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Do we really need a calories surplus to gain muscle on High Doses of AAS

Dugbet

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I found that for myself, bulking up too much offseason didnt translate to onstage weight
(At least in condition). Instead of bulking excessively I kept my diet a bit cleaner very high protein and gradually increased dose aas through dieting phase. Was able to gain muscle while prepping up until maybe a month. I know this is different than the initial 15 years spent gaining the base size though.

As you age, the muscle gains from a gross off-season period tend to decrease, it is also more difficult to eliminate excess fat when you go to the pre-contest diet, so more mature athletes tend to stay cleaner throughout year.
 

Elvia1023

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As you age, the muscle gains from a gross off-season period tend to decrease, it is also more difficult to eliminate excess fat when you go to the pre-contest diet, so more mature athletes tend to stay cleaner throughout year.

Exactly. Many just overeat and get too sloppy. Many over diet as well. Quite a lot do both. Then comes the fact many don't hold their new weight for long enough so they just build over no more than 6 months then diet straightaway instead of holding (and solidifying) their new weight for long enough.

Regarding the thread in general one thing I see a lot of guys do who struggle to grow is just overcomplicate the shit out of eating. They micro manage everything. As Daniel excellently posted last including the quote about Jay Cutler and measuring spoons. The same guys will want to know exactly how many calories over maintenance should they eat... should it be 200, 300, 400... they need to know an exact figure... just fucking eat. Now don't mistake that for just eat anything and everything. There needs to be a structured and sensible plan and set meals/foods but don't overanalyse every last detail. If you want to eat approx 1000 cals "over maintenance" do it but you just need to learn your body and know when to push and when to hold back. Anyone with half a brain can see when they are putting on unnecessary fat so if you are you change things.

I don't believe in force feeding at all as it will ruin your look over time. However to get bigger sometimes things need to be forced to an extent. Although guys should be learning how to make their bodies process food as efficiently as possible. The better your digestion the more you can eat. Picking the right food sources is key to this. I hear guys state they don't have an appetite then create an appetite. Take short walks after every meal (when possible), do morning cardio, eat foods you enjoy and digest well, digestive enzymes, glutamine, healthy foods, probiotics, prebiotics, non toxic drugs, appetite boosters, try to stay stress free, prepare your meals in advance etc etc.

AAS is needed for someone to look freaky but drugs should never come before food. Food is the building blocks to grow and drugs facilitate the process. Picking the right drugs is especially important when trying to grow. Adding in high doses of x, y and z may go against you when trying to grow. For me running even low-moderate doses of many orals can ruin my appetite for example. Most don't need a lot of drugs to grow big they just need the basics. Don't get me wrong you can still blast away if you want but pick the right aids when growing. Toxic drugs (that effect your appetite) can be added when cutting and you don't care about appetite and want to look freaky. Test, deca, primo, eq, npp etc are ideal for growing.

The thought process of low food and high drugs to grow is backwards. Taking in a basic stack (low, medium or high dosed) with non toxic drugs will enable most to grow effectively over time. Now everyone is different but I see too many taking alsorts of crap to grow and they are often the ones who undereat. They would probably undereat anyway but their drug stacks often go against them.
 

Tomgrass

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For me I always had different approach. I never cared about calories per se. But I was always doing macros. For me to progress in the gym and slowly add lean tissue following macros were needed.
Protein around 170-200 fats around 70-100 carbs around 250-300.if those macroes were in place I felt great looked great and slowly progressed. Dont have to mention that diet was rich and full of veggies fruits healthy fats lean meats quality carbs with some nice treats two times a week (fruits sorbet, halo top ice cream or frozen yoghurt. Drugs were at lower side. Till today I eat this way and it never failed me. But my target is not to be the biggest. My target is to look like a Greek statue... Well a little bit more muscular but kinda like men's physique top competitor.
 

brutus69

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what about gaining muscle on maintainence cals? if you're over say, 10-12 percent bodyfat and eat as close to that as u can? wont fat be used as energy when you're just living life between workouts?
ive seen cal recommendations of 20 per pound for nattys. a 200 pound guy needs 4000 cals a day to grow? even when all he does is gym workouts burning 2-300 cals at most, and is sedentary the rest of the time? i highly doubt that. i ate 4200 or so, went from 220 to 235 in 7 weeks on a gram of test a week and frankly i got fat. sure muscle gains but i coulda got the same gains on 500 a day less id bet.
 

brutus69

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For me I always had different approach. I never cared about calories per se. But I was always doing macros. For me to progress in the gym and slowly add lean tissue following macros were needed.
Protein around 170-200 fats around 70-100 carbs around 250-300.if those macroes were in place I felt great looked great and slowly progressed. Dont have to mention that diet was rich and full of veggies fruits healthy fats lean meats quality carbs with some nice treats two times a week (fruits sorbet, halo top ice cream or frozen yoghurt. Drugs were at lower side. Till today I eat this way and it never failed me. But my target is not to be the biggest. My target is to look like a Greek statue... Well a little bit more muscular but kinda like men's physique top competitor.
greek statues have really small wangs..
 

