T Nation

I'm Stupid and I Should Eat More


(The subject of my post is what I think the likely response to my question will be, so I figured I'd just get that out there.)

I'm looking at my calorie intake. I read the Massive Eating article, used the calculator and so forth, but the thing is, I don't know what goal the calculator was created with. I mean, I want functional hypertrophy, but I don't want to go all sumo wrestler in the process.

I'm about 5'10, 180lbs with an acceptably low bodyfat percentage (there's some blurring on the bottom two abs of the "six pack", but I'm not the "walk around shirtless" type, so that's fine by me). I'm 21 and not extremely advanced in the strength game, but I can squat twice my bodyweight and that sort of thing.

I lift four times a week. Once with a 2x3 or 2x5, twice with a 5x5, and once with a 3x8. I walk two miles with a 30lb backpack every weekday (which is unavoidable).

I'm eating about 3,500 calories a day, with an average of 200g of protein. The Massive Eating calculator says I should be eating 5,300 calories.

What would be a good calorie goal for functional hypertrophy?



"functional hypertrophy" :slight_smile:

Eat until you pack on too much 'acceptable' weight. Lift efficiently enough to use the extra cals you plan on taking in.

Don't increase by 2000 cals a day right away. Graduate your caloric increase by lets say 250-500 per day for the first week and add the same each week going forward. This will give you both some time to adjust to the intake as well as gauge your weight gain.

You will also need and additional quart or two of water to go along with your increased cal intake and workout. Very important not to watch your hydration here. The body will really need this during the process.

Expect a little bloating at first, but the body will adjust accordingly in a coupler of weeks.


Whatever the massive eating calculator says. Less if you start to gain fat from it, more if you don't gain from it. It was not designed for Sumo wrestlers, believe me. I'm not sure what the increase in water suggestion was about, I'd recommend you stop drinking water altogether. It'll fill you up without giving you any calories, drink other liquids instead. Milk is a great choice.

In an ideal world you'd drink another quart of water maybe, but you're gonna have a hard enough time as it is.


correction noted on water

I should have said fluid.


What is "NONfunctional hypertrophy"?


I'm curious to find out also.



Dear cap'nsalty,

The question above was, "what is NONfunctional hypertrophy?", not, "What is an example of an escaped mental ward patient who injects topical oil into himself until his arms look like deflated radial tires melting in 100+ degree Texas heat?" See, two completely different questions.


                   Professor X


OOOhh. Wow perfect example.


How is that non-functional? He can probably open a mayonaise jar with those bad boys. Not to mention, need an oil change? Just poke one end of a straw in there and the other into your car... thats almost TOO functional.


He's not called The Ramblin' Freak for nothing!


i 'think' non-functional hypertrophy could be related to size gains without propotionate increase in strength..
any thoughts??


The Proff is just jealous of the guns.


There is no such thing as "proportionate increase in strength" in relation to anyone else but yourself. Everyone with 20" biceps won't have the exact same strength level. I also don't know anyone who got significantly bigger but didn't get significantly stronger. The point is, the guy who staretd this thread used a term as if he was at risk of building size that isn't "functional". This is getting stupid as far as the use of this term.


Didn't mean to push anyone's buttons. Somes sources of information (maybe you could say 'some schools of thought') make a distinction. If that's a false dichotomy then great.

To the other respondents, thanks for the input.


Could you define what functions would like to perform?

What is really meant is inappropriate hypertrophy as opposed to "nonfunctional hyperophy."

For instance you would be out of luck if you wanted to ride in the Tour de France with Greg Valentino's arms.


Ah, I see. A wise distinction.

Getting stronger is just something that I pursue as a hobby. Looking good is okay too, but for me it's a subordinant goal (except for that part about not getting hugely fat, of course).

From what little I understand of the physiology of strength, it seems to me that a solid plan is to do enough high-intensity lifting to increase the percentage of muscle fiber recruitment, along with enough volume lifting to increase one's total number of muscle fibers, keeping in mind that too much volume will place more emphasis on sacro-whatever hypertrophy (the lining around the muscle fibers rather than the fibers themselves).

So, when I said "functional", I really meant increasing the number of muscle fibers. However, my understanding of physiology could be way off.