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Nutrition for gaining muscle without fat

Gain muscle mass fast

Fork with measuring tape wrapped around it like pasta


1. Overview

2. Eating BIG for BIG gains?

3. 2 critical nutrition components

4. What is your metabolic range?

5. Finding your metabolic range

6. Edges of your metabolic range

7. Learnings

5. References

The gist

  1. A research study that tested the effects of adding 500 calories to the diets of those on a resistance training program found that the extra calories added fat, not muscle.

  2. To gain muscle you need enough protein and enough calories. Excess calories to the point of fat gain will not speed up this process and neither will excess protein.

  3. To maximize rates of muscle growth, you want to find the high end of your metabolic range.

  4. Follow the provided step-by-step process which includes watching your weight, body composition and/or strength, and continually adding small amounts to your daily intake to find this point.

  5. Those described as “hard-gainers” (e.g. those in their early 20’s, teens, and those with active jobs) will have a much larger metabolic range than others.

You gotta eat BIG for BIG gains... right?

You want to build more muscle and may have heard that the fastest way to do this is to “bulk” by eating BIG. Do you really need that additional body fat from bulking in order to gain muscle quickly? Is it necessary to eat all those extra calories?

Let’s check out this research study by Garthe and colleagues at The Norwegian School of Sports Science in Oslo, Norway [1]:

The study divided participants into two exercise groups:

  1. Resistance training and adding 500 extra calories on top of a maintenance diet

  2. Resistance training and no addition to diet