View Full Version : Should I Try to Stay Lean?

08-29-2013, 10:38 PM
So I am now officially reversing my cut for the renaissance faire costume into a build for... well, being built. Now I am presented with a problem: getting chubby.

I know the basics of nutrition when building: eat a calorie excess, eat enough protein especially after exercise, eat enough fat. The calorie excess is the problem, and I have an idea to compromise, but I need the opinion of those who know better before I make my decision.

So I understand that I have to eat my maintenance calories + X to build muscle. That's unavoidable. However, the use of calories by my body to build muscle can be quantified (however difficult), so theoretically, I could say that X is the actual number of calories burned for muscle production. Theoretically, wouldn't eating maintenance + X mean no fat growth because X is only exactly enough calories to build my muscle? Now the recommendations have to be overshoots, as calculating such a specific part of your physiology is impossible and most would rather overkill it than under do it.

So, that said, if I ate a calorie excess, but only half the excess recommended for maximum muscle growth, would I not gain muscle at a slower rate and in exchange gain zero fat? Also, for the sake of curiosity, can/has it been figured out how fast muscle grows on a per-calorie basis (e.g. 200 calorie excess = .5lbs/mo)? I guess that's a fun question, but the real question simplified and rewritten is still...


If I eat a smaller calorie excess to avoid gaining fat, will this severely impact muscle growth, or will it reduce it reasonably?

Note: I am not worried about the slower muscle growth. I am never going to be in a competition and I am more patient than I am willing to do another cut.

08-29-2013, 10:53 PM
No, it's not a mathematical problem, you can predict the weight gain, and estimate how much goes to muscle based on your training, and level of training.

Anyway, lean bulk is 10% to 20% surplus, your appetite for fat and growth will decide if you aim for 10% or 20%.
A good rule of thumb is half a pound to a pound a week, but since the scale fluctuates so much from day to day, it's a good idea to get a rolling average.
Check out apps like trueweight and myweight, you capture daily and they give you the average weekly/daily gains.

08-30-2013, 01:16 AM
If you try go for a surplus to small, you face chances of spinning your wheels and not actually making gains

If you go too large, you face the chance of gaining too much fat

You will always gain some fat.

Remember you can't predict it exactly anyway as there are so many variables such as perfect training routine etc

08-30-2013, 01:59 AM
There is a certain balancing act between not eating too much that you gain unneccesary fat, and not eating enough that you compromise potential muscle gains. But it isn't that difficult.

08-30-2013, 02:34 AM
I gave up trying to lean bulk, with my job, My TDEE is all over the place, in fear of just spinning my wheels, I just eat and eat, and watch my strength go up, I don't look at the scale anymore because someday's I'm eating 600+ carbs, some day's 300... and my weight fluctuates like a mofo, for example 2 day's ago I had 3300 calories, and yesterday I had 6700... why? because yesterday I was on my feet for 10 hour's, lifting pipes, and wrenching all day, and I was frigging hungry... I know I'm gonna get fat on this bulk, but fat gain = Maximum muscle gains have been achieved because the overspillage of calories turned into fat. (That's how I like to look at it :P) My training is intense, and my lift's are going up 2% a week, so I know there are gains...

Muscle = Extremely hard to gain
Fat = Extremely easy to lose

Suck it up, get strong and worry about losing the fat later, if you aren't competing in BB comp, and winter time is around, and you want to make some serious gains, who cares about fat, as long as you aren't putting on like 3-4lbs a week lol.