Can You Build Muscle On Keto? Science Says Yes!

Apr 25, 2024
Building Muscle On Keto

Forget everything you thought you knew about building muscle. Carbs aren’t king anymore. You can absolutely sculpt a shredded physique and pack on serious muscle mass while following a high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet.

 A well-designed keto diet might even be the superior approach for achieving your body composition goals, considering it ignites fat-burning, preserves the gains you earn, and liberates you from the constant eating game.


 Let’s explore the science behind keto bodybuilding and why swapping carbs for fat drives achievable, sustainable muscle-building results.

Can You Build Muscle On Keto? Science Says 100% Yes!

Gone are the days when muscle gains required shoveling in mountains of carbs. Bodybuilders used to believe that carbs were the ticket for high glycogen stores, the body’s primary fuel source during intense exercise. More glycogen = longer training sessions and bigger gains.

 But your body is incredibly adaptable.

 Ketosis enters the chat. Eating a high-fat, low-carb diet puts your body into the metabolic state of ketosis. Your body will start tapping into fat and ketone bodies for fuel. Stored and dietary fat becomes your primary energy source instead of glucose (from carbs).[*]

 Though ketogenic diets were first created to treat epilepsy, a well-structured eating regime can:

Skyrocket Fat Loss

Very low-carbohydrate, high-fat ketogenic diets have been shown to lower body weight and specifically slash body fat.[*][*] All your stored fat turns into fuel, sparking 24/7 fat loss — without compromising your endurance, strength, or performance.[*]

 Even better news? Weight loss isn’t the only perk.

 Ketones offer a steadier stream of energy. Unlike the high-carb diet rollercoaster, you won’t experience blood sugar spikes and crashes that leave you feeling sluggish, hangry, or in a brain fog. You can push your body and mind as far as you want.

Ignite Muscle Growth

In one study, college-aged men were asked to follow either a keto diet or a high-carb diet while they participated in resistance training 3x/week for 11 weeks.

 Those on the high-fat, low-carb diet scored almost twice as much lean body mass (4.3 kg vs. 2.2 kg) and muscle mass (0.4 cm vs. 0.19 cm). They also dropped more fat mass (-2.2 kg vs. -1.5).[*]

 This is just one example; you can read tons of studies about how keto diets enhance skeletal muscle growth. They also:

Preserve Muscle Mass

Most diets achieve weight loss at the expense of muscle loss. With its focus on high-quality protein intake, keto provides your body with the building blocks it needs to repair and grow muscle while torching fat.

Plus, it also helps your body hold onto your hard-earned muscle tissue — even during calorie restriction.[*][*] This is a huge win when you drop into a calorie deficit later.

Reduce Inflammation for Recovery

Muscle soreness is a fact of life when weightlifting. It means you sufficiently broke down muscle fibers during your workout, and your body is actively rebuilding bigger and stronger.

 Bad news? Chronic inflammation can also tank your motivation to get back in the gym the next day.

Yet, according to studies, keto diets decrease inflammatory markers, potentially aiding muscle repair and growth.[*][*] Less inflammation means less soreness and faster bounce-back to achieve your No Days Off goal.

How To Build Muscle On a Keto Diet

Building muscle on keto requires a strategic approach. 

 In my Premium Keto Bodybuilding Course, you’ll find everything you need to dial in your diet and optimize your workouts — from the preliminary groundwork and prep to my 7-phase blueprint for physique domination.

 Building muscle on keto requires:

Planning + Preparation To Prevent Poor Performance

Whether you’re training for a competition or reshaping your body composition for better overall health, planning is essential. This foundational groundwork sets up your entire endeavor for success and ensures you waste zero time or effort.

 During this time, you’ll learn about your ideal target body fat percentage, starting calorie intake, optimal macronutrient intakes, and more.

 Because ketogenic diets are so satiating, the biggest problem most people have is not eating enough calories or enough protein to gain muscle.

 Standard ketogenic macro ratios won’t work here. Nor do static macros. We need more calories to work with at the onset, then those calories and macros will change as your body evolves each week.

 📊  Knowledge is power. Discover and track your personalized macros using my ultimate spreadsheet. Just plug in your data to see a graphic overview over time and make actionable, data-driven decisions anywhere along your journey. 

Prioritizing Dietary Fat

Think protein takes the MVP role when it comes to muscle-building? Not at first.

