T Nation

Are Increased Calories Needed?

A little while ago, I was discussing with friends about steroids.
We were all wondering if one can increase LBM whilst not consuming excess calories.
I was under the impression that even with steroids, one still has to consume over maintenance in order to see gains.

So my question is: Do you really need to eat over maintenance while administering steroids to see an increase in LBM?

Yes you have to provide your body with what it needs in order to gain LBM. That means eat lean and healthy above maint. + Androgen + rest/sleep + Good Training = LMB gains

Read the newb thread this is covered in there.

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While increased kcals might not be necessary for every goal, increased protein intake (and the positive nitrogen balance this creates) might just be necessary in all situations.

Well for simplities sake what is the best practice?

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Wear tighter shirts.

[quote]Contrl wrote:
Wear tighter shirts.[/quote]

My secret is out

You can make gains on a deficit on gear. You can even make some minimal gains on a deficit WITHOUT gear. Like with natural dieting, your gains won’t be near what they would be if you were giving your body a surplus to work with.

For my first cycle (500mg test-enanthate a week) there wasn’t much change in my diet. I only bumped up my protein by 50g a day, and I made substantial gains in strength/size (from 210 to 230, 12 weeks) without any bloat really. However, I think that this was due to superior-nutrient-partitioning like Bushy said, and because my recovery from training was greatly increased. If I’d eaten more, I’d have gained more, but at the time I was trying to stay within a certain weight-class.

Prior to my cycle, I’m pretty sure I was under-weight because of over-training/under-recovering (2x a day training, judo and kick-boxing, sparring, weightlifting, fieldwork, and running, plus age), and because I just couldn’t get enough “clean” calories in during the day. Looking back, I could’ve eaten more “cheat” foods, but I didn’t want to go back to 10 years ago, when I walked around at 225-230, but I wasn’t as dedicated to my training and diet, and I was carrying around more chunkage. Back then, I was eating less than I did when I started training more seriously, but carrying more bodyweight.

So I’m just adding, that I think your current activity level and kcals burned will also play a part in how well your body responds to AAS and maintenance calories. But unless you have specific goals (like staying within a certain weight-class), you’re WAY better off eating more so you can take full advantage of the AAS.

Jelly

Good advice from Jelly.

OP, cutting is easy. It’s putting on weight that’s hard. So if you have the opportunity to use AAS you should definitely take advantage of the opportunity and get as many calories in as you can. You can always cut later and the bulk/cut process is, believe it or not, generally more effective than making slow lean gains. Then again, to each his own.

I’ll add that you can make fast lean gains on AAS by eating a TON of clean food. This is a lot harder than you may think, though. Try shoving down 6-7000 calories worth of chicken and broccoli day in and day out. Ugh. I just don’t worry quite as much about it when I bulk. Of course I don’t use it as an excuse to eat whatever the hell I want, either.

You know, the more I think about it, the more I think most people SHOULD add a BIT of muscle while dieting with a good cycle. It won’t be a large amount. And this probably won’t be the case if using gear to seriously cut the calories and shred much faster than possible naturally. But at a modest deficit with a steady but not seriously fast rate of fat loss, I think most people should add some muscle.

OP needed is your question. I’d say extra calories are as needed as heavier weights are while on gear. It is not that you need to, its that you can and should.