How many calories over maintenance to bulk with on cycle ?

JoePaul39

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Looking to do a bulk on Trest Ace with Superdrol as a finisher. Been debating if I should go with a 500, 750, or 1000 calorie over the limit for the bulk. About how many calories over maintenance do you typically bulk at to add muscle without too much fat.
 
Whisky

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Start with 200 (clean) cals over what you normally do and up as needed every week. If you want to do a “real bulk” and gain muscle instead of fat up your cals slowly.
yeah can’t really say it better than this.

it can be hard to get the enough clean cals in on stuff like sd that kills the appetite if you also need 5k plus to move the scale

but what @BBiceps said should defo be the aim
 

Mathb33

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Start with 200 (clean) cals over what you normally do and up as needed every week. If you want to do a “real bulk” and gain muscle instead of fat up your cals slowly.
Exactly this. You need to adapt weekly when/if needed. That’s the most important factor. I’d start at 100-200 calories surplus and I’d set a day for exemple Friday where you’d take picture updates and weight in and adjust accordingly. I’d shoot to gain 1-2 lbs a week not more. (Except for the first 2-3 weeks where more could be okay because of the initial intra muscular water retention and glycogen is stored) but after that you really should aim for 1 lbs a week. Steroids or not if you’re gaining more than 1-2 lbs a week it’s fat. If the scale didn’t move at all after a week I’d up the diet a bit. Success of a bulk is really playing with food and adjusting SLOWLY.
 

JoePaul39

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Exactly this. You need to adapt weekly when/if needed. That’s the most important factor. I’d start at 100-200 calories surplus and I’d set a day for exemple Friday where you’d take picture updates and weight in and adjust accordingly. I’d shoot to gain 1-2 lbs a week not more. (Except for the first 2-3 weeks where more could be okay because of the initial intra muscular water retention and glycogen is stored) but after that you really should aim for 1 lbs a week. Steroids or not if you’re gaining more than 1-2 lbs a week it’s fat. If the scale didn’t move at all after a week I’d up the diet a bit. Success of a bulk is really playing with food and adjusting SLOWLY.
That is my concern. The goal should be as you said to gain one to two pounds a week, but a pounds is 3500 calories which is 500 calories over maintenance a day. 2 pounds is 7000 meaning a 1000 calories above maintenance average. How can you gain this weight is you aren’t bulking at a sufficient amount of calories above maintenance daily to meet the calorie requirement?
 

Mathb33

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That is my concern. The goal should be as you said to gain one to two pounds a week, but a pounds is 3500 calories which is 500 calories over maintenance a day. 2 pounds is 7000 meaning a 1000 calories above maintenance average. How can you gain this weight is you aren’t bulking at a sufficient amount of calories above maintenance daily to meet the calorie requirement?
Because what you’re talking about is on paper. gear , metabolism rate, body adaptation, and much more things make that calculation not that easy or I’d simply go 500 over maintenance and I’d gain 1 lbs a week and be Ronnie Coleman in 18 months right?. I’m 8 weeks in my bulk right now and yesterday my coach update my calories from 4500 to 4700ish because I didn’t gain a single pound for 10 days straight on 4500 calories which is 1200 calories over my maintenance. On paper that doesn’t make sense. Your metabolism is a beast at adaptation. The opposite is true also... when I’ll ramp down cals to cut, I’ll go from 5000 cals or something and I’ll lose weight in the 4000 range which is way over my maintenance. Because my metabolism is primed to a certain amount of food. Just like coming out of a cut you can gain 10+ lbs in a deficit or at maintenance. The basic maths you stated is simply the weight of cells needed to create a lbs of fat or muscle tissue. At first you’ll need a lot less than 500 surplus to gain but you’ll quickly need a lot more than 500 as your body adapts to the food he’s ingesting.
 
Whisky

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That is my concern. The goal should be as you said to gain one to two pounds a week, but a pounds is 3500 calories which is 500 calories over maintenance a day. 2 pounds is 7000 meaning a 1000 calories above maintenance average. How can you gain this weight is you aren’t bulking at a sufficient amount of calories above maintenance daily to meet the calorie requirement?
Ah calorie math 😜 thing is that doesn’t really hold true bro, it’s a nice illustrative number but the amount of variables involved immediately make it irrelevant

and when you look at lean bulking it’s actually more useless than for cutting

reason being that the rate limiting factor for weight gain should be (assuming you don’t want to gain excess fat) the amount of lean tissue you can build. If you are in any calorie surplus with adequate protein (and eaa’s) then you’ll be achieving maximum lean tissue gain (baring in mind the increase in protein synthesis from anabolics).

anything in excess of that can only really be stored as fat.

but as highlighted above, that surplus is a moving target so you need to continually adjust to maximise that process.
 

BBiceps

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That is my concern. The goal should be as you said to gain one to two pounds a week, but a pounds is 3500 calories which is 500 calories over maintenance a day. 2 pounds is 7000 meaning a 1000 calories above maintenance average. How can you gain this weight is you aren’t bulking at a sufficient amount of calories above maintenance daily to meet the calorie requirement?
Real life is different. I just started a “growth cycle” and I raised my cals with 200 and have gained 5lb in 2 weeks, I still look good but since I did a big jump in short time I’ll keep it here for another week or 2, after that I raise another 100-200 cals. I’m not going to gain any sloppy weight I can’t keep after the cycle is over, for me it’s all about quality. I feel that when most ppl bulk they have no idea what they are doing and do a “bulk” to excuse their shitty eating habits.
 

