A lot of guys come to us asking different versions of the same question: “I want to get bigger but not get fatter, can I do it?” Of course you can! There's a lot of misinformation and confusion out there about how to properly “clean bulk”. Or about how to effectively gain muscle while minimizing fat. So we decided to make this guide to help you on your muscle building journey. You won't get big as fast, but you will stay lean while you grow if you follow this method… The Red Supplements Bulking Diet Guide: How To Prepare For Your Bulk Bulking follows the same principles of cutting, just in reverse. Once you understand how one works, the other one becomes much easier to learn about. Weight loss or weight gain is determined by your calorie intake vs calorie expenditure. To gain weight you need to know your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). Find your TDEE using this calculator: https://manytools.org/handy/bmr-calculator/ The Harris-Benedict Formula is the most accurate* Plug in all the corresponding values for your age, weight, activity level, etc. Now you have your “Total Daily Energy Expenditure”. This section shows you exactly how many calories your body requires each day to stay the same weight. Now that you have your TDEE you can use this number as your benchmark for your maintenance level of calories. To bulk up without gaining fat, you start by eating your TDEE maintenance calories and add 300 calories. By eating more calories than your body expends each day, you can slowly add more lean muscle mass to your frame and get the scale going up. It is very common for people to add 500+ calories to their TDEE right off the bat, sometimes even 1000 calories, but this is a recipe for disaster! Adding too many calories right away is how you get extremely fat extremely quickly. Far too many people are guilty of this and it accounts for why so many people end up simply out of shape after a bulk. You should never completely lose sight of your abs. If you literally cannot see your abs anymore, then you have gotten too fat and need to cut back down again. The key is to only add a slight surplus, then let your body adapt to the increased caloric intake over the next few weeks. When your weight gain plateaus that's when you can add another 100-200 calories to your total calorie intake. By slowly adding to your calorie surplus only when you plateau, you will gain MUCH leaner weight, and offset a ton of unnecessary fat gain. Eat what your body needs to grow, AND THAT’S IT! No more calories are necessary past that point. All that will happen is you will make yourself fatter, faster. The 40/40/20 Bulking Diet Macro Split: A good standard bulking macronutrient split is the standard 40/40/20 split. This split typically works very well for the vast majority of individuals during their bulk phases. The 40/40/20 split: 40% of calories from protein 40% of calories from carbohydrates 20% of calories from fat An example of how the 40/40/20 split works: For example, lets say that you have a TDEE of 2730 calories. So, the benchmark for starting this bulk diet will be 3030 calories (2730 + 300). So, to find your protein requirements you just need to multiply your total calories (3,030) by .40 (40%). 3030 x .40 = 1212 protein calories. What's important to know now is how many calories are roughly in each macronutrient. There are 4 calories per gram of protein, 4 calories per gram of carbs and 9 calories per gram of fat. To find out the grams of protein needed you just take the calorie requirement and divide it by 4. Therefore if you need 1212 protein calories, take 1212 and divide it by 4 to get the amount of grams of protein you need. 1212 divided by 4 equals 303. So, now you know that you need 303 grams of protein. In this example you will want to eat, 303 grams of protein (1212 calories), 303 grams of carbs (1212 carbs), and 67 grams of fat (606 calories) for a total of 3,030 calories per day. Remember, this is just an estimate and the final breakdown of your diet will likely be different. However, using this macronutrient split and breakdown gives a very concrete target to aim for when deciding how much food you should eat everyday. About carbohydrates while bulking A lot of people have differing opinions about whether or not to include carbs in their bulking diets. We recommend carb use in bulking diets but not in cutting diets. (Check out the Red Supplements no carbohydrate cutting diet here.) There is a reason why they are called “carboHYDRATES”. Carbs effectively hydrate your muscles, helping to pull water and nutrients into your muscles when you need them the most. This is fantastic when you are pushing your body hard and trying to build muscle. While your diet must be tailored to you based on your goals and your body type, IN GENERAL, if you are trying to gain muscle eating carbs is a good way to go. Carbs help to spike your insulin levels after you eat them, further helping to shuttle nutrients directly into your muscle to improve your muscular recovery & hypertrophy. A Daily Example Of The Red Supplements Bulking Diet: This is an daily diet based on the example above, requiring 3,030 calories per day and following a 40/40/20 split. Wake up: Drink a big glass of water. Take 5 grams of creatine monohydrate upon waking Bulking Meal 1: 6 Omega-3 eggs (each egg is 70 calories, 6 grams protein, 5 grams fat) 1 cup Oatmeal (each 1/3 cup is 120 calories, 4 grams protein, 20 grams carbs) 1 cup of frozen mixed fruits in the Oatmeal (75 calories, 21 grams carbs) 1 capsule of Red Growth Bulking Meal 2 (Pre-Workout Meal 1 hour before): 7 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast (each ounce is 30 calories, 7 grams protein, 0.5 grams fat) 1.5 cups brown or white rice (each cup is 205 calories, 45 grams carbs, 4 grams protein) 1 serving of veggies (trace calories) Bulking Meal 3 (Post-Workout Meal): 7 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast (each ounce is 30 calories, 7 grams protein, 0.5 grams fat) 2 cups brown or white rice (each cup is 205 calories, 45 grams carbs, 4 grams protein) 1 serving of veggies 1 capsule of Red Growth Bulking Meal 4: 2 cups extra lean ground turkey (each half cup is 140 calories, 20 grams protein, 1.5 grams fat) 1.5 cups brown or white rice 1 serving of