To build muscle mass your training program is important, but over 80% of your results will only show if your daily macronutrient intake is on point because your diet is the foundation of the entire process. However, one thing you should know is that it’s very hard to find out the best macros for muscle growth if you’re just starting out because everyone is different and we all respond to differing levels of fats, carbs and protein.
What you can do though is construct a solid starting point, by first calculating how much of a caloric surplus you need to be in to gain muscle (while minimising fat gain) followed by calculating your macro ratio in the exact order of protein first, fats second and carbs last. Once you’ve done this you can personally change the ratio of carbs and fat (protein should always stay the same) to see if more or less of those macros give you better results. After doing that for a while you’ll find out which macro ratio is the most effective and efficient for you to gain muscle size/strength.
Calculating Your Caloric Surplus
To begin with you will calculate how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, this is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
BMR For Men: (10 x weight (KG)) + (6.25 x height (CM)) – (5 x age (Years)) + 5
BMR For Women: (10 x weight (KG)) + (6.25 x height (CM)) – (5 x age (Years)) – 161
Once you’ve calculated your BMR you’ll need to times this by your Total Energy Expenditure (TEE).
Sedentary (little or no exercise) = BMR x 1.2
Lightly Active (light exercise 1-3 days a week) = BMR x 1.375
Moderately Active (moderate exercise 3-5 days a week) = BMR x 1.55
Very Active (hard exercise 6-7 days a week) = BMR x 1.725
Extremely Active (hard-core exercise 7 days a week or 2x training a day) = BMR x 1.9
After you times your BMR with your TEE you will have now worked out how many calories you need a day to maintain your weight. All you have to do now is add around 250-300 calories to this number to slowly start gaining muscle mass.
Optimising Your Macros For Muscle Building
Research has shown that 0.82 grams of protein per pound of body weight is all that’s needed for you to build muscle mass. However it’s better for you to take this number slightly higher just to be on the safe side, so instead of 0.82 grams increase it to 1 gram per pound of body weight.
Eating enough fats will help keep your testosterone and other hormones at a high level perfect for building muscle. So 25-30% of your total calories should be fat, to calculate how many grams of fat you’ll need each day just multiply your total caloric intake by 0.25-0.3 and then divide by 9 (since fat has 9 calories per gram).
Carbohydrates will make up the rest of your total caloric intake, to get this number just add both the protein and fat calories together then subtract it from your total caloric intake. After that divide this number by 4 to get the overall grams of carbs you’ll need.
Here’s an example of all the steps you need to take to work out your macros:
Say you’re 176 pounds and your daily caloric intake (worked out in the first step) to slowly gain weight is 3090 calories.
Protein – 176 * 1 = 176 grams of protein a day / 176 * 4 = 704 calories.
Fats – 3090 * 0.25 = 773 calories / 773 divided by 9 = 86 grams of fat a day.
Carbs – 773 + 704 = 1477 calories / 3090 – 1477 = 1613 calories / 1613 divided by 4 = 403 grams of carbs a day.
That’s all there is to it and hopefully this example has made it easier for you to try and calculate your own macros.
Since you’re bulking you don’t need to obsess about being 100% accurate with the grams of nutrients per day and it’s fine if your 1-5 grams of a macro or two. They’re just a good guide to follow to ensure you’re getting enough calories and ratio of macronutrients to optimise your body for maximum muscle and minimum fat gains. Lastly, if you have anymore questions about this topic then leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.