T Nation

More Calories, More Muscle??


It's common knowledge that muscle is only gained with an excess of calories. But does anyone know if there's ever been any studys to show if extreme excess calories build more muscle? Example: Is taking in 200 calories more than your daily expenditure going to produce the same muscle gains as 2000 excess calories? And does the addition of fat gain help promote additional muscle gains?


AS you further increase your calories Nitrogen Balance(muscle growth) does indeed go up further.. BUT, the ratio of muscle mass to fat gain decreases....

Hypothetical example...

500 calories excess = 70% muscle gain & 30% fat gain
(2/3 lb of muscle & 1/3 lb of fat)

1000 calories excess = 50% muscle gain & 50% fat gain..
(1 lb of muscle & 1lb of fat)

I'll stick with a slow bulk myself...

hope that helps..


It seriously depends on the person, the diet, and the training.


True, because genetics are a primary factor. As far as whether fat gain helps in added muscle mass, yes, it does. By increasing leverage, your strength is increased as well. There would obviously be a point of diminishing returns, but added body weight as a whole does help in strength gains.

Taking in 2,000cals over maintenance, however, would probably lead to much more fat being gained for most people than muscle.


Just to add though. Look at the ratio of nutrients of those extra calories.

So think along the lines of the amount in grams of protein,carbs and fat that you body needs for they and try not to think about the 'calorie' per say....


I agree, let's just say YOUR specific body will only need 400-700 extra calories to grow new muscle, the extra 1300 will have no purpose and will end up as fat gains.

This of course is not the same for everybody, but generally true in one form or another.


IMHO, as stated above, genetics play the major role in determining the ratio of lean tissue versus adipose tissue gained on above maintenance calorie diets.

What's the great genetic equalizer? Anabolics of course.

Not just anabolic pharmaceuticals, but also supplements (supplements to much smaller extent).

Anabolics, again IMHO, allow one to drastically alter the ratio of lean/adipose tissue gained, even at calorie levels just above maintenance. Anabolics make your system's nutrient efficiency much better.


Thanks for the replys.