow Bulk Is A Fast Bulk 
TIP 3: Use The Mirror Test & Mini Cuts
TIP 4: Percentage Of Bodyweight 
TIP 5: Have Special Cheat Days 
Can You Overdo Bulking?
Bottom Line 

How To Bulk Up Fast:
Quick Breakdown 

how to bulk up fast

The Idea Behind Bulking  

The biggest dudes in the gym seem to be in a bulking phase every fall and winter season. They live and breathe the bulk, especially to get ripped arms and abs. 

That same bulking information has been passed down through the years, and now the new generation lifter wants to know how to bulk fast.

Surprise, surprise. In the famous words of Rich Piana, “You gotta eat big to get big.” 

It makes sense though, right? Because how else would your body get the energy and substance to make gains of lean muscle?

  • But your body will only use what it needs for muscle, and the extra calories will turn to fat. That’s why traditional bulking becomes less effective over time for experienced lifters. 
  • An intermediate and advanced bulker will eat anything and gain weight faster than they put on muscle. The result is high body fat and a scramble to do a rapid cut to look ripped. 
  • That’s why you have to bulk smart – eat the right amount of calories while minimizing fat gain. Enter the lean bulk. 

How To Bulk Up Fast  

You can’t eat as much as you want and expect that all the extra calories will transform into muscle just because you train. 

As a newbie lifter, you can expect gains from excess calories, but as an intermediate or advanced lifter, an over surplus of calories will store up as fat. 

“Lean bulking” has been the right move all along. It’s the best option so that you won’t to feel like you’re going to explode at the end of the day from eating too much.

So how do you bulk up fast in a smart way? Here’s 5 tips.

Tip 1: Small Surplus Of
200-400 kcal/day Is Best

Traditional bulking works best when you’re a beginner and training with high volumes really hard. For everyone else, a smaller surplus is the best idea (200-400 kcal/day).

Everyone has a ceiling to their genetic muscular potential. Beginners to lifting are so far from hitting that ceiling, that their body reacts super well to weights and especially to bulking. 

Extreme bulking only has advantages with newbies. In a study, untrained young men were divided into 3 groups. 

  • one group consumed a carb heavy weight gainer 
  • one group consumed a carb + protein weight gainer. 
  • one group was given no supplement (control group) 

The results? On average, wether they threw down calories of just carbs, or a mixture of protein and carbs, they trained hard and they gained nearly a pound a week of pure lean mass! 

The caveat here is that this was for purely new lifters. What about intermediate to advanced lifters? 

  • It’s difficult to get the same magnitude gains after your newbie gains are done. The same process is going to reliably result in fat gain.
  • A smaller caloric surplus of 200-400 kcal/day is enough to to do slight bulk and see gains. There’s a study about this later on. 

Tip 2: Percentage Of Bodyweight
Makes Better Gain Goals

Usual bulking goals are based on weight, like to gain 10 pounds. A better approach is to base your bulking gains on bodyweight percentage. But why? 

Bodyweight percentage takes into account your training age, a very important factor for bulking.

Beginners can stand to super bulk with a 500 kcal or more surplus per day and reap the benefits for a time. However, there is a set fat point every individual has before the lean muscle stops and the fat tissue begins. 

  • If you’re an intermediate to advanced lifter, you need to be more cautious to choose an appropriate caloric surplus. Too many calories will pack on unnecessary pounds. 
  • Imagine finishing a 24 week bulk of 500 kcal/day surplus, where 200-400 kcal/day would have yielded the same gains with less fat. 

Getting irresponsibility fat fast is not a dependable way to gain muscle underneath. 

Instead, aim to gain around 2% of your body weight per month for intermediates, and 1% of your body weight for advanced lifters. 

Beginners, enjoy your newbie gains with bulking, but then bulk smartly as you grow in training age. 

Tip 3: Slow Bulk
Is A Fast Bulk  

If you want to extreme bulk as a non-beginner, don’t expect all the calories to lead to higher muscle gains in the short term.

You will have to accept the fat gain that comes with the muscle mass of bulking.

Let’s say you go into super bulk mode and eat 750 kcal more calories. You’ll see minimally higher gains in muscle, but at the cost of triple the amount of fat! All that bulking work for only a small gain in muscle. 

If you follow up with a cut to get rid of the fat you gained, you’ll essentially diet off all the muscle gains along with the fat. Because when you diet, your body can burn muscle before fat.

Ultimately, bulking is related to the story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare wanted the fast track to the finish line, but the tortoise took it slow and steady. 

If you can be patient, and extend the weight gaining phase over more time, that’s probably going to be better. That way your lean muscle gains will come with less fat tissue gains. 

  • Always keep in mind the ratio of lean to fat mass gains. How many days of dieting would you have to string together in order to lose 20 pounds of fat from over bulking of 500 or more kcal/day?
  • On the other hand, let’s say you eat in a caloric surplus of 200-400 kcal/day. You’ll still have enough calories to make lean gains without adding way more fat. 

