T Nation

General Rules for Clean Bulking

I have looked all over the internet and collected this information from different places and here is what i have decided to try for a bulking diet I would appreciate if people could tell me if this is somewhat appropriate or If my amounts are off. Im 207 pounds 5’9 1/2 and i would estimate 12% to 15% body fat Ive used a hand held fat test and it said 15% but i hear they are slightly off some times and i look leaner than 15% definitely not higher than that number. I am not sure if the fats are to high same with carbs. Any help would be greatly appreciated I’m not positive if my calculations are right.

Protein 1.5g per pound = 310.5g a day

Carbs: 2g per pound= 414g per pound a day

fats: should equal 0.5g per pound = 103.5g a day or 20 to 30% my daily caloric intake

I’m ‘clean bulking’ currently (if that’s what ya want to call it). Here’s what I go by:

My BW x 18 = Daily Caloric Need (Maybe only 17 if you have a slower metabolism, maybe 20 if you’re a human blast furnace or super active)

Protein = 1g/BW minimum

Fats = .45g/BW minimum

Make the rest of my calories from whatever. I PREFER carbs personally, but doubt it makes too much of a difference.

Everyone’s different, and your ‘guidelines’ aren’t much different from mine. Just weigh yourself regularly, measure your waist and arms, chest, legs, ect. Use the mirror.

thanks for the advice i just wanted to make sure i didnt miss something and i turn my self into fat bastard off of austin powers on accident. Lol

regardless of whether you are eating clean or dirty or a mixture. The level of fat you accumulate is going to be tied closer to how much of a surplus of calories you are eating.

Make a slow and easy transition into bulking and this shouldn’t be a problem.

Go from eating a maintenance of 2500 calories to 4000 calories over night and this could be a problem no matter what your macronutrient spread is looking like and no matter how clean your diet is.

Do definitely eat a sensible diet with plenty of fiber and micro nutrients though


Not… sure… if… clean.

Don’t care-- benching tomorrow!

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
Not… sure… if… clean.[/quote]

well played

As long as you give your body all the necessary macros and micros and use some form form of sensible carb cycling there is absolutely no need for a calories surplus in order to make good clean gains!

Infact you should even be able to average 200 calories per day BELOW maintenance for the week if you have your nutrition really on point and your training shyt together.

For me personally only when I average about 8-10% below maintenance do my workouts suffer (I hit maintenance the day before a workout and about 90% on other days during the week. Slow and steady fat loss with some consistent extra rep gains here and there at 11-12% bodyfat)

[quote]Spidey22 wrote:
Just weigh yourself regularly, measure your waist and arms, chest, legs, ect. Use the mirror. [/quote]

Your ability to correctly/honestly assess your progress or lack of it (weekly or biweekly or whatever) will ultimately determine how “clean” the bulk will turn out to be, not the macros or food choices.

[quote]bigslickmelter wrote:
As long as you give your body all the necessary macros and micros and use some form form of sensible carb cycling there is absolutely no need for a calories surplus in order to make good clean gains!

Infact you should even be able to average 200 calories per day BELOW maintenance for the week if you have your nutrition really on point and your training shyt together.
[/quote]

…you are suggesting that at BELOW maintenance level calories you can gain LBM?

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]bigslickmelter wrote:
As long as you give your body all the necessary macros and micros and use some form form of sensible carb cycling there is absolutely no need for a calories surplus in order to make good clean gains!

Infact you should even be able to average 200 calories per day BELOW maintenance for the week if you have your nutrition really on point and your training shyt together.
[/quote]

…you are suggesting that at BELOW maintenance level calories you can gain LBM?
[/quote]

think we would all get huge by accident or something if this was so true haha

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]bigslickmelter wrote:
As long as you give your body all the necessary macros and micros and use some form form of sensible carb cycling there is absolutely no need for a calories surplus in order to make good clean gains!