veggies 1 capsule of Red Growth Bulking Meal 5 (Shake before bed): 2 scoops whey isolate (105 calories per scoop, 25 grams protein) Total calories and macros: Calories: 3070 Protein: 300 grams Carbs: 306 grams Fat: ~ 50 grams Nutrition labels will likely differ slightly from your original rough estimates, so… Always use the nutrition labels of the foods you are eating to make exact calculations. As long as your protein/carb/fat estimates are close, that is what is important. There's no need to go insane weighting out and micromanaging every single thing you put into your body. Obviously different foods have an unlimited amount of macro combinations, so getting your macros to be EXACT can be near impossible–just make sure you are as close as possible. For gaining muscle the most important thing which needs to be as close to accurate as possible is your protein intake and your total calorie intake. If you miscalculate your calories and start overeating by a few hundred calories, you will start packing on unnecessary fat and have no clue why. Make sure you count accurately! If you want to add sugar free condiments to your meals like hot sauce or mustard, or add spices and herbs to your meals, by all means do that, you just need to ensure you are not exceeding your calorie goal for the day. This diet is so effective for building muscle because… The high protein and high carbohydrate content fuels your workouts and recovery. The slight caloric surplus has you eating only what you need to gain muscle AND NO MORE. Keep that in mind when you are constructing your own diet. You don’t need to choose the exact same foods we did, this is just an example to follow regarding allocating macros and hitting a calorie target each day. Once your calorie intake starts rising and you are finding it hard to get more food in, we suggest swapping some of your chicken and turkey for extra lean ground beef. Or changing your chicken from chicken breast to chicken thighs. Red meat is more calorie dense than white meat, and slowly introducing it into your diet while slowly tapering the white meat out of your diet is a good way to get your calorie intake to go up without having to drastically alter your diet. How To Train And How Much Cardio To Do While Bulking: You should be hitting the gym at least 4-5x per week, and training each body part adequately at least once per week (chest, back, shoulders, traps, abs, legs, calves, biceps, triceps, forearms). For cardio, you can definitely taper it off as burning calories via extra cardiovascular exercise will mean you need to eat more calories to pack on weight. However, it is definitely something you should still keep in your regimen. Doing cardio 2-3 times per week is recommended as it will maintain your heart health, improve your metabolism, as well as increase your appetite. Plus, there are some great versions of cardio that you can do to help gain muscle asap. Eating a lot of clean food can be especially difficult during a bulk, and a lot of guys slip and start eating garbage-filled, junk food loaded with bad fats and sugar to reach their caloric surplus… This is NOT the way to go about packing on lean tissue and keeping fat gains to a minimum, so I definitely recommend keeping cardio in so you can promote a consistently strong appetite. Through the continuous process of slowly adding in more quality calories each time you plateau, you can: Continue to get bigger and bigger Keep your insulin sensitivity in check Keep fat gains to a minimum maximize your muscle gain potential (IMPORTANT) SUPPLEMENTS YOU SHOULD USE WHILE BULKING You want to build as much muscle as quickly as possible, right? There's no shame in that. If you're willing to give it your all with your diet & training, then you should also be looking into ways to help maximize all of the efforts you are putting in to build the body of your dreams. Here's a simple list with our recommendations for supplements that you should take to get the most out of your bulk. 1. RED GROWTH Red Growth Can Help You Build Bigger & Stronger Muscles ASAP In A Legal And Safe Way! Red Growth Is A Premium Anabolic Bulking Supplement. Red Growth is a muscle building and strength boosting supplement that actually works. Red Growth combines an anabolic preprohormone stack with a testosterone promoting base to help optimize your muscle building potential. Here’s what Red Growth Can help You With: Increases Lean Muscle Mass Boosts Strength Reduces Stored Fat Increases Testosterone Promotes Protein Synthesis Improves Sense of Well-Being Red Growth helps build lean muscle. On Red Growth it would not be unusual for you to gain 5 – 10 pounds of lean muscle mass in as little as 4 weeks. Red Growth helps boost strength. While using Red Growth you may notice as much as a 10-15% increase on your bench press, back squat and deadlifts during a single cycle. Red Growth helps reduce stored fat. By activating your androgen receptors, Red Growth helps to improve the way your body metabolizes fat, leading to increased fat loss. 2. WHEY PROTEIN Whey protein is a bodybuilding staple for a reason. It works. It is single handedly one of the best sources of bioavailable protein that you can consume. Combine it with the fact that it is pretty cheap and can be modified to fit anyone's taste buds, Whey protein is a MUST HAVE in any bodybuilder's arsenal. (Unfortunately we have discontinued our line of RED PROTEIN. However, there are many other great protein options out there for you to check out!) 3. (Optional) CREATINE Creatine Monohydrate is extremely cheap and 5 grams of it a day is something that works well for improving muscular fullness and strength. It helps you gain bigger, more full, pumps in the gym. Helps improve ATP activation in your muscle cells, (meaning your muscles get more energy), and it works to help shuttle nutrients & water into your muscle faster, leading to faster recovery. It is a great additional supplement that literally has all upside and no downside. Simple take 5g of it once per day, whenever you want to, and you're good to go. We hoped you enjoyed this big bulking diet guide. As always if you have any questions or comments regarding this post, dieting, training, our products, or fitness in general, leave a comment below and we will get back to you!