Muscle Training Diet Plan – Optimum Nutrition for Muscle Gain


Hi and welcome to Part 2 of Muscle Training Diet Plan –

Optimum Nutrition for Muscle Gain

If you read my previous article Muscle Training Diet Plan – Part 1 – How to Eat to Grow, you now have a better understanding of the elements that go into creating a healthy eating plan.

Now we will look at putting it together for optimal lean muscle gain.  

How Many Calories for Gaining Lean Muscle?

In order to gain muscle, we need to consume more quality calories per day than what we ‘burn’.  Optimum-Nutrition-for-Muscle-Gain

The term ‘Calories in verses Calories out’ is not just for those wishing to lose weight and it is very beneficial to become quite aware of how many calories you consume on a daily basis.

Basal Metabolic Rate: 

Your body requires a certain amount of calories just for everyday function.  In fact, over 50% of your caloric intake is burned supporting your body’s ‘at rest’ needs.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the term used to discern the amount of calories your body requires for normal bodily function.

The following formula will help you to calculate your own BMR:

Formula for BMR: 

Men: BMR=66.47+ (13.75 x W) + (5.0 x H) – (6.75 x A)

Women: BMR=665.09 + (9.56 x W) + (1.84 x H) – (4.67 x A)

W = weight in kilograms (weight in lbs/2.2 =weight in kg)
H = height in centimetres (height in inches x 2.54) =height in cm
A = age in years

Note: the above formula does not account for different body compositions i.e. two people may enter the same details with one having more lean muscle weight than the other.  More lean muscle promotes a faster and longer burning metabolism.

The above formula gives a basis to go by.  For a more optimal result a consultation with a health care professional is recommended. 

Example BMR calculation of a male aged 35, height 175 cm, weight 85 Kg:

BMR=66.47+ (13.75 x W) + (5.0 x H) – (6.75 x A)

66.47 + (1168.75) + (875) – (236.25)

BMR = 1873.97 (round down to 1870)

Therefore, our example male burns an average of 1870 calories per day for normal ‘at rest’ bodily function.

Easy Formula for Muscle Gain

An easy formula for working out your daily calorie requirements for gaining quality muscle mass is to multiply your body-weight in pounds by 18 (weight in kg x 2.2 = weight in Lbs)

So again, using our example male muscle builder from above:

Body-weight in pounds (85 kg x 2.2) = 187 Lbs

So, our friend would begin his Muscle Training Diet Plan with a daily calorie intake of 3,366 calories (rounded down to 3,360 calories).

We can break this down using the 40, 40, 20 formula I showed you earlier in Part 1:

3,360 x 40% = 1,344

3,360 x 20% = 672


Protein = 1,344 Calories

Carbohydrate = 1,344 Calories

Fats = 672 Calories

We also know that both protein and carbohydrate contain 4 calories per gram and fats contain 9 calories per gram.

1,344/4 = 336

672/9 = 74.6

So, our example muscle builder would create his ideal muscle training diet plan upon the following information:

Daily Calories Protein Carbs Fats
3360 1344cal 1344cal 672cal
336g 336g 75g


 Example of a 3,360 Calorie/Day Meal Plan 

6:00 am Pre-Breakfast Shake (upon rising) – 30g Whey Powder, 250 ml Skim Milk, ¼ tsp Cinnamon, 2 x Whole Raw Eggs (378.5 Calories)

8:00 am Breakfast – Omelette: 3 x Whole Eggs + 3 x Egg Whites, 3 x Cherry Tomatoes, 4 x Onion rings, 1 x Shiitake Mushroom, 2oz Chicken breast, 15g Cheese. 2 slices of Wholegrain Toast, 1 x tbsp Butter unsalted (671 Calories)

10:00 am M/T (snack) – 2 tbsp Natural Peanut Butter on Celery Sticks, Apple (307 Calories)

12:00 pm Lunch – Salad: (1 cup baby spinach, 5 x cubes feta cheese, 3 x cherry tomatoes, 5 x stuffed green olives, 4 x rings raw red onion), water-packed Tuna 200g drained (418 Calories)

