Hugh Jackman recently posted a photo of more than 8,000 calories of canned meals with the caption “Bulking. A day in the life”. Gossip headlines ran with the number, report Jackman, He “eats a bonkers 8,300 calories” to prepare for his role as Wolverine. But he is really? Someone to do what you do?
While it certainly takes a lot of food to train hard and build muscle, the specific number offered here is probably an exaggeration – much like when Michael Phelps had eaten 12,000 calories to prepare for the Olympics. (Then he said that he of course it wasn’t.)
But, man, it sure is dramatic to talk about such a big number. Most of us only talk about calories in the context of restriction: We want stay less than 2,000 calories, or consider a 1,200 calorie diet, even if most people need it no longer than 2000 calories, and 1,200 is basically a starvation diet. When we see such a large number, we are scared that it is so high, but we still don’t have a frame of reference to make us believe.
What is the purpose of such a high calorie diet?
If you spend most of your time on a diet (or thinking about dieting)you may need to step out of your comfort zone to read this, but oOften, staying healthy or pursuing an athletic goal requires a person to eat no longer food than he would otherwise do. Ssometimes they have to eat as well when I’m not really hungry.
For example, a high-level marathoner who covers 100 miles in training each week needs to feed every step of that kilometer, which can mean snacks on the run and large meals when they finish training. If you do not keep up with the nutrient demands of your body, you may find yourself losing weight, as well muscle and bone mass in the process. Undereating is a serious health and performance issue for athletes. And, yes, sometimes the number of calories an athlete needs can be absolutely massive.
Another reason to eat more food is to gain weight Jackman is trying to put on muscle for his role as Wolverine in Deadpool 3, and it takes a lot of food both to fuel the workouts you do, and to provide the raw material – such as protein – to build the muscle tissue itself.
It’s not just actors who bulk up: bodybuilders commonly spend a lot of their off-season bulking to build more muscle, and strength athletes of all kinds (like weightlifters) have from time to time in the service of putting more muscle and becoming stronger. How much energy you spend in your daily life and your workouts, you need to eat no longer than that to give your body enough of a surplus to be able to gain weight.
How many calories do people actually eat when bulking?
To take a ballpark number for how many calories a person could eat while bulkinggo to a calculator like tdeecalculator.net and add your height and weight. If you know your body fat percentage, that will help you too, since it tells the calculator how much of your weight is muscle. (The more muscle mass you have, the more energy your body needs).
For example, as a small woman, the calculator estimates that I have a basal metabolic rate of 1,421, and that with moderate exercise I will probably burn a total of 2,200 calories per day. At an “athlete” level of exercise, which is probably closer to the truth, I put my total calories at 2,700. As it happens, I am currently bulking (probably the only thing I have in common with Hugh Jackman) and I know from experience that I need to eat about 3,000 calories if I want to continue gaining weight.
I have added Hugh Jackman’s height and weight as I found it on a celebrity gossip site (6’2″ and 185 pounds, but please take these as completely unverified estimates).) and we have a BMR of 1,800 and an “athlete” calorie of about 3,500. So for bulk, you would most likely need something like 4,000 calories a day if you were training hard. This is not a ceiling; it’s possible he’s training harder than the calculator suggests. And maybe his trainer wants him to aim a little higher for good measure, because even if he misses a meal sometimes he’s still in surplus.
I can’t say for sure how many calories Hugh Jackman actually eats, but the rivalry she will go with her partner Ryan Reynolds could have something to do with the fact that his “day in the life” post contains about double the calories that someone of his size would eat for a mass. I find it interesting that there are two of each box in the picture. What if their meals are prepared to provide about 4,000 calories per day, with some allowance for extra snacks and desserts on top?
Jackman first he said his trainer had him eat 4,500 calories a day when he was dancing The music man. He also said that hitting that number was “not nice” and said that, since January, he was “just eating and training”. Which makes it look like he’s having an easier time now, not like he’s eating nearly double that amount.
For another data point, let’s ccompare him to Michael Phelps. The Olympic swimmer reported he ate 12,000 calories a day, but as far as I can tell he never really did he said ate that – it was a number calculated by the reporters. He has since said that he has eaten more like 8,000 to 10,000which is still a lot. Research on athletes has suggested that no matter how much they eat, the human digestive system can’t keep eating more than about 2.5 times our BMR long term. For Phelps, that would be about 5,500 calories, although it’s probably safe to assume that Olympic athletes aren’t like the rest of us — and that he’s been able to use more calories than that for short periods of time. at the peak of his training. (It is also possible that he destined 8,000 or more, but failed to actually eat that much each day).
A review of studies on the eating habits of bodybuilders found that the average calorie intake when bulking was about 3,800 per day for men, and 3,300 for women. So if you want to know what people usually eat when you’re trying to gain muscle, that’s it.