Back to List
Previous Article:
Front Squat VS. Back Squat
Next Article:
Gain Muscle With Power Micro Drop Sets

How To Go From A Deficit To A Surplus PROPERLY!

Everything You Need To Know!

Posted by DanWynesFitness - June 29th, 2016

For a lot of people, going from a calorie deficit into a calorie surplus can be quite a challenge. Often times you will see people cut down for a show, only to gain 10-20lbs back within a week or two of their competition. Here are a few tips to help you avoid this.

What To Consider When Changing Direction
 There are a lot of differences between cutting and bulking, obviously, including how much cardio you are doing, and more importantly, the amount of calories you are eating, and the make-up of your macros. For example, last year, after my competition, I wanted to put more size on, which required an increase in calories, and a lot less cardio, given that in the last few weeks of prep, I was doing five cardio sessions a week and my food was low due to getting ready to step on stage.

Image title

An old school approach would be for me to throw in a ton of calories at this point to start my bulk. Only problem with this method is that can cause a rebound of weight gain. How is that a problem? Well, it will mostly be fat due to your body not being used to the large amount of food.

Image title

What Happens When I Start Eating More Calories?

Other things to take into consideration are hormone levels. At lower levels of body fat, hormones like testosterone aren't as high, and cortisol is higher than normal. So lower testosterone means it will be easier to store fat, and not as easy to build muscle. This is not good for a bulk. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone, and in elevated amounts it can cause muscle breakdown (catabolism).

Another negative to throwing in loads of calories initially is fat cell creation. Think of fat cells as buckets. If they get full, they will duplicate to carry on being able to store enough fat. While fat cells can duplicate, they can never be destroyed, only emptied. This is one of the reasons overweight people have a tendency to put weight on quicker.

Let me make myself very clear – during a bulk you will ALWAYS gain a bit of fat, but it's about trying to minimise that amount.

How Do You Overcome These Issues?

Drip feed your body with excess calories. Start with a couple of hundred extra calories above what you are currently eating, and build your food slowly back to a maintenance level. This is called reverse dieting! You don’t want to go back into a surplus overnight. Just like you reduce your calories slowly during a cut, you should also increase your calories slowly during a bulk.

So once your food is back to a maintenance level (if you’re not sure what maintenance is check out the meal plan section here on MS), carry on until you achieve slow increases in weight. If for a few weeks there is no weight gain, add some more and repeat until you’re happy.

Try not to over complicate your nutrition. Stick to the basics and make sure your training and diet is spot on before doing a bulk, and DON’T dirty bulk. Make sure you are using progressive overload and sufficient volume in the gym, as you can add pounds of muscle by training right.

What Else Should I Know?

Rest is also an important commodity that most people miss as well. It’s crucial that you rest enough to grow. You grow while you’re resting, not to mention it's important to not push your central nervous system too hard.

Cardio is another tool you can use to reduce calories burned throughout the day. So if you’re burning 200 calories a day through cardio alone, and you’re doing that five days a week, you may want to reduce that cardio, one day at a time. This is a way of getting a calorie boost without just eating more.

 As long as your body doesn't get a big increase of calories all at once, then rapid fat gain won't be an issue. Take it slow, and do it right. If you do manage to get it right, you shouldn’t gain much fat at all. Just follow the steps above and you will be well on your way! Trust and enjoy the process.

Related Videos:

Building Your Meal Plan! Learn How To Calculate Protein, Carb & Fat Daily Intake For Your Goals!

Best Carb Foods For Muscle Growth! | Maximize Your Gains Without The Fat!

Share this article on:
Genetics & Bodybuilding

Genetics have a significant impact on the results we seek in all kinds of physical activity. There’s no getting away from it....


Why is there so many new things that you can learn from review. I think that this is because they've nothing to hide from me.


Sonic Drive-In is commonly known as Sonic. It is an American fast-food restaurant chain. Sonic was founded on 18th June of the year of 1953.

talktosonic    |   |


Woah, that is definitely what one would call a surplus. I didn't expect this reviews guy to get so buffed. This is definitely the story that will inspire me, and I will give it my all to lost some weight now.


Good article @danwynesfitness! I think it's important for people to know how to switch between cutting and bulking properly!