How many reps I should do to build muscle? How many calories should I consume to gain muscle mass? There are many different answers and different opinions on these questions, but one is sure - you need to consume more calories than you burn every day. You need to constantly be in caloric surplus.
But, that isn't so easy and it doesn't mean that if you eat twice more calories than you need that you will build twice as muscle. Also, that doesn't mean that you should eat anything. By the way, check out the list of muscle-building foods you should include in your diet:
There is an upper limit of nutrients that you can consume and turn into muscle which means that there is no point in eating calories that would just be stored as fat. Of course, it is very common that you will gain some fat while trying to build muscle mass but that doesn't mean that you should eat more that it is enough for the muscle to grow.
Now you are probably thinking something like this:
But those big guys on YouTube say that I need to consume at least 5000 calories to gain muscle mass.
Your muscles need enough calories and enough proteins to grow, you don't need to consume 5000 calories every day if you weigh about 170 pounds. That would be too much and many nutrients will be stored as fat. Protein also, if you consume more proteins that you need that excess of proteins will be stored as fat and nothing else.
There is no natural way to build 10 pounds of muscle every week, it doesn't exist. You need to focus on steady lean muscle gains. The whole point of muscle growth is to pursue progressive overload every week and to be in caloric surplus every day.
SO, HOW MANY CALORIES DO YOU NEED TO GAIN MUSCLE?
Some people say that one needs to multiply his body weight in pounds by 16 - 17, well I recommend you to multiply your body weight by 20. You might gain some fat along the way but if your diet is perfect there is nothing special to worry about. You can always shred one or two pounds of fat after you reach the size that you always desired.
Let's do some calculation for all you lazy people over there:
If you weigh about 160 pounds, for example, you need to multiply that number by 20 as I already mentioned which will be equal to 3200. You can add about 100 calories more if you want to be sure that you consumed enough, but I think that 3200 calories will be enough for you muscles to grow. Now, as you gain more and more muscle mass every week, you are going to need more calories and more proteins. If you reach the 170 pounds weight then multiply that number by 20 and the result is - 3400 calories.
I know that there are many recommendations that differ from mine and that is mostly because I recommend more calories than someone else, or less than someone else but you can adopt this advice and see if it works for you. I believe that it does, especially if you are just started your bulking phase.