Infact you should even be able to average 200 calories per day BELOW maintenance for the week if you have your nutrition really on point and your training shyt together.
[/quote]

…you are suggesting that at BELOW maintenance level calories you can gain LBM?
[/quote]

you can, it is possible, although usually not for someone who is already pretty lean.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]bigslickmelter wrote:
As long as you give your body all the necessary macros and micros and use some form form of sensible carb cycling there is absolutely no need for a calories surplus in order to make good clean gains!

Infact you should even be able to average 200 calories per day BELOW maintenance for the week if you have your nutrition really on point and your training shyt together.
[/quote]

…you are suggesting that at BELOW maintenance level calories you can gain LBM?
[/quote]

I am indeed. For me at least at 11-12% bodyfat amazing things happen when you stay within 200 calories of maintenance but your diet and rest has to be really on point IMO.

Remember guys that maintenance calories is an ever moving target and as your LBM increases so will said target and you will increase your deficit. If you practice IF and train 16 hours fasted like I do this will manifest itself as ever increasing hunger mid-morning. If you are smart this will prompt you to knock up your average calorie intake by about 50 and continue making lean gains.

The key here is to cut and gain SLOWLY! however slow you think is slow enough… do it SLOWER!

For how long into my cut this will work for me remains to be seen!

I decided to just lissen to my body. And eat as much as I can. as long as i can see my top abs and not get over weight. So far its working fucking great im gaining huge amounts of muscle about a pound a week or more and have been able to keep those gains going for 3 months now. While keeping my fat percentages the same or decreasing on some days.

My bulking diet has been so far usually lots of chicken drum sticks and white rice, and lots of steak and white pasta, eggs and turkey bacon or regular bacon every once in a while, and turkey drum sticks and carnitas in white rice with sauce. Ive been working out 5 days a week as hard as humanly possible to the point where if i move to fast when i get done i swear i could tear a muscle because they are so soar and pumped.

Yesterday I did over 200 reps for legs all together using 200 pounds up to 400 pounds half of those reps were squats. And today im not sore lol i bet my fucking work out partner is though.

[quote]Mad -scientist wrote:
I decided to just lissen to my body. And eat as much as I can. as long as i can see my top abs and not get over weight. So far its working fucking great im gaining huge amounts of muscle about a pound a week or more and have been able to keep those gains going for 3 months now. While keeping my fat percentages the same or decreasing on some days.

My bulking diet has been so far usually lots of chicken drum sticks and white rice, and lots of steak and white pasta, eggs and turkey bacon or regular bacon every once in a while, and turkey drum sticks and carnitas in white rice with sauce. Ive been working out 5 days a week as hard as humanly possible to the point where if i move to fast when i get done i swear i could tear a muscle because they are so soar and pumped.

Yesterday I did over 200 reps for legs all together using 200 pounds up to 400 pounds half of those reps were squats. And today im not sore lol i bet my fucking work out partner is though.[/quote]

Be careful. The first few pounds will be more from water, stored glycogen, extra food in your body and you may think you are ‘gaining tons of muscle’ just because the scale is going up and with the extra food you feel stronger, but that does not mean you can just keep eating like that. It may catch up.

Remember, wheter you are bulking or cutting there are no short cuts, just a tried and true formula. Success = Consistency X Time

It’s definitely possible to gain muscle in a caloric deficit, even AFTER the beginning stages of your first training experience. I’ve gained muscle mass consistently maintaining very low bodyfat levels without anabolics, but you have to really be on point with your carb/caloric cycling, rest, and training. Obviously, the best way to put on LBM is having a caloric intake at or above your daily caloric expenditure.

As far as for your clean bulking, everyone is different. Some people are carb tolerant and others completely intolerable. Myself for example, am carb intolerable, but I can eat a very high amount of fat and my body metabolizes it very well. Feel out how your body reacts to certain carb intakes, fat intakes, and even protein intakes for the best nutrition plan possible.

