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Question about estimating muscle mass

Old 06-27-18, 05:27 PM
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rseeker
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Question about estimating muscle mass

I don't have access to any equipment for measuring muscle mass, but I want to know this as an input to calculating daily protein intake needs. I know it varies, but can you give an average figure for percent muscle mass? More like 30% or 60%?
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Old 06-27-18, 06:17 PM
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You don't really need to calculate the percentage of your muscle mass to figure out your daily protein intake....A lot of people base their daily protein intake according to their total bodyweight and their level of physical activity... So for example if you weigh 185 pounds your protein intake would be 185 grams. Personally I like to eat slightly more than my bodyweight because I am very active and it doesn't hurt to get extra protein.
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Old 06-27-18, 06:29 PM
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33%-36% on average. I think there must be a formula somewhere to estimate it based on your body's density, which you can get by measuring water displaced in the bath tub (Eureka!)
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Old 06-27-18, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
You don't really need to calculate the percentage of your muscle mass to figure out your daily protein intake....A lot of people base their daily protein intake according to their total bodyweight and their level of physical activity...
Thanks, I wasn't sure, I've seen it both ways.

So for example if you weigh 185 pounds your protein intake would be 185 grams. Personally I like to eat slightly more than my bodyweight because I am very active and it doesn't hurt to get extra protein.
OK, that's easy enough. So for me at 212 lbs. body weight that would be 212 grams or at 28.35 grams per ounce that comes to 7.5 ounces. Is that it? That seems too easy, what I get every day anyway. I've always heard stories about weightlifters choking down several big chicken breasts a day. Maybe that was for competition-level heavyweight lifters.
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Old 06-27-18, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
You don't really need to calculate the percentage of your muscle mass to figure out your daily protein intake....A lot of people base their daily protein intake according to their total bodyweight and their level of physical activity... So for example if you weigh 185 pounds your protein intake would be 185 grams. Personally I like to eat slightly more than my bodyweight because I am very active and it doesn't hurt to get extra protein.
Except that the more overweight you are, the more skewed this approach will be, getting to the point of absurdity for anyone who's truly obese. Getting some extra protein doesn't hurt, but getting way too much protein is wasteful and if you're trying to eat on a caloric deficit won't leave enough calories for fat/carbs.
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Old 06-27-18, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rseeker View Post
Thanks, I wasn't sure, I've seen it both ways.



OK, that's easy enough. So for me at 212 lbs. body weight that would be 212 grams or at 28.35 grams per ounce that comes to 7.5 ounces. Is that it? That seems too easy, what I get every day anyway. I've always heard stories about weightlifters choking down several big chicken breasts a day. Maybe that was for competition-level heavyweight lifters.
It may be slightly more complicated than you think. For instance, steak runs about 7g protein per oz. of steak (28g) so it's about 1/4 protein. So you'd need ~30 oz. of steak/day to get 212g if that were your only source of protein. Hence the comment above about being sure to manage calories to get enough carbs and fat. Obviously with steak, fat wouldn't be an issue. Chicken backs are another story as is non-fat Greet yogurt.
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Old 06-28-18, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jsk View Post
Except that the more overweight you are, the more skewed this approach will be, getting to the point of absurdity for anyone who's truly obese. Getting some extra protein doesn't hurt, but getting way too much protein is wasteful and if you're trying to eat on a caloric deficit won't leave enough calories for fat/carbs.
OP never said anything about being obese, so what I said applies to an average person who isn't obese...Obviously people who are extremely overweight will require a different approach and they should seek professional help.