2:00 pm A/T (snack) – 100g oats (dry weight), 150g Skim Milk, tsp Honey, Cinnamon,  2 x Whole Raw Eggs (611.5 Calories)

4:30 pm Pre Workout Shake – 30g Whey Powder, tsp Honey, Cinnamon.  2 x Whole Raw Eggs (221.5 Calories)

6:00 pm Post Workout Shake – 1 scoop ASR UPC775, 20g Maltodextrin (218 Calories)

7:30 pm Dinner – 1 cup steamed kale, 1 cup steamed broccoli, ½ cup steamed carrot, 1/3 cup cooked brown rice,  4oz skinless chicken breast (271 Calories)

10:00 pm Supper (pre bed snack) – 200g Cottage Cheese, 1 x Whole Raw Egg (265 Calories) 

Total Calories = 3,361.5

As you can see by the above meal plan, you can incorporate quite a variety of clean healthy foods and flavors, with consistent meals, and still reach the desired calories.

Eating clean foods on a muscle training diet plan does not need to be a boring and bland experience.

Do you want to know how to cook amazingly delicious meals, which will fully support your efforts in and out of the gym?  I highly recommend Anabolic Cooking by Dave Ruel ‘the Muscle Chef


Of course, strictly speaking we also need to consider other calories which can accumulate throughout the day from sources such as coffee and other beverages, sauces, items not on our menu plan like the slice of cake we succumb to at a work meeting etc J.

In addition to this, we all have differing circumstances and lifestyle conditions.  For example, you may be a brick layer or farmer which is somewhat more physically demanding than a sedentary position like office worker.

Tweaking the System  

Using the above guidelines you can develop a beneficial nutrition plan to match your goals.

After establishing your daily calorie requirement, allow a week or two of implementing your plan.  If you find you are not gaining some quality weight, simply increase the calories by, say, 50 – 100 and assess this after another couple weeks and so on.

The same applies in the case of you finding your gains include some undesirable weight (fat).  Then you simply decrease your daily calories by 50 – 100 until you reach the amount which works best for you.

Counting the Calories: 

I know it can seem daunting and a bother, but once you start taking accountability and keeping record of your daily caloric intake, whilst incorporating a good muscle building program , you will see evident progress of lean muscle gain.

most food labels contain all the information you need:

  • Energy (kj/cal) per serving
  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Fats

In addition to this, I personally find it very useful to have a reference guide on hand such as the CalorieKing Calorie, Fat & Carbohydrate Counter  Calorie-Counter-Pocket

Useful Tips:  

  • It really helps to create a list of Healthy Lifestyle foods you can use in your Muscle Training Diet Plan.
  • Use your imagination to create a number of meals from the foods in your list.
  • Plan ahead for the week to save stressing each day.
  • Before shopping – write a list of Healthy Lifestyle foods you require and do not deviate.
  • Avoid the ‘empty calorie’ isles i.e. soft-drinks, snacks, chips, packaged frozen foods etc.
  • Never shop when hungry.
  • When you leave the shops with only the items on your list – congratulate yourself…Good Job!
  • Have a day of preparing meals in advance and freeze them for convenience.
  • Pre-pack your snacks such as nuts, fruits, yogurt, cottage cheese etc



Well…there you go.

It is not difficult to create your own muscle training diet plan.  You just need to possess the desire to learn and succeed.

Really, it is a process of learning to become accountable – to you.

Here, you have been given a foundation for understanding the elements of healthy eating to gain quality muscle mass when combined with a good muscle training program.

A Healthy Lifestyle is all about gaining knowledge and applying that knowledge to enjoy a more fulfilling and lasting quality of life.

If you have any questions or relevant information you would like to share, please leave a comment in the box below.

Alternatively, you may contact me



Here’s to a Healthy, Lean, Muscular You!

Blessings Be,







Rich Far


Contact :

Thank you for reading Muscle Training Diet Plan – Part 2

Optimum Nutrition for Muscle Gain

Comments (32)

  1. Viljoen

    Hi Richard

    You have some good information in this blog.

