Bulk diet What is it, and how to do it

Every person who goes to the gym should be straightforward that diet is critical in gaining volume and increasing lean muscle mass.

However, a beginner usually makes mistakes, the most common: being excess protein. Just as it is essential to know that a diet focused on muscle volume does not necessarily imply the use of sports supplements.

This article describes how to do an inexpensive bulk diet with a sample menu. Combining it with a gym routine will guarantee good results in achieving muscle growth.

// Read: Nutrition rules to gain muscle mass

Bulk Diet: What is it, and how is it done?

A volume diet is a type of diet aimed at gaining muscle mass.

When doing a bulk diet, the first thing to fix is ​​the number of calories and the ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. These are two parameters that must be correctly established to increase muscle volume.

A common mistake when going on a bulk diet is to focus exclusively on protein. Although the importance of proteins cannot be denied, they should not be the predominant macro.

On a bulk diet, complex carbohydrates should be the main component of your energy source. It is carbohydrates and not proteins that can restore muscle glycogen stores.

Bulking Diet – What to Eat to Increase Lean Muscle Mass?

The foods that should not be lacking in a bulk diet are cereals and pseudo-cereals (these should be 60% of the total fare. Proteins come second: meats, lean cheeses, eggs, tofu. And finally, fats and oils vegetables: rapeseed, olive or coconut oil. Below are three tips for food selection on a bulk diet:

  1. Many bowls of cereal, pseudo- cereals, and vegetables

To increase performance in physical exercise, an abundant amount of pseudo-cereals and vegetables should be included. Oatmeal for breakfast is one of the best options on a bulk diet and is inexpensive.

  1. Healthy oils and fats

The healthy fats of vegetable oils (coconut oil, olive, canola, etc.) are the foods that will guarantee the correct hormonal synthesis. Fats play an essential role in synthesizing hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone.

  1. Proteins of high biological value

In a diet of volume, the proteins must be of high quality. To verify the quality of the proteins, the amino acid profile must be evaluated. Including proteins of high biological value: eggs, and milk, it is essential to increase the volume.

The proportion of macros on a bulking diet

In a volume diet, the fats must contribute around 30% of the total calories, mainly from vegetable oils. Carbohydrates with a medium or low glycemic index should contribute about 55%.

While proteins should provide 20% of the total caloric intake. (6) These numbers are the basis of a bulking diet to increase muscle mass.

Recommendations like: ” to gain muscle mass and volume, you need to eat as much protein as possible ” are a thing of the past. Emphasizing high-quality carbohydrates is a basic rule of thumb in a muscle-building diet.

The percentage of macros on a bulk diet is:

Calculation of calories to increase muscle mass

The first step in building a bulk diet is calculating calories. While counting calories exactly does not make sense. Having an idea of ​​the total calories of your food is essential to bulking your muscles.

To achieve muscle gain, an excess of calories of 10-15% is recommended. (5,6)

A 25-30-year-old man who is approximately 180 cm tall needs at least 2500-2700 kcal per day. An excess amount of calories will lead to an increase in the percentage of body fat.

On a bulk diet, carbohydrate sources should be primarily complex carbohydrates. Including oats, buckwheat, and amaranth in the diet is a simple and inexpensive way to cover the number of nutrients.

Volume diet example menu

It is essential to clarify that the following menu is an example. A professional volume diet should be personalized for each case.

BreakfastCoffee 200 mL
Almonds 20 g
Banana 1 unit
Oats 80 g
2 Whites
1 Egg
Whole milk 200 mL
1 tablespoon of maca
    LunchChicken breast with buckwheat and vegetables
Chicken fillet 150 g
Buckwheat 170 g
Rapeseed oil 30 mL
Broccoli 150 g
Tomatoes 200 g
Fruit 1 unit
    Afternoon snackProtein smoothie 200 cc
Fruit 1 unit
Fresh cheese 40 g
Wholemeal bread 3 slices
(Optional bcaa or creatine)
      priceBaked meat
with whole wheat pasta
Filet of meat 200 g
Parmesan cheese 15 g
Whole wheat pasta 150 g
Coconut oil 30 mL
Tomato sauce
2 pieces of dark chocolate
Fruit 1 unit

To increase muscle mass, proteins are not the most important thing.

They claim that protein should be the predominant component in a bulking diet is a mistake. Studies suggest that 1.5-2.0g of protein per kilogram of body weight is more than enough. (1,2,6)

On a bulk diet for a man weighing 70-75 kg, a maximum of 140-160 grams of protein is needed per day.

Exceeding the amount of protein will not provide any additional benefit in volume. However, in economic terms, the calories from protein foods are always more expensive than the calories from oils, cereals, or fruits.

Sports supplements in a bulking diet

On a bulking diet, supplements can be seen as an aid. However, they should not be the essential component. A whey protein shake, although it can help increase muscle mass, can be ideally replaced by foods rich in protein, like eggs or meats.

Creatine is allowed in a bulking diet to improve muscle power and performance. Taking creatine monohydrate correctly is considered safe for health. However, if taken in excess, it can have side effects. (3,4)

Another ideal supplement to increase volume is gainers or mass gainers. To increase the volume without fat, the portions should be respected as much as possible before and after training.

Bulking diet for teens

First, we recall that adolescents under 18 years of age are not recommended to perform muscle hypertrophy exercises with excessive loads. This can cause damage to the spine and make it challenging to develop body height.

As for the teen volume diet, it is the same as for adults. Attention should be paid to excess sugar (mainly from sweets and sodas). As well as avoiding industrial foods and fast food (French fries, pizza, and French fries).

Although indulging yourself from time to time does not cause significant changes in increasing muscle mass, the more natural and varied the diet, the better. At this stage of life is when the increase in muscle mass is more accessible due to the rise in hormone levels.


The main rule of thumb on a bulk diet is to increase your daily caloric intake by 15-20%. In other words, you must be on a hypercaloric diet.

In a properly balanced volume diet, carbohydrates should provide 55% of the total calorie intake, 30% from healthy fats, and 15-20% from proteins.

A common mistake in a bulking diet is emphasizing only the amount of protein. Several investigations confirm that more than 1.5-2.0 g of protein per kilo of bodyweight will not bring additional benefits in terms of volume.

Foods with a high glycemic index: sugar, and honey, among others, should be limited to 10% of the total as well as the consumption of trans fats should be reduced to the maximum.

When the goal is not only to increase lean muscle mass but to eliminate body fat, it is best to exercise with body weight and reduce calorie consumption. (See diet for men to lose weight )

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