The bottom line: slow bulk is a fast bulk. For more on weight gain, check out the best healthy ways to gain weight.

Tip 4: Use The Mirror Test and Mini Cuts 

If you’re nervous about gaining weight you may think that 50 calories over maintenance will make a difference. 

But that low of a number is incalculable and will not benefit towards gains. Instead, a decent safeguard against bulking too quickly is to do the mirror test and mini cuts. 

The most simple procedure is the mirror test. If you look at yourself in the mirror and you’re steadily gaining weight (getting fat), you can have assurance that there’s evidence of muscle gain underneath.

But how long should you continue bulking and steadily gaining weight? Remember this magic number: a 4:1 ratio. 

Do a caloric surplus of 200-400 kcal/day at least 4 months, aiming to gain 1 to 2% of your bodyweight per month. After 4 months, do a mini cut for one month to safeguard against bulking too quickly. 

To do a mini cut, be in a calorie deficit of 200-300 calories below maintenance. Yes, you will shed some pounds, but don’t worry! You won’t lose all your muscle gains. 

Muscle growth is quite common with a deficit that small. It’s when the calorie deficit becomes greater (about 500 calories) that muscle gain becomes less likely. 

This approach of a 4:1 ratio, mirror test, and mini cut can work for intermediate to advanced lifters. You don’t gain as much fat tissue from bulking, and when you lose weight, you lose it gently. That seems to be a good process.

Tip 5: Have Special
Cheat Days  

If you take a more aggressive approach to bulking, get ready to reach your body fat limit faster. You’re going to have to do something about that if you want to look as good as you imagine. 

On the other hand, maybe gaining weight feels uncomfortable. You could have fears that you won’ be able to lose the weight in time or even at all. 

A possible solution to controlling the aggressive bulk, and gaining weight if you feel uncomfortable about it, is to have special cheat days. 

Many people look at surplus as eating hundreds of calories more per day, and that can be fun. But remember, 200-400 kcal/day is a good place for bulking. 

You can have just as much fun eating a lower caloric surplus. You can make a special time to eat things special to you, like say a meat lover’s pizza on a Thursday. 

Sometimes when you’re bulking, you may notice that your appetite just isn’t there. If the happens, you can go on a mini cut for a few weakens to get your appetite back. 

A mini cut of 200-300 kcal/day can restore your appetite to continue with the bulk. When you’re higher in body fat, you’re more able to put on muscle even in a deficit. 

So you’re not losing out on a lot doing a mini cut.

You definitely don’t want to increase your special cheat days to a point where it’s more fat tissue than lean muscle. This leads to the next point. 

Can You Overdo Bulking? 

Yes, you can overdo bulking. There is a tipping point to bulking where the calories you eat are beyond what you should. This leads to more fat with a comparatively less muscle than you would think. 

There was a recent study done where people who lift were put into three conditions: 

  • they ate to maintain bodyweight for 8 weeks (control group) 
  • they ate at a surplus of 5% more calories 
  • they ate a surplus of 15% more calories 

There was about an average 600 calorie gap between the two groups that ate in surplus. 

The study results? There were strength and body composition changes, but there was no statistical advantage of eating the extra 600 calories.  

  • Jump, height, and sprint times got worse because they got heavier.  
  • There was 5 times more fat gain in the group that ate 600 calories more
  • There was modest fat gain in the group that ate 600 calories less  with no big differences in lean body muscle mass or performance compared to the 600 calorie more group.  

If you’re bulking and start to notice that it’s mostly fat you’re gaining, then slow down. Focus on progress in the gym, and dial in your calories. 

Tracking calories can get overwhelming so use your bodyweight percentage as a marker for your bulking gain goals.

Focus on eating right with lots of protein, and healthy whole foods and use your strength and bodyweight to determine if you’re eating the right amount. 

Just 1-2% of your bodyweight in gains will be a good indicator that you’re eating enough.

Bottom Line 

You’ve now got the blueprint to bulk up fast without falling into the common traps that can make you more fat. Here’s the 5 tips on how to bulk up fast.

  • Remember, a small surplus is your best friend, fueling muscle growth without packing on unwanted fat.
  • Embrace that a slow bulk is a fast bulk, allowing your body to build solid muscle over time. 
  • Keep a close eye on your progress with the mirror test and incorporate mini cuts to stay lean.
  • Understand the importance of gaining a small percentage of bodyweight each month to ensure steady growth. 
  • Plus, don’t forget to indulge strategically with special cheat days. 

With these tips in your arsenal, you’re ready to transform your physique. Your dream body is within reach— go out there and make it happen!


Shalom is a content creator, musician, and a teacher at heart. As a certified personal trainer, his goal is to encourage others to lead healthier lives and to get buff in the process!

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