Most people are going to start a bulk following a diet or upon their initial stages of training.
As most people may know, in order to gain weight, we need to be in a calorie surplus.
That means consuming more calories than we burn through our daily activity and training.
Establishing Calorie Maintenance & Macro Nutrient Breakdown
I tend to start people on 15 calories (Kcals) per pound of body fat weight. For example, a 180lb person would be 2700 Kcals. Added to that, would be daily activity, a sedentary job where I would add around 100-200 Kcals per day. For a moderate daily job, I would add 200-400 and for an active job 400-600 Kcals.
On top of that, I would add additional calories for each workout they do throughout the week but only consume these additional calories on the days that they train. Obviously it is virtually impossible to accurately attain these numbers so we accurately estimate them in order to establish and maintain a calorie dose.
Once we have done this, we can then start adding calories in order to gain roughly 4 to 6 pounds per month.
Most people make the mistake of ‘blind eating’ calories to put the maximum amount of weight on possible in the shortest amount of time.
This is a bad for 2 reasons:
1) There’s only a certain amount of muscle you can gain in a short period of time. Therefore most of it is going to be water or worst, fat.
2) Its very difficult to maintain consumption of this amount of calories meaning you will start to miss meals or not be able to eat all your meal.
Recording your calories accurately and only eating the minimum calories required to gain, similar to the way we record our calories whilst dieting and then slowly reduce them to continue to reduce body fate each week, we can do the reverse whilst bulking and slowly add calories each week in order to gain.
Once we have roughly calculated our calories it is then time to break that down to a macro nutrient split of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
Protein comes first, and this is calculated based on the persons lean body weight. We would calculate our percentage body fat and therefore how much lean body weight we have got. A 200lb body builder at 10% body fat would have 180lb of lean mass. I would then multiply that by 1.5 to give the recommended amount of protein per day. (So, 1.5 x 180 equals 270 grams of protein per day). This would remain constant everyday.
The remaining calories will be broken down into carbs and fats. I personally recommend a starting point of 15-20% of the total calories to come from healthy fats found in oily fish, nuts, seeds, oil blends avocado and whole eggs.
The remainder of the calories will come from carbs and this is where the daily variations will be accounted for. For example, on a non-training day you will eat less carbs (those of us with less active jobs will also eat less carbs than those with active jobs as they require less energy).
Here is an example of My Diet upon starting to Bulk
Weight 237lb @ 8% body weight
Lean Mass – 218lb
218 x 1.5 = 327 grams of protein
Calories: 218 x 15 = 3270 Kcal
Daily Activity: Active Job = 400-600 Calories
Training Day: Approx 600 Calories
Daily Calorie total = 4270 Kcal
This equates to the following essential breakdown:
If you require assistance in order to understand your nutrition for bulking, dieting or general health and fitness, I have created a specific service which covers the following:
* Understanding of the macro nutrients; proteins, carbohydrates & fats
* Understanding of calories and basal metabolic rate
* Review of eating habits and supplements
* Time Management
* Likes and dislikes