What percentage increase over TDEE would you recommend for a guy with average to “nothing to write home about”, non-elite genetics, for a lean bulk?
Currently I’m fairly lean, about 12% bodyfat, with visible abs, ab veins, spider web veins on my quads, etc. I’ve maintained my weight and bodyfat percentage for about 5-6 months (so I’m fully aware of what my maintenance daily caloric requirements are) but now my plan is to go into a lean bulk which I’ve never attempted before.
I would like to remain lean but I also don’t want to leave most gains on the table either. I’ve done bulks at 1lb/week before. For me, it was too much of a caloric surplus. I’ve gained way too much fat that I had to get rid of by doing prolonged cuts afterwards, which I would like to avoid this time around.
I’ve seen recommendations for a 200-300 calorie surplus, 10-15% TDEE surplus, etc. I know, I know, “trust the process”, and I’m overthinking this, but because it would be such a small caloric increase, how would you even measure it on the scale and track it properly to be able to make quick enough adjustments if your weight stalls (I had that happen at 1lb/week before and had to increase my calories significantly to start gaining again)? By the time you realize your weight isn’t going up 0.25lbs a week anymore, your 20 week bulk would be already over! On the other hand, I don’t want to gain like 90% fat/10% LBM again like before.
What’s a good starting point based on your experience training others with normie genetics?