PDA

View Full Version : Surplus calorie cycling - pros / cons



Dorich
02-20-2017, 05:11 PM
Seeing how I've had good results with calorie cycling while in deficit, helping me with appetite, I was wondering about cycling during a surplus.

For example, a weekly surplus of 1750 kcal divided evenly over seven days vs. having more on workout days and less on resting days.

Or, another example, eating merely maintenance on resting days and having the surplus only on workout days?

At the end of the week, it'd be the same surplus... but would there be any advantages / disadvantages to the above scenarios?

Many thanks.

Mrpb
02-20-2017, 06:15 PM
Keep in mind there are no studies available that have investigated this.

My take:

In beginners I wouldn't recommend calorie cycling in surplus because:
- it makes things more complicated
- MPS is elevated for a very long time in beginners (up to 72 hours)

In more advanced lifters that are significantly less active on rest days I would recommend eating more on workout days (especially around the workout) because:
- it can help with performance and recovery
- it ensures adequate energy is available when MPS is elevated most (the first ~16 hours after the workout)
- being in significant surplus when energy expenditure and MPS are low is likely to lead to fat gains.

desslok
02-20-2017, 08:48 PM
To add on the above:
For beginners, it tends to end up in wheel spinning.

Dorich
02-24-2017, 05:17 PM
Thanks everyone.

What about adding merely 100 kcal on weight lifting days to sort of "make up" for the calories burned during the workouts?

Mon / Wed / Fri: 3 x 350 kcal = 1050
Tue / Thur / Sat / Sun: 4 x 200 = 800 kcal

I'm thinking about these things because with the surplus being relatively low, it is quite easy to not be in a surplus at all, hence the additional 100 kcal on workout days.

Thoughts?

EjnarKolinkar
02-24-2017, 05:57 PM
but would there be any advantages / disadvantages to the above scenarios?

What profound MPS, anabolic effects do you suppose 100 cals will have? Do we believe 100 calories is that powerful a stimulus?

If I felt the need to complicate my surplus by shifting calories around I would add my stolen 100-150 calories to my post workout meal(s) 3x a week. Workout is the stimulus like noted in post #2. But you have to figure they came from the pre workout meals \_(ツ)_/

Thing is when I look back over the last 5 years most of my highest calorie expenditure days were not on training days.

Mrpb
02-24-2017, 06:04 PM
Thanks everyone.

What about adding merely 100 kcal on weight lifting days to sort of "make up" for the calories burned during the workouts?

Mon / Wed / Fri: 3 x 350 kcal = 1050
Tue / Thur / Sat / Sun: 4 x 200 = 800 kcal

I'm thinking about these things because with the surplus being relatively low, it is quite easy to not be in a surplus at all, hence the additional 100 kcal on workout days.

Thoughts?

Mental masturbation. Variety in food labels and non exercise activity level will be more than 100.

I'd go with 300 calories or more on workout days. This assumes your rest days are actual rest days. Some people like to go running on their rest days.

Znik
02-24-2017, 11:58 PM
Thing is when I look back over the last 5 years most of my highest calorie expenditure days were not on training days.


Mental masturbation. Variety in food labels and non exercise activity level will be more than 100.

I'd go with 300 calories or more on workout days. This assumes your rest days are actual rest days. Some people like to go running on their rest days.

^ That is part of why I always recommend a steady intake that gives a steady weight gain instead of calorie cycling.
Daily NEAT various can be huge, and more so on rest days where you aren't worn out from the gym.

What's the point of working your ass off in the gym and then risk not providing enough energy to grow, it's not like recovery and gains instantly stop on the rest day.

As Mrpb said, there is no concrete studies on calorie cycling (at least I can't remember having read any), so it may be beneficial or it could be detrimental, afaik it's just a theory in the fitness world that it may mitigate fat gain, while we do know that a steady small-moderate steady surplus works.

Mrpb
02-25-2017, 12:06 AM
For me my rest days at mostly passive while my exercise days are more active. If I wouldn't calorie cycle I wouldn't be in surplus on my workout days, when it matters most.

And even for the intermediates that are equally active on workout days as on rest days: MPS is most elevated the first ~12-14 hours post workout. MPS is a very energy intense process. Not being in surplus in those hours will likely mean not maximising muscle gain.

