The Basic Meal Plan To Gain Lean Muscle

It’s monday morning, the first day of a new week of training.

You are sitting down with your first cup of coffee or tea or… (whatever you drink in the morning).

You open up your fridge and you are excited to see that there are still some leftovers.

Well…you see a pizza box your friend left.


“Hmmm!” you think. “I’m going to eat what’s left in that box!”.

Then you open the box and slam it down in the garbage bin while your stomach is growling.

It’s empty and you just realized that you are supposed to start following this new diet you read about.




As you start changing your nutrition, thinking about what you should eat and how much you should eat can become a daily challenge.

The stress associated with dieting is considered to be one of the major reasons why people might fail and even end up overeating in the process (study).

Perhaps it’s time to get yourself a better friend ;).


In the meantime, you can use this FREE meal plan that shows you what and when to eat.

It’s from my personal meal plan vault of tasty recipes.

Specifically designed for people who want to BUILD muscle and have difficulty gaining.



What Kind Of Meal Plan Will Help You Build Muscle?


The three simple cornerstones of any of my dietary recommendations for Bar Brother nutrition, are:

Reducing the amount of processed foods, increasing the amount of ‘non-processed’ foods.

Managing your caloric intake.

And experimenting with a narrowing of your eating window.


Want a more detailed explanation?

The Bar Brothers have designed a new nutritional plan including video tutorials.

If you are looking for professional video break downs of the nutritional plan they have used to build muscle and burn fat, click here to start.

If you haven’t started the nutrition system, here are a few useful posts on improving your diet that will address those tree cornerstones in greater detail:



If you have read those posts already, keep reading to get some more insights into what foods you should eat, how and when.

And you’ll be rewarded with 3 amazing meals.



8 Hour Eating Window


First of all experiment with an 8 hour eating window.

Which means 16 hours of not eating and 8 hours of eating.

Note: Take note that this is a plan specifically aimed at gaining lean muscle and is not exhaustive by any means.

This allows you the benefits of low insuline (good for burning fat), while at te same time allowing you to fuel the muscles you want to grow efficiently.

The entire plan is therefore structured around this 8 hour window.


Pre Workout Nutrition


After waking up: Coffee or tea, add a teaspoon of coconut oil or just take a glass of water with turmeric and ginger to fire up your recovery.

Meal 1 – 12pm: 2-3 Eggs in coconut oil with some spinach or other green vegetables and a hand filled with almonds or mixed nuts.

1 or 2 glass(es) of tea or water with lime or lemon


Take note that while it is well established that working out in a fastened state has the high benefits (study), when you are a hard gainer it is definitely worth considering to eat your meal before working out.

This minimizes the chances of you breaking down muscles, due to your already low body fat percentage and insulin sensitivity.

If your nutrition is in check already, but you still can’t seem to get leaner.

Training in a fastened state is a great ‘addition’ to your diet.


Post Workout Nutrition


Meal 2 – 3:00 pm: 1-2 cups of white rice or 2 sweet potatoes with 1-200 gram of chicken with cashew nuts and green vegetables with nuts*

1 or 2 glass(es) of tea or water with lime or lemon

Meal 3 – 6:00 pm: 1-2 cups of white rice or 2 sweet potatoes with 1-200 gram of chicken with cashew nuts and green vegetables with nuts*

1 or 2 glass(es) of tea or water with lime or lemon

Meal 4 – 8:00 pm: cup of blue berries + a cup of strawberries with 1/2 apples topped with cinnamon

1 or 2 glass(es) of tea or water with lime or lemon

*Serving tip: Try adding curry and chilli to the chicken


As an additional note: white rice is only recommendable when you are a hard gainer due to the fact that it is a fast carb with no inflammatory attributes.

It however is low in nutrients, so sweet potatoes are more recommendable.

There are no restrictions on how much to drink. Just make sure you stick to water as much as possible, it’s still the best source for hydratation on this planet.

More, the recommended amounts as stated above may differ per individual, it’s something you will need to experiment with over time.

If you want to know how much of anything you really need make sure you get myfitnesspal to track your calories.



3 Nutritional And Simple Recipes For Bar Brothers

You might not be Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver.

Don’t worry. You don’t need to be.

The people who see you eating this will think differently though.

They just don’t know that these are straight forward, easy to prepare meals.



Calisthenics Diet


How To Prepare Your Crazy Chicken Curry


  • 100-200 grams of chicken
  • Hand of cashew nuts
  • 2 teaspoons of curry
  • ½ teaspoon of chilli
  • Sea salt depending on own preference
  • ½ teaspoon of coconut oil

Preparation: Put half a teaspoon of coconut oil into a pan, add the chicken, wait until it’s white, add a decent amount of curry 2 teaspoons (Depends on how much you prefer), add the chilli + sea salt and the cashew nuts. Keep moving the chicken around the pan for another 3-5 minutes. Put the chicken on top of the spinach (Optionally add other veggies). The rice can be added depending on your goals.



