Any experienced gym-goer, whether they’re primary goal is bodybuilding, powerlifting or just the casual pursuit of a better physique will tell you that a solid diet is the fulcrum point of a successful weight lifting regimen. You can have the best supplements, perfect lifting technique and the best workout plan to gain muscle on the planet, but without a proper diet you will only achieve subpar results at best. As the saying goes, “muscle is built in the kitchen” – this article will help you to understand the key points needed to formulate the best diet plan for gaining muscle relative to your needs. Obviously, it’s impossible to create and share a diet plan that is perfect for everyone, as everyone has a different physiology and goals, but the fundamentals are fairly universal nonetheless.
One of the most important aspects of a successful diet plan for gaining muscle is a caloric surplus. You simply must be taking in more calories than your maintenance requirements. What are maintenance requirements? To put things simply, your body requires energy to function, everyone can understand this – the amount of energy that your body needs to function on a daily basis depends on a lot of factors, such as your age and gender, hormones, your overall exercise and daily activity levels, as well as your macronutrient intake. The calculations involved in determining your caloric maintenance level and the calories needed to promote healthy muscle growth can be pretty complex and varied.
Most people will find it easiest to stick to a general rule-of-thumb approach of using a “calories per unit of weight” method. For someone who is fairly sedentary, aiming for around 26-30 kcals per kg of bodyweight per day is common. The more active you are, the more you need. You should do some further research on determining the ideal level of intake for yourself before engaging in a long-term diet plan. For the most part, you’re eating to gain weight, somewhere around 500-1000 calories over your base maintenance level per day are good targets, and it all depends on the level of extremity of your particular workout plan. Any diet plan for gaining muscle is centered on the above concept. It’s a generally accepted view in the bodybuilding and weight lifting world that, a hard gainer, is an under-eater. If you want to truly understand how to bulk up muscle efficiently, take the time to research and understand the diet aspect first.
The next important aspect to a solid diet plan for gaining muscle is understanding macronutrients. We’ll start by looking at protein intake. It’s recommended in the bodybuilding world to be taking in roughly 2-3 grams of protein per kg of total bodyweight. This number lowers if you have a higher bodyfat percentage. Carb intake is also very important for gaining mass, and you should be aiming for around 4.5-6.5 grams per kg of bodyweight per day. If you are a very active individual, you should be looking to take in even more carbs, 6.5-8.5 g/kg or more depending on intensity. Finally for macronutrients we have fat. Fat is very important to your body despite what you might think about it. You want to be aiming for around 1-2 g/kg of fat per day.
While it may seem silly, the true key to build muscles fast is in your diet. Take some serious time to research and really understand the different aspects of a good mass building diet, as everything else springs from that.