Eating For Muscle Gain

how to build muscle

Arnold ate big, lifted big, and got BIG!

Let’s face it, we all want to get big, buff, ripped, yoked, (insert synonym here), etc.  Most guys go to the gym, lift weights, see marginal progress (if that), then get discouraged because they’re not getting ripped.  This means that they are doing one (or both) of these things:  not lifting heavy things, not eating properly.  The latter is the topic of this article.

When it comes to eating, there are a few things to consider:  what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat.

Food Choices

This is what you eat.  If you make better food choices, your body will magically start to look more ripped.  I don’t make this stuff up, it’s science (or logic).  Good food choices consist of anything you can catch, or grow.  (For a complete list of acceptable food choices, see my article, Eat to Win).

“If you make better food choices, your body will magically start to look more ripped.” – Tweet This Quote
how to build muscle

I don’t recommend you going out and catching your own food. Let someone else do that for you. Your job is to eat and lift heavy.

Massive Eating for Massive Muscles

If this is a new idea to you, then you heard it here first:  in order for your muscles to grow, you need to eat a lot of food.  Remember how hungry you were when you hit puberty?  You were hungry because you were growing.  This is what your muscles do.  They grow.  Don’t shave your teen-stache and pretend you’re hitting puberty again.  Eat more than you did yesterday.  Make this your goal every day until you start gaining weight.  This means eating 3-4 palms of protein + 1-2 cups of veggies at each meal (5-8 meals per day).  Try to get (bodyweight lb x 1.5) grams of protein per day.  This means a 180lb man would eat 270grams of protein per day.

Also, it is very important to increase your fish oil supplementation.  You want at least 6000mg of EPA+DHA per day.

Do you think this idea is stupid?  Are you afraid of getting fat?  If you’re a scrawny beanpole, you’re not going to get fat.  In fact, most guys envy you.  You can eat as much as you want, and it all seems to go to muscle.  If you’re skinny-fat, then don’t worry.  I have a plan for you.  Stick with me.

Macronutrient Timing and Rotation (MTR)

Sound too scientific?  It’s supposed to be.  This is the bread and butter to gaining massive amounts of muscle.  I’m going to generalize things a bit with this next statement:  eating starchy carbs builds muscle if eaten during/after a workout, and stores fat if eaten on non-workout days or the morning leading up to a workout.  I know a lot of people are going to give me hell for this and say that it’s ok to eat starchy carbs in the morning because it contributes to building muscle.  This statement is correct, but needs to be reiterated:  eating carbs in the morning contributes to muscle gain and fat storage.


The Plan

You’re going to have three different days:  Low Carb/High Fat Day, Moderate Carb/Moderate Fat Day, High Carb/Low Fat Day.

Low Carb/High Fat Day (LCHF)

This is how you will eat on non-workout days, or days that you do cardio.  This day, you will not eat any starchy carbohydrates, and limit fruit consumption to just berries and/or apples.  Double the amount of healthy fats you eat (nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil etc).  This is usually the equivalent of 4-5 thumbs of fat.

Moderate Carb/Moderate Fat Day (MCMF)

This is how you will eat on workout days (that you lift weights).  On this day, drink a Workout Drink during/after your workout.  The first meal after your workout, include 2-4 palms of starchy carbohydrates (my favourite options are sweet potatoes, or quinoa).  Eat a normal amount of healthy fats each meal (2 thumbs).  Limit fruit consumption to just berries and/or apples.

High Carb/Low Fat Day (HCLF)

Take this day and replace it with one of your Moderate Carb/Moderate Fat Days (once a week).  This is the best day of the diet, and will work best on the day that you have your hardest workout (usually heavy lower body lifts).  On this day, eat starchy carbohydrates (2-3 palms) with every meal after 6:00pm.  Feel free to eat as much fruit as you want.  Try to workout before 6:00pm.  If this is not possible, don’t worry about it.  Make sure that you include a workout drink during/after your workout.  Limit your consumption of healthy fats to 1 thumb servings at each meal.

Weekly Schedule

The following weekly schedule is the one that I follow.  I workout on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday; with my hardest workout taking place on Sunday.

  Gym? Carbs?
Sunday Workout-day HCLF
Monday Non-Workout-day LCHF
Tuesday Workout-day MCMF
Wednesday Non-Workout-day LCHF
Thursday Workout-day MCMF
Friday Non-Workout-day LCHF
Saturday Non-Workout-day LCHF

Following But Still Not Gaining

If you have been following the plan for 4 weeks, and still haven’t gained a pound, then you have to do a couple of things.  First, re-read this article and make sure that you are following this plan to the “T” (this includes increasing the amount of food you eat each day, or increasing the number of meals each day).  If you have been compliant, increase the amount of food you eat!  You probably haven’t been eating enough.  If you still aren’t gaining weight, then eat even more!  As a last resort, change another one of your MCMF days to a HCLF day.  This means that you will have two HCLF days and 1 MCMF day per week.


Try out this plan for at least 12 weeks.  Combine it with 80/20 Workouts, and you will be yoked.  I promise.

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