4-Week Muscle Bulking Transformation Plan

Author: Lee Bell

January 30th 2019

There’s nothing better than a shredded, lean and muscular physique… and with this 4-week muscle bulking transformation plan that’s what you’ll get. 

Packing on strong, functional mass is tough. It takes effort, dedication and a solid plan that covers all bases. You have to commit to the journey and live the life fully.

If it was easy, every guy would be walking around boasting 20 inch arms and quads to rival Lee Priest. Bottom line, it’s not for everyone.

But you’re different.

Great bodybuilders know that a successful muscle bulling transformation plan comes down to two things – training and diet. Nail these and your frame will blow up week on week. Not only will you gain strength and more power, you become much more aesthetic too.

Want to build pounds of lean muscle in a few short weeks?

Try this 4-Week Muscle Bulking Transformation Plan and build muscle, strength and confidence.

Goal:Muscle building, strength
Aimed at:Intermediate
Program duration:4 weeks
Workout duration:45-90 minutes
Equipment needed:Barbell, dumbbell, fixed machines

What is a muscle bulk?

A muscle bulking phase is designed to maximize the development of lean mass, strength and functional force production.

Having more muscle mass is never a bad thing.

As cross-sectional area of your skeletal muscle increases, so does the ability to produce force. The result is better athletic performance, strength and even speed. Not only that, but you look great too – imposing, dominant and downright alpha.

Muscle improves health too.

There’s research to suggest that having more muscle protects you from disease, injury and illness. As you age, you naturally lose muscle. Having more muscle at an earlier age allows you to cruise into later life not just looking jacked, but healthier too [1].

Time to bulk…

It’s common practice for athletes and bodybuilders to undertake a ‘bulking cycle’ – a fully-fueled commitment to mass gain that sees you live your life with the sole intention of building more muscle.

For a few intense months, training and diet are switched around to maximize hypertrophy. It’s the happiest time of year for the body builder as it means more food in the kitchen and more iron in the gym. The aim is to lift heavy and eat well to fuel muscle growth.

It’s not unusual to pack on pounds and pounds of pure mass during a muscle bulk.

But it all comes down to the approach…

Dirty bulk or clean bulk: What’s the difference?

The old school muscle bulk involved training hard and pretty much eating everything in sight.

This kind of approach leads to huge increases in muscle mass, but because the calorie surplus is so high, it can also lead to fat mass.

That’s where the name ‘dirty’ bulk. It’s a rough and ready approach to muscle accretion – no real plan for diet, just eat, eat, eat. Burgers, fries, shakes, pizza – it’s all allowed on a dirty bulking plan.

The result of a dirty bulk is a supercharged freak of a physique, but fluffy and overly-fat. And once you’re finished, the next cycle has to be a pretty aggressive weight cut to shred the fat and show off your hard work.

The ‘clean’ bulk is different.

It uses the same method of training, just combines it with a more up-to-date science on muscle building diet. A clean bulk maximizes mass while minimizing fat gain. Imagine not having to cut fat for weeks and weeks after your bulking cycle finishes… that’s what the clean bulk provides.

Benefits include:

  • Less work dropping fat come cutting season
  • It’s healthier to stay lean than to yo-yo your weight
  • You won’t need an aggressive, low-calorie diet to show off your six-pack
  • You can compete in bodybuilding shows more regularly as it won’t take as long to get show ready

The clean bulk is about quality muscle, not just quantity.

Muscle building transformation plan

4-week muscle bulking transformation training plan

In just one month you’ll look bigger and feel better with this all-out strength assault.

4 weeks is more than enough time to seriously change the way you look.

We’re pulling no punches with this transformation plan. We’re focusing on high-volume, high-intensity programming to get the most from your muscles and build athlete-like strength.

This is an intense muscle-building program designed for those with decent conditioning. If you’ve been lifting for at least a few months and are looking to step things up a gear, this is for you.

However, as a beginner this program will chew you up and spit you out. Not only will you run the risk of injury and burnout, there’s a serious chance you’ll overtrain – choose one of our beginner muscle building guides instead, and come back here once you’ve earned your stripes.

If you’re a beginner and looking for something more suitable, check out our muscle building program for beginners.

The basics

This is a real opportunity to build a V-tapered, classic bodybuilder look. In 4 weeks, you might not necessarily be stage ready… but you’ll be well on your way.

You’ll be managing both diet and training with a double-barrel shotgun approach. There’s no stone left unturned in this program. We want to give you the opportunity to carve out something you haven’t had in a while – a physique that you can be proud of.

Your exercise program is set up into blocks.

  • Week 1: Hypertrophy
  • Week 2: Strength
  • Week 3: Hypertrophy
  • Week 4: Strength

You’ll be undulating one week of high-volume hypertrophy training with a week of high-intensity load-based lifting. Following a weekly periodization plan helps you target your muscles from more than one angle – increasing the chances of anabolic growth as well as functional strength.

Progressive overload

It’s important that over the next 4 weeks you give this program your all.

Even expertly-designed workout plans don’t work without motivation and effort.

Progressive overload refers to the process of constantly challenging your body. The aim is to get out of your comfort zone and take every set to fatigue. You don’t need to push to absolute failure, but grinding out that last rep makes all the difference when it comes to stimulating muscle growth.

If you’re asked to lift between 6-15 reps, progressive overload means choosing a weight that makes it impossible to do more than 15 reps… but easy enough to crank out more than 5.

On set one, the weight you choose might let you perform 13 good reps to fatigue. But when you come back for the next set, you only manage 9. That’s fine – as long as you’re within your rep range you’re doing great.

The exercises

To create maximum mass in just 4-weeks you need to choose the most effective, efficient exercises.

