Beginner misconceptions aside, major muscle growth isn’t achieved solely by training. If your goal is to gain 10 pounds of muscle mass in just four short weeks, you need to eat a lot of protein, a lot of carbohydrates and even a good bit of fat. But it’s not as easy as eating anything and everything you can get your hands on.

Sure, going to McDonald’s and scarfing down two Big Macs, large fries and a Coke on a regular basis will help you gain weight—but it’ll be the wrong kind of weight. Building quality muscle minus a protruding belly takes a well-formed plan, one that has you eating the right types of foods at the correct times and in optimal proportions. It might seem complicated, but we’ll break it all down for you, nice and simple. Then all you’ll have to do is train, eat and track your results in the mirror.