Gaining muscle is hard work. You need extra calories to energize your heavy lifting workouts and to support muscle repair and growth that happens between these sessions. Understanding how to properly fuel will only enhance your efforts and help you reach your goals sooner.
In order to gain muscle, you must consume more calories than you burn. Your daily burn depends on many factors including your weight, age, gender and activity level. In this great video below by Sean Nalewanyj, he gives us 4 steps on gaining muscle by determining your preferred calorie intake.
Without a doubt, daily calorie intake is the most important dietary factor of all when it comes to your muscle building diet. If you don’t eat the proper number of calories to build muscle each day, your gains will either be far below your potential or complete non-existent.
The goal when calculating your individual daily calories to gain muscle is to create a small “calorie surplus” to provide your body with the extra energy needed to build muscle, but without going overboard so that fat gains can be kept to a minimum.
Here are the 4 steps I recommend following to calculate how many calories to gain weight per day you require…
Proper Calorie Intake To Build Muscle:
- Find your calorie maintenance level, which is the number of calories you need per day to maintain your current weight. To do this, just multiply your body weight in pounds by 14-16, selecting the higher or lower end depending on your daily activity level.
- Add 250-350 on top of your maintenance level. This will land you on the proper range of calories to build muscle per day. It’s large enough to build muscle effectively but small enough that fat gains will be kept under control.
- Monitor your changes in body weight and adjust your calorie intake up or down if necessary. The numbers you just calculated should be thought of as an “educated guess”, because you simply can’t know for sure *exactly* how many calories to gain muscle you require.So, if you’re a beginner and are gaining much less than 2 pounds per month, you’ll want to increase your calorie intake, and if you’re gaining much more than 3 pounds per month, dial them back slightly.
For every year of proper training/eating you have under your belt, that 2-3 pound per month figure should decrease by about half.
- Whenever your weight gain stalls for a period of 2 weeks, increase your daily calorie intake by 100-150 to keep the process moving along.
So, if you’re trying to structure your bodybuilding diet properly then those are the 4 steps to follow to calculate your daily calories to gain muscle.
Don’t ignore this basic principle because it is by far the most crucial factor of your muscle building diet. You can put as much effort into the gym as you want, but if you aren’t eating the proper number of calories to gain weight consistently, you’ll be completely wasting your time altogether.
via Sean Nalewanyj