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General Muscle Building Questions

I’m about to start building some muscle gaining after a couple weeks staying at a maintenance calorie level. I have a couple questions:

  1. As far as calorie activity factors are concerned, what would be a good number to multiply my basal metabolic rate by to determine a goal caloric intake? I’ve read anywhere from 1.3-1.6, but I’d like to know what’s worked for people in the past. My plan is to do four to five, 45-60 minute weight training sessions per week (2 days on, 1 day off cycle).

  2. With regards to caloric intake on non-weight training days while trying to gain muscle with minimal fat gain, should I eat at maintenance, or continue a caloric surplus?

I’m 5’9", 165 lb, ~15% bodyfat. I’d like to get up to 180-190lb range, but I’m willing to put in the time to add muscle without gaining much fat (I have trouble taking fat off, which I detailed in a previous thread).

Thanks for the help.

I don’t understand - if you’ve been maintaining, then why would you bother with some generic formula? You already know your maintenance level. Add 500 calories a day and see what happens. Also, “You don’t grow in the gym.” If you’re trying to gain, you don’t know exactly when it’s going to happen, so eat a suplus every day.

In regards to your diet on non-training days, I see my days off as recovery days. I continue on eating the same way I normally eat. I feel that I supply my body the time off and the tools to repair the damage. I’ve been proven incorrect and ignorant regarding nutrition before, so take my advice with caution.

[quote]Growing_Boy wrote:
In regards to your diet on non-training days, I see my days off as recovery days. I continue on eating the same way I normally eat. I feel that I supply my body the time off and the tools to repair the damage. I’ve been proven incorrect and ignorant regarding nutrition before, so take my advice with caution. [/quote]

This is true in this case, as with an intense weight-lifting or sprint session, the metabolism stays elevated up to two days after.

[quote]eggers wrote:
I’m 5’9", 165 lb, ~15% bodyfat. I’d like to get up to 180-190lb range, but I’m willing to put in the time to add muscle without gaining much fat (I have trouble taking fat off, which I detailed in a previous thread).

I’m about to start building some muscle gaining after a couple weeks staying at a maintenance calorie level. I have a couple questions:

  1. As far as calorie activity factors are concerned, what would be a good number to multiply my basal metabolic rate by to determine a goal caloric intake? I’ve read anywhere from 1.3-1.6, but I’d like to know what’s worked for people in the past. My plan is to do four to five, 45-60 minute weight training sessions per week (2 days on, 1 day off cycle).[/quote]

That is about the correct range of calories.

Whether your calories are balanced or within a few hundred kcal is irrelevant. It is far more important to be consuming food from sources that are more likely to support your goals.

Once you get to the point where you can keep your weight the same while increasing lean body mass, you can decide to increase intake to the point where fat loss is zero. The same diet that worked for fat loss will work for muscle gain, albeit at a much greater intake. As you lean out, your ability to handle carbs increases, making the same amount of intake more powerful than before.

Focus most your effort on getting as much animal protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and fruits for most of your intake at each feeding.

Thanks for the all the advice. I just finished my lower-calorie phase a couple days ago, so I just plan on adding a couple hundred calories per day for the next couple weeks until my weight stays constant, and then start to add them in more aggressively (I’ll be carb cycling, keeping a majority of my carbohydrates post-workout).