For a little over two years now I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard. My goal was to build muscle mass and shred my body fat percentage. I was unsuccessful in these attempts because I lacked the necessary knowledge in nutrition and weight lifting to achieve these goals. It was not until I researched these topics by reading fitness magazines and discussing my failures with personal trainers, that I learned what exactly would work for me. This is what I discovered.
A big misconception in adding muscle mass is that you must consume above maintenance level calories to fuel the muscle growth. This is wrong and it stems from “incomplete” thinking.
The human body is a very precise machine. You don’t just throw calories at it in hopes that some will stick in the form of new muscle mass. That’s a blind approach that will more likely lead to greater fat mass than actual muscle. Your individual daily calorie maintenance level is the exact amount of calories your body requires to maintain all body functions including growth. All calories above your maintenance level will be stored as extra body fat.
For a bodybuilder or anyone wanting to add lean muscle, the calories required to fuel this muscle growth on a daily basis is part of your daily calorie maintenance requirement. You see, in bodybuilding, you’re always trying to add lean muscle. When your body requires calories for muscle repair and growth, those calories are maintenance calories. You’re feeding your body what it requires to adapt and grow from the training you perform. Of course it’s more calories than if you were not trying to build muscle, but it’s an exact amount and not an excessive amount.
Your body in no way needs an excessive amount of calories for growth and repair. An excessive caloric intake, assuming the nutrients from these calories are constructive, will promote muscle growth, but every single extra calorie above what your body needs will be stored as...