This simple muscle building diet has been used by thousands of my clients.

Build Muscle Easily With My Super-Size Nutrition Plan

Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 1 day ago.

10 min read

Here’s an easy nutrition plan to help you pack on slabs of lean muscle over the next 12-weeks.

It’s a template which I have used for many years, both with male and female clients, and it always gets the job done.

Oh, and the best part?

It’ll work even if you’re a total newbie!

Seriously, if you combine this nutrition plan with a proven weightlifting program, such as Classic Size or Biceps Boom (which are both located in the members area of russhowepti.com), you can expect tremendous results.

Table of Contents

how to build muscle

Most of the advice you’ve been given about building muscle is DEAD WRONG.

I’m sure you’ve met plenty of guys who say the best way to gain size is to ram as much food into your mouth as possible (“I’m bulking, bruh!”).

Fuck all of that.

You’ll notice that the people who do this all have one thing in common… a belly!

You probably don’t want one of those, and I don’t blame you. Because when you talk about wanting to get bigger, you’re actually aiming for a well-built, athletic physique, yes?

That requires a new way of thinking. In order to build the type of body you’re chasing, we need get you into a calorie surplus while also prioritizing the nutrients which will help you build muscle and minimize fat gain.

Consider this “Bulking 2.0”.


high protein diet to build muscle

You will eat 1.2 grams of protein per lb of body weight, so a 200lb guy will eat 240g protein per day, and a 130lb lady will eat 156g protein per day.

This will absolutely maximize muscle growth over the next 12-weeks.

The amino acids contained within protein are often referred to as “the building blocks of muscle” because they perform the difficult job of helping your tired muscles recover from workouts, so it is of paramount importance that you provide your body with plenty of them.

Unfortunately, most people get nowhere near enough to see any results. In my 20+ years as a personal trainer I’ve met countless guys who get absolutely zero protein outside of their post-workout shake, it’s crazy.

You will be eating 1.2g protein per lb of body weight, which hits the “sweet spot” for maximizing hypertrophy (muscle growth) as shown in a comprehensive 2018 meta-analysis on the daily protein requirements of athletes. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

(NOTE: Some so-called “experts” recommend going even higher, like 1.5g-2g per lb, but this is impractical and unnecessary. It isn’t a coincidence that those chumps also own supplement lines.)


how much fat should you eat per day to build muscle

You will eat 0.5 grams of fat per lb of body weight, so a 200lb guy will eat 100g fat per day, and a 130lb lady will eat 65g fat per day.

Fat is perhaps the most misunderstood nutrient.

It was absolutely blasted with hate in the 1980s, when the media falsely believed it was responsible for causing obesity, and it still suffers from that bad reputation to this very day.

When a training program isn’t supported by adequate fat intake, it can throw off the production of key anabolic hormones testosterone and cortisol (this tag team literally set the sage for hypertrophy to occur), and in a worst case scenario it can result in a crashed endocrine system, which would be catastrophic for your results.


eat carbohydrates to build muscle

You will eat 1.5 grams of carbohydrates per lb of body weight, so a 200lb guy will eat 300g carbs per day, and a 130lb lady will eat 195g carbs per day.

If you are not gaining weight after 4-weeks I recommend increasing this to 2g per lb. And if you are gaining weight too quickly you can reduce it to 1g per lb.

Carbohydrates are the nutrient which you can play with.

Your see, the reason I set protein and fat to such exact figures is because they are directly responsible for building muscle tissue and we need to hit a certain amount in order to maximize those results. The body is unable to produce the amino acids and fatty acids (such as Omega-3) which do this, so they are deemed essential nutrients, meaning they must be obtained via your diet.

There are no essential carbohydrates, however, because in their absence the body can produce glycogen (carbs) via a combination of fat and protein.

I’m not saying carbs are useless, of course, because they’ll help you power through your workouts and we need that if we are going to build serious muscle here, but this is why they represent the macronutrient which you can tinker with more than protein and fat. (6, 7, 8)


is water important for building muscle

You will drink 3-4 liters of water each day.

