Outlift: Intermediate Bulking
This is our intermediate bulking program. It's for guys who already know how to lift and are ready to take things to the next level.
- Destroy plateaus
- Gain more muscle
- Become conspicuously strong
- Build an aesthetic physique
Tailor the program to fit you perfectly. Choose how many days per week you want to lift, pick which muscles you want to focus on, select assistance exercises to fix your weaknesses and enhance your strengths.
Become much bigger, stronger, and better looking. Results fully guaranteed.
Written and designed by Shane Duquette, BDes, who has helped nearly 10,000 skinny people bulk up. Workouts programmed by Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS, PN, a certified strength coach with a Health Science degree who's helped college, professional, and Olympic athletes gain size and strength.
General Strength Training
We’ll use the largest range of motion that you can comfortably manage, we’ll develop your strength endurance, and we’ll build strength that you can see from a mile away.
A Bonafide Bulking Program
This isn't a program for guys who want to do a little body recomposition. This is a program for guys who want to get way bigger, far stronger, and move up another shirt size—soon.
We’ll help you pack slabs of muscle onto your shoulder girdle, your upper back, your arms, and even your neck. All while strengthening your core and your posture.
We know how to take a great physique and make it greater.
Why Do Intermediate Lifters Stop Getting Results?
9 times out of 9.1, intermediate lifters stop gaining muscle because they stop getting stronger. Now, I don't mean "stronger" in the powerlifter sense. I'm not talking about how much you can squat, bench, and deadlift for a single. You can get stronger at any lift, stronger in any rep range.
Now, that might sound quite a lot like StrongLifts or Starting Strength, where they help people get stronger at sets of 5. And it is like that. That's exactly the right idea. Except there are a few key differences:
- We're going to get you stronger in rep ranges that are better for muscle hypertrophy. So it's a strength training program that spends less time with sets of 5, more time with sets of 9.
- We're going to use lifts that are better for improving your general strength and aesthetics. For some weird reason, and I can't figure out why, most strength training programs are rooted in powerlifting, so they use lifts that are designed for sport, not for gaining size and strength.
- This isn’t a minimalist program. We'll teach you how to find your weak links and turn them into strengths. We'll also teach you how to identify your strengths so that you can double down on them. We do that with assistance and accessory lifts.
The program is built atop the principle of progressive overload. We're going to help you add pounds to the bar (strength), add reps to your sets (strength endurance), and add sets to your workout (work capacity). That's what will break the dam and get your river of gains flowing again.
Pound by pound, you're going to become fearsomely strong at the big compound lifts. Perhaps better still, this will be the type of strength that you can see.
What is Outlift?
There are a couple of reasons we wanted to make this program:
- As an alternative to classic strength training. We had people coming to us after doing programs like StrongLifts and Starting Strength. They'd tell us that they'd learned the big lifts and gained some solid strength but weren't happy with how their physiques were looking.
- As a sequel to Bony to Beastly. We had people finishing our Bony to Beastly Program having gained a ton of size and strength but then running into plateaus at the intermediate stage. They knew how to bulk up, but they didn't know how to keep getting steadily bigger and stronger.
- Because I'm an intermediate lifter myself, and I couldn't find what I wanted. I wanted a strength-oriented bulking program that had aesthetics as well as general health in mind. I wanted it to be scientifically minded, too. And to be simple without being minimalistic.
So this program is designed for guys who want to be big and strong and look awesome. If you already know how to do the compound lifts, but you're struggling to lift impressive numbers, we'll fix that. Or if you're gaining strength but you aren't stoked about how buff your body is looking, we'll fix that too.
Built to work right out of the box. If you don't want to fiddle with anything, no worries—just follow the spreadsheets. The defaults are our very best recommendations.
Built with tinkerers in mind. But the intermediate stage is long, everyone is different, many different approaches work, and you'll get better results if you learn to take a tailored approach.
We want to give you a program that you can make your own, and we'll teach you exactly how to do that.
What Equipment Do You Need?
This is a bulking program with roots in barbell strength training. All you need is a barbel, a rack, and a bench. My bench isn't even adjustable. Doesn't matter.
We aren't purists, we're scrappers. We'll take advantage of whatever equipment you're gunning to use. If you love the leg press or pec deck, we'll use them for your accessory lifts. If you want to stick to the barbell, cool.
What Will You Need to Do?
To get the results we promise, you'll need to do three things:
- Lift 3-4 times per week. We've got both a 3-day and a 4-day workout program, both optimized. (I prefer the 4-day program, but I'm doing the 3-day right now while business is busy.)
- Give the workouts your all. This program is straightforward, but that doesn't mean it's easy. You'll be loading the bar heavy and taking some sets to failure. Taking sets of moderate-rep front squats to failure is no walk in the park, but it works absolute wonders on our physiques.
