How To Build Muscle On The Keto Diet

build muscle keto diet

This popular diet is best known for weight loss, but how does one build muscle when on keto?

The ketogenic diet, or keto for short, is a popular and great way for those looking to lose weight to achieve this. But a common misconception is that it is hard to build muscle mass since weight loss is the main goal of this diet. However, it is more than possible to build that valuable muscle on keto and it just takes knowing exactly what to do and how to properly do it to see those gains you want most. With the right approach, it is entirely possible to see those bodybuilding gains unfold while still sticking to the keto diet.

Let’s take a look at the keto diet and see just how to build muscle while on it. The keto diet can work wonders for weight loss and for those bodybuilders looking to sculpt their physique, this may be a great way for you to see progress while still packing on that vital lean muscle.

build muscle keto diet

What Is The Keto Diet?

The keto diet, short for ketogenic diet, is a low carb and high fat diet used my many to lose weight, as well as provide for some other health benefits as well. How this works is you drastically lower your carb intake and consume some protein but majority fats. This will then kick your body into ketosis, a metabolic state (1).

What ketosis does is it takes fat to use as fuel. Since your body is depleted of its access to carbs or glucose, it compensates by using fat, thus burning fat and aiding in your weight loss progress. Where part of the debate lies is that to build muscle you need carbs and by losing weight, people associate that with losing hard earned muscle as well. But with the keto diet, you can still build muscle and see that sculpted and shredded physique take effect.

keto diet

Building Muscle On Keto

When it comes to building muscle on keto, there are a number of factors to consider in order to see the growth you want most. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to build muscle on the ketogenic diet.

Figure Out The Right Caloric Intake

Looking into how many calories you need in the day can greatly affect how you build muscle. We all know to lose weight, you need more calories out than you take in. But to build muscle, you need to make sure you get an adequate amount of calories in order to build and keep on existing muscle on. With factors like age, weight, sex, and activity level all playing a role, figuring out your ideal caloric number can set you up for knowing just how many you need in a day and how many calories to play with for each meal.

Track Your Macros

Tracking the amount of macronutrients you consume may seem daunting, but it is imperative as there are certain numbers to hit so you stay in ketosis. When it comes to carbs, this means around 50 grams or fewer carbs consumed to stay in ketosis (2). Placing carbs around your workouts is a good idea for this can be a strategic way to fuel workouts and stay in ketosis.

When it comes to protein, be sure to include this with every meal. Too much protein in one sitting can throw your routine around and potentially decrease the amount of ketones you have, thus kicking you out of ketosis. But since protein is essential for muscle growth, having enough protein in your diet is of the utmost importance (3).

For your fat intake, calculating how much you need will prove to be beneficial for each meal will be easier to tell just how much you need to stay in ketosis. This is a fine line to play with in order to build muscle but this is where training comes into the picture.

Focus On Strength Training

When it comes to your training, be sure to focus on strength training, and lower reps with heavier weight can prove to be beneficial in the long run. This will also stimulate muscle growth and hypertrophy so a well-planned muscle building program ensures you pack on that lean muscle while keeping it on even in ketosis. With consistent resistance training, you encourage muscle growth and those bodybuilding goals so you hit all those marks you want (4).

Featured Supplement For Keto Muscle Building

build muscle keto diet

The right supplements can have great effect on our gains and knowing which ones to take will prove worthwhile for our progress. While we all know the staples being protein powders, pre-workouts, BCAAs, and fat burners, there are those unique supplements out there to work wonders for all our gains.

Carb Cut Shred Stack

Finally burn off that stubborn body fat, ignite your metabolism and help reduce the absorption of calorie-heavy carbs with the Carb Shred Stack!


The Carb Cut stack is a bundle of five fat-burning products, which are as follows: 

The goal of this stack is to target and eliminate stubborn body fat from every angle possible, while also improving your workout performance and making sure that you do not lose hard earned muscle mass. With this supplement stack, your body will be in a fat-burning state around the clock. The Carb Cut Shred Stack delays the absorption of carbs, blunts your appetite and relinquishes your body of toxins.

Price: $112.49

Check out our individual review on the Carb Cut Shred Stack here!

Wrap Up

For those looking to build muscle on the ketogenic diet, it does take some careful planning so you see all those desired changes you want most. It is important to take your caloric intake into account, as well as properly tracking your macros so you see all those desired gains unfold. For training, focusing on resistance training can prove to be the key to building muscle as lifting heavier weights can greatly influence growth and lead to increased hypertrophy. Building muscle on the ketogenic diet is possible, it just takes careful planning, a good training routine, and proper supplementation to help get there.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. O’Neill, B.; Raggi, P. (2020). “The ketogenic diet: Pros and cons”. (source)
  2. Campos, M. (2020). “Ketogenic diet: Is the ultimate low-carb diet good for you?”. (source)
  3. Stark, M.; Lukaszuk, J.; Prawitz, A.; Salacinski, A. (2012). “Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training”. (source)
  4. Westcott, W. (2012). “Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health”. (source)
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.