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Nutrition • January 26, 2017

How Much Should You Eat To Gain Muscle

Want to build muscle with bodyweight workouts? Then you need this info!

How Much Should You Eat To Gain Muscle

Gaining muscle is hard work, but more muscle mass makes it easier to stay fit and lean all year round.

Adjust your food intake for muscle gain

Everyone is different, but some general advice would be to consume about 15 calories per pound of your bodyweight if you want to add muscle mass.

For a full table with calories and grams for your bodyweight scroll down and click on the image below.

For a 150 lb (~70 kg) that would be 2250 calories per day. But wait! This is only for rest days.

Eat more on training days

Click on the table below to see your required amount of daily calories for rest days.

On training days you need to add the calories burned with your workout. For example, an intense 30-45 min bodyweight strength workout would burn around 300-400 calories, depending on your body composition and fitness level. However, if you have trouble gaining weight in general, feel free to add 500 kcal on training days, regardless of the intensity and duration of the workout.

What to eat

Let's say you have to eat 3000 kcal on your training days. Does it mean you can just eat whatever you feel like in this amount? No.

  • Balanced macronutrients - consider the suggested amount of protein, fat, and carbs to fit in this daily food intake. if you want to make your body build more muscle. For suggestions scroll down and click the table below.
  • The quality of the food - High-quality protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats boost your recovery and thereby help you train more and gain more. Learn more about the role of protein in muscle building.

What's the easiest way to gain muscle and eat good stuff without counting calories?

A good nutrition guide can support your training and muscle building without the need to count calories or calculate every gram of food you eat. Madbarz Nutrition Guide has a selection of recipes tailored to your goal - Lose Fat or Build Muscle. Get enough macronutrients in every meal from quality sources just by using the simple guidelines and easy recipes. Stop overthinking, get a Nutrition Guide created to help you do the fun part - just train and eat. The in-app version of the Nutrition Guide is available in the Madbarz Premium, along with home workout plans!

Click on the image to open the full table in the new window.

Important: The information in the table below is a general suggestion of calories for rest days. Adjust the amounts based on you training volume. Keep in mind that everyone is different, some people gain weight easily but they put on a lot of fat, others can't gain anything at all. People who easily gain weight should keep their carbs to the suggested amounts and add more fat and protein. People who have trouble gaining weight can easily add more carbs to their daily intake. That's why this table offers a starting point that you should change to fit your needs.

How much calories to gain muscle per bodyweight


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Post a comment

  • barathletic 149 workouts (level 59)
    the table is ok? or there is another new version right? March 17, 2017
  • Nik 522 workouts (level 108)
    You don't need more than 1.5-2.0 max grams of protein per KG of your lean body mass. Mine is around 74kg. This table suggests that I should eat 235 grams of protein :))))) February 09, 2017
  • Luiz Henrique 0 workouts (level 1)
    About those proteins per pound, some specialists suggests that at least 2 g/Kg works for muscle gain. I try to keep a good (quality) protein intake but the amount is not above 3g/Kg, being 2.5g/Kg the max in workout days and that just works for me. Some studies shown that just a specific type of body (genetics+athlete performance) can absorb more than 2.2g/Kg, while the remaining ingested is lost. Why am I worrying about this? Cus proteins are the most expensive nutrient in our society, wasting it is like throwing money on trash, and we are street work out players, we should think critically about environment, economics and healthy altogether. January 31, 2017
  • Madbarz Admin 111 workouts (level 10)
    @danny.rowe Thanks for commenting! Something went wrong in the calculations down along the column so the grams added too much, this will be fixed in a new version. However, protein will stay pretty high (not 3,3, more like 2,5 g) because for gaining it's advised to go to the higher end of the suggested range. This is a general table so it's not based on your age and height which contribute to the calculations, too. And what seems high to you may not be high for others...Please share your exeprience with gaining muscle with us. What worked for you? January 31, 2017
  • FlatSloper X 502 workouts (level 133)
    I don't think the table looks right. If I'm not wrong, a gram of protein or carbs provides 4 cals, while a gram of fat provides 9 cals. Take for example, the 140 pouds weight: 56 gr of fat (=504 cals), 210 gr of proteins (840 cals) and 280 gr of carbs (1120 cals). These add up to 2464 cals, not 2100 as shown. Further, the percentages will be (taking the total as 2464 not 2100): 20.5% of energy from fat, 34% from protein, 45.5% from carbs; more than 25-30% from proteins seems quite high. Finally, 210gr of protein for that weight imply more 3.3gr of protein per kg of bodyweight; isn't that too high too? (usual recommendations go from 1 to 2 gr of proteins per kg). January 30, 2017