How Much Protein Do You Really Need to Gain Muscles as Calisthenics Athlete?

by CHZ

I think you wonder how much protein intake you need to sustain your physical activity, to maintain the current weight, or how much more protein is required to gain muscle mass as a calisthenics practitioner.
But first, let me start by telling you that you don’t need to ever count your protein intake because you can easily estimate and even that is often unnecessary as it is effortless to reach the optimum level of protein intake required for a day.

I never count my protein intake, and in fact, every time I am curious and estimate it, I discover I consume a sufficient amount. So why supplementing it, especially with powders when it’s so easy to get enough of it directly from food? I’m sorry, but marketing ads and fitness influencers have lied to you. The meals you prepare at home or have in the restaurants is more than enough to build not a beautiful body but a Greek God physique instead, all-natural.

The only negative and demoralizing aspect is that it comes with baby steps. Still, once you get closer and closer, that body is sustainable in the long run for a lifetime if you’re smart. You’ll enjoy your vacation, time off, and everything because you don’t have to worry about protein intake, powders, or hitting the macros. At the same time, you will see these desperate idiots sitting next to you at the table, finding ways to take their protein intake while you chill and relax. That’s so unnatural and abnormal behavior. I never liked these guys, and that’s why I’m all about doing things slowly, steadily but surely and behaving smart and rational.

Now, in your effort to gain pure muscle mass with calisthenics, proteins do play a crucial role as it does from everyone else. It is true, but above protein consumption is your total calorie intake, mostly coming from carbs. That’s the number one fuel that your body prefers!
Fats also contribute a lot; they are the ones to give the highest number of calories from all the macronutrients, but you can also increase your body fat ratios easily with too much fat and carbs together. So keep fats to a lower level if the carbs are in high supply.
It’s a lot easier to gain size and build new muscle tissue by eating more carbs. You will also enjoy this a lot. Proteins also provide calories and actually in the same amount as carbs, so add that to your total calorie intake if you want to estimate accurately.

You only need slightly more protein than 0.8 grams per kilo, as an adult, of course. However, if you increase the ratios and don’t train the muscles hard, then all the calorie surplus, if not eliminated and burnt, can be stored as body fat. The organism has this ability to convert protein into stored fat. Therefore, training the muscles regularly ensures this hypertrophy process.

By how much should you increase your protein input? Well, estimate your protein and macro intake for about a week, to have a clear idea where you stand. As it becomes a routine and you keep repeating and recycling the same meals, you’ll already know how much you get by sizing it with your eyes. Do all this after you know precisely the minimum amount of protein required per day according to your current mass. Then you know how much more you need.

If I were you, I’d double it perhaps or near to that, considering the other macros too. Any more than that, I firmly believe it’s unnecessary. You will deposit it as fat, or you’ll eliminate it on the back door, sort of saying, but if your metabolism is very effective.

More accurately than this, I recommend slightly more than 1 gram of protein for each kilogram you have. Start from here and adjust as you go through. I honestly like to train more and include perhaps even more cardio just to make sure I can eat how much I love to, than counting calories and following a strict diet. I’m against ketogenic diets and any other diet that doesn’t sustain your needs or messes up your lifestyle entirely. A diet has to suit you like a glove on your hand.

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Obstinado September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Protein is something that I guide myself from satiation levels only. They're highly satiating and I believe when the body says that's enough, it's enough. Even if I only ate a piece of steak.

If I force myself to eat more I get bloated with feels very uncomfortable. Carbs on the other hand you have to control cause it's really easy to exaggerate them (with a few exceptions).

Tony September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

I remember I wanted to improve my physique and started following the 2gr/lbs protein and just got fat. Counting the “right” protocol ruined my physique. Back to my natural ways and everything started feeling good

Jorge September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Is 75% to 60% of your body weight good enough? I eat a lot naturally but overstuffing and eating after a certain time give me digestion complications

Yo It's Anthony September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Just trying not to get clogged hahaha

Tipsy September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

I’m a bit confused on how much I will need I’m 18 6,2 85kg and I watch videos on it says like 2.2g per kg and that’s like 187g and then some say 1.8g which is 153g but isn’t that like way too high or something

JA Morales September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Thank you for the video. You are a very down to earth kind of guy. Keep the good work. Lots of support from here

Brandon Wingo September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Greetings, Adorian.
I've come across many fitness and nutrition people on YouTube over the years, but you Sir are the first person I've enjoyed enough to be led to subscribe.
I wanted to because I so value your content. Something about how hard you work and how much attention to detail you put into your videos spoke to me.
I appreciate how much effort you put into your videos especially doing them in English means a lot to me. So many of my fellow Americans have so much disinformation and one video is directly opposite from another.
With you, all your training and nutrition and teachings always follows the same path.
As a Truck driver here in the U.S. it's difficult to be steady with a gym, but with Calisthenics, I have no excuses. My body weight travels with me. I have what I feel to be an excellent diet, but have learned so tips there also.
Thank you again for your content. I can tell you care about helping people and that means a lot to me.
Cheers my friend💪🙂

se7en the great September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

So true, you don't need too much protein to build a strong body, and eating too much protein will definitely cause drawbacks on performance. You have earned a new subscriber my friend. I hope you make a video about when is the best time to eat in relation to exercising.

