Caloric Surplus on First Test Cycle

Stats: 30 years old, 6’2, 190 lbs, 10-12% body fat, been training for almost 4 years.

Goals: Gain as much muscle as possible while either maintaining my body fat % or increasing it by only 1 or 2 % maximum.

Cycle: 500 mg test/week for 16 weeks, will run 0.25 mg Arimidex E3D if I start to experience high E2 sides.

My goal is about diet. I want to know how much I can push my calories surplus (remember what my goals are), and I want to know when I should start this surplus? I am currently eating at maintenance. I know that test levels will not reach their highest until about 5 weeks in, so I am thinking I will start with a small surplus of about 100 calories in the first week then each week increase it by an extra 100 calories until I am at a 500 calorie surplus. From then on, I will keep increasing cals according to my weight gain to try and maintain a 500 calorie surplus.

Please provide criticism. Thank you.

No criticism needed. I would have suggested the same thing. Based on your goals you don’t want to go crazy right off the bat, so your idea makes intuitive sense. Tweak it up or down as needed based on results. You seem totally ready.

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Based on your experience, what caloric surplus can you run, once test levels are saturated, without gaining fat (or while gaining a negligible amount of fat)?

Tough to say. That’s going to be about a lot of factors that are not measurable from person to person. Beyond the obvious question of genetics, you have to figure out where those calories are coming from, how they’re being used, how your training will impact calorie intake day-to-day, how you’re sleeping, et al. Some guys eat super clean on a bulk and still bump bp up by 4%. Other guys seem to never put on any fat at all. You’ll have to just monitor yourself and know what your limits are as you come to them.