Bodybuilder Looking to Bulk WITHOUT Supplements

Nobody needs nutritional supplements per se, as supplements do just that, i.e. supplement. And despite what marketing would have you believe, even bodybuilders and strength athletes do not need supplements to make gains, not even the protein powders, which are the most fundamental of all bodybuilding supplements.

However, supplements can make achieving goals considerably easier and could speed gains up. Indeed, from as early as the 1950s and 60s egg white powder was being used to help early bodybuilders improve their intake.

There a number of bodybuilders and strength trainers whose only supplement is whey protein powder, and there are a notable number who choose not to use any supplements at all. Their diet is based around good quality food high in protein and carbohydrate, and lots of it!

The key to healthy quality muscle gain is to eat big and eat consistently throughout the day following a structured meal plan. Aim to eat six or seven smaller meals / snacks, rather than three big meals. All meals and snacks should include plenty of high protein food choices, like lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs and milk; high fibre complex carbs like cereals, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes; fruit and vegetable as well as nuts, seeds and pluses and sources of essential fats. Meal timing is also important - spread the meals regularly through the day, and especially important is to eat good amounts of protein and carbs after training.

Here's a sample meal plan for a single day for someone wanting to bulk up and gain muscle without the use of any nutritional supplements:

Wake 7.30 am
8.00am Breakfast
Large bowl porridge made with 250ml skimmed milk + 2 tsp sugar + tbsp ground linseeds mixed in
Scrambled eggs: 4 whites + 1 yolk
2 slices granary bread toasted + peanut butter
Mug green tea
2 salmon sandwiches (4 slices granary bread)
Large banana
Large chicken breast chopped with 100g basmati rice or wholewheat pasta and small tin sweetcorn
Salad: raw carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, celery
Low fat yoghurt
6 oatcakes
Tub cottage cheese
45 mins pre-workout
300ml fortified milk
Large handful mixed nuts
2 oatcakes


Immediately post workout
100g chicken breast
250ml glucose drink
Lean steak or 2 pork chops or 150g white fish
2 medium jacket potatoes or 100g boiled basmati rice
Large serving of vegetables
Low fat yoghurt
Large bowl wholewheat breakfast cereal + 250ml skimmed milk + 2 tsp sugar
Tub cottage cheese or quark

All the meal plans are merely a guide and must not be stuck to rigidly! You must eat a variety of different meats / fish / alternatives, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables every day, and drink plenty of water. Adapt the plan to suit your own needs according to your results in order to keep the gains coming and body fat down. Varying portions from day to day, along with hard training will help maximise gains.

Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.