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Excess Calories Required for Muscle Gain


As some of you may know a safe amount of weightloss is 1-2 pounds per week which equates to a caloric deficit of 3500-7000 calories per week (500 - 1000 calories per day), since 1 pound of fat equals 3500 calories of energy.

My question is that if it takes a caloric deficit of 3500 calories per week to lose 1 pound of fat, how many excess calories per week will a person require to GAIN 1 pound of muscle in 1 week?


This is impossible to determine. Why? Because genetics and training are major factors in muscle gain. If some 114lbs woman decides to gain muscle, you can't make a claim that she would need over 3,000 excess calories to do this. Body fat, on the other hand, is simply a storage medium (and an insulator). It is "stored energy". It's loss can be determined by noting the amount of energy (heat) that it releases when oxidized. The guide is to slowly increase calories weekly until you notice body weight gain. Attempting to ONLY gain muscle will leave most running in circles. There are too many variables involved including genetics, rest, training, age, food intake, and consistency.

That means what it takes for one person to gain a certain amount of muscle will not work for all.


I didn't appreciate how much energy is required for protein synthesis until I performed research in a lab that studied that very phenomenon. Since then, my quest for Calories is at an all time high.

BTW-Prof and I are in complete agreement about the mass issue.


Did that clear things up WindSkater?


Hence, the pop-tart recommendations for bulking??

If in doubt, eat it!!



Would you be able to post some details of that study - I'd be really interested to hear about it.




So the answer to "how much" is a:

"I can't tell you. You need to gradually 'up' the calories each week until you see something happen"???

I mean no sarcasm here...just curious.


No, the answer is, "We don't freaking know because everyone's potential for muscle growth and protein synthesis is different, therefore there is no specific number that leads to muscle growth. Hormones, genetics, age, food intake, training, and consistency are all factors in muscle gain and no two people will gain the exact same amount of muscle from the exact same routine and food intake unless they are identical twins".

"PS, and yes, you should 'up' the calories each week until you see something happen".