- Eat big, gain weight. We'll teach you the basics of eating for lean muscle growth, but, eh, you probably already know how to do that. As an intermediate lifter, most of your results will come from following a great workout program, getting enough protein and carbs, and then simply eating enough calories to gain a good half-pound on the scale each week.
- Do your best to sleep like a beast. Getting plenty of high-quality sleep isn't always realistic, but we expect you to try your best. That's going to help you recover quicker, make leaner gains, and give you the willpower to complete the program.
If you commit to following this program at least 80% properly for at least four months, we can 100% guarantee your results. That’s our promise to you, and we stand behind it with our full 90-day refund policy. No hassle, no fine print.
The Outlift Program
First Edition (1.0), Refined Over Twelve Months of Testing
The Outlift Guide
This PDF guide will teach you how to train for muscle size, general strength, and aesthetics simultaneously. It's a simple system built on a foundation of the "Big 5" lifts, but it's surprisingly robust. You'll learn how to:
- Blast through strength and size plateaus.
- Find and fix the weak links that are holding you back.
- Identify and double down on your natural strengths.
- Tailor your workouts to suit your goals.
- Learn how to build a totally badass body.
Full rationale. I hate doing programs that are arbitrary or proprietary. I mean, I get it. Some strength coaches don't have the data to back up their decisions. Others do have that data, but they don't want to give away their secrets.
Still, I don't like it. I'm more excited to do things when I know why I'm doing them. So we want to fully explain all of the programming factors to you. That way you'll understand why you're getting results, and how to reproduce those results in the future.
If you just want to follow the program, no problem. It works right out of the box. But the full rationale is there if you want it.
The Workout Program
The workout program is made up of 3 phases, each 5 weeks long. At risk of ruining the mystery, let me quickly go over what you can expect and why you'll love it:
- The first phase is optimized to increase muscle size, work capacity, capillary density, strength endurance, and lifting fitness. This phase will improve your ability to train hard, to recover well, to handle heavier workloads, and to build more muscle. It's also profoundly healthy. This is sometimes referred to as "building a wide base" because it lays the foundation for more size and strength. This is step #1 to overcoming plateaus.
- The second phase is optimized for muscle size and aesthetics. This phase is all about straightforward hypertrophy. Optimal lifts, optimal rep ranges, optimal rest times, optimal volume.This is the simplest path to size and aesthetics.
- The third phase is optimized for muscle size and general strength. This phase drops heavier, the assistance lifts fall away, and we double the frequency of your main lifts (using daily undulating periodization). However, we don't drop the rep ranges or volume so low that it stops being effective for gaining muscle size. This is how you'd bulk if your goal were to become fearsomely strong at the big lifts.
Depending on what your goals are, you can repeat the phases up to 3 times in a row as you go through the program. If your goal is to look like an absolute badass, you might do this:
- Phase 1 (Capacity)
- Phase 2 (Aesthetics)
- Phase 2 (Aesthetics)+
- Phase 2 (Aesthetics)++
- Phase 3 (Strength)
Each time you repeat a phase, you'll be using heavier weights and choosing different customization options, making it different each time.
Once you go through each phase at least once, you can start over from the beginning.
Built as a spreadsheet template. If you already know how to use spreadsheets, you'll love it. But even if you've never used a spreadsheet before, no worries, Google Sheets is free, it has a free app, and we've done all the work for you. It's dead simple to fill out, and you'll get to take advantage of a bunch of rad features:
- Pick your lifts using dropdown menus. We'll teach you the pros and cons of each. Or simply use our carefully chosen default recommendations.
- Autoregulated progressive overload. The sheet will tell you how much weight to add to the bar each week based on how many reps you get in your final set.
- Your weekly strength gains are calculated for you. Whichever rep range you're training in, the sheet will calculate your weekly estimated 1RM on the Big 5 lifts. That way you can track your progress and we can address any issues as soon as they crop up.
- Simplicity. We've taken great care to refine this program without bloating it with unnecessary complexity. The program is easy to follow, the sheets are easy to fill out.
New Game+. Every time you repeat the program, you'll use heavier weights, emphasize different goals, choose different lifts, fix different weaknesses, boost different strengths. It will grow with you.
Community & Coaching for +$9/Month
We've got an online coaching community if you want help tailoring the program, feedback on your progress updates, and advice from us as you go through the program.
Not all of us need it, but at least for me, I've always benefitted from having social pressure pushing me onwards. Posting my before photos online and being part of a group of guys fighting to accomplish similar goals really lit a fire under my glutes.
It's totally optional, just $9/month, and you can cancel at any time.
100% Money-Back Guarantee
We have a full 100% money-back guarantee. No fine print, no hassle. Come into the program as skeptical as you like. Try it out. If you don't love it, shoot us an email within 90 days and we'll refund every penny.