The Elite Physique

Bodybuilding Diet for Mass

man showing muscle built by bodybuilding diet for massBodybuilding Diet for Mass

If you are serious about building muscle and strength you have to implement a bodybuilding diet for mass.  What a lot of people don’t realize that a diet for muscle gain can vary a bit from a diet for fat loss.  While each dieting format can have many of the same foods, you’ll find a mass gain diet is a bit more relaxed in food choices.


To add muscle mass you have to eat a surplus of calories.  But, don’t overeat to the point you are getting fat.  You’ll need to do some 3rd grade math and figure out how many calories you need for the building project.

A calorie is the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 °C.  That tells us a whole lot.  At the very basic level, a calorie your fuel for your working body.  In order to build muscle you need to eat more calories than you burn each day.

There are several calculations you can use to figure your calories for your mass building diet.  The most popular is multiplying your total body weight by 16-20.

If you weigh 145 pound, then your calories should be in the 2320-2900 range each day.  That’s quite a broad range.  I would suggest starting at the low end of the calories for a few weeks and if you need to increase calories from there.


Every living cell in your body is constructed of protein.  Protein is necessary for building muscle because it repairs muscle tissue.  It’s the basic structure of muscle growth. Ideally, you should be consuming a meal complete with protein about every 3-4 hours to allow for a positive nitrogen balance.  Many bodybuilders eat 5-8 meals a day depending on their schedules.

Protein must be continually supplied to your body throughout the day through several small, balanced meals.  If you don’t eat enough protein each day your muscles will atrophy.  On the flipside, if you consume too much protein, it can be stored as fat.

A general rule of thumb is to eat 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.  So, if you weigh 145 you can be eating anywhere from 145-290 grams of protein a day.  Break it down by the number of meals you eat.  If you eat 6 meals a day, that’s about 24-48 grams of protein per meal.


While fat is an essential part of your bodybuilding diet for mass, it needs to be kept in check to some degree since protein and carbs will be in larger quantities.  There’s no reason to run the opposite way from fat.  Just be sure you are getting your fat from quality sources.

Your off-season diet when you are trying to build muscle can include more high-fat proteins such as beef, steak, fatty fish, and the dark meat of the chicken.  This allows you to get high-quality protein and fat in one-shot.


Carbs are going to supply the energy and bulk of your diet, allowing you to train like a beast.  They are protein-sparing and allow your muscles to do extreme work.  That’s why they are SO important to bodybuilding.  Carbs are actually necessary for protein synthesis and anabolism because they increase glycogen stores.  If your glycogen stores are depleted, such as on a keto diet, your training and muscle growth will suffer.

Of course, eating too many carbs can be stored as body fat if you don’t remain active, in addition the wrong carbs such as processed food, can cause fat gain.  The general rule of thumb to follow with carbs in a bodybuilding diet for mass is to eat 2-3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight.

Just as with the protein, start off at the low end of the spectrum and give it a run for a few weeks to see what kind of changes you get. Once you figure up your protein and carbs, give the remaining calories to fat.

Most Importantly…

If you found this information helpful or would like more insider information on how to build muscle make sure you check out the 10 Laws of Bodybuilding below…


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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

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My name is Karen Sessions and I am a life-time natural female bodybuilder, multi-certified fitness instructor, author, specialist in performance nutrition, and a success coach. I've been in the fitness industry since 1988! I teach people Just Like You how to transform their bodies, get in shape, build muscle, lose fat and compete in Bodybuilding, Physique, and Figure Competitions. When you have the CORRECT information you can have total confidence and turn your dreams into reality... and I can help transform YOUR body. I have helped THOUSANDS of clients reach their goals and I can help you, too. Be sure to grab my free gift above so you can start moving toward your goal.

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