Strength Training/Food as a part

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Question
Legs
Legs  
I have never really worked out, so I am in the dark on a lot of things. My goal is to get legs like the one pictured, if not a little larger, but not body builder status. I have a Gold's membership, but the trainer is used to helping people lose weight, not really gain muscle.

I have fairly skinny legs, my thighs are what I really want bigger. I can handle figuring out the exercising part, but have heard diet can kill my goal and hard work.

Some people have told me to eat only 1500 calories, some have said 2500 or more, some have said no carbs, some have said lots of carbs. I am just really confused. I am 24, 5'6 and weigh 120lbs as of right now.

I bought GNC Amp gold standard 100% whey powder, which the guy said had a good BCAA(?) percentage, and that was something I needed.

So my question is, to build muscle mass, not just strength, what should my diet be like? I have all day long to work out so time I can put in to it isnt a issue, I just dont want my diet to ruin my work.

Answer
Amber,

You are correct, the diet will be the key part.  It is pretty simple from the stand point to build muscle you need to eat a little more calories than what you burn on a daily basis.  The trick is figuring out how many calories you burn during the day.  

If you have the ability to get your metabolism tested at a gym or local nutrition center, that would help.  If I were to guess based on your height and weight, I would say that at the minimum you'd need 2000 calories.  I would focus on eating frequently throughout the day, like 5-6 meals.  Don't all have to be big meals but something that is in your system.

I would have some type of protein source at each meal whether it is a shake, food, supplement.  You still need carbs for energy, but I'd try to eliminate unnecessary sugars with the exception of fruit.  If you decide you would be competing for some type of figure competition then carbs need to be watched more, but if you're just trying to gain some muscle then I'd just worry about the sugars.

Hope that gives you a start.  Let me know if you have more specific questions, but based on what you gave me that is an initial recommendation.

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Adam Kessler

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USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. I have 16 years experience in the industry and now run my own personal training company.

I am a speed expert. I can answer questions in regards to how to get faster and or quicker. If you are an athlete, I can also help you with your strength training routine. Understanding how you need to workout to get stronger will also help you get faster as well.

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I have had over 16 years of experience in the health and fitness field. The last 9, I started and have been running my own personal training company. I was also the head strength coach of an area high school for 4 years before committing to my company full-time.

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B.A. at Indiana University (1994)
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