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View Full Version : Im 5ft 6inch tall and weighs 126lb. How much daily calories do I need to bulk up?



jiheonsohng
11-26-2014, 05:38 PM
Hi guys, I'm a short asian guy who's a complete beginner in bodybuilding (I've only worked out for 2 days so far).
I have committed myself to work out consistently for the rest of my life. (This is for a variety of reasons, not just for building muscle)
Anyways, my current goal is to gain as much muscle as possible in a short period of time.

My basic profile:

Height: 5ft 6inch (168cm)
Weight: 126 lb
Exercise level: 3 times a day

I consulted a personal trainer at the gym today and he tells me that in order to bulk up, I need to eat A LOT, about 3500 kcal daily, 6 meals a day.
And he also tells me that carb should account for at least 50% of my meal, since carb is very important in building muscle along with protein.
Now 3500 kcal per day sounds EXCESSIVE to me, since I usually eat about 1800 - 2000 kcal a day.
IIFYM calculator tells me that my TDEE is 1921 kcal / day using Katch-McCardle formula based on an estimated 17% body fat. ( I did not use a body fat caliper; I just guessed).
I know that I need to eat more than my TDEE in order to bulk up, but 3500 kcal is nearly twice my TDEE ! The trainer didn't measure my height, weight, nor my body fat %, so how do you think he arrived at such number? (I should have asked him this)
I mean I don't mind gaining a few percentages of extra body fat if that's what's required in bulking up, but 3500 kcal is 1579 kcal above my TDEE... (I'm not even sure if I can eat that much in a day without relying on mass gainers). I want to maximize my muscle gain, but at the same time, I'm worried if eating that much would make me too fat.

So my question is, in order to optimize bulking up, should i actually eat 3500 kcal per day as my PT tells me to? or should I eat just couple hundred calories above my TDEE (that would be a 2000~2500 kcal daily)? I've also attached a picture of me in case you guys need to see.

PBateman2
11-26-2014, 05:48 PM
Start at ~2500calories. About 20cals per lb of BW.

Further read here to fine tune that number:

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=156380183

Also, I hate your trainer. He sucks.

cls91
11-26-2014, 06:15 PM
Don't listen to your trainer.

Start by reading the Sticky threads here at the top of the forum.


To answer your question, nobody can tell you how many calories you need. Largely dependent on individual factors, two of the larger ones being LBM and your daily activity level. From personal experience, when I was 126lbs (at 5'6 as well), roughly 10-11% bf, and lifting 6x/week (very sedentary outside of training), I was gaining steadily on about 2,200 kcal. Now I'm ~140lbs and that number is closer to ~2,400 kcal. But I sit in an office all day, and daily activity outside of training can make a huge impact on your TDEE.

boo99
11-26-2014, 06:20 PM
Start at ~2500calories. About 20cals per lb of BW.

Further read here to fine tune that number:

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=156380183

Also, I hate your trainer. He sucks.

This here^^

Dump that trainer.

PBateman is your new trainer:p



You will learn more here than from that silly trainer. His actions (or lack of) are sad to hear but not surprising.

jiheonsohng
11-26-2014, 06:57 PM
This here^^

Dump that trainer.

PBateman is your new trainer:p



You will learn more here than from that silly trainer. His actions (or lack of) are sad to hear but not surprising.

When you say that I'll learn more here, do you mean the forum, the articles, or both?

jiheonsohng
11-26-2014, 07:06 PM
Don't listen to your trainer.

Start by reading the Sticky threads here at the top of the forum.


To answer your question, nobody can tell you how many calories you need. Largely dependent on individual factors, two of the larger ones being LBM and your daily activity level. From personal experience, when I was 126lbs (at 5'6 as well), roughly 10-11% bf, and lifting 6x/week (very sedentary outside of training), I was gaining steadily on about 2,200 kcal. Now I'm ~140lbs and that number is closer to ~2,400 kcal. But I sit in an office all day, and daily activity outside of training can make a huge impact on your TDEE.

Thanks for the reply. I particularly appreciate you telling me your personal experience. You lifted 6x/week and still ate under 2500 kcal!! I only lift 3x/week, 45~1hr per session, and as a college student, I'm also very sedentary outside of training. So, would that make my activity factor 1.2? I'm referring to Emma's "Calculating Calories and Macronutrients" sticky.

cls91
11-26-2014, 07:08 PM
When you say that I'll learn more here, do you mean the forum, the articles, or both?