BBiceps

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Btw OP, why do you want to bulk? You just got down in weight and looking lean, if you want to get stronger and add muscle you don’t need that much extra cals. Don’t treat it like a sprint, treat it like long distance race, it takes time to add quality weight.
 
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Marne40

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Some excellent advice from these guys as usual, but @BBiceps has an excellent point. You just worked your a$$ off to trim down and you made some good progress. If you’re bulking to add mass because you’re wanting to get stronger, that’s one thing. But if you’re putting in all this work to have a great physique, I would offer a suggestion to plan another recomp. Absolutely no offense intended, and I get that bulking is typically way more fun than cutting, but play the long game if you’re going for physique and try to get pretty lean before bulking. Just the opinion of a random douche and I apologize if I was talking out of my a$$.
 

JoePaul39

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Btw OP, why do you want to bulk? You just got down in weight and looking lean, if you want to get stronger and add muscle you don’t need that much extra cals. Don’t treat it like a sprint, treat it like long distance race, it takes time to add quality weight.
Good advice on here from the veterans. I want to bulk because I have gotten down to 15 percent body fat so my body is more primed this time to add muscle with less fat due to improved insulin sensitivity that comes with having lower body fat. I do not want to gain much fat on my bulk so I am going to take everyone’s suggestions and start out with just a 250 calorie surplus and adjust each week if appropriate. Last time I bulked I made the mistake of just relying on calorie math so I had a 1000 calorie surplus and gained too much fat. I was also like 18 percent body fat last time I did it so I had poorer insulin sensitivity and really had no business to be bulking at that high of body fat.
 
Whisky

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Good advice on here from the veterans. I want to bulk because I have gotten down to 15 percent body fat so my body is more primed this time to add muscle with less fat due to improved insulin sensitivity that comes with having lower body fat. I do not want to gain much fat on my bulk so I am going to take everyone’s suggestions and start out with just a 250 calorie surplus and adjust each week if appropriate. Last time I bulked I made the mistake of just relying on calorie math so I had a 1000 calorie surplus and gained too much fat. I was also like 18 percent body fat last time I did it so I had poorer insulin sensitivity and really had no business to be bulking at that high of body fat.
dont forget your maintenance phases brother. I think this is one of the key components to long term body composition changes as also the one most people get wrong (I did for many years).

following a bulk or cut you should have a period of 3 months or so where you just maintain your new position. It’s to allow the body to adapt to and accept the lower BF percentage (or higher lean mass) as the new normal (to coin a topical phase).

bulking or cutting takes the body away from where it naturally wants to be, it tries fucking hard not to change (various mechanisms at play). Having forced it to a new position if you suddenly switch to extra cals (or straight into a cut off a bulk) your body will immediately take advantage to return to where it wants by storing fat (or dropping lean mass). Maintenance phases avoid that happening.

you’ll find this referred to as the concept of ‘set points’

I absolutely get that most of us normally want a goal to aim at, maintenance is boring as **** compared to getting leaner or gaining muscle but understanding and introducing maintenance phases improved my progress by a ridiculous amount
 

JoePaul39

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dont forget your maintenance phases brother. I think this is one of the key components to long term body composition changes as also the one most people get wrong (I did for many years).

following a bulk or cut you should have a period of 3 months or so where you just maintain your new position. It’s to allow the body to adapt to and accept the lower BF percentage (or higher lean mass) as the new normal (to coin a topical phase).

bulking or cutting takes the body away from where it naturally wants to be, it tries fucking hard not to change (various mechanisms at play). Having forced it to a new position if you suddenly switch to extra cals (or straight into a cut off a bulk) your body will immediately take advantage to return to where it wants by storing fat (or dropping lean mass). Maintenance phases avoid that happening.

you’ll find this referred to as the concept of ‘set points’

I absolutely get that most of us normally want a goal to aim at, maintenance is boring as **** compared to getting leaner or gaining muscle but understanding and introducing maintenance phases improved my progress by a ridiculous amount
interesting bro. Do you have any links to articles online I can read further in regards to the need to stay at maintenance for several months after months of cutting due to set points?
 
Whisky

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interesting bro. Do you have any links to articles online I can read further in regards to the need to stay at maintenance for several months after months of cutting due to set points?
this is probably the best (the problem with set point theory is that it got used to sell books/articles etc whereas we are interested in actual studies). It’s also not yet fully understood (the mechanisms) in humans as to how it works.

however, the notion of fat regain in response to calorie increase following a cut is known and linked in this piece along with various human studies , I personally have noticed a big difference (like really significant difference) in both the maintenance of lean mass and a leaner body composition doing this. I’ve also witnessed it many times with clients.

worth noting that most of the evidence/studies I’ve seen suggest a longer period than 3 months to get a body to adjust to a new set point, however that’s on joe public, I believe (this is my view, it makes sense in my mind but I have no studies) that we (lifters, bber’s etc) can get away with a shorter period as we pay way more attention to calories and macros (I.e we are unlikely to simply start slamming 1,000 extra cals from ice cream even on a bulk), we train thus giving stimulus to muscle to stay around and/or fat burning and we use anabolics and/or supplements

 
KvanH

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interesting bro. Do you have any links to articles online I can read further in regards to the need to stay at maintenance for several months after months of cutting due to set points?
I remember Mike Israetel talks about it, but I couldn't find his writings on this topic with a quick Google search.

Heres someone else's touch on it based at least parlty on Israetel's ideas:


And Q&A with Mike Israetel:


20210131_133011.jpg


You can probably find better info with more searching tho.
 

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