How Many Calories In A Pound Of Muscle Gain: Building The Muscle Mass

Building muscle is no easy job. Many people think lifting a few weights and spending some time at the gym means you are going to start looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. But unfortunately, this not true!

You need to come out of the delusion and look at the picture in the real world. It is going to be difficult. There is no shortcut to your muscle making.

“You want them BIG you have to work BIG”


In addition to working out, you need to be very careful and critical about what you eat. Looking into the calorie intake requirement for daily consumption is very important.

If you implement the daily intake routine, well, my friend, you will definitely be far ahead in the race towards building some real muscles.
Many people who dream of having big biceps and triceps suffer from the problem of laziness. They do not even want to work on their dietary habits.

Being too lazy to figure out how much surplus calories you need to have for building the muscles that you want or how many calories in one pound of muscle, definitely takes you out of the body building race!

One way to motivate yourself out of laziness is to make it easy for yourself to work out. A power rack/ squat rack is an easy at-home fat-burning regime.


If you are really into building some muscle around yourself and want people to turn their heads as you walk into the gym, you MUST do the math and find out the calorie count. Otherwise keep crushing yourself in the gym and continue dreaming!

A great option to build some muscles is to get yourself an ab machine. Check out our buying guide here: Curious on how to properly flex your abs?< Read this!

The gyms are full of such people who simply work hard and tough, week after week after week, in the gym but do not intake the appropriate number of calories and nutrients that are needed for recovery and muscle growth.

According to experienced trainers and fitness experts, the whole point of training and working out is nullified when you have not figured out the macronutrient and calorie numbers and do not have a proper diet plan to follow.

For those who are really interested in getting their bodies in shape, this is the right place to be. In the following discussion, find out about the optimum calories needed to be taken for muscle maximization and growth.


Also, learn about the fat reduction process through a well-balanced and targeted diet plan.

Some questions that might come to your mind must be:

  1. How do I work out the calorie consumption requirement for muscle growth?
  2. How many calories in one pound of muscle gain?
  3. What should I take in and what should I avoid?
  4. How to go about it?

Let’s see.

Finding the Daily Calorie Maintenance Levels:

This is the first thing you need to find out. To figure out this number the following are needed:

1: The BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate

2: Calories Burnt by Activity on a Daily Basis


The first one is a number that explains the calories that a body burns when it is in a resting position or mode. This is a number of calories required for staying alive and functioning properly.

Every function that our body performs requires a specific number of calories and this account for total 60% calories taken in. Different factors affect our BMR like weight, height, gender, age etcetera.

“Lean people have a higher BMR. So the leaner you are the more calories you burn”

From the rest, 30% of calories are utilized for various physical activities and 10- 15% for food digestion.

Although experts have come up with a real mathematical formula for calculating BMR, there is a generalized rule of thumb for the hasty ones. It is called the TEN ELEVEN RULE.

This means:

BMR for Women = 10 calories per pound of bodyweight

BMR for Men = 11 calories per pound of bodyweight

For instance: If the weight of a woman is 120 pounds her BMR is 1200 calories.

According to the Sterling Passmore Equation, every one pound of muscle is supported by 13.8 calories in general.

Calories Burnt During Activities:

After finding out the BMR you need to find the calories burnt by activities or during exercise.

Below is a table based on Harris-Benedict:

Activity Formula: Leisure and low-intensity activities

Activities Category: Primarily Sedentary

Calories Burnt: BMR x 1.2

Activity Formula: Slow walks for 30 to 50 minutes 3-4 days per week games like golf or household chores

Activities Category: Light Exercise

Calories Burnt: BMR x 1.375

Activity Formula: Exercise 3-5 days per week and a 30-60 minutes session

Activities Category: Moderate Exercise

Calories Burnt: BMR x 1.55

Activity Formula: Exercise 6-7 days per week with moderate to high intensity for 45-60 minutes in every session

Activities Category: Active Individuals

Calories Burnt: BMR x 1.725

Activity Formula: Do heavy exercises like heavy manual labor work, heavy weight lifting, athletes, and competitive sports athletes for 6-7 days in a week for 90 or more minutes in every session

Activities Category: Very Active Individuals

Calories Burnt: BMR x 1.9

This is how you can calculate the minimum calories you need to have to maintain a normal body function. But where does muscle gain fit in here?

Well, now you should calculate the Daily Surplus Requirement of Calories.


Daily Surplus Calorie Requirement:

Once you have figured out your daily needs you must add 300 to 500 calories to this number to get your bodybuilding calorie intake.
For people who fall under the category of hard muscle gainers, the surplus should remain on a higher side.

The above surplus figures are good enough for good muscle gaining regime. The amount is not also very large and hence will not result in gaining of excess fats.

One question still remains at large. How many calories in one pound of muscle gain? Well, in reality, there is no one true answer for this. It all depends on the food you choose for taking in the calorie count.

Some calories are converted into fats, some muscle and some other types of body tissues. The exact calories that turn into muscle is still a vague estimation by different trainers and experts.

You should ensure that most of your calories come from healthy and organic wholesome food products. You should include at least 50% of complex carbohydrates, 30% of proteins in the lean form and 20% fat content that are healthy in nature.

Final Words:

Most of us struggle real hard for putting up the extra muscle on our body. But we forget the consumption of appropriate calorie surplus that is needed to achieve our goals. This is no hard math that will make you go crazy.

It is a simple estimation process. You only need to take out some time to figure out the amount that will suit your body.
Ensuring that you eat more calories than you burn is the key to fast muscle building.

For any comments and feedback feel free to contact us.

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