T Nation

Food Ratios for Bulking?


32yo male, 167lbs

am currently bulking and aiming for 190lbs
going on a 20% calorie surplus above the standard 2,670 calories, i'm aiming for 3,200 calories a day.

should i be hitting this many every day? i do a total body workout 3 times a week, 2 days complexes and 2 rest days.

also whats a good ratio for protein, fats and carbs? am eating the good foods. just need to sort out how much of each.

also is it a good idea to spread the amount of carbs/fat/protein evenly throughout the day. i eat 6 or 7 meals a day but usually i eat more early in the day and after my workouts at 5pm.



Usually a solid ratio for bulking is 40/40/20 protein, carbs, fat. I prefer to have my largest carb meals in the morning and before/after my workout and reduce them as I get closer to bed, that's up to you though.

By the way, is it possible for you do workout 5-6 days a week using a split routine or something? Going 3x week of full body training isn't exactly what I'd call optimal for gaining muscle size.


3x weekly full body training is fine for building muscle.

@ OP: 40/40/20 is a good ratio, although I like to have my fat intake be little bit higher than only 20%. I often go 40/30/30 or even something pretty dang close to 33/33/33 and it's worked out well. That many calories is fine. I usually bulk using 5k or so calories.

Carbs should be mostly consumed in the morning, before, during and after training as well as in meals preferably earlier in the day as well as close to after training as possible.


I prefer 30:50:20 personally.


I like this.


had been following CW's TBT with pretty good results so far. I have the time to workout everyday but haven't tried a split routine yet.


cheers for that....will play around with those ratios and see what works best.

should i be taking in the same number of calories everyday....workout days and rest days?


Something close to 40/30/30 without getting too scientific seems to be working for me as far as strength and size go [though I'm more after strength]. While I agree with guitar that 3 fullbody workouts a week would work for size, I don't think it's optimal. At the very least get in 2 upper and 2 lowers a week. At my biggest I was doing a 5 day split. Probably not uncoincidentally I was also at my strongest in relation to total weight moved. Relatively speaking at my strongest [and most athletic] doing an upper/lower.


Here we go. Who wants "fine"? Why not optimal?


This is a question that a lot of people throw around. I eat the same calories everyday regardless of whether or not I'm working out. I know, it feels wrong, but you are trying to gain weight, right?


thanks for the advise
will go and do a lot of reading and see if i can put together a 4 or 5 day split routine

optimal always preferable to fine


I gained a nice amount of lean body mass doing a 5x5 Program, splits or TBT both work. Find a routine and stick with it! Consistency is key.

I have had a lot of success with a 30/40/30 ratio.

I consistently hit 3,200 calories each day, regardless of wether or not I'm training. Off days are when our bodies recover, we need the calories.