Upping your Calories

I am 4 weeks into my muscle gain (hypertrophy) training programme and I want to talk about calories.


12 weeks is a very short time to gain a lot of muscle, so I am not expecting massive visible gains.

To reiterate why I am doing this is

1. I really want to experience the process of muscle gain for a better understanding so I can relate to my clients.

2. More muscle, higher basal metabolic rate, can eat more 🙂

3. It’s great for your health for many reasons – bone health, muscle health, mental health to name a few

4. I want a bigger bum!

Here is how I started.


Calories – averaging 2300-2400 a day (10% calorie surplus on my maintenance calories)
Protein – hitting 120-140g per day

Eating – 4-5 times per day

Trying – 5 sessions in the gym, 3 lower body and 2 upper, no extra cardio

Steps – 10,000-12,000


Scale results so farI lost 100g!! Ok so I know that is nothing but after 4 weeks of eating at least 300 calories more per day than usual I lose weight! I couldn’t believe it and I am a little gutted. (which I never thought I would say)


Here are the possible reasons why

I had my maintenance calories wrong – these calculators are an estimate guys, they are not exact

My NEAT (non-planned movement) is higher because I am eating more therefore, I have more energy

The thermic effect of food – this accounts for 10-15% of our calories burned per day – the more fiber and protein you eat the more you burn digesting it. Fat and carbs have a lower TEF. I have a high fiber and high protein diet.


What I will do nextI need to be gaining weight. That weight will be a mixture of some fat, muscle sand other tissues. I have to accept that fat gain will be part of the process. I will increase my calories by another 150 and bring my steps down to no more than 10,000 and see how I feel then. I will probably check weight again in another 2 weeks to make sure I am not losing weight.


New calories – 2500!!


Doesn’t this just prove that massive calorie deficits are not necessary and that having the odd off day will not ruin your hard work if you are trying to lose fat.


This has not been 4 weeks of perfection for me. I have not been as consistent as I would have liked with my calories, I have drunk a little but more alcohol than usual, I may not have pushed myself as much as I could have on each training session and I am not seeing results yet, but this is where patience and perseverance comes in. I will keep showing up because consistency is key.

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