Nobody cares about abs when it’s cold out. They can’t be seen through your sweater—but your chest, shoulders, and arms can, which is why winter is the perfect time to go on a bulking program.

Nevertheless, eating too much too fast can leave you with a lot of weight to lose come springtime.While you don’t necessarily have to be lean and mean during the winter months, that’s also no excuse to look like Barney the Dinosaur during your off-season either.

Bro science would have you believe that to “bulk up” you need to eat entire boxes of cereal and all the Little Debbie snack cakes you can get you hands on. That’s certainly not the case.

The key here is gradually increasing your caloric intake—anywhere from 300-500 calories above what you need for maintenance. This way, you can put on quality muscle without putting on layers of fat that you’ll then be rushing to shed when it’s time to hit the beach again.

We’ve compiled the five key rules you need to follow to get bigger over the next few weeks.

Follow these rules for an effective bulking season so you can get big while staying lean.

5 Essential Rules For an Effective Bulking Season

10 Common Mistakes to Avoid This Bulking Season

Eat big, get big, but don't overdo it.

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