Okay so I have used like 400 different methods of trying to figure out my maintenance/bulk/cut caloric needs and there are so many ways that I have no idea which one to base a good bulking/cutting diet off of. I have read through and used John Berardi's method, taking into account RMR/TEF/daily activity level/workout level, and on my hardest training days my caloric needs came out to 3965 calories (on my rest days they are still at 3200).
That is a HUGE number, does anyone out there really think that a 5'6" 145 lb'er would need that much food to lean bulk? No doubt if I hit that number I would bulk for sure, especially being predominantly mesomorph, but would that be a number for a clean bulk?
On top of that method, I have searched google for BMR calulators, used bb.com's BMR calculators, and even done the formula myself and I have gotten different answers for each BMR. I averaged it out to 1660.55. So I took that and multiplied it by my activity level (haven't really seen a good scale for it so I guessed it was the 1.725 option just to not be over-emphatic or undershoot the number too much) and came up with 2864+500=3364 calories a day. Still a big number, in my opinion, but more plausible than 4000, I would think.
Then I have also done the simple, multiply your weight by 20 (20 being the optimal bulk number from what I have read) and have come up with 2900 calories. These are 3 pretty dramatic differences in numbers and I figure each method is going from more in depth to least but I struggle to know which one I should be basing my bulk off of? I assume my metabolism is pretty damn fast (or would it be slow) because I have done so much running in my life that my resting heart rate is actually 40 bpm. That is after eating breakfast and walking to medical from my barracks (which is a good 1/4 mi. walk).
So I might understand ME in particular (maybe) needing 4000 calories, but say I were just an average dude at 5'6" 145lb. Would I need that much to bulk?
So I guess my question is, what do all the guys out there (that have had a good clean bulk and then cut cycle) prefer to use as their calculator for their caloric needs for said cycles? Sorry for the long post, just really would like some help with this. I am going to do about 3000 cal/day with 40p/35c/25f macronutrient breakdown (all clean food) and see how that works for me (unless someone out there has some substantial proof or words of wisdom that would convince me to buy into the 4000 calorie thing).
Thanks guys. Again, sorry for the long post, but I am sure there are some more idiots (like myself) out there with the same thing on there minds at this point.