Instructables
Picture of How to Bulk Up
In this Instructable, I take you through one of the processes of gaining muscle mass (there are many). This method involves resistance (weight) training and nutrition. This style is termed "Natural Bodybuilding" because of the fact that it doesn't involve supplements of any kind (i.e. anything recommended in the nutrition section can be found at any normal grocery store).

First and foremost I'd like to stress the importance of safety for people ready to begin a training program. As with any form of exercise, it is greatly advised to consult with a doctor in order to ensure your safety while putting your body under new (and tougher) conditions.

With that said, congratulations on having this much drive to begin a training regimen, and let's begin.
 
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Step 1: Knowledge is Power

Picture of Knowledge is Power
This is by far the most important information in this Instructable:

You know your body better than anyone else

and

Every body is different

I would recommend strongly against taking any one source of information as truth (including this Instructable!). What works for some other people may not work for you. Self-knowledge is VERY valuable when you are working out. Much of the time that building muscle and strength is used figuring what works for you. As you advance in your training, you will learn more and more about your body, its strengths and weaknesses and how it will respond to different exercises, weights, rest periods, and other variables.

I would recommend having (or acquiring) some knowledge on nutrition, anatomy, and resistance training in general. These can be found in workout manuals (big books which look like telephone books). These are good for reference and getting new ideas for different workouts and exercises to put in your routine.
JP84685 months ago
Bodybuilding.com is a great source to find all the question you have.
JP84685 months ago
Good intentions, but to bulk up and gain muscle and weight you would do hardly any cardio. All your doing is burning calories your body needs. Diet makes up the majority of anything whether it's slimming down, building lean muscle or mass gaining. I do recommend taking in quite a bit of complex carbs like sweet potatoes. It's also important you do the right amount of repetitions with the right amount of weight. I do 80% of my max for 8 reps and five to six sets.
jshsmith2 years ago
Cardio first, then weights.

Lions in the wild sprint before they kill their prey, then eat a huge meal of protein, followed of course by a nap.

Any health report you read will say this, just using more words and science jargon.
I've read the contrary to your method of "cardio first, then weights." Doing both is of course going to be great for your health but there are a lot of critics towards this order because your body needs its energy stores most when doing weights and by doing cardio first you are burning off this "short burst" energy (think creatine and glucose stores).

I also would consider switching the fat free and whole milk so that you are not blunting the insulin surge brought on by the sugar in the milk with the fat from the whole milk on days you train. This is in theory, because the insulin surge helps push nutrients/protein into your starving/broken down muscles and aids in protein synthesis.

Also, it is a mistake to directly apply the habits of animals to human beings. Animals can be a great reference point for the study of behavior but don't forget the complexity man.
I like your good intentions, however this is an ineffective guide. Bodyweight exercises lack the ability to add weight (assuming most people will be doing them at home), this means linear progression is impossible. Linear progression is the most effective way for a novice to, 'bulk up' and it takes advantage of their ability to adapt quickly.
Do you have any other harder workouts you recommend? I can do sets of 50 pushups without much problems, 20 pullups, v-ups, and 25 dip sets. Any added suggestions? I've been doing weighted pullups and dips recently.
btw remember to train ur back. its done doing bridges test it out
bridges are easy
well then go from handstand to bridge to standing that aint easy :P
still no problem, I can do those easily. Try planche pushups,now those are hard.
do one arm push ups. if u cant do knee one armed pushups and go from that. with pullups (chinups whateva) its the same thing grip the bar with one hand and then grip ur arm with ur other hand then pull urself up. sholders i recommend handstand pushups start with a wall thou
Robnelson2 years ago
It takes 4000 calories to gain a pound. You have to eat a dramatically larger amount of food if you want to put on pounds and "bulk up". If you are working out as well (using the exercises in the next steps), you can be burning more calories than you think (3000 calories a day), and then you can have a tough time gaining weight.

That's why many weight lifters drink protein shakes or eat lots of egg whites. An easy way to get more calories without buying nutritional supplements is to drink milk. You can buy a gallon of milk for $3-4. A gallon of milk is 16 servings at 120 calories each = 2000 calories. If you drink 2 additional gallons of milk a week, you can gain about 1 pound a week.
Excellent information! I recommend 1 gallon of fat free milk and 1 gallon of whole milk a week, the fat free for days in which you are not working any major muscles, the whole milk for days with vigorous workouts.
borges01054 years ago
hello, i want to start working out but i have no clue in how many of each exercise i should do?
When you workout you want to focus on 2 or 3 body parts a day. Do 3 sets of 10 reps with a some what heavy weight. Rep to failure. More than 15 reps and the weight is too light. Do cardio after you hit the weights. Drink whey protein often. Even walmart has a good cheap protein. U want to take in 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Stay consistent and watch the muscles grow.
I don't have any way to add weight, any suggestions?
Until you feel it, hard.
that's what she said
Try what we call "pyramids". Do 30. Then 30 crunches. then 25 push ups. then 25 crunches. decrease by 5 for each until you get down to 5, then work your way back up to 30. I do that with my soldiers every morning (along with a lot of other stuff). Army PT works!
could u tell me some of those other stuff?
talk to a trainer at a gym! they usually give you advice based on you without charge. if your serious about this invest in one.
milamber4 years ago
hay im 16 and curently way about 50 kg and do light work outs at home with a weekly 4 hour continuas session of rockclimbing as well as running at least 2km per day and have gained over 4kg since 1/august 2009 and i have found that coconut milk/cream is great for protein and i take a bottle of coconut milk and a 2ltr camel pack fool of water this keeps me well hydrated and nutrient levels at a prime (i can now lift easily 2x waht i could befor i started this workout scheem
Nice job, I've been gaining around 2.5lbs a month for the 6 months, I'm 15 and weigh 160 now. I used to rockclimb alot but haven't recently. What workout do you do? I do gymnastics and basic conditioning.
Thats about 8 stone ! jeez im 13 and 48 kg already ! Although much of thats a chocolate belly!
Tom Buckey4 years ago
Which, in your opinion, is the hardest between under grip pull ups or just normal pull ups?
Under hand pull ups recruit your biceps and latissimus dorsi  which make them easier. Wide grip overhand pull ups isolate the latissimus dorsi more so, making them do the majority of the work.
Yeah, the different grips at different locations work your back in different ways. Like wide grip works out your lats especially your lower lats while closer grip focuses on upper lats and also more on the rotary cuff (back of shoulder) and rhombius (maybe I named it wrong but they're the muscles between your shoulder blades). My workout is 12 reps of chinups, then 12 pullups, then finish with a burnout of chinups. And sometimes on "in between" days or days where my lats burn too much but I want to work my biceps and upper back I do those alternating pullups that you grip your hands close along the bar and you pull your head up alternatively on each side of the bar.
Yeah overhand are a bit harder, it flexes your bicep differently
They are different. Chinups use your biceps more, overhand uses your back and lats more.
Under hand pullups? - that'd be a chin wouldn't it?
AustralLord3 years ago
It also works your pecs, back of shoulders, and the muscles in between your shoulder blades (rhombi I think); and like pushups, you can variate the grip width for different targeting (close grip for for pecs and wider for "rhombi" an shoulders)
for legs try doing bodyweight squats and step ups on a box..
ged13 years ago
Hi there - just joined Instructables today - and I couldn't agree more with you - there is a lot of really bad instruction on line, in forums and in the mainstream bodybuilding press. I read a copy of Flex recently, and I counted over 300 ads for bodybuilding supplements in a 350 page magazine! This proves that they don't have your best interests at heart. They often recommend dangerous exercises as safe too....... (EG upright row, pressing behind the neck and so on. Just mu 2 cents worth! Ged www.bodybuildingthatworks.com
borges01053 years ago
Can any body tell me what I should be doing cause, I really want to have a better body now, I am 6'2 168lbs skinny looking, but I just dont know where to start from, the article gave alot of tips and I wanted to find out what I could do more(like exercises, and how many per set)...THX
cheezwhiz3 years ago
I see it mentioned here, but it bears reiteration - you need to incorporate leg work unless you don't have the use of your legs.
Completely agree. Not just for the hormonal increase but, legs help stabilize your body for many other lifts you wouldn't think. Especially if you are doing any sort of dead-lifting or chest work.

One thing of utmost importance is form. Maintaining good form not only prevents injury but prevents other muscle groups being pulled in other than the one you are focusing on.


surfreak5 years ago
Ehh... Incomplete at best. Any body building or strength program will fall far below par without leg work. Heavy squats and lots of calories are synonymous with muscle gain, as they increase hormonal response and work MASSIVE muscle groups. Also, it doesn't matter how much protein you take in past a certain point. It's calories you're really after when you're gaining, not solely protein. Squat heavy and drink a gallon of whole milk a day and I promise you'll get huge. Google and buy or torrent 'Starting Strength' by Mark Rippetoe. Just get ready to drink the SS kool aid.
I don't recommend drinking that much milk.  It raises your chances of developing prostate cancer.  Check the studies.  But I also agree that the intake of protein, (whey) while very benificial, should be calculated depending on your weight and long term goals.  Generally, your caloric intake must be a lot but only from whole natural foods.  Supplements can help, but remember that your body will respond best to real foods.  I speak from experience.  Determine what you need, and find real foods to achieve your nutritional requirements.  This means giving up the beers on the weekends, and getting rid of the chips and processed foods.  A little change in your shopping list will go a long way! :)
mo54 years ago
i hate dips soooo much
cterry5114 years ago
Thanks nice incite.
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