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How to Use Your Diet to Build Muscle | Muscle Gains Week Three

Bodybuilding workout Muscle Gain Journey

How do you use your diet to build muscle?  This is week three, February 23, 2020, of my muscle gain journey. I had a great week and met all of my expectations. Also, I placed a focus on my diet to build muscle.

Because muscle gains are not magic but science, use an online calculator to find the numbers that cause you to build muscle or burn body fat. The first number to lock in on is your resting metabolic rate. Because it is based upon your body, it changes over time as your body changes. Many people also read how to build muscle through your diet and sleep | muscle gains week 2.

 How to use your diet calories to build muscle

The online calculator that I use to find my resting metabolic rate was based on age, gender, weight, and height. Next, I used an activity calculator to determine the calories I burned from my workout. The calories from my workout and my resting metabolic rate calories were my total calorie expenditure. At this point, I feel I need to explain what resting metabolic rate calories are. Most people get this one wrong. Resting metabolic rate calories are any calories your body requires to function with normal breathing and heartbeat.

If you work on a job and you are not breathing heavy, and your heartbeat is not elevated, your body is at rest and not at work. There are some people whose workout is not a workout, and their workout calories are resting metabolic rate calories. For your body to be at work, it requires two things: elevated breathing and heartbeat, which eventually leads to sweat. It is that simple. Finally, I used a diary calculator to track my diet, protein, carbohydrate, and fat calories.

How to use an online diet calculator to build your diet 

I always work back to my diet calories. I start with my resting metabolic rate (1829 calories) and then add my workout calories (298 calories) to get my total expenditure calories (2178 calories). Even though my workout lasts about an hour, I always deduct rest time between sets when calculating my workout calories. The total expenditure calories have to be recalculated regularly with changes to your weight, age, and time in the gym.

A big mistake a lot of people make is they don’t change their calorie needs as their weight and age changes. The weight is the biggest issue because it can change in a matter of weeks. Now that I know my numbers, I build my diet around my protein needs. I shoot for 1.5 grams of protein times my body weight. I also make an effort to hold my carbohydrates under 100 grams.

My fitness pal is a great online calculator if you use it proactively. It crunches all the numbers for you and gives you a pie chart so you can see how to put your calories together. If you scroll across the pie chart on my fitness pal, it gives you the percentages for each macro group. The diet I am following turns out to be the keto diet, but that is not intentional. The diet is based on my goals, which are to build muscle while managing body fat.

Demographics: Age 52, Height 5-5, Weight 180 lbs

Tuesday’s Workout:

Lift and Weight                        Sets and Reps
Deadlift 375                              8,6,4
Bench Press 285                     8,6,3  
Barbell, Squat 320.               8,6,4
Incline Bench 235                     8,5,3
Shoulder Press 165                   8,6,4
Machine Row 240                    7,5,4

Thursday’s Workout:

Lift and Weight                        Sets and Reps
Pushups                                  75, 30, 25  
Hanging Leg Raise                   40, 20, 20  
Dips                                         25, 10,8  
Pull Up                                      10,8,4
Bicep Curl   70                        10,10,7
Leg Raise 260   10,10,7
Hamstring Curl 130   10,8,4

Saturday’s Workout:

Lift and Weight                        Sets and Reps
Deadlift 420                              6
Bench Press 300                       6
Barbell Squat 340                     6
Shoulder Press 195                   5
Machine Row  255.                   6

In conclusion, you can use your diet to build muscle and fitness.

During The deadlift and squat, I was able to increase my lift by five pounds. On the bench press, I was able to increase my reps by one, and now I am ready to move to the next left. The shoulder press I was able to increase my reps by one, but I will remain at this rep level until I meet the benchmark of six reps.

My goal is to gradually increase the weight lifted each week to get stronger and bigger. During my weigh-in on Sunday, I weighed 182.3 pounds. In three weeks, I have added 2.3 pounds of body weight. Once I complete this bulk phase in nine more weeks, then I will begin a cutting stage.

You can use your diet to build muscle and the first sign of bigger muscles are bigger lifts. Your diet and workouts work together to create an environment to build muscle. However, your diet is more important because your diet is an anabolic process and muscles only grow in an anabolic environment. Check out: how to build when you are a difficult gainer | muscle gains week 4.