The Best Lean Bulking Macros For Building Muscle

The Best Lean Bulking Macros For Building Muscle

Hey guys, Sean Nalewanyj here of
and and today I’m going to outline my recommended lean bulking
macros for gaining muscle while minimizing fat gains. So there are many smaller details
that go into planning out a complete and well rounded muscle building diet, but your overall
daily macronutrient intake is at the very foundation of the entire process. Everything
else that you do stems from that, and quite frankly, this one basic factor alone is going
to be responsible for probably up to 90 percent of your results from a dietary perspective.
Now, there’s two things that you’re going to want to keep in mind before we go any further.
Number one, any time you try to add a significant amount of muscle to your frame, you’re always
going to end up gaining some body fat in the process. This is a totally natural result
of remaining in a calorie surplus over time, and there is no way for you to divert 100
percent of that surplus to pure muscle growth. Some fat is always going to be gained, and
your goal is simply to minimize it. And number two, there is no such thing as one absolute
“best” set of bulking macros that are going to produce optimal results in every
single person. Everyone is going to respond a bit differently to varying levels of protein,
carb and fat intake based on a multitude of different factors. What we can do, though,
is to establish a solid, reliable starting point that will work extremely well for virtually
all average natural trainees who are looking to gain muscle size and strength in an effective
way. So, there is nothing “magical” about this particular breakdown, but this is what
I would recommend that you go with. First off, you need to determine your total daily
calorie intake. Your body’s total net energy balance is going to determine whether you
lose weight, maintain your weight or gain weight, and we need this number in order to
translate it into concrete gram amounts of proteins, fats and carbs. So in order to create
a 15 to 20 percent daily surplus, this amount is high enough to maximize muscle growth and
low enough to prevent excessive fat gain, I’d recommend using, what’s called the Harris
Benedict formula, which I’ll copy and paste into the description box below. This formula
takes into account your basal metabolic rate, your activity level, your age, your height,
your weight, etcetera, to give you a reasonably accurate calorie maintenance level which you
can then increase by 15 to 20 percent to get your own individual calorie surplus for optimal
muscle growth. Secondly, we’re going to break that total calorie intake down into specific
amounts of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. While your total daily calories are going
to determine your overall weight gain or weight loss, your macronutrient breakdown is going
to influence what type of weight is gained or lost, whether it be muscle or fat. So,
here’s a highly effective macronutrient breakdown that you can use in order to optimize
your body composition. So first off, protein intake is going to be based on your body weight.
Anywhere from 0.8 to 1 gram per pound of body weight daily will be a good figure for most
people in most situations. The number can vary from person to person depending on lean
body mass and several other smaller factors, but anywhere in this range is going to work
well in most cases. The currently accepted figure based on a meta-analysis of the available
data on protein intake in athletes suggests that 0.82 grams per pound of body weight daily
is all that is needed. Now I like to go slightly higher just to be safe, it’s not going to
hurt you, and I usually just stick with a simple clean figure of 1 gram of protein per
pound of body weight daily. So, if you weigh 160 pounds you’ll want to consume 160 grams
of protein per day. This is going to provide you with enough protein to maximize protein
synthesis and optimize recovery in between workouts without consuming any unnecessary
excess. Secondly, your fat intake is going to be calculated as a percentage of your total
calories. Consuming sufficient fat each day is very important when it comes to optimizing
testosterone levels, your mood and your overall health, and 25 percent of total calories is
a good figure to shoot for. So fats contain 9 calories per gram, so you’re going to
want to multiply your total calorie intake by 0.25 and then just divide by 9 to get the
total daily grams of fat. And again, I’m going to put all of these calculations into the
description box below for easy use. And then lastly, your carbohydrates are just going
to make up whatever amount of your total calories is now left over. So to get this number it’s
a little more complicated but still very simple. You’re just going to add together the total
protein calories. Protein contains 4 calories per gram and the total fat calories, which
you already have this from the previous step and then you’re going to subtract it from
your total daily calorie intake. And this is going to give you the total number of calories
per day that will be derived from carbohydrates and then you’re just going to take that number
and divide it by 4 because carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram and that’s going to give
you the total daily grams of carbs that you’ll need. And again, check the description box
below if you’re confused but you’ll see that this is actually quite straightforward. And
that’s really all there is to it. You now have your total daily grams of protein, fats
and carbohydrates all in place. Hitting these macronutrient numbers each day is going to
be by far the most important thing that you need to do as part of your muscle building
diet, and will contribute to the vast majority of your success. Other smaller factors such
as your specific food selection, your water intake, laying out your meals in a way that
maximizes performance and consistency, that’s going to make up the other, you know, 20 or
10 percent. Now this set of bulking macros is obviously not going to be “perfect”,
but it is a very solid, highly reliable starting point for average natural trainees who are
looking to optimize body composition by adding muscle with minimal fat. Using these macros
you should expect to gain around half a pound of total body weight per week, the majority
of which will be muscle. If your weight gain has stalled for more than about a 2 week period
you can then increase your total calories by 150 to 200 and then just recalculate your
macronutrient numbers. Remember, gaining quality muscle size is a very gradual process, and
if you’re gaining more than this, you’re most likely putting on an excessive amount
of body fat. The specific figure is going to vary slightly from person to person. It’s
going to be higher or lower and it varies based on your experience level, your genetics
and many other smaller factors. It might not sound like a lot, but it does add up quite
fast and represents a quality weight gain of about 26 pounds over the course of a year
which certainly is not bad at all. This of course assumes that you are a relative beginner,
because muscle gain does continually slow down the more experienced that you become.
So thanks for watching this video lesson. If you did find the information useful please
make sure to hit the Like button, leave a comment and subscribe to stay up to date on
future videos. You can also check out my complete step-by-step muscle building and fat loss
programs over at The link to which is in the description box
below and make sure to join the Facebook page for daily articles,tips and updates. The description
box also has the link for that as well. Thanks again for watching and I’ll talk to you again
soon with more free tips.

