T Nation

How Many Calories to Maintain/Gain?

Whats up everybody I am new to the site, and my first question is I want to know the amount of calories i need a day to maintain and to gain lean muscle. Ive done all the calculators online and i just dont know how accurate they are. So i figured i would ask some experts. My stats are 23 years of age, 5 foot 8, 129 pounds, BF 9%. I work out 3 times a week for about 115 mins and do cardio 1 to 2 times a week probely around 6 miles at 6mph each time. My job i am a cook/barback 4 to 5 days a week.

Thanx ahead of time for any advice.

2500-3000

what makes you think any of our guesses will be more accurate than a formula DESIGNED to estimate calorie needs?

use the number it gave you as a starting point, and assess your results after a couple weeks.

[quote]JMoUCF87 wrote:
what makes you think any of our guesses will be more accurate than a formula DESIGNED to estimate calorie needs?

use the number it gave you as a starting point, and assess your results after a couple weeks.[/quote]

but, that makes sense

Stop doing cardio. You can not afford to burn those calories at this point. Keep your heart up while lifting but cut down on the cardio big time until you gain about 40 pounds.

Just eat until the scale starts going up quickly.

Start at 22xBW, so for you that’s 2800 cals. I’d get in 1g / lb in protein and 3g /lb in carbs. The rest of the cals from fish oil, walnuts, almonds, peanut butter, avocado and coconut oil - about 85g in fats per day.

Have your carbs in the meals before training, right after training and at breakfast.

Move to a split routine and drop the TBT (sounds like that’s what you’re doing) and cardio (for now).

You have to keep up this eating for AT LEAST 2 weeks, preferably 4, while working out consistently, to see if you’re making any progress at all. Be honest about your habits and keep logs so you can “troubleshoot” your diet/routine.

The thing is I am not trying to bulk up or put on alot of weight Ideally i want to get up to 135-140 with the same 9% bf. Currently i am eating between 2100-2300 cals a day. I have been doing this for about 5 days now.

Wait, you are a chick?

TROLL!!!

140?!?
WTF?!?

I’m at 200
and I see myself as scrawny

then again I started at 150… but still.
the kid that weighs 140 never ever gets any respect.

Well im not trying to get respect from anyone!!! I surf constantly and i like to stay lean alot easier to maneuver. And besides ive been big before and i like having a 8% bf just want a little more muscle.

[quote]JMoUCF87 wrote:
what makes you think any of our guesses will be more accurate than a formula DESIGNED to estimate calorie needs?

use the number it gave you as a starting point, and assess your results after a couple weeks.[/quote]

x 2

I’ll never understand why some scrawny kids want to remain as such. Practically this fella want the brad pit look that’s what he’d saying, albeit in other words.

Eat more carrots or go home.

Also keep things simple, just increment your calorie needs by 500 every couple of weeks while doing heavy compound lifts and check if you’re gaining weight. When you’re gaining then settle at that calorie intake. Stick to basic weightlifting training and keep cardio at a minimum like others said. In simple words you’ll be doing a bulking regimen. Your carbohydrate to protein ratio should be that of 2:1 or 3:1 depending if you’re a ‘hard gainer’ or not. Fats are underestimated. 20% of your macronutrient breakdown should come from fats but that’s only a general guideline. What works for us might not work for you. Experiment.

Also eat more carrots. Had I mentioned that?

[quote]PonceDeLeon wrote:
Wait, you are a chick?[/quote]

Valid question. This needs to be answered. OP seems to light to be a guy. No offense if you are male.

Everyone’s different, and it’s important to find what’s right for YOU. Only way to do that is through experimentation while taking note of the results you’re seeing.

I would just pick a calculation and go from there.

2874.35 calories to gain.