RDS

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what about gaining muscle on maintainence cals? if you're over say, 10-12 percent bodyfat and eat as close to that as u can? wont fat be used as energy when you're just living life between workouts?
ive seen cal recommendations of 20 per pound for nattys. a 200 pound guy needs 4000 cals a day to grow? even when all he does is gym workouts burning 2-300 cals at most, and is sedentary the rest of the time? i highly doubt that. i ate 4200 or so, went from 220 to 235 in 7 weeks on a gram of test a week and frankly i got fat. sure muscle gains but i coulda got the same gains on 500 a day less id bet.
Tricky, isn’t it? Guys out there trying to force muscle growth by eating too much and getting fat, and other dudes spinning their wheels for years trying to stay lean while growing and not getting any bigger.

Put me in camp A. Always too aggressive with the cals and end up getting fat when bulking. Need to learn to be more patient.
 

MR. BMJ

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Some of you guys have it dead on, in that a calorie surplus is needed. The rest of you are dreaming if you think you are going to ever gain any appreciable amount of muscle mass in a calorie deficit or at maintenance. This isn't that hard guys. Hawkmoon, bboy and others mentioned exactly what is needed. Start at a certain point in calories, then increase gradually as you stall. Do this over the course of a year or multiple years, and you will grow....assuming your are progressing in training. If you stick at maintenance or below you are going to look the same every year. You may gain a slight amount after many years, but it will not be what you are looking for. This doesn't mean you have to turn into a fatass in the process, but you have to be willing to look a little soft in some areas along the way, it's not always going to look pretty. Some guys are going to still look better than others in this process, and some will be at much higher (or lower) calories in the journey as well. You don't necessarily have to force feed yourself, but if you are having issues getting in at least 40-60'ish grams of protein every few hours, along with ample amounts of carbs and the needed fats, then you might want to look for a different goal or lifestyle, it isn't meant for you. I see some people's calories on what they eat, and I just shake my head. At the end of it all, some may gain more muscle than others, some just get the short-end of the stick, but you have to also think long-term....like where you will be in 5-10+ years. Once you gain the size and hold it there for a long-while, it gets a little easier. Some of these guys who have built a shit-ton of muscle over the years hardly have to eat much now (not talking about actual competitors, especially top competitors at high levels) once they have developed that hard earned muscle. What you see them eat now isn't what they ate to get where they are now.

Where I see a lot of guys go wrong is that they are not consistent long-term...in eating and training. I also see small guys who 'bulk up' for a few months out of the year, then get paranoid and try to cut down before they have built any kind of new muscle. Or what I see, is that some train hard for a few months, but then other parts of the year, they slack off in diet and training. Guys who have a hard time gaining size are never going to get anywhere like this...you have to be even more determined to stick with all constituents if you want to be successful. You are not going to see guys like bboy and others slack off....they may not always be perfect, but they have earned their stripes in the gym by being there and never missing workout or meals. Yea, they may have better genetics, but I mean, if you compare yourself to others, instead of your own realistic goals, then you have other issues to worry about.
 

Bandy0974

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I definitely did the force feeding for years but one thing I've noticed is sometimes your truly just putting an inordinate amount of stress on your body by eating so much you practically live on the crapper because your body is not processing it. I have seen guys increase calories massively and not gain any appreciable muscle because other factors(recovery,hormone level, genetics). As I got older I found that could eat different macros to put myself into an anabolic state without feeling like absolute crap by shoveling food in my face 24,-7. High protein ,higher good fats and more moderate carbs. I think offseason still needs higher calories than maintenance for sure but I'm no longer a fan of crazy force feeding.
 

Dugbet

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This doesn't mean you have to turn into a fatass in the process, but you have to be willing to look a little soft in some areas along the way, it's not always going to look pretty.

Some guys are addicted to abs and IG selfies, so they will never eat enough, but I tend to think that those who post on this board are not against eating a lot because of this aesthetic factor, but because they felt like shit and not they gained the muscle they thought they would gain by forcing food. And it's not that they were lazy or non-constant, the genetics just weren't there.
 

Explorerspl

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I definitely did the force feeding for years but one thing I've noticed is sometimes your truly just putting an inordinate amount of stress on your body by eating so much you practically live on the crapper because your body is not processing it. I have seen guys increase calories massively and not gain any appreciable muscle because other factors(recovery,hormone level, genetics). As I got older I found that could eat different macros to put myself into an anabolic state without feeling like absolute crap by shoveling food in my face 24,-7. High protein ,higher good fats and more moderate carbs. I think offseason still needs higher calories than maintenance for sure but I'm no longer a fan of crazy force feeding.
Yep, at one point in time I was eating 6-6.5k a day.

