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Old 03-23-2008, 04:50 PM   #1
John Atkinson
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Trying to Build Muscle Crossfitting, what are my caloric needs?

If I'm trying to put on weight (build functional muscle), is 4500 cal/day enough? Too much?

Weight: 182
Height: 6'4"
Activity: CrossFit/basketball/sports/active lifestyle

I'm going to be Crossfitting M-T-W-F-Sat. and playing basketball Mon. through Fri.

I'm also just an active kid.

Is 4500 around where I should be to build muscle?
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:00 PM   #2
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: Trying to Build Muscle Crossfitting, what are my caloric needs?

It's more complicated, and yet simpler than "is 4500 calories a day enough?". It isn't calories in vs. calories out, and even if it were, excess calories don't just become muscle without a growth stimulus. It's a hormonal issue. If you're lacking in muscle, then following the WOD intensely will add muscle. When I say "intensely" I mean it. Eating something like Zone/paleo/IF will help. Do a search and also read the CF journal. That should be all you need to know on the issue.
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:01 PM   #3
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: Trying to Build Muscle Crossfitting, what are my caloric needs?

Really hard to tell, as you have a lot of variables. Your caloric needs due to activity (CF + basketball 5 days per week) and your implied young age indicate that this might be just a maintenance diet, although I assume that it is an increase over your current daily calories? Also, CF is not really a muscle-building program, nor, obviously, is basketball.

If building muscle mass is a priority, search the threads for Starting Strength (SS) and "gallon of milk a day".
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:21 PM   #4
Alex Blum
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Re: Trying to Build Muscle Crossfitting, what are my caloric needs?

black box?
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:12 PM   #5
John Atkinson
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Re: Trying to Build Muscle Crossfitting, what are my caloric needs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Allen Hanson View Post
Really hard to tell, as you have a lot of variables. Your caloric needs due to activity (CF + basketball 5 days per week) and your implied young age indicate that this might be just a maintenance diet, although I assume that it is an increase over your current daily calories? Also, CF is not really a muscle-building program, nor, obviously, is basketball.

If building muscle mass is a priority, search the threads for Starting Strength (SS) and "gallon of milk a day".
I am young (17).

I know that CrossFit isn't primarily a mass building program but it is designed to create functional strength. The strain on the muscles of the body will be a stimulus to promote muscle growth, will it not? If you're not building muscle, how then are you gaining strength?
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:21 PM   #6
Alex Blum
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Re: Trying to Build Muscle Crossfitting, what are my caloric needs?

you can gain strength through neurological adaptation, not just hypertrophy. grease the groove is a really good example of this
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:23 PM   #7
John Atkinson
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Re: Trying to Build Muscle Crossfitting, what are my caloric needs?

Well, if I don't eat enough, will I just shed fat but not gain any muscle?

Humor me here, I don't know everything about nutrtion. That's why I'm asking.
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:30 PM   #8
Alex Blum
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Re: Trying to Build Muscle Crossfitting, what are my caloric needs?

i mean there is a lot of information about this stuff floating around these boards and the internet in general. what i said earlier, black box, means try some different stuff (whether it be the zone, a gallon of milk a day, combining crossfit with weight training, et cetera) and see what works to help you acheive your goals
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:56 AM   #9
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: Trying to Build Muscle Crossfitting, what are my caloric needs?

John,

Alex has given you some good advice. The black box (BB) is ultimately the only way you will really know if this will work for you. Try the 4500 calories a day for a month, track closely, weigh yourself, take a picture of yourself in the mirror, and test your strength (maybe a CF Total, plus max or weighted pull-ups), both at the start and finish of the period and see what happens.

Yes, if you don't eat enough, you'll shed fat, and also lean muscle tissue as well.

With your activity level, be sure to consume adequate and high quality protein, probably a gram/lb of body mass per day. Get as many of the rest of your calories as possible from vegetables, fruits, nuts. Consider trying the gallon of milk per day program that Rippetoe advocates. You are the prime candidate (young) to benefit from this, especially if you focus on a Starting Strength (SS) routine at the same time. Otherwise, research Paleo and Zone on these threads. Without milk, you're probably going to need to rely more on good fats and possibly less favorable carbohydrate foods (grains) to reach your caloric goals.

At the end of your experiment, reevaluate and decide whether to continue or to try something else.
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:40 AM   #10
John Atkinson
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Re: Trying to Build Muscle Crossfitting, what are my caloric needs?

Thanks a ton man!
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