    Which time of the day is the best time to have a high protein supplement such as a protein shake.

    Many people say you have to drink it before you sleep because your muscles grow when you are sleeping?

    1. Rich Far


      Thank you for visiting my site and taking the time to post a comment.
      Your question is very good and a lot of people seem to get a bit confused over this.

      The answer really depends on your current lifestyle and nutrition plan. I never recommend replacing healthy solid foods with a shake. However, they certainly are handy and beneficial for times when you’re ‘on the go’ or travelling etc.

      With that said, when it comes to incorporating protein shakes as part of a Healthy Lifestyle which includes muscle building workouts, then I recommend consuming one around 30 minutes prior your workout.

      Then immediately after your workout – really important!

      Just before going to bed for the night I would recommend a shake containing Micellar Casein Powder as it is much slower releasing so provides nutrients through the night. Also, I like to have a few spoonfuls of Cottage Cheese before bed.

      If you are really serious about putting on muscle, and you are paying your dues in the gym with a good bodybuilding workout, then here is a little trick which will really increase your gains => Have an additional Protein Shake around 1:30 – 2:30 a.m then go back to sleep (you may need to set your alarm for this, however – the results are well worth it).

      Click this link to read my article =>Best Mass Gaining Supplements; Get These to Get Huge< =

      Let me know how you go :-)

      Train Hard, Train Well, Train Safe,

      – Rich

  2. Dustin Garness

    Hey man, this is some really great information. I am actually kind of stuck at a point where I have lost weight and am in pretty good shape. I do want to become more muscular, but more in a toned way and not really too bulky.

    Do you think this nutrition plan would be good for that? Or do you have any alternative suggestions? I am pretty good at regulating my nutrition and eating fairly healthy. I use MyFitnessPal religiously to track all of my food intake as well as Fitocracy to track my workouts.

    I guess I struggle most with just knowing what the best nutrition plan for me to reach my goals.

    Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!


    1. Rich Far

      Hi Dustin,

      Thank you for visiting my site and your positive feedback.

      It is great to know you are already looking after yourself. Did you read Part 1 of this article? If not here’s the link ‘Muscle Training Diet Plan – How to Eat to Grow’.

      Thank you for the great questions Dustin.

      There are multiple factors to consider when it comes to working out our individual energy requirements. These include your body type, exercise routine, starting body composition and other lifestyle factors.

      Without knowing your details i.e. body-weight and height, current workouts etc, it is a generalized response I can offer you. Through the information you have provided, I can see you take your exercise and nutrition seriously.
      I definitely suggest the information I have presented in these articles would serve you well.

      As far as adding lean muscle without getting too bulky – that relies on the factors of workout program, nutrition and rest.
      I would suggest, Dustin, that you initially increase your daily calorie intake by 250 – 500 calories and follow a good hypertrophy based training program using a rep range of 8 – 12.
      If after 2 – 3 weeks, you are gaining strength and muscle but not fat, then increase your daily calories by another 250 – 500 calories. Keep following this pattern until you either reach your goal weight (muscle size) or if you feel you are beginning to add some unwanted body fat – then decrease by 250 – 500 calories.

      After this, you may then wish to remain on your maintenance level.

      If you would like to read more on this ‘Click Here’

      Well…I better wrap this up before it becomes an article in itself :-)

      Thanks again Dustin – It would be great to hear from you again – i’d love to know how you go with your goals.

      Train Hard, Train Well, Train Safe –

      – Rich

  3. Luka

    This website is definitely bookmarked, so much valuable information…
    Thank you! :)

    1. Rich Far

      Thanks Luka and I look forward to hearing from you more :-)

  4. Kristina

    Wow, you really know what you are talking about! I am no bodybuilder, but this site is really informative and your focus on healthy eating is very good. Nutritious organic food is the best for us and for nature.

    Blessings, Kristina

    1. Rich Far

      Absolutely Kristina – thank you for having a read and taking the time to post a comment.

