Well I recently talked about if you can gain muscle in a calorie deficit, if you want to check that out then go here.
But what about eating at your maintenance amount of calories, or the amount of calories it takes to maintain your body weight? Would that still be effective at putting on lean mass?
The simple answer is yes, up to a certain point of lifting.
See, after you have lifted for a while your body will become accustomed to lifting weights and will start packing on muscle at a much slower pace, your newbie gains will disappear.
But although muscle gains will slow, this doesn’t mean that you cannot eat at your maintenance amount of calories and still see fantastic results in the gym, at least for a while.
Eventually, your muscle gains will come to a screeching halt and you will need a calorie surplus to gain muscle, regardless of how hard you workout or how ‘perfect’ your diet is.
Gaining muscle is a game of calories, but only to a certain point. I would be willing to say that at least for the first few years of lifting, you will be able to pack on muscle by just eating at your maintenance amount of calories, but this is speculative since everyone is different.
Of course, the fastest way to gain muscle would probably be a surplus, but in my experience this has been different.
Me and my friend had a little muscle building competition a couple years ago, we wanted to see who could pack on the most lean mass in the shortest time period, with one difference between us.
That difference was the fact that I was eating at my maintenance amount of calories while he was eating a surplus of about 500 calories per day. The results?
Well, I’m not gonna lie, he won. But with one side effect.
That side effect is the fact that he was now going to have to cut down his body fat and become ripped again, before bulking back up and adding muscle. As for me, I was still adding muscle while he was cutting down his body fat percentage, so I would say everything evened out for the better.
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that gaining muscle at your maintenance amount of calories is possible for most people and it might actually yield better results than trying to bulk up, become a fat slob and then cut back down again.
So How Many Calories Do I Consume?
To Sum Things Up………
Although the bulking up approach may work to an extent, the truth of the matter is that if you want to see the best results in the gym possible, then a maintenance calories plan will work just as well.
Although you might gain more muscle on your bulking stage, you will eventually have to cut back your body fat and that is time well wasted if you ask me.
Whatever approach you go, just remember that muscle building takes a long time naturally, so don’t expect to eat big and become the next Arnold in a matter of months, it’s just not going to happen like that.