The Perfect Muscle Building Ratios of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats to Build Lean Muscle

Is your muscle building diet plan building lean muscle mass or are you gaining fat?

Muscle Building ratios or bodybuilding ratios refers to the ratio of the 3 macronutrients, i.e. carbohydrates, proteins and fats in a bodybuilding nutrition plan.

The right muscle building ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and fats build lean muscle mass. The wrong ratio can build more fat than muscle giving you a fatty bodybuilder look.

Inside this article:

P.S. I presume you have calculated your total energy/caloric requirements and are looking for the right ratio. If not, then use the muscle building nutrition section to calculate your total daily caloric requirement. 

Different Strokes for Different Folks

"One Man's Drug is another man's Pison" - Roman Poet

Mark and David, two bodybuilders who are of same body type and weight equally, are eating the exact number of calories but Mark is gaining lean muscle while David is getting fat.

Why? Because only one {Mark} is eating the right ratio of macronutrients that builds lean muscle mass. The other {David} is eating the wrong nutrient ratios.

After accurate caloric count, the right nutrient ratios make a world of difference. 

Below are 3 different nutrient ratios, each perfect for a specific body type. Select the right one for you to gain muscle and get lean.

The 50/30/20 Muscle Eating Plan for Mesomorphs for Fast Muscle Building

The 50/30/20 Plan is famous among bodybuilders.

It consists of:

  • 50% calories from carbohydrates,
  • 30% from proteins and
  • 20% from fats

It is the typical, most widely used bodybuilding nutrition plan for gaining muscle mass.

It is the best plan for mesomorphs who find easier to gain weight.


  • Provides adequate carbs for muscle fuelling
  • Provides adequate proteins for muscle repair and growth 
  • Provides enough muscle building fats

This high carb diet is best for mesomorphs because they have a normal carb metabolism. Endomorphs gain weight on this diet.

How to make it better:

If you are a are mesomorph and find the 50/30/20 diet useful, here's how to make it better:

Drop carbs by 5% and replace it with proteins or fats. This gives you a distinct metabolic and hormonal advantage over a high carb diet.


This diet is not for you if you are looking to build muscle and burn fat. Also ectomorphs will do better with higher fat intake.

Ectomorphs see below.

The 40/30/30 Muscle Eating Plan for Ectomorphs to Gain Weight Faster

As a Skinny ectomorph I found that I could eat as many carbs as I want without gaining an ounce of weight. So instead of adding more carbs, I replaced them with good fats - nuts, fish oils, krill oil and meats.

This change transformed my life. I was gaining weight and it was all muscle. Gone was my fear of "eating fats will make me fat".

So I continued to use the 40/30/30 diet and eat

  • 40% calories from carbs
  • 30% from quality proteins sources and
  • 30% from quality fats

Why it works:

Ectomorphs handle carbs very well. They have super fast metabolisms and burn those carbs easily.

Fats on the other hand provide more calories per gram and not only provide workout energy {read the fatty acid metabolism in muscles} but also help build the anabolic hormones which stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

I recommend this diet for skinny hardgainers who find it tough o gain weight. I cover more details in the muscle building nutrition section.

P.S. This is similar to the Zone diet for losing weight. But the zone diet calls for low calories. Ectomorphs use the same diet but eat very high calories, not starve to death!

The 33/33/33 Muscle Eating Plan for Burning Fat and Building Muscle

I learnt this diet from Chad Waterbury, author of HFT Muscle Program.

He calls it the most balanced macronutrient diet and this eccentric trainer is known for creating such amazing programs that shock both the research community and his clients results.

This called for equal calories from carbs, proteins and fats.

This works best for: Building muscle while burning fat.

Its a great starting if you are looking to lose weight while build lean muscle.

Small adjustments: If your gym performance suffers or mental clarity declines, add carbs and switch to the 40/30/30 diet.

Your goal: To lose 1/8th 1/4th inch every 2 weeks.

The 40/40/20 Get Ripped Plan

This plan is used by bodybuilders and fitness models before competition or photo shoots.

It stands for 40% carbs, 40% proteins and 20% fats.

This low carb diet strips fat like crazy. But this diet calls for extreme discipline as low carbs can cause cognitive decline, irritability and craving of high carb foods.

Hence bodybuilders follow it only 4-8 weeks prior to competition to look ripped and cut on stage.

P.S. Bodybuilders cut carbs even more 2 weeks before competition, so the diet might look like 30-40-30.

200+ Anabolic Cooking Muscle Building Recipes

Whatever your chosen eating plan, you cannot escape the fact that you need to enjoy your nutrition plan.

The advice of "eat, eat and eat quality meals" doesn't cut. 

in this regard the 200+ Anabolic Cooking Recipes has been very helpful for me. Check them out if you are tired of bland chicken and broccoli recipes.


The right plan for the right body can create magical results.

Whatever plan you start with make small adjustments every 2 weeks depending on how your body responds. This separates the smart bodybuilders from not so smart ones.

Smart trainers make adjustments based on results, Idiots look for magic formula every time.

Remember nothing works forever and for all goals.

Here's my plan:

  • Skinny ectomorphs: 40/30/30 plan
  • Mesomorphs: 50/30/20 plan
  • Endomorphs: 33/33/33 
  • Extreme Fat Burning: 40/40/20 or even 30/40/30 plan

› The Right Macronutrient Ratio for Muscle building

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