Numerical simulation experiments give insight into the evolving energy partitioning during high-strain torsion experiments of calcite. Our numerical experiments are designed to derive a generic macroscopic grain size sensitive flow law capable of describing the full evolution from the transient regime to steady state. The transient regime is crucial for understanding the importance of microstructural processes that may lead to strain localization phenomena in deforming materials. This is particularly important in geological and geodynamic applications where the phenomenon of strain localization happens outside the time frame that can be observed under controlled laboratory conditions. Ourmethod is based on an extension of the paleowattmeter approach to the transient regime. We add an empirical hardening law using the Ramberg-Osgood approximation and assess the experiments by an evolution test function of stored over dissipated energy (lambda factor). Parameter studies of, strain hardening, dislocation creep parameter, strain rates, temperature, and lambda factor as well asmesh sensitivity are presented to explore the sensitivity of the newly derived transient/steady state flow law. Our analysis can be seen as one of the first steps in a hybrid computational-laboratory-field modeling workflow. The analysis could be improved through independent verifications by thermographic analysis in physical laboratory experiments to independently assess lambda factor evolution under laboratory conditions. © 2014. American Geophysical Union.