Whatever you decide, however, ween yourself onto a clean bulk and do not jack your calories anymore than 250 every week or two. The more gradually you ween yourself onto a clean bulk the better. I recently made the transition from years of staying extremely lean for modeling purposes to clean bulking for bodybuilding. The gradual increase in calories absolutely is doing WONDERS for me. My insulin sensitivity is through the roof. Take advantage of times like those if they are at your disposal

[quote]Drivennn wrote:
It’s definitely possible to gain muscle in a caloric deficit, even AFTER the beginning stages of your first training experience. I’ve gained muscle mass consistently maintaining very low bodyfat levels without anabolics, but you have to really be on point with your carb/caloric cycling, rest, and training. Obviously, the best way to put on LBM is having a caloric intake at or above your daily caloric expenditure.

As far as for your clean bulking, everyone is different. Some people are carb tolerant and others completely intolerable. Myself for example, am carb intolerable, but I can eat a very high amount of fat and my body metabolizes it very well. Feel out how your body reacts to certain carb intakes, fat intakes, and even protein intakes for the best nutrition plan possible.

Whatever you decide, however, ween yourself onto a clean bulk and do not jack your calories anymore than 250 every week or two. The more gradually you ween yourself onto a clean bulk the better. I recently made the transition from years of staying extremely lean for modeling purposes to clean bulking for bodybuilding. The gradual increase in calories absolutely is doing WONDERS for me. My insulin sensitivity is through the roof. Take advantage of times like those if they are at your disposal[/quote]

i agree with the gradual increase of calories—

i think the best “rule” for “clean” bulking is to just make sure you are not packing on scale weight too quickly—i think 2 lbs a month is a decent guide line- however to be honest probably for every 2 lbs you gain .5 of that might be new muscle tissue- However thats just how natural bodybuilding works–dont be fooled into thinking a massive increase in scale weight over a short period of time is doing anything productive for your physique.

I don’t think you can go too far wrong adding 100 daily calories per week for the first month feeding yourself 400 more from carbs for training days when coming out of maintenance. The initial few pounds seems to go on quite quickly but I think this is mainly glycogen and extra food being carried in the gut.

After a month or so you should be fully swollen and can continue upping by 50 daily calories per week until you look in the mirror and say “enough is enough!”

This shouldn’t be for a VERY long time so long as you stay smart and consistent…

[quote]bigslickmelter wrote:
I don’t think you can go too far wrong adding 100 daily calories per week for the first month feeding yourself 400 more from carbs for training days when coming out of maintenance. The initial few pounds seems to go on quite quickly but I think this is mainly glycogen and extra food being carried in the gut.

After a month or so you should be fully swollen and can continue upping by 50 daily calories per week until you look in the mirror and say “enough is enough!”

This shouldn’t be for a VERY long time so long as you stay smart and consistent…[/quote]

Any of you being this analytical as to only add 100 cals a day will likely not ever get that big.

Wow. I never would have expected such a plethora of anorexic males to gather on this website. Perhaps you should collect your shriveled scrotums and scamper back to bb.com…because you clearly neither possess, nor give a fuck about testosterone (that almighty reason-defying hormone). You want to bulk? Then bulk. Eat clean by all means, but don’t micromanage.

Read anything by Mark Rippetoe, John Berardi, Jim Wendler, Dave Tate…anyone not associated with the Velocity Diet. They all agree: you need to eat to grow.

But seriously, don’t listen to me, or anybody else. Try to force calories before, during, and immediately after your workout, but otherwise…know your own body. If carbs sap your energy, stick to protein and fats…especially as the day progresses. And learn to eat when you’re hungry.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]bigslickmelter wrote:
I don’t think you can go too far wrong adding 100 daily calories per week for the first month feeding yourself 400 more from carbs for training days when coming out of maintenance. The initial few pounds seems to go on quite quickly but I think this is mainly glycogen and extra food being carried in the gut.

After a month or so you should be fully swollen and can continue upping by 50 daily calories per week until you look in the mirror and say “enough is enough!”

This shouldn’t be for a VERY long time so long as you stay smart and consistent…[/quote]

Any of you being this analytical as to only add 100 cals a day will likely not ever get that big.[/quote]

you’d have to be so anal about calorie counting it’d drive you mad