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Calorie Surplus Each Day or Only Training Days?


Should I stay in calorie surplus on each day of the week or only on training days (3 per week)?

I am 1.86m (6.1 feet), 78.5kg (173.1 lbs). I was training bjj for many years but I train with weights for 2 months.

I train 3 days a week. Each session is 90 - 120 minutes. I train for bulk but I do not want to get fat. My plan is to add 5 to 10kg (11 to 22 pounds of flesh)

I started to count calories two weeks ago I eat about 2200 calories a day but I recently lost weight (I am not sure whether after counting calories or before because I started to weight my self two days ago). I eat from 80 grams to 120 of protein because I eat moderate piece of meet a day (I do not have access to stove). I eat about 80 grams of fat a day. I can not recall how much carbs. I eat a lot of veggies, oat meals (oats, banana, natural yogurt), some smoked fish, canned tuna, feta cheese (with salad), tofu (with salad), yogurts. I plan to add some eggs (I can boil water even though I do not have stove) and litte of milk (I can’t have to much milk), I drink 30 grams of whey protein shake (21 grams of protein, 120 kalories) after each training session.


Given that I know nothing about… I’d say skip the rice and just eat salad you porker.

Seriously tho, what’s your height, weight, level of leanness? Time training? Caloric goal? What did you eat yesterday?


if your goal is to gain weight/muscle, the only effective way IMO is to eat in a surplus constantly. You need that surplus every day to repair and fuel your body for your workouts to get stronger when bulking.
Calorie cycling when bulking ( maintenance or even deficit some days and therefore more surplus on other days ) is just counterproductive.



I edited my question to add missing data. If you need anything else just let me know.


If you don’t fix this, you might gain “weight”, but you won’t gain muscle.

This is such a metal band name.




This is a problem. Especially if you lost weight. I eat this much on low days, but I am cutting and am nearing the end of a 5 month cut.

Bump it up to 2,600 and see how the weight gain is for the next two weeks. Instead of increasing calories on training days, just re-arrange your macros. So, on training days, you may eat 300C, whereas on non training days, you’d eat 200. Adjust your fat based on the carbs and keep your protein at about 170-200 grams a day.

I’m not particularly a fan of increasing calories on training days, while bulking. The reason is your body needs the energy for recovery and growth, even when you aren’t training. That’s why I would recommend upping carbs/reducing fat on training days and reducing carbs/upping fat on non training days.


@vowek why so long in the gym? 2hours is getting pretty ridiculous especially while bulking IMO

I’d go with what Dchris recommends. Same calories on off days just lower carbs.


Definitely raise your total calories every day. If it’s a struggle for you, force yourself to eat more frequently (snacks) and get some liquid kcals down you.


So how long should I stay there or to put it differently how many exercises should I do (if I do 4 or 5 series, each 8 to 10 reps) and how long should intra-series rest should take?


A good starting point would be to tell us about what exercises you’re doing. You could be doing a 2 hour workout packed full of junk (superfluous) exercises.


Warm-up 10 minutes.

I than like to do 1 primary compound movement (squats, deadlifts, OH Press, Bench Press) that takes about 15-20 minutes and a lot of your energy.

Than 1 secondary compound movement (Lunges, DB presses, BB rows, etc) that takes about 10 minutes and most of the rest of your energy.

For the end of your session have just 2 smaller accessory exercises. These movements can vary week to week depending on goals, mood, what’s available, perceived weaknesses etc. By this time in your workout you should be buggered and fighting the clock to get out of the gym within an hour! Not only does this up your intensity, but it will give you a pump due to lower rest times.

Small dumbbell and cable isolation exercises are ideal here. The focus is not to increase weight or reps every week but to flush your already worked muscles with blood.

The amount of effort in your 1st 2 movements of the workout is what will give you results, they should make you work so hard that u contemplate leaving the gym early without doing your curls/shrugs/raises etc. And if you did leave early you will still be getting amazing results.