      Best Wishes,

      – Rich

  5. Jeremy

    Hey Rich. I’m glad I found your site.Instead of always “thinking” about getting back into body building, maybe now I “will”. Thanks for the very informative, and easy to understand article. ~Jeremy

    1. Rich Far

      Hi Jeremy,


      It is so good to know I have assisted in motivating someone.
      That’s what is all about.

      If I can assist you in any way i’d be only too happy to, just leave questions in the comments box or contact me directly
      Also, Jeremy, it would be really good to hear about your successes as you get back into building muscle :-)

      In the meantime, to spur your motivation and give you some great workout ideas, please have a read of this article: Click Here

      Thanks again Jeremy.

      Train Hard, Train Well, Train Safe –

      – Rich

  6. Deidre Salcido

    Have you heard of the Body Beast Program? I am watching the infomercial right now…LOL!I am gone most of the day and I am too tired to do anything when I get home. Look, I bought a new house 6 years ago and I used the stove twice to make tortillas,,,I DON’T COOK! So, what can I eat that’s quick and healthy? Would it be juicing, perhaps? Thanks for your great website and the information is very easy to understand!

    1. admin

      Hi Deidre,

      Welcome back! I remember you left a comment on my ‘Diet’ page a few weeks back.

      I have not heard of the Body Beast Program, however you have raised my curiosity and I shall be looking into it.

      Juicing is a great way to get nutrients and can be convenient, as you can juice enough to keep for several days. Considering what you wrote in your last comment Deidre, juicing would be a valued addition to your current diet :-)

      That said, I do not believe anything should take the place of whole foods on a regular basis.

      Change is not easy Deidre and it has been ‘proven’ that any new habit will take at least 21 days to establish. I think when the preceding habit has been in place for a long time, then it may take sometime longer.

      I have also realized, over time, that change can only come when one truly wants the change – not for someone else or for any other reason except for their self.

      Thank you Deidre for again visiting and I appreciate your comments. I look forward to hearing from you again.

      Best Wishes,

      – Rich

  7. evelyn

    What a great post, I do have a couple of questions, is there anything in the frozen food isle that I can buy that has some kind of health benefit? Another question I have is if I wanted to start using small free weights, how many pounds should I start with? Thanks

    1. admin

      Hi Evelyn,

      Thank you for dropping by and for the positive feedback.

      Basically, the only products I would really recommend from the frozen food section are berries, some vegetables, and egg white.
      This said – fresh is always best and organic if possible.

      Regarding your question on free weights – for a beginner, I recommend commencing with a weight you feel comfortable with and can achieve 12 – 15 repetitions. Pick a weight lighter than you think and work up, rather than going too heavy and risking injury.
      Rest for 90 – 120 seconds between sets and concentrate on the muscles you are working and keep good form.

      Always train safe.

      Let me know if you would like further help.

      Wishing you well Evelyn.

      – Rich

      1. Evelyn

        Thanks Rich, for the tips i’m on it :)

        1. admin

          Awesome Evelyn – let me know if I can assist you further :-)

  8. Andrea Roa

    Hey Rich! This information is great. It is so complete! As an average woman, I’ve always concerned about weight loss instead of muscle building. However, since I got into healthy lifestyle, muscle building is starting to come to my mind a lot. And this post just came at the right time. Congrats for a great post; the content is so clear and easy to read! Would love to read more from you!

    1. admin

      Hello Andrea,

      Thanks heaps for visiting my site and I very much appreciate the positive feedback.

      It is great to know you have embraced a Healthy Lifestyle. I definitely encourage you to incorporate resistance training – you can easily develop a program to suit your goals.

      For a female, training with weights will assist with losing unwanted body-fat and develop and maintain a toned and defined physique.

      I shall be including some posts in the near future addressing the many questions I receive from females wishing to know more about how they can commence weight lifting and the benefits/what to expect. For now, though, feel safe to explore this site as all the information I provide here is equally beneficial to both males and females.