I shit about 8-10 times a day and it looked like phlegm and bile 80% of the time with liquid feces mixed in.

Acid reflux 24/7 with acid randomly coming up throughout the day and choking me out. I was so mentally ill about bodybuilding back then I dealt with living like that everyday for 4 months before my body said screw it and I couldn't even eat anymore.
 

fitnessmuscle

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I have absolutely no clue and most other big guys couldn't tell you either. I know everyone wants a magic formula to get results, here's the closest thing to that:
  • Diet down to a legit 6% body fat
  • When ready to break diet, increase daily calories by 500-1,000
  • When weight gain slows, add more calories
Seriously, just eat a ton and train hard. As GH15 once said 'You think Jay Cutler was walking around with measuring spoons?' NO - we eat eat eat, and after 5-6 months we finally start getting bodybuilder fat (not civilian fat) so we diet down and do the process again.

I think the biggest problems guys have with gaining is they're not willing to get a little fat to maximize muscle gains and they can't handle the amount of food it takes on a daily basis to do it. Think I'm kidding? Here's my bulking diet from last year - https://www.professionalmuscle.com/...-7-000-calorie-bulking-diet-at-270lbs.166050/
Yes I didn't mean an exact calorie number, obviously a guy weighing 160 would need less calories than a guy weighing 260, just wondering is it 500k above maintenance or 1000k or more, man at 7000k you must have been gaining lots of weight , let's say your maintenance kals were 3500 a day at 7000k you should have gained 7lbs a week right?
 

danieltx

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Yes I didn't mean an exact calorie number, obviously a guy weighing 160 would need less calories than a guy weighing 260, just wondering is it 500k above maintenance or 1000k or more, man at 7000k you must have been gaining lots of weight , let's say your maintenance kals were 3500 a day at 7000k you should have gained 7lbs a week right?
Again, you can't put exact numbers on stuff due to all the variables - training, supplementation, recovery, etc. I don't know how many calories it takes to gain a pound per week. I only know my maintenance calories like Dec. - Feb. when I'm not actively gaining or dieting. If you gain the right way and start very lean, concepts like maintenance calories don't matter.

The quest for easy answers will leave you frustrated. Track what you do, see if it gets you closer to your goals, and adjust from there. It's the answer nobody wants to hear but it's the answer to achieving your best physique.
 

Pissbrain259

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Being I Know the individual you are responding to personally.

I can I can guarantee you he did not copy and paste that! 100%


If I showed you some of the conversations we've had over the years between our personal text messages, your brain would melt. And that's saying that kindly.

Our phone conversations have been equally the same.

Liar liar pants on fire! :p
 

Pissbrain259

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What about calories used for repairing muscles? Do they get released into heat and destroyed and you get lighter?

Sounds like I’m either smart...or a complete dumbass :)

This is quite an insightful question which I have been asked repeatedly over the years. Unfortunately, there is no one absolute right answer given the countless metabolic processes (and reactions) that continually go on at any given moment. In an attempt to oversimply if complexity of human biochemistry, we can use the example of the "calorie" that you previously mentioned. While this varies from person to person, the human body generally tends to have preferences for the type of calories ingested and where it's likely going to shunt said "calorie" for its current needs to better survive as a living organism. So let's go through a few different scenarios and see what will most likely happen to the aforementioned "calorie".
 

Stewie

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This is quite an insightful question which I have been asked repeatedly over the years. Unfortunately, there is no one absolute right answer given the countless metabolic processes (and reactions) that continually go on at any given moment. In an attempt to oversimply if complexity of human biochemistry, we can use the example of the "calorie" that you previously mentioned. While this varies from person to person, the human body generally tends to have preferences for the type of calories ingested and where it's likely going to shunt said "calorie" for its current needs to better survive as a living organism. So let's go through a few different scenarios and see what will most likely happen to the aforementioned "calorie".
Well, there's that fancy little organelle -lysosomes that act as a reservoir pool of amino acids.

Wrong topic, sorry 😁
 

Pissbrain259

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Cinder

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I've never been able to eat enough really, nor have I been able to keep to a food surplus diet for more than a few weeks. I still grew a good amount without a lot of food.
 

Dugbet

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I've never been able to eat enough really, nor have I been able to keep to a food surplus diet for more than a few weeks. I still grew a good amount without a lot of food.

If you can't eat more, train less, move less. 0 cardio, 4-8 sets depending of muscle, basic exercises, 3-4 days a week, spend no more than 35-40 minutes per workout.
 

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