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What Macros to Increase for Bulking?



I am 165 lbs with 10% body fat and would like to know what macro nutrients I should increase for bulking up and why?

I currently follow a hypocaloric diet with 2g protein/ pound, 50 g carbs a day and approx 0.5 g fat/pound.

So switching to a lightly hypercaloric diet, what macronutrient combination should I have? I hear there is no use in me increasing protein further across the current threshold? So should I increase fats and/or carbs? Which ones and why? Are carbs really needed at a higher than current rate for bulking up? Should I increase fats for further good impact on hormones?

Furthermore, I've read here http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/329/The_Top_10_Donts_for_Mass_Gaining.aspx that : "Researchers at the University of Connecticut at Storrs found that a protein/carb shake also helps increase the number of testosterone receptors.

For those athletes who are already lean, Iâ??ve found that results are best when you use a formula that contains four carbs to every gram of protein. For carbs, you should be taking one gram per pound of bodyweight post-workout.For protein you should be taking 0.25g per pound of bodyweight" O.k for the proteins but what about the carbs? This would mean 1g/lbs of carb post-workout. Is this a good idea?

Thanks for your time & information,



It sounds like you're overthinking it a bit.

If you plan on bulking, just work hard in the gym and eat when you're hungry. If you want to bulk with minimal fat gain: keep the diet clean, go higher carb/lower fat on workout days, and on off days go lower carb/higher fat.

As far as what EXACT numbers are best, that's up to you to find out. Some people can go very high carb, while others blow up and retain a ton of water/get fat as soon as they start eating reasonably high carbs.

Your fat intake doesn't sound too bad. I would begin by playing with carbs. Try adding 50g per week on workout days, and keep doing this until you see any results that you aren't happy with (too much water/fat,etc). At that point, start backing it off little by little (maybe 25g-50g increments) until you find out how many g's of carbohydrates gives you the look/strength you're going for.

I'm a big believer that knowing YOUR body is far more important than struggling to conform to specific numbers. If you want to be meticulous about something, be meticulous about food measurements. That way you'll know EXACTLY where the macronutrient/caloric 'sweet spot' is for your body once you hit it and it will be easier to replicate on a daily basis.



Thanks for the good information. :slight_smile:

Whenever I'll start the bulking up, I'll definetely be going by increments.

Agree on finding the sweet spot, numbers however are good starting point. From there on you adjust to your sweet spot.

However, I am curious as to what's the logic behind the higher carb/lower fat on workout days and lower carb/higher fat on non-workout. Is it because of increased energy so better training


Carbs. Add in carbs. It will be personel what works best for you in terms of macros. Some do good with high carbs some do better with high fat. Just play around with a different ratios and see how you feel and react. Personally i need lots of carbs to feel good.


Check this out:


I didn't reread the whole thing, but it provides some solid background on the matter. I think it even has numbers for you as well.


all of them! its calories youre after so increase all of them!!!


NFW is it a good idea for OP to take in more than 2g/lb BW of protein. Hell, I don't even think more than 1g/lb BW is all that helpful. Over 2g/lb BW is just asinine.


I think he may just not have read the OP...

And I think Glitch may just mean don't worry about specifically JUST adding carbs, or JUST fat, but instead maybe just up your portions a tad, of what you are already eating.


I think you're right... I was belligerent due to other lyfe matters and couldn't resist haha. SORRY FOR BEIN AN ASSHOLE GLITCH.

Do you really think OP needs more than .5g fat/ lb BW? I think the carbs are noticeably low but fats are fine.


LOL. Correct Spidey. I barely read past the title and first sentence and blurted out with the typical mass gain for newbs reply.

In the OPs case he needs to transition from his low calorie diet to a NORMAL way of eating at maintainence before attempting to bulk. Dont go crazy with macro mania but aim for balance across the board. If protein is at 2g per lb of weight then to bulk only carb and fat (energy macros) need to be raised and protein could probably be lowered without detriment.

sorry for jumping the gun!


OP, all sorts of people are going to have different perspectives on this question. Some people do the anabolic diet, limiting carb intake to two 'carb-up' days on the weekend. Some people just don't do carbs at all. Some people always hit the white rice after a workout.

On protein, some people think 1g/lb is sufficient. Some use 2 as a benchmark. Some dudes, Bauer comes to mind, have pushed upping protein intake well beyond that. But then LiquidMercury might think Bauer's perspective on protein intake is crazy. There are just a lot of differing perspectives.

Ultimately, it'll just be up to you to experiment and see what you like doing and what works.




I followed the AD for about 5 months, similar macros to OP but actually fewer carbs (around 30). I fall into this category not being able to handle high carbs, but have been following a higher/carb/lower fat on workout days and lower carb/higher far on off (Sunday). Cardio consists of LISS 3 days a week and HIIT on Saturday. I've seen fairly good results since Jan 1 on this protocol, up about 6-8lbs and look better than I did leaned out. I recommend taking carbs to about 1.5-1.75x BW, slightly smaller than your protein intake. This is where I've found a nice ratio.


I for one am glad the OP is taking a cautious approach. I did the "see food" bulk last year and it did not turn out well.


I dont think anyone is suggesting the see food bulk. In fact i dont think i have ever seen this specifically mentioned. People seem to twist gain weight up into eat whatever when ever because you are gaining.

OP: Experimentation is the key. Track you bw, the mirror and your lifts along with macros and cals. As long as those are moving the right the macros and cals are working for you. If not make a change in nutrition or lifting and see what happens. Track progress and track what you are doing in the kitchen and gym. BOOM


Lol, have you read about how Waylanderxx got huge? Or Prof X? Or MODOK, sorta.... The more that I have read people's stories on this forum and the more I've thought about my own progressions (and regressions), the more I'm convinced that folks need a period where they are just focused on putting more weight on the bar regardless of the aesthetics.

A notable exception to that is KingofBeef, who seems to have insane genetics for putting on lean mass (along, of course, with busting his balls in the gym for years).

It seems like every really big person on this forum had a preliminary period where they went with, while maybe not quite a "see food" diet, something really dang close. Most did it during undergrad (which I really wish I hadn't squandered running marathons/half marathons, ha).


You have to be able to look in the mirror so its personal comfort



Thanks guys. Will be increasing a tad my carb intake.
More importantly, I'll be tracking variations in pictures/weight/measurings with variations in my diet(calories & macronutrients).

I'll be using an excel spreadsheet and the usda database software. Could use free diet tracking software but none seems to be doing it right. Often, can't add unlimited number of meals, visualizing data over larger periods is cumbersome and also often have status bar that track how many calories "left for the day". However, my day's physical activites vary from one to the next so that's also a feature I can go without. Do you know of any no-Bs diet tracking software?(1) allows you to add own foods , 2) Allows you to add as many meals in a day as you want, 3) allows you to easily visualise caloric/macronutrient intake for whatever period of time you choose(so to be in phase with measurings/pictures) 4) No "x calories left bs" Bonus : Can be accessed via android phone(i.e website or native app.)

On a sidenote, have you guys tried the "fitbit" or other calorie trackers? Are they really useful for optimizing diet pipeline by knowing more precisely expenditure or is actually not more precise than an educated gut feeling of diet management?

Thanks for your time,



This isn't what people want to hear, but it is truth.


Same diet with 100 grams carbs periworkout should add a couple pounds per week. Proabably 5 pounds or more in the first week due to increased muscle glycogen/water content.

I would go gradual at first but consider this advice: