Sunday, September 25, 2011

Determining Your Macronutrient Energy Needs for Proper Athletic Performance

Energy Requirements: Determining your Macronutrient Needs

First Put Yourself into Metric Measurements

BW = body weight
HT = Height (cm)
LBM = Lean Body Mass (kg)
WT = Weight (kg)

2.2 lbs = 1 kg
BW lbs _____ / 2.2 = BW _____ kg
2.54cm = 1 in
HT (in) ____ (2.54) = HT (cm)____

Fat Mass = lbs(% body fat) example: 20% fat = 0.20
Fat Mass = _____lbs(0._____)
Fat Mass = _____
LBM = _____lbs - _____Fat Mass
LBM kg = LBM lbs _____ / 2.2
LBM = _____kg

To determine your Body Fat % please use the Navy's Body Fat Calculator. You will need some body measuring tape to get your numbers.  

Next determine how many calories your body needs to sustain itself

Mifflin and Colleagues formula (#1)
RMR = 9.99(wt) + 6.25(ht) – 4.92(age) + 166(sex: 1 = male, 0 = female) – 1
RMR = 9.99(____) + 6.25(____) – 4.92(____) + 166(____) – 1
RMR = ____ + ____ - ____ + ____ - 1
RMR = _____ kcal

Cunningham formula (#2)
RMR = 500 + 22(LBM)
RMR = 500 + 22(____)
RMR = 500 + ____
RMR = _____ kcal

Next determine what your active needs are
Sedentary: little to no activity, sleeping, waking, watching TV, mostly sitting
Add 20% - 40% to your RMR
Light activity: Sitting, standing, some walking, basic office duties, little to no physical activity
Add 55% - 65% to your RMR
Moderate activity: 40-60 min of planned physical activity most days of the week, 
Add 70% - 75% to your RMR
Heavy activity: playing basketball, soccer, football, climbing, 60 or more minutes of activity most days of the week
Add 80% - 100% to you RMR

Turn activity need into a decimal
Example: 75% = 0.75
____% = 0.___
Activity Needs: Do one formula for each of the RMR formulas that you did previously

#1            Activity needs = RMR(0.____)
                Activity needs = _____RMR #1(0.____)
    Activity needs = _____kcal

#2            Activity needs = RMR(0.____)
                Activity needs = _____RMR #2(0.____)
    Activity needs = _____kcal

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): Do one formula for each of the RMR formulas that you did previously
#1           TDEE = RMR#1kcal + Activity Needs#1Kcal
   TDEE = ____kcal + ____kcal

#2           TDEE = RMR#2kcal + Activity Needs#2kcal
   TDEE = ____kcal + ____kcal

Pick the TDEE that best fits your caloric needs
If you are looking to lose weight pick the lower number and the higher to gain weight

TDEE = _____kcal

What percentages should you strive for based on your activity level

Dietary Energy (AMDR)¹²
Dietary Energy
Endurance Athlete
Dietary Energy
Strength Athlete

¹a range of intakes for particular energy sources that maintains adequate energy stores without causing adverse health illness. Also, a good range for those with low to moderate activity levels
²The National Trainers’ Association recommends that most athletes maintain a fat intake of 20% - 35% of TDEE, however diets as low as 10% have been shown to not adversely affect performance

Fat Percentage
Use the percentage chart to determine your ideal percentage of fat intake to meet your daily energy needs.

Turn fat need into a decimal
Example: 25% = 0.25
____% = 0.___
Fat% = TDEE(0.____)
Fat% = _____kcal
_____kcal / 9kcal = _____g/d of fat

Carbohydrate intake

Activity Type
CHO Intake g/kg
General Population
5 – 7 g/kg
1-3 h/d of moderate to high intensity training
7 – 10 g/kg
>4 h/d of moderate to high intensity training
10 – 12 g/kg

Locate your intensity level: this will be different than what you wrote for your Activity Needs
Those looking to lose weight may want to use the lower of the spectrum.
Now determine your grams per day of carbs, kcal per day of carbs and percentage of carbohydrate in your daily diet

_____kg(____g/kg) = _____g/d of CHO
_____g/d of CHO(4) = ______kcal/d of CHO
______Kcal/d ÷ ­­______TDEE = _______%

Protein intake

Activity Type
Protein Intake g/kg
General Population
0.8 – 1.0 g/kg
Endurance athletes
 1.2 – 1.4 g/kg
Strength / Power athletes
1.7 – 1.8 g/kg
Vegetarians should add 10%
General population example
0.9 – 1.01 g/kg

Locate your intensity level: this will be different than what you wrote for your Activity Needs
Those looking to lose weight may want to use the lower of the spectrum.
Now determine your grams per day of protein, kcal per day of protein and percentage of protein in your daily diet

Research has proven that more than 2 g/kg of protein does not enhance performance or muscle formation. However, research is inadequate in proving that doses of protein as high as 3 g/kg is harmful to one’s health. Despite this little tidbit, it is not recommended to continually intake large amounts of protein due to possible health effects that may occur (Phillips, Moore, & Tang., 2009).

_____kg(____g/kg) = _____g/d of protein
_____g/d of protein(4) = ______kcal/d of protein
______Kcal/d ÷ ­­______TDEE = _______%

Putting it All Together
Place your results in the box below. Add up the columns and place the numbers at the bottom.





Do the kcals add up to your TDEE? Do your percentages add up to 100? If not, then you might have to manipulate your numbers a little to make up for the difference. This might mean consuming more calories from one macronutrient and eating less from another area.  

Remember to eat nutrient dense foods that are not processed, and to try to get all of your calories from real food and not supplements. Supplements should be used only when real food is not an option and you have to supplement your diet for what it is missing. 

Have fun experimenting with your daily intake. 

Please note that there are many more formulas to determine your RMR. No formula is perfect. The only way to truly know your RMR is to visit with a dietitian and an exercise science specialist to be tested to determine your personal RMR. These special tests can be expensive and therefore we have various formulas that are based off of research. Feel free to use more than one formula to determine what is correct for you. I have posted a photo of various formulas after the sources.


Manore, M. >, Meyer, N. L., & Thompson, J. (2009). Energy and Nutrient Balance. In Sport Nutrition for Health and Performance(2nd ed., chap. 5). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
Phillips, S. M., Moore, D. R., & Tang, J. E. (2007). A critical examination of dietary protein requirements, benefits, and excesses in athletes.  International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 17, S58 – S76.
Turocy, P. S., DePalma, B. F., Horswill, C. A., Laquale, K. M., Martin, T. J., Perry, A. C., Somova, M. J., & Utter, A. C. (2011). National athletic trainers’ association position statement: Safe weight loss and maintenance practices in sport exercise. Journal of Athletic Training, 46(3), 322 – 336. 

Manore, M. , Meyer, N. L., & Thompson, J. (2009). Energy and Nutrient Balance. In Sport Nutrition for Health and Performance(2nd ed., chap. 5). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pyramid Sets

Pyramid Weight Training

The Pyramid System focuses on developing strength and it places an emphasis on one or two muscle groups at a time. This type of resistance training requires exercisers to increase weight and decrease the reps as they progress with the workout. This type of system can be either considered a half or full pyramid. Perfect for those that want to gain muscle mass and bulk up.

Example: RM= Rep Max (this is the highest weight you can lift one time)

Focus on the chest by performing a bench chest press

Pyramid set example: Bench or Chest Press

1 RM = 125 lb
  • First set is 12 reps @ 87.5 lbs @ 70% of 1 RM
  • Second set is 10 reps @ 93.75 lbs @ 75% of 1 RM
  • Third set is 8 reps @ 100 lbs @ 80% of 1 RM
  • Fourth set is 6 reps @ 106.25 lbs @ 85% of 1 RM
  • Fifth set is 4 reps @ 112.5 lbs @ 90% of 1 RM

    This is an example of half a pyramid. A full pyramid would take you back to where you started. A half pyramid is definitely less time consuming than a full pyramid. Experiment with both to see what you like. 

Pyramid setting requires many sets with a rest time of 60 sec to 3 min in between sets, and this can increase your workout time. When you plan a pyramid set it is important to know your 1 RM for each exercise that you are planning to do. How to determine your 1 RM is easy. First lift weights and go until fatigue. If you can get to 10 reps without getting tired than you need to up the weight (rest for 3 - 5 min before attempting the new weight). Keep increasing the weight until only 3-5 reps can be done. Once you have determined your heaviest weight you can do some math or use this simple 1 RM Calculator.

One math formula is:

weight/(1.0278-(.0278 x reps))

The heaviest weight you lifted was 175 lbs at 5 reps for the chest press




1 RM = 197.07 or 197 lbs ± 5 lbs

Another math formula is:

Reps x 0.033 = #

# + 1 = multiplier

Multiplier x weight = 1 RM

5 x 0.033 = .016

0.0165 + 1 = 1.0165

1.0165 x 175 = 177.8 or 178 lbs ± 5 lbs

Finding your 1 RM %

70% = 0.70
70% of 197 or 0.70 x 197 = 137.9 or 140 lbs

80% = 0.80 (notice a trend)

80% of 197 or 0.80 x 197 = 157.6 or 158 lbs

After you know your 1 RM for each individual exercise (yes, every exercise will have a different 1 RM) you can actually get to work on your pyramid sets. Focus on body areas when you are performing pyramid sets and limit yourself to no more than 4 exercises a day.

For example:

  • Day 1 – Chest
  • Day 2 – Legs
  • Day 3 – back
  • Day 4 – legs
  • Day 5 - shoulders

Weight loss tip: Increasing lean body mass can increase the body’s natural metabolism.