It's beginning to look like Bulking Season, here is the run down on what you need to know about bulking.

It’s beginning to look like bulking season! Or as I like to think of it, strong-ER season. Every year, I see Athletes hop back into their hoodies and start their bulks. If you’re unfamiliar with what Bulking is, it’s where an athlete will choose to go into a caloric surplus (eating more than they are burning) so that they can make strength gains and grow muscle faster. 

To clarify, this isn’t the only way to gain strength, lifting and eating normally will also help you improve your strength. So, don’t worry if bulking doesn’t sound like your thing! You’ll still get stronger this season if you keep being consistent at the gym!

Hoodies and gains, here we come! I’m going to share more about bulking so that you have the basics if you want to try it out this season. 


It’s a process where you gain muscle mass and gain weight! This is done by being in a caloric surplus (eating more calories than you are burning to gain weight) and consistently challenging yourself at the gym when it comes to lifting weights. 

Eating more allows you to have the energy for more intense gym sessions and for the muscles to rebuild after a workout. Get your protein in to help your muscles replenish and grow during the process. According to ACSM you should be consuming 0.5- 0.8 grams of protein per pound of your body weight. Aim to get 100-250 more calories in your diet. If you're not tracking add one more high nutritional snack or protein shake. When bulking, consider being on the higher end of that scale. Remember to increase your carbohydrates and fats as well!


The key word is to progressively overload! That means that week after week you’re adding more weight to your lifts. Now that you have added more food into your diet its a good time to use the added energy at the gym. Because of the extra calories, you might find that you feel more capable to lift heavier weights. 

When it comes to reps and sets, that is up to your goals. It is common to see athletes lower the number of reps they are doing so they can increase the overall weight being lifted. 


Here are a few of my essentials:

Protein- You’re going to need to increase your intake. Personally, I can barely make it to my protein goal without a protein powder added in. If that’s you too, stock up so that it’s available to you. Here is a link to protein supplements!

Rest- It’s so important to rest between sessions. A lot of muscle mass is being built during the time you are resting. Remember that resting is just as essential to progress as doing the actual lifting is too.

Community- There is nothing better than having people support you while you go through this journey! Find a Girl Gains chapter near you! 

A Tracker- During a bulk it can be so helpful to record how many sets and reps of each exercise were done so that you can start to increase the weight you’re lifting as you keep bulking. 

Whether or not you're bulking this season, keep showing up, and getting stronger! You can do this!


Vanessa Best

Vanessa is a certified personal trainer. You’ll never find her far from the gym! She loves hoddies, pine trees, gardening, and meeting new people. Follow her on Instagram @wellnesswithvan.

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