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Level 2 Nutrition

If you get the training variables down, you’re giving your body a great growth stimulus. But without proper nutrition, good luck turning it into muscle!

Eat enough. If your goal is to add mass, you need to eat more calories each day than you’re burning. It doesn’t have to be a lot more. You can shoot for 0.5-1.5 pounds of gain in mass each week—or about 2-6 pounds a month—without adding significant amounts of body fat. That comes to an increase of about 300-500 calories daily over and above your maintenance level of calories. Check the scale regularly to determine whether your body weight is increasing within your target range.

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Eat enough protein. You’ll hear a million different versions of how much fat or carbs you need. So let’s focus on what can’t be disputed: You need adequate protein to grow! Protein is essential to building and repairing damaged muscle tissue during hard training. Recommendations vary, but a time-honored amount that also happens to be the easiest to remember is 1 gram per pound of body weight daily, split into meals of at least 20-30 grams.

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