      You may want to start by having a read of this post to gain an understanding of compound lifts: Workouts

      After that, this post may interest you: How to Improve on Bench Press; Five Lifts for Incredible Strength

      Thank you again Andrea and I wish you well with your Health and Fitness goals :-)

      If you would like help in any areas or wish to share your experiences, please post again or contact me directly

      Blessings Be,

      – Rich

  9. Damien Parsons

    Wow Rich, you have this down to a science. For a person with a smaller build, this might be exactly what I need to gain muscle mass. A muscle training diet plan like this one is well worth the try.

    Thanks for your help on this. Any recommendation on recipe books for someone with a very high metabolism?

    1. admin

      Hi Damien,

      Thank you for visiting my site and taking the time to post a comment.

      Yes, all the factors can each be considered a science unto themselves. The science of muscle building, the science of nutrition etc.

      As far as recipe books go – within the post, I included a link to a great book on Anabolic Cooking which includes a full nutrition guide and over 200 recipes tailored for Bodybuilding and Fitness. I highly recommend you check it out as it could really help you with gaining quality muscle mass while taking out the nutritional guess-work.

      Click this link to have a look: Anabolic Cookbook

      Wishing you the best Damien with your Health & Fitness goals.

      Blessings Be,

      – Rich

  10. Christine

    As a nutritionist im always excited to see good information on a website. Congratulations on including healthy whole foods in your meal plans as well. Fruit and veg are an important part of any meal plan. Great site

    1. admin

      Hi Christine,

      Thank you for visiting and for the great feedback.
      I wish you well in Health and Happiness.

      – Rich

  11. Peter

    Hey Rich,
    Thank you for this post. You shared so much useful information with a great explanation.
    All the best to your business!

    1. Rich Far

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you for visiting my site and reading Muscle Training Diet Plan – Optimum Nutrition for Muscle Gain

      I appreciate your positive feedback.

      All the best to you in Health, Wealth and Happiness –

      – Rich

  12. Josh

    I have an older version of Calorie King and I can see that it is a must have for anyone who is on a diet plan. Not only does it list the nutritional information for just about any food you can think of, it also has it for restaurants as well and can make finding the best meal for you easy when the impromptu dinner with the family happens.

    It is the best book on the market for nutritional information.

    1. Rich Far

      Hi Josh,

      Thank you for visiting and I appreciate your comment.

      I agree wholeheartedly with you: CalorieKing Calorie, Fat & Carbohydrate Counter ‘is the best book on the market for nutritional information’.

      It certainly makes life easier when seeking to live a Healthy Lifestyle, and an invaluable reference tool to assist with a muscle training diet plan and attaining optimum nutrition for muscle gain.

      Thanks again Josh,

      Train Hard and Eat Well –

      – Rich

  13. Hilda

    Rich, I think I have to use your formula and do my mathematics. The information here regarding calories in and calories out is extremely useful not only for the person who wants to gain muscle but in general, for whoever wants to have a healthy diet. Great job!

    1. admin

      Hi Hilda,

      Thank you for visiting my site and reading Muscle Training Diet PlanOptimum Nutrition for Muscle Gain I appreciate your comment.
      You are absolutely right in saying the information is ‘useful not only for the person who wants to gain muscle but in general’ .

      A Healthy Lifestyle has so many benefits including raised energy levels and increased vigor, anti aging and longevity, mental clarity and memory retention, over-all well being.

      I wish you well Hilda in life and happiness.

      – Rich

  14. Ken

    I have been looking for a simple formula with explanation of the BMI.. Thank You

    1. admin

      Hi Ken,

      Thank you for visiting and Iappreciate your comment.

      I wish you well in fitness and health.

      – Rich

  15. Debbie

    Even as a female, I find this interesting reading and really good to have to calculation for BMR

    1. admin

      Hi Debbie,

      Thank you for visiting my site and reading Muscle Training Diet PlanOptimum Nutrition for Muscle Gain

      The information on is equally beneficial for both males and females. All the exercise programs on this site are great for females. I apologize for presenting the site in a way that may be interpreted as male dominant and shall endeavor to be more female friendly in future posts.

      Thanks again Debbie,

      Blessings Be –

      – Rich


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