T Nation

Calorie Requirements For Cut+Bulk


First of all I have got to thank everyone here for the very usefulinfo I have read over the past month or so and I have at last decided to venture out and post a question.

I have dieted for the past couple of months and I am pretty close to my body fat goal so I have decided I want to bulk up a bit. First of all I have got to say I don’t want to get huge or anything I just want to tone up and look a bit better.

I have a slight problem in that my training varies a lot i.e. 1 week I could only go to the gym once or even not at all and then another week I will go 3 weeks. This is obviously not ideal but it is out of my hands unfortunately.

Therefore I was wondering if someone could help me with some calorie calculating. I do not want to go on a full-time bulking diet and then gain a load of fat when I am not able to train frequently so I would like to be able to vary my eating to try and keep my muscle to a maximum and fat to a minimum considering the circumstances.

I normally know a day before if I am going to be training (I always do so in the evenings). So I was thinking that maybe I would eat something like 10-15% more calories than maintenance on my training day and the day after (while of course having proper pre and post workout nutrition) and the day before the training I would eat maintenance level. Then when I know that I am not going to be training the next day and I it is not the day after a session I would eat 10% less than maintenance to cut down on any fat.

This may be too overcomplicated and it may be just a case of eat 10% more the day after training and then eat maintenance or 5 - 10% less on other days.

Sorry about the massive post and thanks in advance

First off, you need to address your goal at it’s most basic. Training irregularly is out of your control? Perhaps your first goal should be to get your life together to the point that you can consistently train. Even if you don’t go to the gym, there are things you could do. Go push your car down the street.

As far as your nutrition question, here is my two cents. On your training days pack as many calories as possible into your peri-workout window. If it is a week where you have been training frequently keep in mind that your muscles may still be repairing themselves for 72 hours after your last workout. So you need to eat! I would never drop below maintenance when you are trying to gain mass. Seems silly, huh?

Here is what I would do.

Non-training days
Eat regular maintenance cals and meals.

Training days
Add additional calories by;

  • Using milk instead of water in my Low-Carb Grow! shakes
  • adding a PWO Shake
  • Making my post workout meal (dinner) Steak, Brown Rice and Brocolli instead of the usual Chicken Breast and Brocolli. Little, east adjustments which should help.

I thought I’d respond to this before Prof. X had his way with you. : ) Don’t worry about getting huge, if you’re not working your ass off for it, it’s not going to come magically. In fact, you’re almost defeating yourself before you start. You don’t want to go on a semi-bulking diet. You want to go a clean bulking diet. Then just stop when you are happy with the amount of LBM you have. For example, I’ve been bulking since September, though the amount of food has varied a bit, and have managed to put on almost 30lbs, of which only 4-6 lbs are fat. If I only wanted to put on 10 lbs, I just would have stopped early (and maybe ate a bit cleaner and/or a bit less).

As far as calculators go, check out Massive Eating, that’ll give you an idea. If the ‘Massive’ scares you, well, do it anyway, you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks guys for the info. I will hopefully be able to get to a period of regular training quite soon.

I am reading Massive Eating at the moment and like all of JB’s articles it seems great.

I know there are a lot of great training program articles here some of which I have read but as a beginner can anyone point me in the direction of what worked est for them when they started out.

i don’t know about you, but i don’t think you have “no time” to train, just no time go to the GYM, right?

if just no time go to the gym, then try something like these:

the one dumbbell workout(you can search at T-nation), it only requires 1 dumbbell only. so you can train at home.


Ian King’s “Death by bodyweight”

no matter what you say, i think you can still do “something” instead of sitting around and doing “nothing”.

just my 2cents.

Hey guys

Something that has always crossed my mind when doing massive eating.

If someone is training 3 days a week and has a workout Surge and a postworkout Surge, what is your approach on the other 4 days when not training. Do you just comsume your Surge anyway or do you replace them with other cals that are not high in sugars, or do you just skip on the Surge cals.

I have read things that support all approaches, but wanted to hear from everyone.

Flag 1:


By Massive eating guideline one would keep k/cals up but not from Surge. From other sources on non training days that fit your diet. Remember you grow and heal outside the gym.

That said I tend to consume more on training days, mainly in the PWO window than on non training days. Though usually still above maint. level depending n goals.

Just my take on it, Hope it helps,’

Yes Phill that is my approach on it too. Only makes sense to me. Glad I was not the only one think that way

I have been reading John Beradi’s Massive Eating articles with interest and I was just wondering if someone could clear my mind why he recommends white pasta as one of the carbs to be eaten with protein (and miinmal fat) and not brown pasta?

Is it in order to produce a bigger insulin surge for a short time (and therefore decrease chance of chronically high insulin) in order to quickly transport amini acids + other nutrients to the muscles?

I have read that white pasta in fact has a lower GI score than brown pasta and they have the same insulin index. does anyone know anymore about this as it seems quite weird considering I would assume the white pasta is more refined.


Thou I will have to go back and read for it, I do remember coming by it an hearing it I think in an interview or something. If I recall correctly it had to do with being over concerned with the little little details, as he suggest with focusing too much on all the form issuse in lifting and not picking up heavy enough weight. Also I remember there some also something said about better choices than pasta anyway so if your going to have it then the diff between brown and white is so minimal that just enjoy it. But I have so many articles in my head head that I could have it mixed up with some other article.