Gain Muscle Keep off Body Fat


Hello I'm a 6' 152 pound guy with 11-14% body fat.

I want to gain muscle and keep off body fat.

For the past week I've been trying a high protein diet with around 200-221 grams a day and 85-100 carbs and minimum fats is this good or should I change it up?

I do cardio 6 days a week and weight train 5 days a week.


Answered By:

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken


By doing the math you consume at most 884 calories from protein, and 400 calories from carbs.

Even if you Consumed 100 grams of Fat Daily your Caloric intake would still (2184 calories) Probably be Deficient for your GoalsOlympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Michael Phelps

The following is an extreme example but it puts in perspective what gaining muscle mass can require.

The picture on the right is Michael Phelps who has won a record 8 gold medals in swimming in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

By looking at his picture it would be hard to tell that Phelps eats upwards of 12,000 calories per day during training, which includes a pound of pasta and a large pizza for dinner while training.

With that extreme caloric intake you would expect Phelps to be either obese or a gigantic bodybuilder but no, he looks lean and slim.

It is highly unlikely that your level of training and / or metabolism are on the same kind of freakish levels of an elite Olympic athlete but it shows you that in order to gain muscle, you may have to consume large amounts of calories.

This Being said, you have 2 Options

1. Eat MoreEat carbs Gain Mass

With your level of activity, especially 6 days of cardio you simply need to consume more calories (preferably from clean sources, but anything calorically dense could be on the menu).

Your carbohydrate intake is borderline malnutrition for your activity level.

Eat good amounts of complex carbohydrates  with each meal. Oats, whole grain breads, brown rice are some of the best sources.

With the exception of weight class competitors before competition, the amount of protein in the diet should NEVER be more than carbs, period.

Fats serve many purposes in your diet as well. Make sure you include nuts, seeds or EFA supplements in your diet.

2. Train Less

You do not need to exercise 11 times per week to gain muscle. 3 high intensity, short duration full body workouts on non-consecutive days would be the best way to stimulate your hormones to become anabolic and build muscle.

Focus on full body and large muscle group type exercises and leave out excessive biceps curls, triceps, extensions, and other small muscle group exercises.

Cardio is optional but avoid any marathon sessions focusing on short duration (less than 30 minutes) high intensity intervals no more than 3 days per week.


When it comes down to it, you have to choose a goal. Most people cannot achieve multiple goals at the same time. Pick what is more important to you, gaining muscle or staying lean.

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