How to Eat For Muscle Growth

eating to gain muscle

There are a lot of questions when it comes to how to eat  for building muscle.  I’ve heard some say eat whatever you want, others say eat no carbs.  The list goes on and on of what to eat or not to eat.  The truth is in addition to eating for muscle we want to eat for longevity and overall health.  We want to be healthy on the outside as well as the inside.

It makes me cringe when people talk about how they are bulking so they don’t care what they eat.  This is not the way to build solid lean muscle.

What to Eat to Gain Muscle

You want to eat a balanced diet, lean meats (no red meat), whole grain carbs from sources like brown rice, oats, wheat bread, potatoes, both sweet and white.  Lots of fresh veggies.  Lots of water, no juices, teas, or sodas.

You see, eating healthy so that you can go from skinny to buff is not hard, it just takes practice.  And it’s about how much you are eating. If you haven’t already, then you have to put in your statistics to an app so that it will calculate how many calories a day you should be eating to gain weight. Then aim to hit that number or higher, while eating CLEAN foods.  Hitting that number that is specific to your inputs,  while working out and eating clean will change you and build muscle.

Getting Fit


Getting fit takes exercise, it takes work, it takes changing your lifestyle.  But often we think of what must be given up when we commit to fitness.  We think of the time at the gym, or the food we will miss.  But it’s not about what we will lose, it’s about what we will gain.

Obviously we are out to gain muscle, health, vitality.  We all come from different starting points, but the things we gain by living a life of fitness include losing weight, becoming stronger, having more vitality, sleeping better, not getting out of breath, living longer, having a clearer and stronger mental capacity.

Regardless of what your goal is focus on what you are gaining by becoming fit, switch your mindset. It’s not about losing.  It’s about gaining so much more than what you have.  You’ve got this.

How To Build Muscle


I am about to let you in on the best secret for building muscle.  Ready?  Habit.  Yup.  Habit. When you start working out you tend to feel great.  You are on a high.  The problem is that high will wear off and you will find yourself beginning to dread going to the gym.  The thing that will keep you going is habit.  When you are so ingrained in the habit it doesn’t matter if you feel like it or not, you will feel completely off if you don’t make it to the gym.  And it’s time and repetition that will begin to change your body.  It takes time to build muscle.  It’s not done by working out a week.

It takes time.  Even if it takes you a year it’s okay.  It’s better than a year going by and you wishing that you had made a change.

So do whatever it takes to get past that hurdle of making a habit of working out.  Because habit is your best friend.

What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like It


Let’s face it, if you’ve been trying to workout for any length of time you know that there are days when you don’t want to go to the gym. Monday was one of those days for me and I am the one who is always saying “don’t skip Mondays”.  The day was crazy busy and I was exhausted, on top of that I pulled a muscle on Sunday and was not feeling great.  But after the kids were to bed, my wife had some conference calls that would take up some time that night, so I figured I had best get my butt to the gym.  And you know what?  I’m so glad I did.

Yesterday with work and getting costumes ready and the two kiddos ready with my wife that took up the rest of yesterday so I wasn’t able to make it, all the more reason I am glad I hit it Monday.

The point is if you have the opportunity to make it, don’t skip it because there will be legitimate days where you can’t as opposed to days you don’t want to.

So here are some tips if you struggle with going to the gym.  If you go from work, have your workout gear in the car, that way there is no excuse to go home.

If you do go home, DON’T SIT DOWN.  Immediately go change, grab your earbuds, and head right back out the door, because once you sit down you are going to start procrastinating.

So get up and go.  We miss so many opportunities just because we wait and think about things too much.  Get up and move.  You’ve got this.

Nutrition When Building Muscle


So to build muscle it’s just a matter of lifting weights right? Wrong.  If you just lift weights but do nothing to change your diet you will see very limited results.  Now nutrition doesn’t have to be rocket science.  Somewhere between macros and busting out a calculator you may have seen some very complicated formulas for adjusting your diet.  But it doesn’t have to be that hard.

First thing you have to do is figure out how much you should be eating each day.  There are a ton of free calorie calculator apps that do this.  My Fitness Pal is a great one.  Plug in your info and it will tell what you need to be eating either to gain weight or lose weight.  Now that you know this, you have to start tracking your food.  The app I mentioned above allows you to plug in the food you eat and calculates your intake.

So now that you know how to track the numbers, what should be eating?

Cut out the crap.  No sugar, white flour, empty cereals, soda.  Cut the fast food, the eating out.  If you want to bring change to your body you have to start eating differently.

