This calculator is for people who want to increase muscle (bulk up) while keeping fat gains to a minimum.
An effective weight training program is absolutely essential (otherwise all calorie excess will be stored as fat). See the weight gaining article for more.
Stick to the big core movements:
Do them once a week in a split routine like this:
Monday: Deadlift, Bench Press
Wednesday: Dips, Chins or Pull Ups
Friday: Squats, Shoulder Press
Gaining weight requires a calorie excess.
Depending on your current metabolic rate, activity levels (and other factors including hormones), this amount will vary from person to person.
Begin with this amount and monitor your weight week-by-week. If you are not gaining, then you will need to boost your food intake until you see gains.
If you have trouble putting on weight you will need to eat a LOT of food. For some people this could be 5000+ Calories per day.
As you gain weight, you will need to re-calculate your calorie needs as a high weight means more calories are burned every day!
You are not alone! Read on for some good places to get help.
Some writers refer to you as a hardgainer – you do the same exercises and eat the same as your friend. He puts on muscle, and you gain nothing.
We recommend avoiding muscle building magazines.
Most present a very false and unrealistic representation of the hard work and discipline it takes to gain weight. A number of magazines are owned by supplement companies – which makes some of these publications one big glossy ad for the supplement of the month.
Supplements can play a role – but the basis of weight gain is nutrition – not pills and potions.
Weight gain comes from three sources; fat, muscle, or water. The kind of weight that is gained depends on:
Only the genetically superior will gain pure muscle mass without any fat (and often this can occur with weight training beginners – called "beginner gains").
The average person will gain fat alongside muscle – this can often only be monitored by measuring body fat percentage against weight.
Some believe that more protein may be beneficial if more intense training is carried out – but this is a controversial point and many bodybuilders often consume too much protein.
However research does point to the fact that muscle hypertrophy (growth) requires a positive balance of muscle protein and amino acids. This can only come from food intake. Without food, resistance training can result in muscle catabolism (breakdown).
Hormones – specifically insulin and testosterone have a significant role to play also.
This weight gainer will estimate your current daily maintenance level and add a percentage of calories to the total. Daily maintenance level is estimated using the Mifflin St Jeor formula.
There are many opinions as to what constitutes the best macronutrient levels. However it is commonly agreed that increased amounts of protein are helpful if doing strength training.
The calculator will estimate optimal nutrient levels for quality gains.
If you struggle to get enough protein into your body from your diet try using whey protein. This is taken in shake form and can be had at any time throughout the day.