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How to Determine Daily Calorie Intake For Maximizing Muscle Gain

Nutrition is the most important part of any bodybuilding program. Without adequate calories, it is impossible to gain muscle mass. Find out how many calories you need per day to gain lean muscle mass using the formula below.

Optimizing your daily calorie intake is important in muscle building programs. Being overweight can cause you to gain fat instead of muscle. While not getting enough calories will keep you from gaining enough muscle mass. The formula consists of 4 parts:

1) Calculating lean muscle mass: For this measurement you need a skinfold that will give you your body fat percentage. Let’s say your body fat percentage is 10% and you weigh 140 pounds. So your body fat mass is 14 pounds. Now to calculate lean muscle mass, subtract fat mass from total body mass. In this case it comes to 140-14 = 126lb.

2) Finding your resting metabolic rate: This is the number of calories you need just to keep yourself moving. The formula for calculating resting metabolic rate is: RMR = lean muscle mass x 10 + 500. In our example, RMR equals 126×10+500=1760 calories.

3) Calculating calorie intake to maintain current weight: To find out how many calories you need per day to maintain your current weight, multiply your RMR by your Activity Index. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, your activity index is 1.2. If you lead a moderate lifestyle, your activity index is 1.4. And if you lead an active lifestyle, your activity index is 1.6.

Continuing with our example, imagine that you lead a moderate lifestyle. So to maintain your current weight you will need 1760×1.4=2464 calories.

4) Optimizing your calorie intake: Add 500 calories to your calculations so far and this should be your ideal calorie intake to gain lean muscle. If you feel like you’re getting fat and not gaining muscle, decrease 250 and increase 250 if you’re not gaining muscle at all.

Before you decide whether to add or cut calories, test your meal plan for two weeks. Work hard and rest enough to keep yourself strong on the road to muscle.

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