Stick to whole wheat breads, and grains, brown rice, whole grain oats, lean meats like turkey, chicken, and fish, eliminate red meat.  1% or less milk or almond milk.  Tree nuts make great snacks, along with healthy options for granola bars.

Don’t be afraid to make the necessary changes.  Part of the Bones to Bulk mentality is that you are not eating to satisfy your taste buds or your gut, but to build your body for muscle, strength and overall health.  To look and feel good.

You’ve got this.

How To Build Muscle


Building muscle is not an allusive and unattainable thing.  The biggest reason why some find it hard to build muscle is two-fold.  Two of the most common mistakes I see is that someone quits after only a couple weeks because they don’t see much change.   And second there is no change in diet.

First off, consistency is key in the gym.  You are not going to get the results you want in a couple weeks.  Depending on where you are starting it may take a year, two or three. But rather than looking at this as an eternity, think of it this way.  If you don’t start, a year from now you will still be wishing you did.  It is a process, and change does not happen overnight.  Stick with it.  Routine should be your best friend.  If you are lifting weights four days a week for a year and eating right then you are going to see results

For food, you have to change your diet and eat for a healthy strong body.  Many of us already know a lot of the foods we shouldn’t eat.  We have to replace our unhealthy foods with healthy foods.  And once again we have to stay consistent with our diet changes.

As I said earlier this is a process.  I’ve been working out for over seven years now, and I am still working towards goals and learning new things.  So don’t think about the time, just know that you can make a decision today to start fresh.  You’ve got this.

How To Start Building Muscle


Building muscle isn’t rocket science, it doesn’t have to have crazy formulas or impossible plans.  It takes working out and eating right.  To maximize your weight gaining workouts.  Split your muscle groups up into different days.  Example Chest and Triceps on Monday, Back and Biceps on Tuesday, Rest on Wednesday, Shoulders on Thursday, and Legs on Friday.  Your muscles truly grow when you are resting.  By breaking up your workouts like this and giving yourself a full week in between muscle groups it allows those muscle to heal and “grow” before you make them work hard again.

As far as reps go the old age saying about how light weight and a lot of reps tones, while heavy weight and low reps builds muscle isn’t really true.  There is not much difference between the two.  Pick a rep range that challenges you 12-15.  I really like Microcycles which keeps your muscles in a state of confusion, but this is another subject entirely.

When doing your sets, be sure to hit your intended repetition range.  So if you are going for 12 and are using so much weight that you can only do 8 each time, then you need to drop your weight.  In contrast if you set out for 15 and are hitting 15 every time with no problem, then you need to increase your weight.

When starting out for the first 7-10 days you will have soreness in your muscles, this is normal.  If you ever experience a sharp pain stop immediately and consult medical help, but soreness afterwards is normal.

As far as food we will touch more on that in the next blog for foods to build muscles, but for starters you do need to get some protein powder if you have not already done so.  It is indeed the building block for muscles.

Can Building Muscle Help Lose Weight?


Can building muscle help you lose weight? Absolutely.  For every 10 pounds of fat you burn 500 more calories each day.  Added up over a week you have burned 3500 extra calories.  This puts your body in a deficit.  Which leads to you losing one pound per week.

Now as you begin to gain muscle right off the bat you won’t see much change in your weight.  Sure you are going to be losing fat, but gaining muscle will result in not many changes to your scale right off the bat. But stick with it.  This is a process.  It doesn’t happen overnight.

So keep lifting, this is going to change you.  You will get those muscles you want and lose the fat.  And as you do lose the fat, those muscles will start popping.

Kitchen > Gym


Workouts are important.  As you build muscle you are naturally going to burn more calories. You can’t bulk and gain muscle by eating chips and pizza.  You’ve got to eat for your muscles.  They need good clean and wholesome food, rich in natural carbohydrates and protein, and yes even a little fat from natural and good sources like almonds and other tree nuts.

You can do all the crunches you want in the gym but if you don’t eat right that six pack is not going to shine through.

Get rid of the white flours, the sugars, the fake cereals, the red meat, the soda, the sweet tea.  Replace it with good clean meats, fish, chicken, turkey, brown rice, whole grain oats, whole wheat breads and pastas.  Veggies and lots of fruit in whole form.  I cannot stress diet enough.  This will not only get you fit, but healthy.  While we do want to gain lean muscle we also want to build lifelong health so that we are physically fit and healthy.