Protein for Muscle Growth

Hi there, fitness enthusiasts! In this post, I want to talk about one of the most essential macronutrients for building muscle – protein. We’ve already talked about protein for weight loss. However, we’ll revisit the topic once again because it’s a common issue.. So it’s no secret that protein is essential for muscle growth, but not everyone knows how much they need or where to get it from. That’s why today, I’m going to share my experience with two recent clients who had trouble achieving their muscle growth goals due to a lack of protein in their diets.

Male Client, Stage 1: Losing Weight and Gaining Muscle Mass

To achieve his goals, my male client and I set a plan that would help him lose weight and gain lean muscle mass within a year. The first stage was to lose weight, from 210 pounds to 175 pounds, which would take six months. We started by determining his Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which was 1,887 kcal/day and his Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) for moderate activity which was 2,925 kcal/day.

After consulting with his registered dietitian, he decided on 0.7 gram/pound as his ideal protein figure. To reach his goal, he needed to have a total calorie deficit of 122,500 kcal (680 kcal/day), and his total daily energy intake was set at 2,245 kcals per day. His protein target was set at 147g/day, which provided a substantial amount of protein but allowed ample room for adequate carbohydrates and fats as well.

Eating habits

In addition to protein, his fat target was set at 75g/day, and his carbohydrate target was 246g/day. During his meals, he had to eat more slowly and focus on the food’s taste, texture, and smells. To make sure he didn’t overeat, he had to stop eating when he felt about 80% full. Drinking at least 8 cups of water per day was also a must.

Stage 2

The second stage of our plan was to gain lean muscle mass from 175 pounds to 190 pounds, which meant gaining 15 pounds of lean muscle mass. For this stage, my client and his registered dietitian chose a high protein diet. The new dietary plan included a protein target of 281g/day (3 meals a day + 4 protein shakes 40g each), a carbohydrate target of 281g/day, and a fat target of 62g/day.

Stage 2: weight gain line graph

The Results

With this plan, my male client was able to lose weight and gain lean muscle mass within a year, achieving his desired results. A high protein diet was key in helping him achieve his goals, along with a focus on slow eating, hydration, and a total daily energy intake that would help him maintain his weight loss while gaining lean muscle mass.

Male Client 2

Here is another client of mine, a 20-year-old male, standing at 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing in at 110 pounds. His goal was simple – gain 30 pounds of lean muscle mass in just 5 months to be ready for the upcoming beach season.

Working out

Working out five days a week, his total daily energy expenditure was calculated at 2,300 kcal/day, with a basal metabolic rate of 1,485 kcal/day according to the Mifflin St. Jeor method.


To achieve his goal, we turned to his registered dietitian to come up with a diet plan that would help him put on weight while maintaining a healthy body composition. After some consultation, we settled on a macronutrient distribution of 20% protein, 30% fat, and 50% carbohydrates.

Daily macronutrient Distribution

The Results

With a focus on protein-rich foods such as chicken, beef, fish, and eggs, we ensured that he was getting enough protein to support his muscle growth goals. And the results spoke for themselves – after just five months of hard work and dedication, my client had successfully gained 30 pounds of lean muscle mass, and was ready to show off his hard work on the beach.

With the right diet and workout plan, incorporating protein as a key macronutrient can make all the difference in achieving your fitness goals. And as a certified personal trainer, I’m here to help you every step of the way.

Scientific approach to fitness

While some may find the upcoming discussion of protein science dull,

I firmly believe in taking a scientific approach to fitness. 

So, let’s dive into some fascinating facts about protein!

As a certified personal trainer, I know that muscle growth is a goal for many of my clients.

Did you know that consuming the right amount and type of protein is crucial for muscle growth?

Amino acids

Essential amino acids (EAAs) are necessary for bodily functions and cannot be synthesized within the body. There are nine EAAs, including three branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) abundant in skeletal muscle tissue. Vegetarians and vegans must be conscious of consuming a variety of protein sources to meet their EAA needs. To build muscle, aim for complete proteins that contain sufficient quantities of all EAAs. (Areta et al., 2013)

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

To optimize muscle growth, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. However, consuming up to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is an acceptable goal, even for sedentary persons. Studies suggest that a greater percentage of calories coming from protein will facilitate health goals. As a personal trainer, I help my clients calculate their protein needs based on their goals, body composition, and activity levels. (Pencharz et al., 2016)

Timing and amount of protein

Timing and amount of protein intake are also important for muscle growth. Studies suggest that consuming four servings of 20 grams of whey protein over a 12-hour period is superior to other timing strategies. As a personal trainer, I work with my clients to create personalized meal plans that include optimal protein intake for muscle growth. (Areta et al., 2013)

Consistency is key for muscle growth. 

Resistance training, such as weightlifting, is the most effective type of physical activity for building muscle. As a personal trainer, I help my clients design customized workout plans based on their goals, fitness level, and lifestyle. It’s important to progress workouts and track progress over time to ensure optimal results.


In conclusion, building muscle requires consuming the right amount and type of protein, timing and amount of protein intake, and consistent resistance training. As a certified personal trainer, I help my clients achieve their muscle growth goals through personalized meal plans and workout programs.

Let’s work together to create a plan that’s right for you!

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