Back to Muscle Gaining

October 14, 2009

The last few posts have concerned fats, and there’s a lot more about fats that we could get into, and that we will discuss in future posts.  However, we got into the fat discussion as part of a discussion on the food necessary for gaining muscle mass.  So, in order to stay on track, let’s summarize what has been covered so far regarding how to gain more muscle.

Maintaining and gaining muscle has several advantages, some of which we covered in a previous post.  Two that many people find particularly appealing are that muscle is metabolically active (i.e. it burns calories) and thereby makes it easier to lose fat or maintain low fat levels, and that it helps a person look his/her best.


Also, for those that would like to tone, please realize that when a person tones, the toning process is one in which the person typically loses fat and either maintains, or gains, some muscle mass.  So, in this case, the person may gain muscle mass, just not a lot of it.

Do you remember the muscle gaining formula?  Here it is:

–> progressive muscle overload through resistance training + adequate food + enough rest = more muscle

Mostly, we’ve been discussing the food portion of this formula.  Let’s summarize the information we’ve gone over up to this point.

1. Get a skin caliper and measure your body fat level.  Using this measurement, you can determine your lean body mass.iStock_000008942669XSmall

2. Determine the approximate number of calories you need to maintain your current weight, given your current activity and body fat levels.

3. Add 2 calories per pound of lean body weight so that you have a target number of calories to consume to power you through all of your activities PLUS those necessary for building tissue (muscle).

4. Calculate the amount of protein you need (a max of 1.8 grams per kg of body mass).

5. Calculate the amount of fat you can consume (at most 30% of total calories), and strive to eat “healthy” fats — particularly those that contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Fish oil capsules contain "good" fat

Fish oil capsules contain "good" fat

6. Your remaining calories should be carbohydrates.  We’ll cover carbohydrates in future posts.

Soon, at, calculating each of the numbers in steps 2 through 6, above, will be straightforward and quick.

As for the results you get from all of these calculations, they will be used as targets.  You’ll aim at those targets by keeping up with your energy (food) intake via a simple and effective weight management tool, i.e. a journal.

A blank notebook can be used as a journal

A blank notebook can be used as a journal

This probably sounds complicated.  At the end of this series, I will put everything into a nice concise informational package so that it is simple and easy to follow.


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19 Responses to “Back to Muscle Gaining”

  1. I think I am off to work out. You convinced me.

    Robert Martin

  2. JJ Jalopy says:

    I love how your posts all tie together Darryl.

    Great stuff!

  3. Pam Schulz says:

    I love the fact that toned muscles burn more calories! 😉

    Expert Houston Retirement Planning & Wealth Management Services
    Oil and Gas Economics and Uncertainty Training and Consulting

  4. Vicki says:

    I think I need a toning class after reading all your posts. Building up muscle would be my goal.

  5. Great advice.
    For me, it’s muscle gain for strength… so that when I’m rock climbing I can dangle on my arms that bit longer. Don’t want to put on too much weight though, otherwise I’ll need yet more strength!

  6. Mister P says:

    Good post. Lisa’s comment made me laugh.
    I’ve been working out daily and it really makes a difference.

    Bert (alter ego- Mister P)

  7. Scott Payne says:

    I always learn something when I open your blog.. thanks!
    Scott Payne

  8. Keri Eagan says:

    Hey Darryl,

    The question of sleep is a good one. I know there is some collolation with obesity and bad sleep patterns/disrupted sleep.

    Keri Eagan

  9. Excellent always happy to learn more from your post.

    Jose Escalante

  10. Lisa says:

    I remember doing push -ups in elementary school, and when we complained (we were all about 8-9 yrs old), our gym teacher would lift up her arms and jiggle her bat wings. She then emphasized that was why we were doing these exercises.

    Till this day when I think of muscle toning, I always go for my arms first.

    Also, I saw that enough rest is part of the equation. Does sleep affect muscle gain as well?


  11. Hi Darryl,

    this is great. when are you going to add a membership forum area for the folks who personal train with you directly? And those of us who do so remotely?

    Today I will do 2 twenty min walks minimum (it’s a writing day for me). Tomorrow and this weekend – time to start working with WEIGHTS! I have a goal to be down 1 pant size by early December….

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell

  12. Darryl:

    I’ll need to make the fat calculations, but then again all this analysis seems to be relevant to getting in shape for a competition rather than for everyday life.

    I guess it depends on one’s priorities.

    Steve Chambers
    Sales Training Speaker

  13. Lynn Lane says:


    As always some very good information to use.

    Lynn Lane
    The Warrior Of Success

  14. Kate McKeon says:

    Good methodology and simple advice. Now can yo udo it for us? 😉

    Education is the first step, how do you move people past inertia?

    Mastery and Team Building, Kate McKeon

  15. I heard once that the fish oil capsules are not a great idea because if they are not really fresh, the oil actually goes bad inside the capsule. Any input on this?
    Next, I have a question….. I used to be a gym rat years ago, so I can usually tone up pretty quickly. I don’t look bad for 40 something, but I can’t seem to “re-tone” the area of my chest that meets my underarms. Back in the day, I did incline bench presses. I can’t do them anymore because first of all, I don’t have a bench anymore, but more importantly, I have a touch of scoliosis and it really hurts my back to do them.
    I looked at a chart of the muscles, and it looks like that area is part of the pectorals. But I remember that area not being toned with regular bench presses. It wasn’t until I started doing inclines and another exercise where you sit and pull the weighted bar down in front of and behind your head with spread arms. Not sure if you know what I mean, but you need a machine to do that one.
    Any ideas on how to tone that muscle again. It’s one of the few parts on me that looks like an old lady’s body! lol

    Lisa McLellan, Child Care Expert
    Babysitting Services, Babysitting Tips, Babysitters, Nannies

  16. Rob Northrup says:

    Great information as always that makes me want to take better care of myself.

    Seize the Day,

    Simple Survival Tips For Disasters and Emergencies

  17. John Ho says:

    Talking about fat & muscle, I think of the martial artist Bruce Lee ‘s lean muscle.

    John Ho
    Numerology Expert Birthday Numeroscope

  18. Katie says:

    Hey Darryl, As of October 19th we will be offering a food journal to anyone who wants one. We are testing out a new way to encourage folks to get healthy.We’d love to have some of your fans participate – we’ll even waive the fee for anyone who mentions you so we know they’re coming from the good side.

    Food Journal, Katie



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