Forums.


Not that all the articles contain bad info, but they are created with the purpose of marketing them, and will often be written with the intention that someone will be benefiting (profiting) from what's written.

The forum will provide lots of unbiased (as well as some biased) information, with people using relevant studies to back up their opinions. Of course, you should always draw your own conclusions. And of course, there will be lots of people who have no idea what they're talking about, so don't always believe the first thing you read.

cls91
11-26-2014, 07:13 PM
Thanks for the reply. I particularly appreciate you telling me your personal experience. You lifted 6x/week and still ate under 2500 kcal!! I only lift 3x/week, 45~1hr per session, and as a college student, I'm also very sedentary outside of training. So, would that make my activity factor 1.2? I'm referring to Emma's "Calculating Calories and Macronutrients" sticky.


Use 1.2, calculate your calories, monitor your weight change over a 2 week period. If it doesn't increase, up kcals by 200 and monitor for another 2 weeks. Keep doing that until you're gaining roughly ~.5lbs/week, or 2-3lbs/month.

The calculators are just meant to provide base starting points, where real life trial and error is what should be the true determinant of your TDEE

KonstantinosMav
11-26-2014, 09:07 PM
You don't have exactly to count every single calorie, as in the long run you might just give up altogether. It some more carbohydrates, frequent meals and drink milk ;)Do not try to gain more than 1-2 pounds per week max.

FrankThaTank24
11-27-2014, 02:58 PM
You don't have exactly to count every single calorie, as in the long run you might just give up altogether. It some more carbohydrates, frequent meals and drink milk ;)Do not try to gain more than 1-2 pounds per week max.

BAD ADVICE.... you do not need "FREQUENT" meals!!!!

jiheonsohng
11-27-2014, 10:39 PM
Use 1.2, calculate your calories, monitor your weight change over a 2 week period. If it doesn't increase, up kcals by 200 and monitor for another 2 weeks. Keep doing that until you're gaining roughly ~.5lbs/week, or 2-3lbs/month.

The calculators are just meant to provide base starting points, where real life trial and error is what should be the true determinant of your TDEE

Thanks, Im gonna get a body fat calliper get a more accurate estimate of my TDEE. Can i ask you few more questions:

1.According to Emma, i need to consume 10~20% more calories than my TDEE in order to gain weight. But is that realistically enough calories to bulk up for most people? So if my TDEE is 1900kcal, i would need to eat 2090~2280kcal?

2.When you say 0.5lb a week, you mean lean body mass right? Cause even if I do put on additional 0.5lb of body weight per week, unless my body fat % is more or less stable, that extra weight would just mean i gained that much more fat, wouldn't it? To put the question another way, how much lb of muscle can i realistically expect to gain in a week or month if i eat at caloric surplus and work out 3 times a week 45~1hr each session?

GG249
11-27-2014, 11:49 PM
Don't get lazy. Always monitor to make sure what you're doing is working and make adjustments if need be. Can't tell you how often I would forget.

Mrpb
11-28-2014, 12:09 AM
Thanks, Im gonna get a body fat calliper get a more accurate estimate of my TDEE. Can i ask you few more questions:

1.According to Emma, i need to consume 10~20% more calories than my TDEE in order to gain weight. But is that realistically enough calories to bulk up for most people? So if my TDEE is 1900kcal, i would need to eat 2090~2280kcal?


Yes start with 2300 calories. Don't make this more complicated than it is.

Make sure you gain 2 pounds per month. If not, raise calories.

Follow a proven lifting program.

jiheonsohng
11-28-2014, 12:38 AM
Yes start with 2300 calories. Don't make this more complicated than it is.

Make sure you gain 2 pounds per month. If not, raise calories.

Follow a proven lifting program.

Thanks, but is that 2 additional pounds of LBM or just weight?

AFC96
11-28-2014, 12:45 AM
Thanks, but is that 2 additional pounds of LBM or just weight?

the higher the surplus. The more fat you will gain.

2lbs may be some fat+water and muscle.

Go

Mrpb
11-28-2014, 01:14 AM
Thanks, but is that 2 additional pounds of LBM or just weight?

Weight.

jiheonsohng
11-28-2014, 08:34 PM
Don't get lazy. Always monitor to make sure what you're doing is working and make adjustments if need be. Can't tell you how often I would forget.

Thanks! Great advice!