Water is one of the most overlooked aspects of most people’s diet, and it can have a profound effect on your results both in terms of how you look and how you perform.

For example, did you know that a dehydrated muscle loses nearly 20% of its contraction force? That’s wild. And the body is so dependent on water that in an average day you’ll use about 1.5 liters in the intestines and kidneys, and 0.5 liters through breathing, 0.5 liters through perspiration, taking you to a whopping 2 liters before we even consider water lost during exercise.

Your muscles are made up of over 85% water, so getting on top of your water intake will have the knock-on effect of making you look leaner, fuller, and harder in the mirror, as well as boosting your training performance due to superior hydration.

You know it makes sense, bruv.


best supplements to build muscle

There are only a few supplements which are proven to help build muscle.

These are what you should focus on.

  • Whey protein

A good whey protein supplement makes it super easy to hit your daily protein target. Whey requires almost zero prep time (just shake your shaker), plus it’s extremely fast digesting, so it hits your muscles almost instantly, and it won’t make you feel as full as protein-rich foods (which is very useful when you’re trying to eat a lot of calories). Look for a whey protein supplement which contains about 20-30 grams of protein per serving, and keeps both carbohydrates and fat under the 5g marker. This is the one I use.

  • Creatine monohydrate

Creatine is the best muscle building supplement of all time. It will dramatically boost your explosive strength output, overall power, and of course your size. There’s a million products out there, but I recommend keeping it simple with the original formula. This is the one I use. (16)

  • Omega-3

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid which can help you build muscle, burn fat, and perform better in the gym. It might not receive as much hype as other supplements, but these gelatine-coated bad boys are a crucial part of a good muscle building diet (especially because most people rarely eat fatty fish). This is the one I use.

  • Multivitamin

Most people do not get the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals a) we are creatures of habit and tend to eat the same things every day, and b) some of them are really hard to get (e.g. vitamin K in turnips). These micronutrients are super important because they help the body take care of everything ranging from your hair, to your fingernails, and even your mood. A good multivitamin and mineral supplement is an easy way to ensure you never miss any of them. This is the one I use.

  • Pre-workout

Most people think a pre-workout is an energy booster, but they’re actually not. Yes, a good product will give you an energy boost, but it should also provide your body with a range of performance enhancing and muscle building ingredients to help you improve the quality of your workout. This is the one I use.


easy diet for building muscle

Bodybuilders have been programmed to believe they must eat 8-10 small meals per day in order to build muscle.

This dates back to the 1980s, when fitness magazines believed that doing so would speed up the metabolism and lead to greater results.

However, we now know that this is not true. (10)

You can eat as many or as few meals per day as you want, and you’ll achieve the exact same results, providing your overall numbers are on target. This will increase your chances of staying consistent, which is crucial to seeing results. (9, 11, 12, 13, 14)


how often should you have a cheat day

The biggest mistake people make on diets is “going too hard”.

It’s just silly to try to overhaul your entire lifestyle, or to swear off foods which you enjoy eating, but everybody tries it (and everybody ends up in a vicious cycle of going too hard then crashing off-plan and finding themselves back at square one).

So even though you’re trying to gain size and have a pretty good calorie target, I still recommend giving yourself some downtime where you get to switch off and enjoy things.

Every two weeks works for me.

In the long-term you will find it much easier to stick to your nutrition plan, because these reward days can act as targets for staying consistent, and you’ll also create a healthier relationship with food by making them an actual part of your plan, so you don’t beat yourself up for having a cake, or a chocolate bar, or a chocolate cake bar, or any other cake-covered chocolate-smothered monstrosity you can think of. (13)


And you’re done!

You now have a proven framework to help you pack on an impressive amount of muscle mass over the next 12-weeks, and I’m looking forward to seeing your transformation.

I’ve used this setup countless times with male and female clients over the last 20 years, both on this website and in my personal training business at the mighty Powerhouse Gym.

