View Full Version : how accurate are these bulking/maintaining/cutting guidelines?

10-22-2008, 02:13 PM
cut = bodyweight x 12

maintain = bodyweight x 15

bulk = bodyweight x 18 ??

do most ppl on here use this as a rough guideline?

because right now i'm cutting and i weigh 189 lbs at 5'10

so according to that i have to eat 2286 calories a day, but i'm afraid i might die if i eat that little.

Jorge Sanchez
10-22-2008, 02:47 PM
It's not very accurate. The only accurate way to determine what you need to cut on is to monitor your caloric intake and your weight.

10-22-2008, 05:53 PM
so these guidelines are not even close at all??
they were kinda true for me for maintaining and bulking, but the cutting calories seemed a bit too low.

@ jorge, do u have any idea how often sum1's maintenance calorie level increases?

like for example, say if i weighed 170 lbs and maintained at 2800 calories, and then i gained 20 lbs, so what would my new maintenance calorie level be at 190 lbs? 3000 calories?

from my almost 6 months of bulking experience, i'd say that my maintenance level goes up by 100 calories for every 10 lbs i gain? is this right at all or am i completely off??

Irish Pilot
10-22-2008, 07:35 PM
They will work for many, and can be used as a very rough guideline. For example, I recently did a bodpod evaluation which is considered one of the most accurate bf% calculations possible. One of the nice things about it, is it gives you a breakdown of your estimated caloric needs. If I take the formulas above and apply them to my weight, it is nearly the same as that report, as well as almost exactly 500 below mx and 500 above.

The best way to do it is to take the time (say 2 weeks) to figure out what your Mx is, and add or subract 500 to it based on your goals. Its time consuming, but if you really want to know your body this is the best way to do it IMO.

10-22-2008, 08:19 PM
those seem way too low, but it will depend on the metabolism. I cut on 16x, maintain on 19x, and bulk on 22x. Some people will need less than that, some more.

10-22-2008, 08:57 PM
or in my case... way too high

10-22-2008, 09:06 PM
It's a descent estimate to start from for most people. Then if your goals are not being met, increase or decrease as needed. But that body will adapt. After dieting i can bulk on 32-3400 but by the time I have gained 25 lbs my calories have gone up to at least 5500-6000 or I wont be gaining weight anymore. I have been as high as 8400 and as low as 2300 and in both cases my bodyweight was maintaining at that point in time. So regardless where you are now, changes will need to be made to continue progressing.

10-25-2008, 04:15 PM
Do you guys actually count calories? I counted for a few days, and I eat roughly the same amount of food every day. Is counting really necessary?

Irish Pilot
10-25-2008, 04:58 PM
Do you guys actually count calories? I counted for a few days, and I eat roughly the same amount of food every day. Is counting really necessary?

I did...then I didnt...now I do. I dont know that I would argue that its really necessary, but for me it allows me to know exactly where I am at on calories and macros (I use fitday). After doing it for several months, you start to get really good at doing it in your head anyway.

The major reason I do it is to try to control cutting and bulking. Id like to believe in the idea that if you are too far over +500 above maintenance, you will be gaining a less than ideal amount of fat on top of muscle. Counting along with tracking my weight on a weekly basis helps me try to minimize fat gain when trying to gain weight.

I think it also depends on body type. People who are "hardgainers" can rely on the whole idea of eat eat EAT. I gain and lose weight easily as an endo and therefore if I just eat when I am hungry I gain weight quickly...and not necessarily good weight.

That info is worth what you paid for it lol.

10-25-2008, 07:24 PM
I count every day, have for many years. And when people ask me for advice in the gym that's the first thing I always tell them. FOR ME it is necassary. Why would I not want to absolutely know I am heading in the right direction, either gaining or losing. But you can certainly attain these goals without cutting. The biggest strongest person i know only counts when dieting for a show. He also gains over 10lbs a month most of it being water and fat, but he is fine with that. Depends on your goals.