Healthy Natural Food Bar Brothers


How To Prepare Your Recovery Fruit Bowl


  • 1/2 apples
  • 1 hand of mixed fruits
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 hand of mixed nuts
  • 1 lime

Preparation: Slice the apples up in small pieces, add 1 hand of mixed fruits, add 1 hand of mixed nuts, add the cinnamon and squeeze some lime over it.



Bar Brothers Diet


How To Prepare Your Supercharge Tea


Preparation: Add water to your mug, squeeze some lime into it, slice up a bit of gingerroot (gives a nice after burn and has a lot of anti-inflammatory benefits) and add the tea.

Take note that consuming lots of lime can have a bad affect on your teeth over time so make sure you alternate between using it and not using it or use a straw every now and then.



Bar Brothers Nutrition


These simple examples of meals which are high in nutrients and low in processing will already give you a huge bang for your buck.

Over time however you’ll need to add variety to your diet.

You need to develop a new way of thinking about food, what nutrients you need to focus on and how it helps your goals in the long run.


Once you reach that point it becomes more of a science than a secret.

Building muscle and burning fat really isn’t reserved for the chosen few.

You can do it.

But you need to know the formula for good nutrition.

The Bar Brothers Nutritional System will crack that code for you and contains more meal plans.


The ultimate diet plan by the Bar Brothers For Calisthenics Beginners



Time To Escape The Dietary Blues Zone


Food matters. There is not doubt about that.

If you want to gain muscle, you’ve got to eat the right food, at the right time, in the right amounts.

Now that you have this simple diet plan to gain muscle + a few easy recipes, you should be able to skip that pizza leftover.


It’s time to break the dietary blues. Picture this:

You stand in the kitchen on monday around 12pm, right after your intense workout.

You open your fridge and see an amazing Crazy Chicken Curry waiting for you.


Water is filling your mouth, you feel exited to gorge down that amazing meal you prepared yesterday.

Your body is fueled not broken down by the things you eat now.

And your muscles are starting to work for instead of against you, slowely but surely.


And the pizza box your friend left in the fridge…you throw it in the bin.

Not because it’s empty, but because that Recovery Fruit Bowl is hella better…




Update: 01/03/2016 this blog post has been updated in the more comprehensive 16/8 Lean Muscle Meal Plan ebook which can be downloaded for free.




56 thoughts on “The Basic Meal Plan To Gain Lean Muscle

    1. Hey bro,

      It’s all about counting those calories. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat less than you burn.

      You can skip all the egg yellow -which btw contains tons of good stuff- an only eat the egg whites, but if you don’t burn more than you consume, not a single cell of fat is going to decrease in size ;).

      That the basic rule.

      Beast mode ON!

  1. Hi Rich, how are you? I read some great articles of you, and this information is really interesting and useful. Congratulations for your great job.

    I want to follow the 8 hours window protocol, but I have some questions that I expect that you can answer as a favor.

    I wake up 5 a.m. from Mon-Fri because I have a job with 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. schedule. I can only train at 6:00 p.m. I do calisthenics since 3 years ago with very good results. I´m going to sleep at 10: 30 p.m., but I can improve that 30 minutes earlier.

    Can I do the 8 hours window from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.?

    I plan to follow the diet: Meal 1 11:00 a.m., Meal 2 1:30 p.m., Meal 3 Pre-Workout: 4:00 p.m., Meal 4 Post-Workout 7:00 p.m.

    This is O.K.?

    In which meals can I eat carbs?

    What do you think about quinoa?

    Thanks for all.


    1. Hey Roberto,

      I’m fine, thanks for asking! Hope all is well with you too ;).

      This is definitely a great plan and as long as it works for you, why not!

      It’s best to eat most of your carbs after your workout.

      Quinoa, definitely recommended over glutinous grains. I’d say experiment, see what it does to your body.

      There isn’t a whole lot of research on the so called pseudograins.

      Talk to you soon and keep it up!

      Beast mode ON!

    1. Hey Roger,

      Haha, that’s exactly what it is, in combination with a few additions. The issue is that we are moving away from exactly that which has allowed us to thrive all this time.

      Love the sharpness ;).

      Beast mode ON!

