How to Bulk Up Like Sam Warburton

If you’re looking to add bulk as you train but aren’t sure where to start, Welsh rugby captain Sam Warburton is a great athlete to look to for inspiration. At 1.88 metres tall, and weighing 99kg, Warburton certainly knows a thing or two about building and maintaining an impressive physique.

Like many others, however, he struggled to gain weight when he was younger and relied on carb-loading and high-calorie shakes to pile on the pounds. If you want to add bulk rather than lose weight, here are some simple tips from Warburton’s own regime.

Increase Your Workout Intensity

Warburton found success with the Escalating Density Training (EDT) programme that is used by athletes who want to force their muscles to bulk up quickly. As the programme’s name implies, exercise density is ramped up, and those following the plan increase the amount they do in the same period of time as the sessions progress.

Each of the workouts is made up of two 15- to 20-minute timeframes, with short rest periods between them. You can also find useful rugby drill resources online at sites like that can help you reach your goals.

Watch What You’re Eating

Training to put on bulk requires a mammoth number of calories, and protein becomes more important than ever. According to Men’s Health magazine, the optimum amount of protein for an average adult male is between 75 and 105 grams a day. Warburton, however, aims to consume between 200 and 300 grams of protein every day but still has to watch what he eats. He tries to incorporate 40 grams of protein into each meal of the day and also consumes plenty of carbs. He eats five full meals a day, along with three protein shakes. In order to hit his protein targets, he relies heavily on eggs, chicken and other good sources.


Keep Up the Pressure on Your Body

As you progress and your body starts to adapt, you can start cutting down on your rest periods and add more reps into your workouts. As a guide, once you are able to do 20% more reps than you started with, you should be ready to increase the weight you’re working with by 5%. At this point, go back to your original routine with the original reps and rest periods.

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