To build muscle is advised to increase my caloric intake by 20%....which to me seems like an extreme jump. I'm thinking about increasing my caloric intake by 10 kilocalories everyday.

Once I reach the advised 20% surplus (about after 55 days) would it be wise to stop increasing calories everyday or keep going to avoid plateaus in muscle gain?

Currently my entire training is weighted calisthenics on bars and on the floor

  • 3
    10kcal surplus per day is an unmeasurably small amount. In fact, 10kcal is so little that you're not going to be able to adjust amounts that small. It's less than 2 almonds' worth of calories. I'm not familiar with the 20% rule, but there is no one-size-fits-all percentage to go by. It all depends on your goals, your workout regimen, your current state, etc. And we don't have much to go on in this question.
    – Alec
    Jul 30, 2018 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


20% increase could be a fairly non-extreme jump, assuming your current amount of calories is somewhere around your baseline (meaning you are not gaining any weight, but not loosing any as well). For example, if you eat around 2000 calories per day, 20% increase would change it to 2400 calories, which is just like adding 1 banana and 1 protein shake with water. Doesn't seem too extreme for me.

I haven't heard of 20% increases as a norm. More often you would read about increasing in increments of 500 calories with adjustment on a weekly basis.

I wouldn't worry about strength plateaus until you actually reach it, as it take a lot of effort (assuming normal diet) to reach it.

Feel free to do a 20% jump in calories, if you are hungry or notice a lack of strength improvement or always feel tired. Otherwise, you would just try eating the way you eat at the moment.

To answer the question directly, it is probably unwise to try and increase calories every day, as it is too difficult to track. It could be wise to keep increasing calories on a weekly basis, if you feel the need to do so.

  • If you take the 55 days at 10 per day, that's an increase of 550 calories. Baseline calories where that is a 20% increase is 2250 calories. I agree on your assessment.
    – JohnP
    Jul 30, 2018 at 20:15

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