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The Winter Bulk: Mass Workout Routine

For most bodybuilders, winter is also known as bulking season. The time of year when you spend time in the gym training hard and increasing your calorie intake to pack on the size. Shredding season is over, and it’s time to build up your larger frame before summer comes back around.

Following a training plan that includes a high level of compound lifts, and a diet plan which involves a high caloric surplus, you’ll pack on the size pretty quickly. Protein nutrition experts, MaxiNutrition have prepared an easy-to-follow routine that will help you gain the size you need during this bulking season.

Eat more calories
But keep it healthy. Caloric surplus is key during bulking season, but be aware of the nutritional info regarding the food you are eating. Like other nutrition plans, still stick to your three main macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and good fats.

Swap refined carbohydrates for wholegrains, fizzy drinks for water and sweets for greens. And you’ll need to keep your protein levels high at all times. We recommend you utilise protein supplements such as a post-workout protein shake to boost your protein levels after a training session.

Whilst you need to eat more, bulking season is no excuse to pig out on poor quality food. Keep it healthy.

Rest more
When training, especially weight training, you need to give your muscles ample time to repair before your next training session. Without enough rest, your muscles can go into a state of catabolism as a result of the stress hormone, cortisol. Don’t skip your rest day, and ensure you get plenty of sleep.

Compounds are King
Whilst a lot of training guides suggest combining a good mixture of compounds lifts and isolation lifts into your workout, when it comes to bulking, compounds are king. These lifts apply the most amount of pressure on your central nervous system, which encourages a release of muscle building hormones. Not only that, but they target the most amount of muscle groups in one singular motion.

The four-week programme
Because mass is goal, it’s best two split a four-week routine into two separate weeks: the first a strength routine, and secondly, a volume routine.

The strength phase:

Fit rest days in where desired. In the second week, up the weight amount anywhere between 1-5kg.

Day 1 – Back

  • 5 x 8 Barbell Shrug
  • 5 x 8 Dumbbell Raise
  • 3 x 8 Deadlift
  • 5 x 8 Bent Over-Rows
  • 3 x 6 Pull-Ups

Day 2 – Chest

  • 5 x 6 Bench Press
  • 5 x 8 Pec Flys
  • 5 x 6 Incline Bench
  • 5 x 8 Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

Day 3 – Legs

  • 3 x 8 Barbell Squat
  • 5 x 8 Leg Extension
  • 5 x 8 Dumbbell Lunges
  • 3 x 8 Front Squats

Day 4 – Arms And Shoulders

  • 3 x 8 Military Press
  • 5 x 8 EZ Bar Bicep Curls
  • 5 x 8 Overhead Tricep Extensions
  • 3 x 8 Chin-Ups

The volume phase:

This phase focuses on volume to induce hypertrophy. Ensure you’re lifting a weight that leaves you fatigued by the end of each set.

Day 1 – Back

  • 5 x 12 Barbell Shrug
  • 5 x 12 Dumbbell Raise
  • 3 x 10 Deadlift
  • 5 x 12 Bent Over-Rows
  • 3 x 10 Pull Ups

Day 2 – Chest

  • 3 x 10 Bench Press
  • 5 x 12 Pec Flys
  • 3 x 10 Incline Bench
  • 5 x 12 Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

Day 3 – Legs

  • 3 x 10 Barbell Squat
  • 5 x 12 Leg Extension
  • 5 x 12 Dumbbell Lunges
  • 3 x 12 Front Squats
  • 5 x 12 Seated Leg Curls

Day 4 – Arms And Shoulders

  • 3 x 12 Military Press
  • 5 x 12 EZ Bar Bicep Curls
  • 5 x 12 Overhead Tricep Extensions
  • 5 x 12 Dumbbell Shrugs
  • 3 x 10 Chin-Ups

If you repeat this routine over a few months, you will begin to see some great results. Remember to keep your protein levels high so that your body can repair between workouts. Hit the gym hard this winter and you’ll emerge with more mass and a better route into the summer shred.

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