We have described how we can sensibly lose fat with a healthy diet and CrossFit, it is now the turn of all those who want to build as much muscle mass as possible during the challenge.


A few things have to be made clear in advance: In order to grow, our muscles not only need the right training stimuli, it also needs an abundance of nutrients and energy because building muscle is hard work for our bodies. The goal is of course to build as much lean muscle mass as possible while keeping the increase in body fat low.


But an increase in body fat cannot be completely avoided even with the use of flexible dieting. We may even lose our beloved six-pack for a few weeks. But that's no reason to run in the opposite direction after three weeks and switch your diet to fat loss. Constancy and stamina are just as important when building muscle as when dieting.


What else do you need to know? Let's take a closer look.


Excess calories and the right nutrient distribution


Because our body has to work so hard to build muscle, we have to create a calorie surplus for it. So that's the first difference to fat loss: We don't eat less, but more than our body needs. A good guideline to start with is around 300 excess calories per day. We distribute the macronutrients as follows:


  • 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
  • 1.5 g of fat per kilogram of body weight

The remaining calories are covered with carbohydrates.

 

 

The right foods for building muscle


To build muscle, we prefer to use foods similar to those used for fat loss. However, when it comes to protein sources, we can also use slightly more fatty variants such as minced meat, organic whole milk, and cheese.


The use of more fatty protein sources makes sense especially if we have problems meeting our daily calorie requirement - because that is now increased. The distribution of the macronutrients should still be considered.


Supplements: Not a must, but helpful


If the diet is really well adjusted, it may also be useful for CrossFitter to use supplements. This is not a must for building high-quality muscle mass, but it can help in training. Protein shakes are also a great way to get the calories you need.

Interesting Read - Best Supplements For CrossFit

Get the daily calories you need


Building muscle sounds like a lot of fun at first: Finally, eat as much as you want! In fact, you will very quickly find that gaining weight can be as hard work as losing weight. Unfortunately, eating at CrossFit is not that easy. After all, you move a lot during training. But when you're not exercising, CrossFitter should eat what they can.


Many find it difficult to get the number of calories needed to build muscle on a daily basis. A lack of hunger and a constant feeling of fullness is a problem, especially at the beginning. And not all are blessed with such a healthy appetite.


The good news: the stomach adapts and the feeling of hunger should return after a week or two. If you still find it difficult, it often helps to book online nutrition coaching for a certain period of time. Your coach will help you implement your plans and will be at your side with advice and action in difficult times.


But even afterward it can be problematic to produce the daily calorie surplus. Sometimes there is no time to prepare the food, sometimes there is not enough time to consume all the food. The problem is at least partially circumvented if one uses high-calorie liquid food in addition to main meals for snacks.


If there are no tolerance issues, organic whole milk is a great way to get a large number of calories and high-quality nutrients quickly and easily. One liter of whole milk has 640 kilocalories with 33 grams of protein, 48 grams of carbohydrates, and 37 grams of fat - an almost optimal nutrient ratio for building muscle.


Tip: If that's not enough, you can of course add one or two spoonfuls of protein powder and a banana or oatmeal and get 1,000 kilocalories in no time.


Forgotten Factors in Building Muscle


In addition to training, diet, and supplements, there are two other factors that are extremely important for building muscle - but which are often overlooked or forgotten.


On the one hand, there is a fluid intake, i.e. drinking. In general, you should consume a lot of clear water. As you increase your food intake, be sure to increase your fluid consumption every day. 


We also know that the body grows when it is resting. And the body grows even better during the time we sleep. This is because more somatropin (STH, also known as Human Growth Hormone or HGH), the hormone responsible for cell growth in the body, is released.

 


So if you want to grow, you should sleep a lot. At least nine hours of high-quality sleep per night is ideal. If you can't do it all at once or if you have extra time, We recommend an extra nap during the day. But you really can't get enough sleep if you want to build muscle properly.

Interesting Read - The Importance of Sleep for recovery and performance

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