Matt Schwarz September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

What do you think about vegan diet?

Matt Schwarz September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

I was waiting for this Video. Thanks 🙂

erez simon September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

I was so happy watching the video about nutrition…you eat 3 main meals a day…no so much food ..very balanced…and not the " bodybuilding" style

Push & Pull September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Great information as always.

NLLeFa September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Personally I've tried from 1.5 to 2.5g X kg of bodyweight. Then I wondered what if I barely eat protein and focus on carbs instead. Being honest, I found no difference except that with more protein I'm slightly more full and don't get as hungry, although with more carbs I enjoyed food more. For muscle I don't think protein really make any difference, as long as you get stronger over time with your training. Nobody has ever gotten bigger by food, it's the training what makes the difference. You can even build muscle in calorie deficit. Those guys who are bigger are simply heavier.

Luka September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

I gain weight sooo slow , I got barely 4 pounds in 3 and 1/2 months of training and I eat like idiot, every 2 hours I am hungry Its crazy how much I EAT. I progressed from 1 to 11 pull ups,5 to 30+ push ups and from 1,2 to almost 15 dips in 3 and half month, is this very bad , bad or good haha? I am 19y old , 185 cm on 72 kg (6.0 foot and 158 pound) I think. Looks like my metabolism is crazy. @Old School Calisthenic

Pablo Dolcet September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

I agree 100%, i was measuring this, the thing is, before coorna virus i was doing calistenics+running, 5-6 times a week, after corona, cant run where i live 🙁 🙁 , i do a slightly buffed calistenics rutine but only 3 times a week as an experiment (so, just as before but striping running), so.. here comes the interesting part: my goal was to measure what my body wanted and how my body reacted long and short term, its been. around 3 months so i have a general idea, here is some data:

This was measured in week cycles, i mostly repeat my foods by the week.

kcals stayed the same surprisingly, they just shifted, here is was happened with the carbs, proteins and fat with running vs not running:

[These are % comparisons vs the normal "diet", % also represents how much the body wanted (my brain saying, i want that so much)]


Pasta (i eat the same things as you heh), -50%

Honey (the natural one) -90%

Bread -10%

Carb Vegs: (potato etcetc)+30% (dunno, the body wanted minerals?)


Animal: (cow, eggs, etc) the same.

Fish: +10%. almost the same (mostly tuna), dunno what my brain wanted from there but it seems veery tasty now.

Bird: (chicken) the same.

Protein Vegs: Here is the interesting part, a 200% increase, more on this later.


Butter: -90%

Cookies: +10%

Oils: same
Junk: was almost 0 before, now 0% change.

So, what do we take here, seems the body is intelligent, i wanted the carbs from vegs while also getting protein, so in particular it shifted to:

lentils +150%

beans same as before

chickpeas +50%

any other carb/protein veg: me wants.

Overall, i shifted to obtain protein from vegs, and carbs also from vegs, seems the body didnt want any rapid release energy chemistry.

Its veery interesting how high protein food had a 200% increase overall, while the high carbs food had a -150%, this was a real human experiment, corona virus made it possible.

edit: im 182cm tall, 85kg

I live inside your house September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

How much cardio training did you do in a week?

J-S M September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Great content.
As you said it's very easy to reach the daily amount of protein.
In fact protein need is systematically exaggerated by marketing. Humans need only between 10 to 15% of our food intake – even to build muscle.

All excess is filtered out by the liver and kidneys, and that process takes a great tool on those organs on the long term. Especially damaging when it's animal protein. Independent research is clear on this.

Manuel Wiese September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

do a carnivore diet.. just try it man, you will feel on a different level

Scotty g September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Loving your channel my man! Excellent content!

Shabaddeep Singh September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Awesome video brother

Andrei September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

As per usual, excellent content.

Many thanks.

Abdul Rehman September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Thanks Sir!!!! cleared a lot of confusion!!!

Giuseppe Genovese September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

So, 0.8 grams per kilos is enough to build a body similar to yours ?

UK BURPEE 100 September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Where are you from again?

Will Ski, *Vision* September 21, 2020 - 10:25 am

Excellent topic. I see my recent feedback motivated this maybe? 😉 You're great brother! 💪🏽


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