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Tips from the pros - How to build lean muscle

Jody Shuttleworth, British & UK Figure Champion, shares her expert knowledge on how to acheive the difficult balance of building muscle whilst losing excess fat



Great to have you here joining me on the Musclefood site. Let’s start building some lean muscle mass!

As a British trained figure champion, building lean muscle mass is an important part of my healthy lifestyle. In conjunction with Musclefood I am able to achieve my goals and would like to share with you a few tips that might help you in making those all important lean muscle gains and achieving your goals too!

Firstly a few principles apply to all healthy eating plans including building lean muscle mass.

Healthy Eating Top Tips

  • 1. Eat lean protein
  • 2. Eat high fibre complex carbs
  • 3. Limit high sugar refined carbs
  • 4. Eat healthy fats and limited saturated fat
  • 5. Drink lots of water

I find that the body can be very adaptable although it prefers to stay in its current form of weight, body fat and muscle unless you change your eating habits. If you want to gain lean muscle mass you need a surplus of quality calories which can be made up with a variety of Musclefood lean cuts of meat. You then need to burn more calories than you consume to loose excess weight… easy right?!

Many of us bodybuilders are well aware that muscle building requires good diet. A critical component of this diet is protein. But the most asked question is how much exactly of this muscle building protein do we need? It is not quite logical to generalise because the need of every body builder/athlete is different. A 145 lbs body builder and a 200 lbs bodybuilder obviously have two different levels of need for protein.

How to calculate your protein intake

An easy formula on how to work out your protein intake is written below,

  • CalculatorTake your total body weight
  • Calculate your % body fat
  • Now minus the body fat from the total to find your lean body weight
  • Then multiply your lean body weight by 1.5

For example:

  • A Body builder weights 185 lbs.
  • Body builder's body fat is 16%
  • 185 x 16% = 155lbs of lean body weight.
  • 185 x 1.5 = 233

So in the above example the body builder needs 233 g of protein per day.

From the calculated grams of protein per day, divide this by the number of times you eat a meal in a day. In our example, Body builder eats 6 meal a day. 233/6 = 39.

Therefore, in the example above, the body builder must eat 39g muscle building protein per meal.

I hope this helps you in calculating your muscle building protein intake and starting your journey with Musclefood in making lean muscle gains.


Musclefood is able to help you achieve your goal of gaining lean muscle mass. Once you have calculated your muscle building protein intake, you can choose from a variety of lean cuts of meat which can be delivered straight to your door on a regular basis with no fuss and hassle about having to fit in a trip to the supermarket or source the best quality cuts of meat between workouts! The order can be tailor-made to your diet plan. Increased or decreased in size and frequency of delivery depending on your current needs or muscle building plan. My order arrives monthly, exactly the right cuts of superb quality meat and my correct monthly intake of protein. With my busy life I can rely on Musclefood to be a huge support with my contest preparation.

As a bodybuilder or someone who wanted to lose weight and start to build lean muscle, it is imperative that he or she adapts a healthy eating guideline to suit his/her nutritional needs. As a bodybuilder, you have special nutritional needs. For a bodybuilder to have optimal muscle growth, they will need to have a good bodybuilding diet plan.

The more you build lean muscle, the faster you burn fats. The rationale behind this is quite simple, lean muscle actually burns fats. When you build lean muscle, your body is comparable to a well-oiled engine that keeps on burning calories (and fats) for long hours even after you finished your workout.

So for me and many people the benefits of gaining lean muscle mass are huge. By building muscle, you automatically reduce your percentage of body fat and look good too.


To build muscles, you could lift weights or do strength training. If you lift weights, you can build muscle mass, or you could try swimming, running, or even walking for equally good results. Strength training exercises use resistance such as weights to strengthen the musculoskeletal system, and improve muscle tone and endurance. By these exercises, your muscle size and tone and muscle strength increase, just as your tendon, bone and ligament strength also do. It also raises your self-esteem and confidence.

Strength training also improves your physical performance by increasing the size of the muscle, its strength and endurance. Your body weight may remain the same, but your muscle tone and metabolism may give you a firmer and fitter look. Strength training also helps prevent muscle loss associated with the aging process. So far it’s all looking good!

I use a combination of weight training and cardiovascular exercise before eating to help maintain lean muscle mass.

If you continue to do strength/weight training exercises in conjunction with a Musclefood diet you will soon achieve a very lean muscle mass and increase your BMR. This means you can condition your metabolism to work more efficiently even in a state of rest.

A Musclefood diet of lean protein such as chicken, turkey, and lean beef, helps you build that all important muscle. So let’s get going and make those gains today!

I hope the above has helped to get you started on your journey with Musclefood and I hope to hear from you all very soon,

Train hard, eat well and smile,

Jody x

For more tips on building lean muscle, check out our GOALS section