A typical dilemma for any active sportsmen who lifts weights and wants to gain muscle mass is that they know there goal to build muscle mass conflicts with the fact that they do a lot of cardio-vascular work. How can someone like this build muscles fastest whilst still doing cardio, indeed is it even possible?

Quite often it is suggested that in order to build muscles fastest you have to keep cardio training down to as limited an amount as possible. This is often stated due to the fact that aerobic training sessions do two particular things that may restrict muscle building, namely: 1) burn an abundance of calories 2) speed up your metabolism. Not getting enough calories on board is the problem that is added too by both of these two things. This leads to the question of how many calories should I therefore be eating?

Well, to maintain weight each day you must eat enough calories to cover the energy expenditures of your body as if it were at rest (this is known as the basal metabolic rate), then consume enough extra calories to cover the exercise that you will do. If you want to add muscle mass on top of this then you have to add an extra 500 calories every day.

Can I work this number out?

Yes, one way to do this is using the Katch-McArdle formula (BMR based on lean body weight). Here it is:

Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 X wt in kg) + (5 X ht in cm) - (6.8 X age in years)

Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 X wt in kg) + (1.8 X hght in cm) - (4.7 X age in years)

Once you have gotten this figure you should then multiply it by one of the following to allow for your daily activity levels:

Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (desk job, little or no exercise)
Lightly active equals BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very active equals BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
Extr. active equals BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X a day training).

So, if you are doing cardio and weights frequently then you should multiply this by at least 1.725. This will give you the figure that will cover your daily energy needs. This amount then needs to be altered to suit your goals. Presuming it is muscle building, you would need to add at least a further 500 calories per day.

So, if your final figure is 3000 calories then you would be looking at eating 6 meals per day of 500 calories each. Each meal would then be made up of 62 grams of carbohydrate, 37 grams of protein and 11 grams of fat. This is due to the fact that a gram of protein or carbohydrate equals 4 calories where as a gram of fat equals 9 calories.

Correct muscle building nutrition and working out your calorie needs like this is what is going to ensure you build muscles fastest, not any miracle new exercise!

Author's Bio:

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