 My game plan differs from that of other nutritionists and personal trainers who keep fat to a minimum. Once you determine your daily calorie intake, allocate 80% of your total daily calories to dietary fat intake.

 Eating more fatty acids pushes your body into fat adaptation and optimizes ketone production. This forces your body to become incredibly effective at using stored and dietary fat as your new primary source of energy. It also lessens the effects of the keto flu and helps you flush out excess fluid weight.

 The best part? A ketogenic diet liberates you from eating 6–7 meals a day and setting alarms to eat every 2–3 hours. You don’t have to be fixated on eating or live your life by the clock. Dietary fat takes longer to digest and keeps you satiated. Your fat stores then work for you. It’s a win-win!

 🍴 Unlock a treasure trove of delicious keto meal examples featuring avocados, grass-fed beef, and other high-fat diet favorites to effortlessly fuel your muscle-building journey.

Staying Under 20 Grams of Total Carbs

After calculating your daily fat intake, it’s time to move on to your carb intake. I recommend staying under 20 grams of total carbs — remove the “net carbs” from your training. Consider this your upper limit: eating less is acceptable, but never exceed it.

Recognizing Protein As A Constantly Evolving Puzzle Piece

All the strength training in the world won’t help you build muscle if you’re not giving your body the raw materials (amino acids from protein) it needs to create new muscle tissues. 

 Keto is a moderate protein diet. In the building phase, as long as you eat around 30 grams of protein per meal, you’ll trigger muscle protein synthesis (MPS).

 But your protein intake goes hand-in-hand with dietary fat. And just as your fat macros will change, your protein goals will also evolve based on your protein threshold.

 Your protein threshold is the unique point at which you specifically start to notice an adverse effect from continually increasing protein.

 Many bodybuilders believe protein is a free-for-all. Yet, there’s a point of diminishing returns when sticking with a constantly high-protein diet. Sometimes, it’s best for a low amount of protein; sometimes, it’s better to aim higher.

 💪  Phase 2 of the Keto Bodybuilding Course is all about discovering your optimal protein threshold. No online calculator can determine this for you. Learn and trust the process to dial in your perfect protein intake, build and preserve lean muscle mass, leverage gluconeogenesis for good, and more!

Training for Gains

Diet is crucial, but training is where the magic happens.

 Focus on compound exercises. Prioritize exercises that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously for maximum muscle stimulation. Squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, overhead presses — you know what I mean.

 Embrace higher reps. Aim for 8-12 reps per set to maximize muscle hypertrophy (growth).

 Follow progressive overload principles. Gradually increase the weight you lift or the number of reps or sets you perform over time to keep challenging your muscles and surpass your weightlifting goals. Train with intensity, give your body a reason to adapt, and continuously challenge yourself.

 Don’t neglect electrolytes. Use low-carb, sugar-free electrolyte supplements to replenish sodium, potassium, and magnesium lost through sweat, which can impact exercise performance and recovery.

 🏋️  Should you slam whey protein powder shakes before or after your workouts? Snag pre-and post-workout nutrition advice, my 8-day split training routine, advanced training techniques, a pump-up circuit for show day, electrolyte recommendations, and more!

Stop Dreaming; Start Building

Building muscle on keto requires dedication and strategic planning. You can achieve a physique exceeding your wildest expectations with the right guidance.

 The Keto Bodybuilding Course isn’t just about building muscle; it’s about transforming your entire life. You’ll learn how to leverage the power of keto to achieve a physique you’ll be proud to show off.

 So stop feeling confused and frustrated. Take control of your body and tap into your true potential. I’ll teach you how to do it in a way that is not only HEALTHY but also SUSTAINABLE!

 Enroll today to score LIFETIME access to our ENTIRE COURSE LIBRARY (200+ videos) PLUS exclusive downloads, discounts, and perks! You’ll have all the intel and tools you need to make your contest prep or body composition goals a success, including:

  • A step-by-step guide for determining your macro targets
  • Cardio and training advice
  • Meal prep and supplementation guide
  • Keto refeeds to optimize metabolism
  • Peak week and show day prep
  • Posing tutorials and routine pointers
  • Reverse diet and post-show gameplan
  • Recipes, cooking demos, grocery lists, and hunger hacks

 We’re creating new course content weekly. New recipes, new training templates, new seminars — you don’t want to miss any of it. Let’s finally build the muscle you’ve always dreamed of!

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