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View Full Version : Can You Build Muscle While Not Increasing Calories?



Ham
11-04-2010, 03:08 PM
I read the HCT training principles article and it gave the science behind how u build muscle. So in the article it says u grow bigger when ur muscles are stressed and u have protein in ur bloodstream to actually build the new muscle.

And i always thought that when im bulking i have to eat over maintanance, and its worked so far. But my question is can u stay at a certain weight, and slowly build muscle. (Like a clean bulk) Because if u focus on strength gains, u shouldnt have a problem getting bigger as long as u stay at the same weight and eat enough protein.

Allen Cress
11-04-2010, 04:30 PM
In order to build muscle there needs to be a calorie surplus. Now depending on the amount of the surplus will also in general determine how much more muscle you will add. Building muscle is a very slow progress, with no outside factors of course.

Also unless you have a high metabolic rate most should always eat as clean as possible to avoid fat gain on top of what already would accumulate. Always quality over quantity.

Off Road
11-04-2010, 04:51 PM
Rude understanding of eating maintenance...

1. Eat maintenance calories
2. you work out hard
3. you increase demand for energy
4. you lose weight/fat

Because of the lost weight/fat...
5. you now have surplus energy
6. you build muscle with the extra energy

Not my area of expertise, but that's what I got from the "Bulk or Cut" article.

Basically, if you want to be 200 lbs @ 10% BF, then you have to eat like a guy that is 200 lbs @ 10% BF. At first you'll gain weight and add fat, then you will be at maintenance and start to lean out, etc...

Ham
11-04-2010, 05:36 PM
Ok i see both of ur points. And the author of the warrior diet does this, like he'll maintain and consistently get stronger. Im assuming he's getting bigger, but hes (only) 165 at %8 bf, not to heavy.

But ok i'll keep on doing what i was, eat in surplus

RichMcGuire
11-04-2010, 08:34 PM
Offroad summarized what I was going to say very, very well.

To add something, I can tell you, it's better on paper than put into practice. Unless you're an absolute beginner, you're going to want a surplus of kcals. As long as you hit your total kcals, not much is going to matter. Obviously, you want enough protein but I'm talking generalities here. Macro nutrients are what matter. You can get them from "clean" foods or fast foods. It really doesn't matter.

*I'll note that eating clean like chicken breasts or whatever, is pretty dumb advice for someone who has trouble gaining any sort of weight, be it muscle or fat. You simply can't choke enough food down. And the amount of caloric surplus is going to be the biggest reason or how much fat you do gain*

mchicia1
11-04-2010, 08:45 PM
Offroad summarized what I was going to say very, very well.

To add something, I can tell you, it's better on paper than put into practice. Unless you're an absolute beginner, you're going to want a surplus of kcals. As long as you hit your total kcals, not much is going to matter. Obviously, you want enough protein but I'm talking generalities here. Macro nutrients are what matter. You can get them from "clean" foods or fast foods. It really doesn't matter.

*I'll note that eating clean like chicken breasts or whatever, is pretty dumb advice for someone who has trouble gaining any sort of weight, be it muscle or fat. You simply can't choke enough food down. And the amount of caloric surplus is going to be the biggest reason or how much fat you do gain*

Yup...I recommend ground beef instead for someone trying to gain muscle. Way too hard getting calories out of chicken breasts, unless they are friend from KFC or popeyes.

I am a good example of the diet off road is talking about....only time I have seriously bulked to the point of puking almost nightly was when I was starting out and was painfully skinny. For the last 2 years I have done nothing but increase my calories at a very slow, slow rate. I still only get 3500-4000 calories per day and I am still gaining strength and very slowly gaining weight.

I think this is the way to go for us non competitors. What happens when you do a serious bulk is your lifts will not increase in a linear fashion with your weight gain....so you pack on a lot of extra fat and your lifts could have increased the same even if you ate a lot less calories. Make sense?

Recently I have focused on adding a lot more protein, not necessarily more calories, and I have had nice gains. Its pricey though!