Bulking Cycle and High Protein Smoothie Recipe


In order to gain mass, or muscle, you must increase your caloric intake. All people have a basic metabolic rate in which they burn calories throughout their day. The basal metabolic rate is different for everyone and is calculated based upon current height and weight and typical daily activity. Depending on the goal, the rate in which calories are consumed through food and beverage can be adjusted to fit certain needs. For example, if an individual has a basic metabolic rate of 2,000 calories per day and wishes to gain mass, they can adjust their intake to consume more calories in order to gain weight over a certain period of time. When discussing physique it is important to remember that the number on the scale is not relative to physical appearance. Two people can weigh the same, but present drastically different physiques. A common misconception is that one must eat drastically less in order to present a more appealing physique. While this may be true for some, the majority of people only need to adjust their caloric intake slightly (along with exercise), in order to achieve their desired results. 

In the health and fitness community, the action of intentionally eating over one’s basal metabolic rate in order to gain mass is referred to as “bulking”. Bulking happens when an individual’s food intake is aggressively increased (typically for the use of strength sports such as weight lifting) in order to increase muscle mass over a short period of time.

There are two types of bulking: “dirty” and “clean/lean”. 

Dirty Bulking happens when an individual consumes high volumes of unhealthy or processed foods over a short period of time. Processed foods are typically higher in calories and allot for a fast consumption of calories in smaller quantities. This method of bulking has been proven effective, but with a higher percentage of fat gain alongside muscle growth.

Clean/lean bulking
consists of the same action, however instead of consuming processed foods, the individual mainly consumes “healthy” or natural foods in order to gain mass. This is more difficult as natural foods are typically lower in calories, thus the individual must consume more calories in order to consistently surpass their basal metabolic rate. Although dirty bulking is much easier, I personally prefer the results of clean bulking in the long run. Below is a recipe for a smoothie that is perfect for a clean/lean bulk. 

High Protein Tropical Smoothie


½ cup fresh or unsweetened frozen strawberries

½ cup fresh or unsweetened frozen mango

½ cup fresh or unsweetened frozen pineapple

½ cup almond milk

½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons oat bran

2 pitted dried dates


  1. Add all ingredients to blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Enjoy

Nutritional Information: 

According to MyFitnessPal, this smoothie contains approximately: 370 calories, 2 g fat, 80 g carbs, 2 mg cholesterol, 115 mg sodium, 10 g fiber, 65 g sugars, 20 g protein