  2. Hey, just a question. If I’m going to lose fat, should I consider eating a pre-workout meal or should I eat after a workout? I’m a beginner in all of this so I just want to check. Thanks

  3. Hi! I’m a 26 years old skinny guy, weighting around 60 kg and 1,69 meters tall. I have been working out from my 15 years old, but I often had to stop going for some reason but got back to working out after a while. Besides, I have never made it to eat very well, both in diversification and quantity. I like very much to eat meat, rice, beans and potatos, but I am not a fan of sweet potato. You guys do an awesome work and I’d like to have the discipline you have to reach my goals. I have been lazy for a while now and besides being skinny, now I’m growing a paunch, and it is very ugly to have all of your body skinny and be also paunchy! Because I don’t like very much sweet potato, I thought I could replace it by whole grain breads or something like that. I also made some calculations and I came to a value of 2800 cal for a day, having 60% of it in carbohydrates, 20% protein and 20% fats. I intend to start going to the gym three times a week with intense and short workouts, since I read ectomorphs tend to have better growth with this kind of training, and going to the bars to practise calisthenics regularly but without specifying specific days.
    I don’t intend to get really STRONG, but I do want to have an upgrade in my power and in my body, and thought that gaining about 10 kg would be nice, although I know that weight is not the best measure of body health. I’d like you to give me some tips on my journey, since it seems easier to remain like this instead of getting my ass of the chair and start pursuing my goal. Thanks!

    1. Hey Paolo,

      Welcome to the movement!

      I’m personally not a proponent of whole grains, definitely not if you are developing abdomen fat while at the same time being skinny.

      Lower the amount of carbs if you want to become more insulin sensitive and improve your testosteron levels. I don’t really agree with that stuff, short doesn’t work when you are working on a skill. Strength isn’t only muscular development, but also neurological development. The source which states this, is clearly not taking the latter into account. I’d love to hear the reasoning and read the research behind this though ‘).

      First you need to get those hormones in check, if you start bulking now, you will probably gain more fat than muscle.

      Make sure you read the complete free diet guide: (It’s more complete than this post).

      If you have any questions, ask!

      Beast mode ON!

  4. Im sorry, but Im confused so when do you actually work out it seems to me its between 12 and 3 for you but if your doing that how do you have time to work.

    The only plan I see working for me is Meal 1 11:00a.m. , Meal 2 2:00p.m. , Meal 3 4:00p.m WORKOUT 5:00-6:30 Meal 4 7:00p.m.

    From the looks of the plan it seems that you are explaining that you are eating meal 2,3, and 4 after your workout. Please correct me if Im wrong. Im really interested in your plan and like what you are providing here for us. My schedule is wake up at 5:00 a.m to sleeping by 9:00, could you please point me in the right path that i should take for the schedule I have. Thanks so much in advance!!!

    1. Hey Ronald,

      Great question.

      It’s always up for experimentation. What research shows is that it’s much better to work out earlier. Which usually implies working out in either a fastened state or in a low insulin state (meaning you don’t consume too many carbs prior to your workout). This advice is aimed at burning fat.

      So definitely, usually around 12 or earlier. But this differs per person of course. Overall it depends on your goals. Do you have any specific goals?

      Let me know and I’ll see what I can help you with.

      Beast mode ON!

      1. Hey Rich,

        Thanks for getting back with me! Im 150 now trying to get to at least 165 to 170 and really just want to build from there and maintain that weight . So should I work out as soon as I wake up with no food and then eat afterwards?

        Thanks again for the help!!!

        1. Hey Ronald,

          Great question!

          It depends on a lot of things. For practical reasons working out first thing in the morning is usually one of the best things to do both hormonally and mentally.

          So it’s definitely something worth experimenting with. Of course there are always situations in which this won’t work. When you have to wake up early for work for example or just aren’t a morning person.

          Hope this answers your question.

          Beast mode ON!

  5. Hey, whats up guys!

    You guys are doing a proper job!

    If I train in the evenings around 8, would I need to shuffle the eating plan around or stick to it as is, knowing you are still getting the calories?

    Shot for an awesome site and crazy motivation!!

    1. Hey Brandon,

      Great question and thanks for the awesome comment!

      Stick to it as it is. You are still getting plenty of benefits from sticking to that 8 hour window. Try to get your last biggest meal after instead of before your workout.

      This means you might have to start your eating window a bit later, but that’s something to experiment with.

      Beast mode ON!

    1. Hey Jack,

      Great question.

      Regular potatoes are from a completely different family of plants. The nightshades, whereas sweet potatoes are from a completely different family. Regular potatoes can definitely be used in moderation and depending on how your body responds to them.

      Sweet potatoes however have my preference both because of nutrient content and anti-nutrient content.

      Beast mode ON!

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