Last edited by wolfchild; 06-28-18 at 04:06 AM.
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Old 06-28-18, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
It may be slightly more complicated than you think. For instance, steak runs about 7g protein per oz. of steak (28g) so it's about 1/4 protein. So you'd need ~30 oz. of steak/day to get 212g if that were your only source of protein. Hence the comment above about being sure to manage calories to get enough carbs and fat. Obviously with steak, fat wouldn't be an issue. Chicken backs are another story as is non-fat Greet yogurt.
Nobody lives on steak alone, you don't need to eat 3 pounds of steak daily to satisfy your protein needs.... There are plenty of protein sources besides steak.
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Old 06-28-18, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
It may be slightly more complicated than you think. For instance, steak runs about 7g protein per oz. of steak (28g) so it's about 1/4 protein. So you'd need ~30 oz. of steak/day to get 212g if that were your only source of protein. Hence the comment above about being sure to manage calories to get enough carbs and fat. Obviously with steak, fat wouldn't be an issue. Chicken backs are another story as is non-fat Greet yogurt.
Right, thanks for pointing that out. That 8oz ribeye I was picturing is only partly protein, as you said. I shouldn't post late in the day. :/
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Old 06-28-18, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Nobody lives on steak alone, you don't need to eat 3 pounds of steak daily to satisfy your protein needs.... There are plenty of protein sources besides steak.
Of course. I was just using an obvious example of weight not equaling protein content. I don't eat meat at all.
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Old 06-28-18, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rseeker View Post
I don't have access to any equipment for measuring muscle mass, but I want to know this as an input to calculating daily protein intake needs. I know it varies, but can you give an average figure for percent muscle mass? More like 30% or 60%?
I've measured my muscle mass using Inbody - I'm just over 100# skeletal muscle mass, my weight is 185-190 (7-8% body fat). In terms of determining how much protein you need it depends on your goals. If you're looking to gain muscle, I've read and practice 1-1.5X your body weight, which puts my target at 190g to 285g. So I normally eat in excess of 200g of protein daily. On a day where I spend 1.5 hours on the bike and 1.5 hours in the gym you can bet my intake is over 300g, but a lot of that is due to the sheer amount of calories I eat.
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Old 06-28-18, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jsk View Post
Getting some extra protein doesn't hurt, but getting way too much protein is wasteful and if you're trying to eat on a caloric deficit won't leave enough calories for fat/carbs.
If somebody needs to be in caloric deficit in order to loose weight , I think it's better to cut calories from carbs and fats and keep protein intake on the higher side.
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Old 06-28-18, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I was just using an obvious example of weight not equaling protein content.
Why not ??....I've been using this approach for a few years now and it works great....Actually I am getting slightly more protein then my bodyweight....I weigh 185 pounds and I am getting about 200 - 210 grams of protein daily and it works great.
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Old 06-28-18, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Why not ??....I've been using this approach for a few years now and it works great....Actually I am getting slightly more protein then my bodyweight....I weigh 185 pounds and I am getting about 200 - 210 grams of protein daily and it works great.
We're talking past each other. I mean the weight of food does not equal its protein content. BTW, the weight of your body doesn't equal its protein content either.
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Old 07-13-18, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by rseeker View Post
I don't have access to any equipment for measuring muscle mass, but I want to know this as an input to calculating daily protein intake needs. I know it varies, but can you give an average figure for percent muscle mass? More like 30% or 60%?
Actually, you calculate (estimate) fat percentage. But you need to upload a photo for opinions on that. There are also photos online so you can take your best guess using that. I've found that a well experienced trainer can do as good a job with a visual estimate as the myriad calculation devices in current use today.

In the mean time there's this:

Calculate Your Recommended Protein Intake

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Old 07-15-18, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
But you need to upload a photo for opinions on that.
In the interests of the health and well-being of the general community I'll have to avoid that. There was a time, but that was a while ago.

In the mean time there's this:Calculate Your Recommended Protein Intake
Thanks for the handy link. It gives me 217 grams, which is reassuringly close to the 212 grams I get based on body weight alone, so I guess I'm in the right range for protein intake now.

And that's a lot more than I have been getting. It's been more like 100 to 120 grams, easy to do based on my dietary habits, and I have to make an effort to get up over 200 grams.

I've been on the higher protein plan for a couple weeks now. That can't be long enough to improve results, can it? After the second week I had a couple rides which were far and away better than anything I'd had before on those same routes. I felt like rubber-band man, solid and resilient, bouncing back after each hill, ready for the next one. Maybe it's more about having a consistent supply of calories throughout the day, making sure I'm replenished. That plus an exercise frequency which is enough to get a training benefit. Performance is based on many factors and it's hard to pin down a single cause, but wow.

Last edited by rseeker; 07-15-18 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 07-15-18, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rseeker View Post
In the interests of the health and well-being of the general community I'll have to avoid that. There was a time, but that was a while ago.



Thanks for the handy link. It gives me 217 grams, which is reassuringly close to the 212 grams I get based on body weight alone, so I guess I'm in the right range for protein intake now.

And that's a lot more than I have been getting. It's been more like 100 to 120 grams, easy to do based on my dietary habits, and I have to make an effort to get up over 200 grams.

I've been on the higher protein plan for a couple weeks now. That can't be long enough to improve results, can it?
Improve results? Technically you begin to improve the moment you adapt your new diet. However, the time between that changing and seeing/experiencing results would be much longer. Even so, if you can't see a difference withing 4-6 weeks, you're likely doing something wrong.
After the second week I had a couple rides which were far and away better than anything I'd had before on those same routes. I felt like rubber-band man, solid and resilient, bouncing back after each hill, ready for the next one. Maybe it's more about having a consistent supply of calories throughout the day, making sure I'm replenished. That plus an exercise frequency which is enough to get a training benefit.
I used to think that a lont time ago. But the more I learn about and experience the benefits of intermittent fasting (IF), the less I feel the need for any long-term feeding frequency.
Performance is based on many factors and it's hard to pin down a single cause, but wow.
Indeed it can be. But most important is your health/fitness goal, since different goals have different best methods to achieve them. I think the term "everybody's different" should apply more to differences in goad, than it should difference in body types/compositions/etc.

Generally speaking, in order to achieve the ultimate aerobic capacity you need to do nearly the opposite of a goal geared towards maximizing your anaerobic fitness.
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