In this plan you’ll be performing multi-muscle, compound exercises, with one or two supporting accessory lifts. Why? Because compound exercises work more muscles. They’re more productive, target more muscle fibers and lead to a greater anabolic response by elevating both growth hormone and testosterone.

Old school lifters cultivated pure muscle mass with the stuff that works – presses, pulls and squats. They’re functional movements that build strength and aesthetics – more hypertrophy but better athleticism too.


The program

Week 1: Hypertrophy

  1. Dumbbell bent over row
  2. Hack squat (or leg press)
  3. Incline bench press
  4. Lying leg curl
  5. Lat pulldown
  6. Seated DB shoulder press
  7. Calf raise machine

Choose a weight that’s as heavy as possible but still allows you to perform 6-15 reps per set. If at any point you can hit 15 reps, increase the load. You’re aiming for 3-4 working sets of each exercise with a good 3-5 minutes rest between sets.

Week 2: Strength training

  1. Back squat
  2. Bench press
  3. Romanian deadlift
  4. Military press
  5. Pull-ups

The aim here is to lift within the 4-8 rep range for every set. Again, you’re going for heavy, fatiguing weights. Complete 3 working sets for every exercise and rest 5 or more minutes between sets to ensure full recovery. Adjust the weights as and when you need to.

Week 3: Hypertrophy

  1. Goblet squat
  2. Reverse grip pulldown
  3. Dumbbell chest flyes
  4. Leg extension
  5. Wide grip seated row
  6. Dumbbell lateral raise
  7. Seated calf raise

This high-volume week sees you ramp up the rep range to 10-15. Your rest period is 2 minutes maximum though.

Week 4: Strength training

  1. Back squat
  2. Bench press
  3. Romanian deadlift
  4. Military press
  5. Pull-ups

These tried and tested strength lifts are staying in your program for week 4. There’s no value in changing them just yet… so stick with them and see how much you’ve improved since week 2. Same rep, set and rest range. 

Muscle bulking transformation plan

The 4-week muscle bulking transformation nutrition plan

Fuel your muscles with the right nutrients and you’ll see astonishing, accelerated growth.

Maximize results with a calorie surplus

Back when you were a noob, building muscle was easy.

Even if your diet wasn’t on-point, the stimulus of weight training was so new and novel that even a few sets of bench press here and there resulted in firmer paces and a stronger rep max.

As a more weathered, experienced lifter though, growth is harder to achieve. The further away you move from your ‘genetic set point’, the harder it is to build more mass.

It takes more time, effort and dedication – but it can be done.

In order to supercharge results on this 4-week muscle bulking transformation plan you’ll need to achieve a calorie surplus. Packing on muscle is tough, but with more energy to spare, your muscle cells are much more likely to respond. Those extra calories will be put to use to not just train harder but increase protein synthesis too – the process by which new muscle is created.

Shooting for a surplus of around 15-20% (for most people that’s 500 calories) will give your body the perfect environment to dial into muscle mass building, while limiting the chances of body fat gain.

It’s a cleaner way of growing without gaining unwanted fluff.

Prioritize protein

Carbs are important for energy and fats help to synthesize steroid hormones. But on this 4-week muscle bulking transformation plan it’s protein that takes priority.

Protein is used to repair, regenerate and stimulate growth in muscle tissue.

Studies show that athletes and bodybuilders need to shoot for 1.3-1.8 g per kg of body weight from good-quality protein sources [2].

This triggers protein synthesis and result in net muscle gain. Low-protein diets will lead to sub-optimal results, below-par training sessions and poor gains.


The diet plan

You’ll be following a clean bulk for the next 4-weeks.

All you need to do is choose a meal from the list below, Follow this for 4-week until you’re a leaner, stronger more muscular version of you.

The idea is to give your body just enough fuel to construct some real muscle… without unnecessary fat gain. It focuses on mostly healthy, nutritious foods, but also allows the odd sneaky cheat meal too.

The diet provided below is based on an average weight guy training 4 times per week. You’ll need to modify the portions based on your own specific calorie needs for the day – it’s a guide we’re providing here, not a specific dietary intervention.

Make sure you follow a meal prep approach to maximize productivity and free up more time to spend in the gym.

Here’s a walk-through of your next 4 weeks…



  • Oats made with skimmed milk, protein and a handful of mixed berries
  • 4 egg omelette with mushrooms, cheese and onion
  • Banana, peanut butter and protein smoothie

Snack options

  • Protein shake and a banana
  • High-protein flapjack
  • 3 Boiled eggs
  • Jerky
  • Tin of tuna
  • Handful of mixed nuts and an apple


  • 3 wholemeal bagels covered in smoked salmon and cream cheese with side salad with mixed peppers
  • Chicken breast, brown rice and broccoli
  • Beef burrito wrap
  • Sweet potato and cottage cheese
  • Mixed bean salad with quinoa

Evening meal

  • Steak, white rice and vegetables
  • Chili con carne
  • Cod, sweet potato and garden peas
  • Bean stew
  • Minced beef spaghetti Bolognese
  • Tuna pasta with sweetcorn, broccoli and cheese sauce

Hanna Obergs food

The bottom line

In as little as 4-weeks you’ll be leaner, stronger and a hell of a lot more jacked. This is your opportunity to take life at full force and produce something you’d never imagine possible.

With this exercise program and diet, you’ll get back on track and carve out a athletic physique to be proud of.

[1] Walston, JD. Sarcopenia in older adultsCurr Opin Rheumatol. 2012. 24(6): 623-627

[2] Phillips, SM et al. Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. J Sports Sci. 2011. 29 Suppl 1: S29-38

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