how to set your macros to build muscle

Gaining muscle is a common goal among my clients.

Here are a few key points if you’re also in that same boat:

>> you gotta eat enough protein so your body has the building blocks (amino acids from protein) needed to build muscle on your frame.

>> you gotta stop dieting. eating LESS than what your body needs is not ideal for building muscle. I recommend eating at maintenance or in a slight surplus depending on your training history so that your body has enough available energy to do what you’re asking it to do.

>> you gotta lift heavy with a progressive overload plan. random workouts that have *elements of strength* won’t cut it. find yourself a plan or program that has you strength training 3-4 times per week with structure and progressive overload to stimulate that muscle growth.

Keep reading for more on each of these points…

eat enough protein to provide the building blocks

If you don’t want to find your personal needs, a sweeping, general recommendation for active women is no less than 100 g of protein per day.

If you’ve never paid attention to protein consumption or have just started tracking, 100 g is a great daily baseline to meet, but understand that to maximize building muscle, you’ll probably need more.

Eating 0.8-1.1 g of protein per pound of body weight leads to lean muscle gain and maintenance when combined with effective strength training activity. However, if you’re actively trying to gain muscle, shoot for 1.0-1.1 g protein per pound body weight.

EXAMPLE @ 145 lb body weight, 0.8-1.1 g protein per pound is 116-160 grams of protein per day is sufficient.

eat at maintenance calories

It’s tough to build muscle if you’re in a calorie deficit, especially if you’re not new to strength training, so eating at maintenance (or more!) is preferred. Eating at maintenance means eating about as much as your body needs.

Eating at maintenance ensures you are well-fueled for and recovered from your tough workouts. Think about it, energy is required to have an effective workout, but energy is also required to recover and rebuild afterwards, too.

While eating at maintenance supports muscle gain, if you are brand new to strength training, you might also see fat loss at the same time. This is termed recomposition.

HOW TO: average the calories you eat over a 2-4 week period where no changes in body weight are seen or use the DIY Macros Guide for a formula.

...or in a surplus

Eating in a surplus means eating slightly more calories than your body needs and is one of the best ways to support muscle gain because you’re simply providing your body with the extra fuel it needs to build muscle.

Eating in a surplus alone might not make you gain muscle though. You also need to be eating enough protein (see above) and participating in progressive overload strength training.

There is a chance of gaining some body fat while eating in a surplus, but it’s a small price to pay for the most efficient way to put on lean muscle mass. If you are an intermediate or advanced lifter, you will go through different macro phases to see significant changes in body composition, shape and size.

HOW TO: find maintenance calories and multiply by 1.05-1.10 which represents 5-10% over maintenance. Increase in increments of 5% every few weeks. Plan to spend at least 4-6+ months here for best results.

“Ok, I’m ready. Let’s set macros to make for the best environment to build muscle.”

Perfect – download my free DIY Macros Guide to set your goal calories and macro targets. Best part is, the guide has recently been revised and improved to be easier to understand and calculate.

We want YOU to be even more confident in the prescription you set for yourself so find the guide linked below.

set your macros with my free guide