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Caloric Increase suggestion for muscle gaining

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  • Caloric Increase suggestion for muscle gaining

    Hi Jordan,

    My girlfriend and I have been running a cut for a very long time, started in May after gaining the lockdown 15 and have made a ton of progress but we are running out of steam and think we need a diet break. I have questions for each of our cases and looking for some guidance as we want to go into a surplus in an attempt to build some more muscle.

    My case:

    Full Cut: 233lbs on May 24th, 2020 -> 214lbs on Oct 30th, 2020
    Waist measurements: 40.5" on May 24th, 2020 -> 35" on Oct 30th, 2020 (My fat gain goes directly to the love handles lol)

    Last month Cut: Average weight 217 on week of Nov 30th, 2020 -> Average weight 214.5 on week of Oct 30th, 2020
    Last month Average kCal: 2800 kcals/day

    So, I can reasonably infer that with my current activity level, I am losing ~.625 lb/wk on 2800 kcal/day which puts my maintenance at about 3113 kcal/day. I was skimming through your To Be a Beast article and noticed that you recommend making smaller adjustments such +/- "10-30g of carbohydrates and 4-10g of fat". Since I have a lot of information on my body and intake, I was wondering if you believe it would be appropriate to take a bigger increase than the recommendation in your article. I am thinking of moving to 3300 kcals/day initially which would represent just over 250 kcals surplus. I am highly responsive to training and I think this would be appropriate given that I do not plan to reduce my activity level in any way, i.e. continuing the same amount of conditioning. I would also be following your muscle gaining macro ratios at this kcal level. Is this a reasonable decision, should I start with less of a surplus, let me know what you think?

    Girlfriend case:

    Full Cut: 179lbs on May 24th, 2020 -> 167lbs on Oct 30th, 2020
    Waist measurements: 34.5" -> 31"

    Last month Cut: Average weight 170 on week of Nov 30th, 2020 -> Average weight 167.2 on week of Oct 30th, 2020
    Last month Average kCal: 1650 kcals/day

    Again, I can reasonably infer that she is losing ~.7 lb/wk on 1650 kcal/day which implies a maintenance of 2000 kcal/day. I am thinking again of doing a small surplus of 200 kcals/day which would mean moving intake to 2200 kcal/day. I advertise both cases here on the off chance that you think management would be any different between us as I know the evidence does not support the idea that men and women need significantly different exercise and nutrition recommendations. Let me know what you think.

    One other question I have is how best to monitor gain. We will be measuring waist circumference and checking our weight likely daily, are there any increases that would cause you concern such as if your waist circumference increase is more than .5 inch per pound of weight gain or something like that? Just looking for gaurd rails to stay within while on this journey.

    Finally, thank you for taking the time to read this and I really appreciate all the content that you put out. I found BM in 2017 and since increased my total over 450lbs and have gotten significantly more jacked from your content. Keep doing amazing work!


  • #2
    Hey Pat,

    Nice job on your progress and kudos to your girlfriend as well.

    For you, I think a small surplus, if any, is fine. I'd be more inclined to make a larger jump if your waist circumference was smaller, but in the 35-37" range, I typically like small surpluses or maintenance depending on the context.

    For your girlfriend, I would continue to reduce weight until waist circumference is under 29".

    I think other anthropometric measurements such as arm and thigh circumference can be worthwhile for tracking muscle gain.

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