As the owner and primary writer for www.building-muscle101.com, one of the main questions I get asked is how to eat for gaining lean body mass.
That is, what kind of diet should one be using in order to get stronger, bigger, and leaner. If you’re an athlete, weight trainer, body builder or into fitness, gaining body mass is something that allows you to move more weight in terms of weights, and to appear “larger”.
Well, my answer is something most weight trainers don’t really understand.
I guess it’s very understandable because the answer is the least understood topic in weight training. Actually, when I look back at my earlier training habits, it’s one that I didn’t understand until I had two solid years of training under my belt (And I’m still learning!).
You see, when I started out, there was no lack of motivation on my part. I lived to go to the gym and it seemed (At that time) like the only place where I was the most comfortable. I trained hard and heavy, hitting the weights like a madman. However, if there was one thing that I wish I knew at the time was how to really, I mean really, pack on the muscle mass. What I’m talking about is a well structured nutritional program.
I’m going to be quite honest here, and if you’re interested at all in building hard, lean, muscle mass, you might want to listen up. To truly add hard and lean muscle mass, you have to understand the magic of quality nutrition. Only a quality nutrition program that’s geared for mass, will you be able to get super strong, get over training plateaus, and get that huge, hard ripped look.
Whether you’re an athlete, body builder, or training for fitness, gaining body mass is a food game. Yep, it’s all about the food you choose to put into your body that will determine how big, strong, and lean you get.
Have you ever wondered why some people go to the gym, day in and day out, train hard and heavy but never, ever seem to grow? I’m gonna tell you now that it’s not a lack of motivation or ambition, but a lack of nutritional understanding and how to implement those nutrients in order to grow.
Let me give you a personal example of my “old bad days” of training. This was my grade 11 schedule:
All in all, I was probably taking in about 2,000 calories per day. At the time, I was about 165 pounds. My training routine was crazy. I’d show up to the gym, six days a week, and train for 2 hours doing about 15 to 20 sets per body part.
This is absolutely backwards and it is no wonder that I didn’t gain a pound using this type of weight training program to gain mass. Also, I was using a protein powder very sparingly, which I took once every two or three days (I didn’t know any better). Using this type of weight training program, I injured myself and lost weight.
After joining a new gym and using the advice from the owner, I drastically changed things around in order to start gaining some quality body mass. Here’s what I did:
Changed My Diet
Here’s what my new diet looked like.
This change in my eating habits caused a dramatic shift in my appearance and weight training routine. I started to train each body part once per week, and using only 12 sets per body part. I also learned to prioritize certain body parts at this time and used that in 12 week cycles to bring up my weak body parts such as legs and calves.
As for supplements, I only had what was available which was pretty much protein powders and weight gainers. After about 14 weeks or so, I gained 35 pounds and weighted about 200 pounds. I tell you, everybody thought I was on all kinds of drugs but you want to know something, those were the same people who were too stubborn to change their training and diet.
All of my lifts increased dramatically and my appearance was big and hard. I was no longer a skinny kid!
It was at that point that I knew my diet was responsible for most of the change, of course, my change in routine also helped, but my food choices were all muscle building foods. Overall, I was eating about 3,700 calories per day and this greatly boosted my weight gain. Also, since most of my food choices were from whole foods, I didn’t gain a lot of fat. Of course, some fat gain was necessary but I welcomed it with open arms in order to starting gaining some muscle.
You can read how I went from skinny to big here.
If you’re reading this now, I hope you understand the importance of eating clean, muscle building foods in your diet. If you’re serious about your training and want to get lean, big, and strong, than you’re going to have to give up your junk food, booze, and soda pop. Now, you don’t have to give up on your junk totally, maybe once or twice per week, but the point is, cut it out of your daily routine.
Alright, let me give you a full proof menu that I’m sure you will start gaining mass in the next week. Yep, if you can cut out the junk food and start following a menu like the one presented, you’re going to start getting stronger and bigger (provided you follow a sound weight training routine). Take a look at these weight training programs page here.
There you go. If you can follow this type of eating routine, coupled with a high intensity weight training routine you’re going to add some pretty impressive body mass in the next 10 to 12 weeks. Now, remember to plan ahead and never, ever skip a meal.
I highly recommend you take a look at Kyle Leon’s program called “Somanabolic Muscle Maximizer” The reason why I’m recommending this program is because it is the only one I know of that uses a proprietary software to customize a complete muscle building and fat burning nutrition program for you. The system uses:
To produce a 9 week muscle building course that includes a weight training program and custom nutrition system. Check it out here.
I’ve actually purchased and used the program myself. You can read my review of this program at:
All the best,
Blake has been weight lifting for about 28 years now. He's 45 years of age and started seriously training when he was 18 years old.
Blake is the founder of Building-Muscle101.com, a successful fitness website that has been around for more than 15 years.