T Nation

How big a caloric surplus?


When seeking muscle gain, I hear various calorie recommendatons, including the standard +500/day. On the other hand, Alessi and Poliquin recommend much less calories. Poliquin stuffs in the calories only one day out of five, and Alessi "bulks" people on 16 cal/lb. Mathematically, for most trainees, these weekly surpluses don't equate to a pound of muscle.

At one time Hatfield discussed rate of muscle gain as a function of the muscle you already have. Therefore, a lightweight guy shouldn't expect a pound of muscle on a good week.

Do you guys think we should be seeking the "1 lb. gain per week" and calculate the calories to get it (accounting for daily activity, protein turnover, etc.). Or are gains possible with an only slightly larger diet that just "tells" the body it's in a state of caloric surplus?