Dorich
02-26-2017, 02:52 PM
What profound MPS, anabolic effects do you suppose 100 cals will have? Do we believe 100 calories is that powerful a stimulus?

Oh no, sorry maybe I wasn't clear enough. I meant adding 100 kcal on top of the already existing surplus kcal on those workout days.

The intended weekly surplus is 1750 kcal. Normally it would be evenly divided, meaning 7 days x 250 kcal surplus. But in this case the modified surplus would be this:

Workout days = Mon / Wed / Fri = 3 x 350 kcal = 1050 kcal

Resting days = Tue / Thur / Sat / Sun = 4 x 200 = 800 kcal

Total weekly surplus: 1850 kcal, which is only 100 kcal more per week than the originally intended 1750 kcal.

Simply put, instead of doing 250 each day, there'd be 200 on resting, and 350 on workout days. My logic, which is perhaps wrong, is that this acts as a safety of sorts, to make up for certain "lost" surplus calories on workout days, since those days are somewhat high volume.


Thing is when I look back over the last 5 years most of my highest calorie expenditure days were not on training days.

Yeah, I'm fully aware that there can be activity (lengthy walks, helping a friend with something, etc.) on resting days which can significantly decrease or even eliminate a surplus in extreme cases. My question regarding this would be, if you're pretty sure you've burned a lot of calories on a certain day, is it a good idea just to eat a tiny amount of calories (70 - 80 kcal) from carbohydrates at the end of that day? The goal would be to ensure a surplus is still occurring, even if it's just a tiny one.

And my apologies, I'm just completely new to the bulking thing. In my final stage of cutting, but I'm just planning ahead. ;)

Mrpb
02-26-2017, 05:41 PM
One thing is certain, you're massively overthinking this.

If you want to give the calorie cycling a go, just eat a reasonable amount of calories more on your workout days, say 300.

Dorich
02-26-2017, 06:11 PM
One thing is certain, you're massively overthinking this.

If you want to give the calorie cycling a go, just eat a reasonable amount of calories more on your workout days, say 300.
You're right. I'll eventually see how the progress goes and I can always adjust.

I think 200 on resting days and 300 on workout days is a good start.

Thank you.

magician27
02-26-2017, 06:11 PM
you wont see any difference that you can measure. todays surplus will be used in next day's training session. your body is not storing all the surplus as fat at the minute you eat them.

Mrpb
02-26-2017, 06:18 PM
I think 200 on resting days and 300 on workout days is a good start.

Like I mentioned before, 100 calories difference is probably not enough. Variations is food labels are more.

Dorich
02-26-2017, 06:39 PM
Like I mentioned before, 100 calories difference is probably not enough. Variations is food labels are more.
I'm sorry, can you please clarify? If my goal is 1 kg weight gain per month, what would be a good way to start? My workout days will be moderately high volume, probably four times a week.

Three resting days, four workout days.

I was thinking 200 on resting and 300 on workout?

Mrpb
02-26-2017, 06:42 PM
I'm sorry, can you please clarify? If my goal is 1 kg weight gain per month, what would be a good way to start? My workout days will be moderately high volume, probably four times a week.

Three resting days, four workout days.

I was thinking 200 on resting and 300 on workout?

How long have you been training seriously?

What are your lifts currently?

At what time of the day do you workout?

Are you considerably less active on rest days than on training days?

Dorich
02-26-2017, 07:09 PM
I've been training since summer of last year. Lifts are not impressive, to say the least, as my entire weight training has been during a long aggressive deficit with a huge amount of fat loss (see signature). Prior to that I was completely untrained.

I'm still cutting, but whenever I start bulking I'll be working out in the late evening hours. I also don't think I'll be any less active on rest days.

In any case, I think I'll figure something out. Later on I can always adjust.

Thank you for your help.

ErikTheElectric
02-26-2017, 07:11 PM
One thing is certain, you're massively overthinking this.

If you want to give the calorie cycling a go, just eat a reasonable amount of calories more on your workout days, say 300.

This.

No reason to be (literally) spinning your wheels unless your body fat percentage is unnecessarily high.