72 Replies to “The Best Lean Bulking Macros For Building Muscle”

  1. Sean, whats Your thoughts about carb backloading? and how should you apply that if you workout first thing in the morning??:)

  2. I weigh 185lbs. I calculated 740kcal protein, 513kcal, and the total was 1235kcal. So 2000kcal should all be carbs?? Thats 500 grams of carbs!!

  3. I started my cut a week ago starting at 176lbs @ a 2,400 cal diet (-500 cut). Now i am currently at 174lbs. Assuming that I will continue to drop down in a couple of weeks, my question is: is there a point where I have to recalculate my BMR and update a new target calorie diet once I hit 169lbs-165lbs? Or do I stay at the initial calorie intake/deficit?


    Here's how to calculate your daily protein, fat and carbohydrate needs for maximizing lean muscle growth while minimizing fat gain…

    Watch The Video Or Read The Article:

    Video: The Best Lean Bulking Macros

  5. Hey guys, just a quick note to let you know that I do my very best to respond to the questions that are posted here, but YouTube doesn't notify me of everything that is posted and with the hundreds of videos on this channel I can't possibly keep track of them all. If you don't receive a reply to your post, it most likely means that I simply didn't see it. If you need a guaranteed way to get in touch with me, please join the Facebook page and post your question there:

  6. Now take that number and multiply it by 1.15 and 1.2.
    Do I have to multiple by 1.15 AND 1.2 or do I pick either one?

  7. Hey @Sean Nalewanyj, is there any study showing that Harris Benedict formula is more accurate than Mifflin-St Jeor? Have you tried Mifflin? Both have a +-300 kcal difference, are they both just estimations?

  8. you're the most honest and effective youtube channel in the bodybuilding industry. Often I saw a lot of B.S in other channels, but certainly not in yours. Keep it up 😉

  9. Hi Sean, I'm an ectomorph, trying to bulk whilst also trying to lose fat. Your 'starting out' macro suggestion is x/x/25 (carb/prot/fat). Right now I'm experimenting with higher protein and fats (after I was reading about the ketogenic diet), my macros are 30/40/30 (carb/prot/fat). This translates to 243grams of protein and I only weigh 73kg. In your opinion do you think the higher protein and fat percentages could help me reach my goals faster or is there a risk that the excess fat would promote more fat gain? I do weight lifting and cardio, and consume 2600 cals a day. Thanks!

  10. I get how you work out what you need. It's quite simple

    However, how do you know if you are hitting them or not? Do you have to make everything you eat from scratch and weigh out different amounts of it?

    That would mean never eating out, never eating at a friend's place, having to make all of your meals for work and bring them in etc

  11. Hi Sean, I just started counting my macros, and was wondering some tips on some reliable foods that I can eat to meet my fat macros? Thanks!!

  12. hi sean ! im 5ft7 165lbs, im at 25% bf and ive been working out for 2 years ,i bulked recently  without progressive over load, so just got fat, from 150 to 165lbs, i haven't really built that much mass, should i cut or be on a eucaloric diet? i wasted so much time i want to build muscle the correct way ! pleeeease help me ! i was always skinny fat all my life !

  13. Hi Sean, this is probably a silly question but to you think mild cardio would be a good thing to introduce into you training regime whilst on a lean bulk, would it not help to keep much fat at bay? or would that just defeat the object of being in a calorie surplus? (I know this question would have a lot to do with how intense ones training sessions are, but as a general question what would you think?)

