The Winter Bulk Up Finale

It’s been two months now and my goals have been reached, let’s talk recap.

When I started out the winter bulk up, I was pretty leaned out at 182 lbs and ~8% body fat. I had been riding the leangains bandwagon for half a year and was both as lean as I ever thought I could get and as lean as I ever wanted to be. After reading around a little bit, it only made sense to try for a quick bulk up to capitalize off of my leanness. In addition to now stuffing myself () and eating all hours of the day, I was going to switch from low rep-high weight strength training to high rep-medium weight volume training.

A month in, my optimism and excitement turned out to be well founded. While I was still finding my groove volume training wise, my numbers rose steadily each week and I had put on 10 pounds since starting. The addition of the mass gainer helped immensely, and every day I was in the gym I was amazed- there seemed to be no limit to my progress.

Now, almost exactly two months later, I’ve hit my weight goal. I wanted to put on twenty pounds, and I stepped off the scale last Friday at 203. The fact that I put on 21 pounds in a month is kind of mind boggling to be honest, but I do have to be realistic about it. Assuming even a best case scenario of 3-4 pounds of actual muscle gained, that leaves 16-17 pounds of straight up fat. Nonetheless, it was necessary to get the gains I did in such a short time and it doesn’t bother me one bit.

Training wise, I finally started to hit those “ceilings” I talked about in the Bulk Update where I wouldn’t be moving up set weights every week. Instead of hitting my 12 rep goal for the first set and moving up weight the next week, I’d get maybe 10 or so before hitting 12 the next week. Even then, it’s still awesome that I am adding at least two reps a week to my first sets on a consistent basis. My biggest gains came in Dumbbell Bench- 110×12 last week- Shrugs- 315×12 last week- and Squats 275×10 last week. If you compare those to my numbers at the Bulk Update you can see that my progress has been fan-fucking-tastic. I am so impressed with my progress with volume training that I plan on continuing it for at least another month because stopping now would just be retarded.

This bulk up is one of the best things I have done for my training- not just for the gains I got in such a short time, but because I expanded my knowledge and experience with volume training, making me a better lifter all around. It was good to step outside of the low rep-high weight mindset for a bit and try other things out, and I foresee much more volume vs strength variation in my future. In fact… *spoiler alert*… the German Volume Training method is probably going to get a tryout, just sayin’.

182 lbs

203 lbs

From the back

Now, if I could end with some random thoughts I have after these two months on the good and the bad-

  • I do love being above 200 again, even if it’s not lean.
  • I hate not having my abs show, even though I am above 200 again.
  • With an extra medium v-neck on, that 203 is pretty imposing looking. The bulk up was *directly* responsible for my newest girl. Muscle game heyooo! And they say that shit doesn’t work…
  • Despite having a generally flawless complexion I started getting acne again. Not too much, but annoying nonetheless.
  • Protein, protein, protein. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to bulk or not you need to be eating shit loads of protein daily.
  • By last week I had reached a point where I hated eating, and I’m glad I hit my 20 pound goal when I did.
  • I probably won’t eat rice for awhile.
  • That mass gainer is a must because eating clean and getting a calorie surplus is taxing as fuck.
  • I took mega shits this entire time. Just ask Bronan. Some of those shitpics I sent him almost made me gag.
  • My volume on deadlifts was way too high and I tempted fate injury wise, tweaking my lower back. In retrospect I feel like a total moron but luckily nothing bad happened and I just had to take a week off of deads to be safe. Volume was reduced to two sets of 8 and 6.
  • I can’t wait to…*more spoiler alerts*… cut down again. Not just to get lean but to see how much of my bulk up was actual muscle.

For those of you who were following along with the winter bulk up, I’d love to hear your results. For those of you who weren’t bulking, I’d still love to hear your results over this winter period. This is the time of the year that everyone gets their gym on, and hopefully everyone’s got their eyes on that summer beach game.

Swole Life.

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About The Author

They call me Fly, Fresh, and Young. Gym rat by day, lecherous drunkass by night. Follow me on Twitter @nate_moneyh.


  1. Francis Begbie January 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Fair fucks to you mate.

    I’ve been on a ketogenic diet (Chaos and Pain’s Aphex Predator Diet) for the past two or three weeks. Been averaging about 2500-3500 calores (alog with juicing), with about twice that on cheat days. I’ve gained about 5 pounds, but a bulker might be worth looking into no doubt. But yeah, we’ll see how it plays out. 6ft and 163 pounds.

  2. Zeus January 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Cutting macros?

    • Nate January 22, 2013 at 1:51 am

      I’ll be cutting back down on the carbs. Protein and fat will remain high

  3. Bronan The Barbarian! January 21, 2013 at 2:52 pm


  4. Virgle Kent January 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Man, not to sound like a homo but you crushed it. “I’m mirin, brah”. Even though you lost the six pack it’s not like you got a pot belly or anything so you’re fine on that. Traps, shoulders and arms are def in beast mode so that got your swole on point. It would be interesting to see if there was a difference if you’d done the gain but did low rep high weight (but that’s what I did). but 20lbs in 2 months is great work. Let’s see how the cut up goes.

    My post is coming on Monday

  5. goy January 21, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    acne was it from a supplement when you were bulking…please not steroids

    i was looking around youtube and getting conflicting results about soreness to bulk says you have to be sore after a workout to get gains another says it doesnt which is it?

    • Nate January 22, 2013 at 1:56 am

      Acne from eating tons of food.
      And yeah soreness is good. When you start out it’s unavoidable and you should be sore as fuck, but even after you get going you should be a little sore the next day after working out. If you’re not, you’re not pushing yourself

      • Virgle Kent January 22, 2013 at 7:10 am

        The Acne comes from increase testosterone (from eating but lifting heavier weights). The testosterone is a hormone and hormone fluctuation or rise does lead to increase acne.Plane and simple

  6. Kobayashi January 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Incorporate high intensity cardio, you gon trim up you mid section, also drop had fat, throw on on green n them love handles shrink.

  7. YouSoWould January 23, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Good work on the increases in your lifts mate.

    I don’t think you were quite 8% in that first pic, unless it’s not the relevant one? You look more in the 10-11% range there. I made the same mistake of underestimating my body fat, until I saw some good comparison images ( for example).

    Can I ask why you abandoned the LeanGains protocol? It seems that you could have achieved the same strength and muscle mass gains with a fraction of the fat gains in the same timeframe by sticking to LeanGains, but merely switching over to the “Slow Bulking” macros instead of the “Cutting” ones.


    • Nate January 24, 2013 at 2:01 am

      I thought I’d give a clean version of the traditional bulk a shot, and it worked pretty well. Despite my enthusiasm for leangains, it’s not a be all and end all and I have doubts that I could have gotten the results I did on it (hence why I didn’t).
      Besides, cutting back down isn’t that hard and most definitely isn’t the end of the world.

      • YouSoWould January 24, 2013 at 5:18 am

        Fair enough – I’m a big fan of LeanGains after how I dropped from about 18% bf to 9% in a little over 12 weeks. I’ve seen results of people bulking pounds of completely lean muscle using the slow bulking macros, so I’m going to give it a shot, starting this week actually. I’ll post up my progress after a couple of months, it’ll be interesting to see how it compares.

  8. AR January 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Dear Slacker/ Krispy / FFY,

    Are you still a big drinker? Isn’t that extra calories?

  9. Titan January 25, 2013 at 1:19 am

    nice, now it’s time to stay over 200 but lean

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