T Nation

Calorie Surplus, Clean Bulk

age: 17
weight: 170
okay well its been a pretty lame week for lifting
tuesday i got a good workout, then i was supposed to workout yesterday but i caught a cold so i skipped out
so this is a hypothetical question to better get my thought out

say i got 3 solid workout days in a week, full body, with 3-4 compound workouts and 2-3 isolations each time i went
say the next week i couldnt make it at all, the week i couldnt make it would i still be eating at a calorie surplus?

i just wouldnt feel obligated to since the calories wouldnt seem to be going to anything but fat since im not working out, unless that is the muscle building process follows up for around a week, but i have the impression it stops whenever you are done being sore or your muscles are fatigued, which is about 2-3 days?

Well this is a good question and to be honest I have often wondered the same thing when I was younger. However, some common sense can be applied here.

If you workout Friday I would say your recovery period would probably be anywhere between 48-72 hours which would land you on Monday (of course their are lots of different variables here but for our purposes we are going to use the average male and training regimen).

After that period your body is surely back to a homeostatic state (normal state), it would be rare to be recovery a full week later unless planned overtraining is how you trained the week before in order to take advantage of supercompensation.

Now I am on a Clean Bulk right now as well and a couple weeks ago I had a cold and decided to skip the gym to hedge against further sickness. To answer your question, no you do not need a surplus.

Why? Well, first off you will not be working out, so your caloric expenditure will be significantly less. You also do not need the surplus because you have caused no micro trauma initiating any type of anabolic activity to create more muscle.

So if you continue to eat a surplus you will gain some fat, granted it might be only a week but, why would you purposely gain fat without any muscle along the way? I sure as hell wouldn’t just want to gain solely FAT.

Just eat maintenance if you are going to take a week off. Make sure your weight stays consistent and you are not losing. If you are losing than obviously add more calories. Hope that helps.