T Nation

1 pound of muscle

Ok, we all know that to gain weight, you need surplus calories. Check this out:

To gain one pound of muscle a week:

1 pound of muscle

= 0.45 kg

= 450 g

= 64 g a day (257 calories)

= 1,800 calories a week

All we need is 64g of protein a day. And that’s one pound a week. If you take it slower and try to put on one pound of LBM in two weeks, you only need 32g of protein a day!

Let’s assume the protein is not is efficiently utilized and you also need protein for other bodily functions. What warrants more than say 100g of protein a day?

Bill (Roberts), I recall you had a calculation regarding something to that matter in an old thread. I can’t seem to find it. Do you mind explaining again? Thanks.

You also need calories to make up for extra activity of training and to fuel protein turnover.

See the new paper T-mag; Berardi does these exact calculations very neatly for you in Appetite for Construction.


Efficiency of calorie absorption. Protein required for normal body functions. True caloric content of food.

Nice try but the body isn’t as cut and dry as this. With this argument then you could simply injest 64g of protein of week? Why hasn’t this been published before? You mean all we have to do is consume 64g of protein a day and at the end of the year you can be 52pounds heavier?! Strength as well as fat loss isn’t linear. At first everything is, fatloss/muscle gain but metabolic adaptations occur and the linear graph goes out the window.

Berardi wrote an article about the thermic effect of food and what it takes to just remain at maintenance. I think you’ll find that interesting but then again when you see the amount you might doubt his theory. Croooz

Another thing to consider is that one pound of muscle is generally about 20% protein and 80% mineral and water. So, you’d need even less based on your theory. And we know empirically, that less than 64g just doesn’t cut it.

Keep in mind that you need an additional 64 grams of protein per day, not simply a total of 64grams of protein per day. To gain weight, you need extra calories, above and beyond what your maintenance requirements are.

Thanks for the input guys. I just sat down one day to try to figure it out and trying to make sense of it all. I’m putting it out here to get some feedback.

Thanks for the tip Eric, I’ll be sure to check out this issue of T-mag. I assume this article is one of the non-online ones?

Keep in mind that proteins are needed to produce most of the hormones in your entire body and brain…

In one of Vince Gironda’s training books, he claimed that he got into the best shape of his life on 64 grams of protein/day. Unfortunately, that is all he said. Having studied Vince’s writings and training techniques for years, I would have to conclude that he consumed a large potion of natural fat, in addition to the 64 grams of protein, to keep his energy levels up. Also, bear in mind that Vince believed that the ripped physique was the ideal physique and that he frowned on the ponderous physiques of Sergio and Arnold.