Most people know there are 3,500 calories in a 1lb of fat.
But what a muscle?
Well, believe it or not, it’s less.
Muscle tissue is made up of about 70% water, 22% protein, and the rest is fat,carbohydrate and minerals.
Because the vast majority of muscle tissue is water – which has no caloric value – the total caloric value is only about 700-800 caloric per pound.
But, your body needs extra energy (calories) to then build the muscle.
It’s here where research differs, but the general consensus is that for a 1 lb of muscle, you’ll need 1,600 calories in total.
Here’s where the numbers kick in.
As you’ll read, when you’re trying to lose weight, 1 to 2 1bs a week is sensible (and easy at first, if you’re very over weight).
It’s the same for putting on muscle.
Putting on 1 to 2 lbs of muscle a week is easy when you first start. But half of it’s eating enough – here’s why.
Two pounds of muscle a week needs 3,200 calories (now that’s just for the muscle).
But, you have to tell your body to make muscle with the extra calories, rather than store it as fat, which you do through lifting weights – which burns calories.
Weight lifting burns around 8-10 calories per minute. So let’s call it 9.
Say you’re in the gym for 45 minutes, but you’re actually only lifting for 30 minutes.
That’s 30 x 9 = 270 calories. Say you’re training 3 times a week, which adds up to 810.
So you need an extra 4010 calories (810 for the gym, and 3200 for the muscle) per week, on top of what you need just to maintain your normal weight, if you want to pack on muscle.
So you’re going to need just under 600 more calories per day, or are you?
Well, don’t forget, in week 1, you could have put 2 lbs of muscle on. So your engines is 2 lbs bigger.
And just like cars, the bigger the engine, the more juice it needs.
So every 1 lb of muscle you put on burns up an addition 60 calories per day. So after weekone – or whenever you put on 2lb – your calories requirement goes up by 120 a day.
So after week one, it’s 720 calories a day, in addition to what you normally need, to pack on muscle.
Say you put on another 2lbs muscle in week 2, then your daily requirement is an additional 840 calories a day.
After week 3, you’ll be just under a required additional 1000 calories a day.
This is why packing yourself full of the right healthy foods is so important.
By the way, if you’re a skinny or average guy, 2lbs of muscle per week is VERY doable.