  14. The calculator on your site is not working so im trying to calculate my macros.
    This is what I have so far..
    66 + (13.7 x 77.1) + (5 x 177.8) – (6.8 x 24)
    66 +     1056.7      +     889       –   163.2
    BMR: 1848.5
    BMR x 1.55 = 2865.18

    This is where i get lost.. 2865.18 x .20 = 573.04?

    Please help!!

  15. Hey Sean. Thanks for sharing. I did my calculation both by using the formula in the description and by using the online calculator you provided. There's actually a 600 total calorie difference between the two. Which one should I go with? (I'm 23, male, 6ft, 183lb, moderately active, bulking).

  16. Hello Sean. Do you think the same formula applies to ectomporhs?! I actually go for 1 to 1.5g per pound for my protein, 2 to 2.5g for carbs ( mix of complex of normal ) and somewhere around 1g for fat. I've been making some slow but surely good progresses and I am still pretty lean. What do you think?!

  17. Awesome video man. I wish I would have found your video earlier. I spent two days reading so many articles that all backed what you said here in this video. You information is on point, explained simply, and helped me create my own macro plan which seemed very daunting at first. Thanks for taking the time to explain!

  18. Hi +Sean Nalewanyj, great video. I am about to start lean bulking but have a question about activity levels. If train 5 days a week (around 1 hour per workout) and I am a personal trainer so I am mostly in my feet moving around and lifting objects, what activity level would I fall into?? Cheers =)

  19. Also, this formula suggests that my protein should be 220-250g per day, leaving fats at 97g (873 calories of my daily intake) and carbs at 400g (1600 calories of my daily intake), so protein only makes up for 29% of my daily intake (1024calories out of 3500), seems a bit low? its almost the same as the fats.

  20. Ive been bulking on 60/20/20 carbs fat protein. Been seeing good results and my energy is through the roof, I love it.

    Steve reeves and Mike Mentzer used to use this ratio as well and they looked great.

    As long as I'm getting 0.8 ~ 1 grams of protein per lbs of bodyweight I should be ok right?

    Im an endomorph btw.

  21. Hey i think i may of did it wrong i think i forgot to add up the 250 so i can bulk can you have a look and help me out thanks

    Maintenance level – 2330
    Bodyweight – 160 lbs
    Protein: Goal should be 1g per pound of body weight
    Bodyweight – 160 lbs
    Protein intake 160g
    Fat: Gold should be 5g per pound of body weight
    Bodyweight – 160 lbs
    160 x 0.4= 80
    Fat intake – 80

    P /160g X 4 = 640 calories
    F/80g X 9 = 720 calories
    640+720= 1360 calories
    1360 – 2330 = 970 carbs left
    Carb intake: 970/4=242

    Diet Breakdown:
    2330 calories
    160 grams of protein
    80 grams of fat
    242 grams of carbohydrates

  22. MY ratio is now 55% C, 25% F, and 20% P
    171g of protein, 406g of carbs and 84g of fat.
    Is this correct?
    With a total calorie amount of 3,174 for lean bulking.

  23. The calculator seems off, or is my intake just too high? I know this is "best lean bulking macros" but for me as a small guy (114lbs, 5'4") and someone who can't put on weight easy, I think I need a little more than just 2000 calories. I've been working out for just about a year now and have been doing 2400 calories 60/15/25 carbs/protein/fat for the past 2 months; gained 5 pounds in that time span. Good place to start or no?

  24. Thanks Sean,

    May we know how long should we bulk? I have been bulking for 2 mos. now and seen great results on both muscle mass and strength but I have developed belly fat. I have no issues with it but of course who doesn't like ripped abs right?

    Would you recommend proper length of bulking and cutting?

  25. My favorite fitness guru… He has so much knowledge in this field and is able to teach it to us in a simplified, non complicated manner. As well as being the only guy to also type it down in the description box for people who would like to read what is being said in the video. Thanks for these videos man, appreciate them so much.

  26. Hey Sean, got a quick question. I'm on a lean bulk, but find it very hard to eat that much carbs and that little fat. Would there be any consequence to eating more fat and less carbs (if I keep my calorie surplus and protein amount exactly the same)? Thanks.

  27. I saw you macros for cutting Formula and it's working for me so far. so I was curious to check your macros for bulking. the result makes no sense. my bmr is 2068.2 and my job is sedentary. which is 1.2. so the calories for bulking is less than calories for cutting. why? doesn't add up. please reply. great channel keep it up

  28. thanks for your reply. I saw the problem. the multiplier you put on YouTube is different from the formula on the article. you should correct it.

  29. I also don't have a facebook. my stats height is 6feet 3inches, age is 33years, I work out at least 5days a week. I started using this Formula 3days ago at 205lbs now today I am 202lbs. my job is sedentary(computer job, sit most of the time but I still try and move around when I can). my calories to lose weight came to be 2481.

