… or put on muscle.
Nowadays, most people that start going to the gym just for the sake of lifting or to start some serious training have one thing in mind: add muscle and burn fat. Unfortunately, this is not possible. To burn fat (or lose weight) you need to eat less than your maintenance, to add muscle (or put weight on) you need to over your maintenance – or the TDEE which I was talking about in the Cutting post.
There is though a slight posibility to add muscle and lose fat at the same time. This only happens when you’re a beginner and never lifted weight before, you’re obese and of course still a beginner or if you use anabolic steroids – which I do not recommend.
But let’s go back to putting on muscle. As you’ve read above, you need to eat over your maintenance, or your TDEE. Also, when trying to put on muscle there is a big possibility that you will also put some fat. The amount of fat that you will add depends on how many calories over your maintenance you will eat. The more you eat, the more fat you will eat. A good calorie base for adding muscle should be to add to your TDEE between 300 and 500 calories. So if your maintenance is 2800 calories, to add muscle you should eat around 3100 to 3300 calories every day. If you eat less, you’ll have a slow progress (too slow, trust me), if you eat more, then you will start adding more fat.
So get over it and get used to the thought of adding some fat along with muscle. When you see that you added too much fat, just start cutting.
Going back to our subject. Now you know how many calories you need to eat. Now you need to divide these calories into your macro-nutrients (to know more about them, read the Cutting post).
The most important macro-nutrient is protein. Eat at least 2.2g of protein per kg. That means that if you’re 70kg, eat at least 154g of protein everyday.
When it comes to fat, you should try to eat around 1g of fat per kg. Don’t go below because fat is involved in hormone production, meaning that you will have healthy testosterone levels, but don’t go above too much (only if you’re an ectomorph with a really high metabolism – still, don’t exagerate). So that means 70g of fat a day.
Carbohyrates – or carbs – are extremelly important when it comes to bulking. They give you energy and they are stored as glycogen in the muscles cells from which you will get your energy from instead of taking your energy from fat or from amino acids – when eating too few carbs. Aim to eat mostly complex carbs during the day and simple – or sugary – carbs before, during and/or after your workout.
So how many carbs should you eat? Well, let’s go back to the theory. Let’s say we’re talking about a 70kg person with a TDEE of 2800 calories. That means that he should eat between 3100 and 3300 calories a day. Let’s say 3300. He needs to eat 154g of protein a day, which means 616 calories. He also need around 70g of fat, which means 640 calories. We are now left with 2044 calories and this would mean that this person can eat 511g of carbs. If this seems to high, you can reduce them a bit and replace the calories with the ones from protein. Therefore, he could eat – for example – 450g of carbs, 215g of protein and 70g of fat, which means exactly 3300 calories.
Where should you take these calories from? Read the Cutting post for this information.
Next post will be about training for bulking and for cutting.