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 gaining muscle and strength are two objectives that can be dissociated. Here is the keys to gaining mass and/or strength depending on your level and your nutritional type.

It is important to distinguish between mass, muscle, strength, bold. First of all your weight corresponds to your total mass. The fat mass is your body fat. Lean body mass is everything that is not fat: muscles, bones, etc. The weight is therefore the sum of the two and can give a misleading indication: you can get fat without gaining muscle (you only take fat) and you can lose weight without losing fat (you only lose muscular). When this happens, one can be delighted by looking at the scale but after a few weeks, completely annoyed by looking in the mirror. Because what gives shape is muscle. This is why in the beginner I would use the expression "to take muscle” and not “gain mass”. Because it is very easy to gain mass: just eat anything in large quantity and you will gain weight (by increasing your body fat) on the other hand it is much more difficult to gain muscle. Take some muscle and gaining strength, these two expressions are not neither are synonyms. You can take strength without taking muscle because strength calls on essentially nervous factors (electric).


To determine the caloric surplus needed to take

muscle, it is first necessary to determine its daily caloric need of

also called “total metabolism”. There are scholars

calculation methods but here the rigor of mathematics loses

its interest: the exact figure of this caloric need is not

calculable because highly dependent on the individual. Moreover it varies

substantially throughout life.

For your information, however, be aware that for a man of

1.80 m, 80 kg, 30 years old, with weekly physical activity

low to moderate, the daily calorie requirement is around 2500

kcal. For a woman of 1.65 m, 58 kg, 30 years old and having the same

activity, the caloric requirement is about 2000 kcal.

As we saw in Chapter 1, the only reliable method

to determine your caloric need is to keep a

relatively similar diet for two weeks and

calculate the number of calories ingested per day. If the weight

not move after two weeks then this number corresponds

about your daily calorie requirement. If it goes down, you are in

low-calorie diet (caloric intake is below your

needs), if it increases you are on a high calorie diet

(calorie intake is higher than your needs). To manufacture

muscle mass, the goal is to adopt a diet

slightly high calorie. To limit fat gain, a

Caloric surplus of 250-500 kcal per day is enough.

Calorie surplus to aim for muscle gain: 250 to

500 kcal per day.


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