Now it’s your turn to apply these methods. Good luck!

References:

  1. Thomas D. T., et al. American College of Sports Medicine Joint Position Statement. Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc (2016).
  2. Jäger R., et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr (2017).
  3. Morton R. W., et al. A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults. Br J Sports Med (2018).
  4. Witard O. C., et al. Effect of increased dietary protein on tolerance to intensified training. Med Sci Sports Exerc (2011).
  5. Leaf A., et al. The Effects of Overfeeding on Body Composition: The Role of Macronutrient Composition – A Narrative Review. Int J Exerc Sci (2017).
  6. Leibel R. L., et al. Energy intake required to maintain body weight is not affected by wide variation in diet composition. Am J Clin Nutr (1992).
  7. Golay A., et al. Similar weight loss with low- or high-carbohydrate diets. Am J Clin Nutr (1996).
  8. Golay A., et al. Weight-loss with low or high carbohydrate diet. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord (1996).
  9. Schoenfeld B. J., et al. Effects of meal frequency on weight loss and body composition: a meta-analysis. Nutrition Reviews (2015).
  10. Munsters M. J. M., et al. Effects of Meal Frequency on Metabolic Profiles and Substrate Partitioning in Lean Healthy Males. PLoS ONE (2012).
  11. Norton L., et al. Optimal protein intake to maximize muscle protein synthesis Examinations of optimal meal protein intake and frequency for athletes. Agro Food Industry Hi Tech (2009).
  12. Moore D. R., et al. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr (2009).
  13. Stewart T. M., et al. Rigid vs. flexible dieting: association with eating disorder symptoms in nonobese women. Appetite (2002).
  14. Bandegan A., et al. Indicator Amino Acid-Derived Estimate of Dietary Protein Requirement for Male Bodybuilders on a Nontraining Day Is Several-Fold Greater than the Current Recommended Dietary Allowance. J Nutr (2017).
  15. La Bounty P. M., et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: meal frequency. J Int Soc Sports Nutr (2011).
  16. Butts J., et al. Creatine Use In Sports. Sports Health (2018).

Website members are killing these russhowepti.com training programs, and you can start today!

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RPE 20

Use the Rest Pause technique to add slabs of lean muscle to your fame over the next 10-weeks.

Classic Size

This is an old school 12-week program which uses dropsets, rest pause sets, and classic linear periodization to help you pack on serious muscle mass.

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Get More From Russ!

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I’m Russ. I’ve been a personal trainer since 2002, and I own russhowepti.com.

My job is to simplify fitness for my readers.

I send out free fitness tips to over 100,000 men and women every week, all in the same no-nonsense style as the article you’ve just read, so if you enjoyed reading it be sure to jump on my email list below.

2 responses to “Build Muscle Easily With My Super-Size Nutrition Plan”

  1. Jerry McManus avatar
    Jerry McManus

    Can you do your suggestions in the article and at same time have a caloric deficit to burn fat and get your body fat% down?

    1. Russ Howe PTI avatar

      Hey Jerry,
      If you were quite active then yes, this could still result in a calorie deficit (using these calculations a 180lb guy would be eating 216g protein, 90g fat and 270g carbohydrates, which is 2754 kcals).

      A better approach to for FAT LOSS purposes would be to work out your current calorie intake, set your protein & fat correctly, then use the remaining calories for carbohydrates.

      Or if you have no idea your current calorie intake and want to use these figures as a starting point then see your body’s response, here’s how I would do this by starting out as above then working the carbohydrates DOWN each time a plateau is reached; so my example 180lb guy here would start at 1.5g carbs per lb (270g) which is 2754 kcals in total, and then lower to 1.25g per lb (225g) when a plateau is reached, which would reduce total kcals to 2574, then next time a plateau is reached lower carbohydrates to 1g per lb (180g), which lowers total kcals to 2394, and so on.

      Essentially just doing the OPPOSITE of the nutrition template above, as you’re heading in the other direction.

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