  30. Hey Sean. I used your calculator and it says that i would need to consume 2999 calories a day to bulk. But when i calculated this manually, (BMR X 1.55 =3087, then 3087 x0.15+3087= 3550.05 ) Apart from protein, carb and fat values are also off. So, which one is more accurate? Thanks

  31. If I am at a 200-300 calorie surplus for a lean bulk. If I consume a lot of sugar daily, will this cause high insulin spikes and thus more fat storage since im at a surplus?

  32. Hey sean, I'm a big fan, and I'm 1 month and 2 weeks to starting my bulking phase. My question is, should I avoid saturared fats? Or the total amount of fats (no matter which) is the importanr aspect to consider? Thank you for your videos! Greetings from Chile!

  33. hey Sean, keep the good work! i have a's ok to eat 200 houndred calories above maintenance? should i increase them?

  34. I'm 20 years old and beginning to bulk but I'm having trouble getting in 2100 Calories a day. Before bed I always have 700 to 1000 Calories left. I want a clean bulk so idk how to fit in the cals

  35. You do take into account the experience of the lifter. I get from different sources that the more experienced you are, the slower the (lean) muscle building progress you can expect. I am an 42y.o., pretty advanced (Belgian) trainee, working out over 25years, with some (pauze) intervals during studies and due to work and family. After a long lean down period, at 68kg and 11%BF I started a lean bulk, but keep on guessing what my surplus should be… +300cal each day? More on lifting days? Other sources say advanced trainees should just eat maintenance on rest days and +300 on workout days… I am worried to gain too much weight = too much fat by overshooting my calories. Hence the question to you. Any advice?

  36. i use the 50 30 20 ratio…it works fine but i think i consume very much protein..about 220 grams per day…and about 67 grams of fat and 375 grams of carbs….i think i will follow your macros…they are way better…i need more fats in my diet..but if i cant meet my carb intake can i eat more fats??will it work for me???But im afraid of getting fat…because in the book burn the fat feed the muscle it says that a high fat high carb diet is a fat gain combination…please help i want to clean bulk…

  37. Anyone tried the Fenoboci Diet Plan? I've heard many incredible things
    about it and my cousin lost a ton of weight with Fenoboci Diet Plan (do a
    search on google).

  38. I multiplied my body by 14 and got about 2000 calories for my maintenence I think that's too. low cause that's usually what I eat everyday

  39. So Sean, what would you recommend for someone that fucke up and ate everything in sight when they 1st started. I was 140 now 186 but moe bodyfat. Do I lean bulk or try to reduce the fat 1st?

  40. Thank you for the video. it was very simple and helpful. question though. on a lean bulk should you eat less calories on your rest day.

  41. I CAN'T FIND INFO ABOUT THIS ANYWHERE. I've gained about 6 pounds of muscle in my lean bulk with 2750kcal/daily, im in that noob phase, but i think i need to increase the amount as i gain but i don't know how much? is there a certain number of calories i should add to my surplus per gained lbs or something? I want a good number not too high cause i don't want to get fat.

  42. This is very helpful. Very easy to understand. The way you explained is perfect. Thanks a million. I started going to the gym for 2.5 months now (actual gym day is 42days) but I'm yet to follow a nutrition plan. This certainly helps me to start planning. Can you share a list of food with its nutritional content plz? The ones I am getting online are too complicated for me to use. Thanks in advance.

  43. I wish YouTube has a star/memory feature so I can refer to this video easily when I need to. Very clear and informative, thanks much Sean!

  44. The down votes are from people who can't do 6th grade math and follow what you're saying. 😎
    Thanks Sean!

  45. Sean, my current macros for bulking are: 338 carbs, 224g protein, 90g fat. I have been gaining about a 1lb a week. But after watching videos, I am worried that my protein is too high. My current weight is 152lbs. Should I decrease my protein and increase my carbs? I feel fine with current energy. My worry is any excess protein will be stored as fat.

  46. Eat when your hungry if your not hungry don't eat. Train as well your body will tell you when to eat when your hungry and you will gain what you like based on how hard you train. Harder you train better you gain and hungrier you become. My motto has become just work hard and you will be rewarded.

  47. Hi Sean

    Great video and online calculator, however I have a question.

    I am a 27 year old male 180cm in height and 82kg in weight.

    I go to the gym every morning and work out between 5 to 6 days per week.

    However I have a desk job

    I want to bulk up and gain muscle mass with putting on the least amount of fat the calculator gave me a carbohydrate amount of 528g does this sound correct? So should i be eating a total of 528g of carbohydrates per day in order to put on muscle mass and size.

    Thank you

  48. ~250 Calories Over Maintenance

    1.1-1.4g of Protein Per lb Of Lean Body Mass

    0.3-0.5g of Fat Per lb Of Body Weight

    Rest Of Calories From Carbs

  49. Finally explained simple and completely. Took a few days to find this info. Great work and keep it up! Subbed

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