It’s no secret that exercise and nutrition are the two pillars of gaining lean muscle, and indeed, getting in shape more generally. 

At F45 Training in Seattle, we’ve got you covered when it comes to the exercise portion of that equation. We offer functional HIIT classes every day of the week, offering a functional, full-body workout aimed at improving energy levels, metabolic rate, strength, and endurance. You can expect to burn up to 750 calories per 45-minute session of a circuit and HIIT group fitness class at F45! 

Seeing as how you’ll burn a solid number of calories at an F45 HIIT training class at our Seattle gyms, the next logical question arises — “Which foods should I be eating to help build lean muscle mass?”

Excellent question! We’ll be taking the rest of today’s blog to highlight a few of the best protein-rich food sources you can incorporate into your diet to help solidify your high-intensity workouts. Let’s dive into the meat and potatoes!

Which Foods Help Build Lean Muscle?

A quick disclaimer: some of these foods might be more obvious than others. We anticipate you are familiar with some, yet we hope that others might surprise you. Either way, this is far from a comprehensive list. We aren’t here to replace your licensed nutritionist or physician in any way; we simply want to point you in the right direction to make sure you are eating clean and getting the results your hard work in the gym merits. Now, without further ado, let’s actually dive in!

Chicken Breast

Let’s start off with one of the essentials (if you eat meat) — chicken breast. Chicken breasts are protein-rich, with each 3-ounce serving offering roughly 26 grams of lean protein, according to SELFNutritionData. In addition to being protein-rich, chicken breasts also contain B vitamins niacin and B6. These B vitamins help your body operate properly while you are physically active or are exercising.


Shrimp is one of the leanest sources of protein available. A 3-ounce serving of shrimp contains zero carbs, one gram of fat, and 18 grams of protein! Keep in mind that healthy carbs and fats are an integral part of your diet; but most Americans are able to find them in spades wherever they turn. Adding shrimp to your core nutritional program will help boost your protein consumption without any excess carb or fat intake. 

Salmon, Tuna, & Tilapia

While we are writing about seafood, let’s discuss some of the best kinds of fish you can eat to maximize your protein intake. 

  • Salmon – An ideal item to include in your diet for both muscle growth and general health and wellness, a 3-ounce serving of salmon will give you about 17 grams of protein and nearly 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. 
  • Tuna – Tuna offers 20 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving along with significant amounts of vitamin A and a few different B vitamins (B6, B12, niacin). 
  • Tilapia – Although it doesn’t offer the same amount of omega-3 fatty acids as salmon, it boasts more protein than both tuna and salmon (21 grams per 3-ounce serving). It also offers vitamin B12 and selenium, the latter of which helps your blood cells and nerves stay healthy. 


If you are looking for a source of protein that isn’t animal-based, fear not, for you have options beyond beans and tofu. Buckwheat is a seed that can easily be ground into flour and used as a replacement for traditional flour. It’s protein-rich, offering around 8 grams of protein per half-cup (60 grams). Keep in mind it also offers fiber, minerals, vitamins, and additional carbohydrates. 


Beans are the final protein source we’ll highlight in today’s F45 blog. Sticking with the non-meat category, beans of many kinds (pinto, black, kidney) contain roughly 15 grams of protein per cup (172 grams) after they’ve been cooked. 

In addition to being high in protein, beans are high-quality sources of B vitamins, fiber, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. If you are looking for plant-based protein in your diet, beans ought to become a staple!

Get Your Free, Personalized Nutrition Plan At F45 Fitness

Whether you become a member at our Queen Anne, Northgate, or Central District F45 location, you’ll get access to a complete health ecosystem. We offer knowledge about nutrition, fitness, and wellbeing, a three-phase nutrition program design by a panel of experienced nutritionists, and a daily tracking system to make sure you stay aligned with your personal fitness goals and progress. 

Learn more about the 8 Week Challenge, F45 Training, and claiming your one-week Free Trial at F45! We’d love to hear from you and answer any questions you might have. We are passionate and focused about what we do here at F45 Training in Seattle, so reach out to us today to start making the changes in your life that you’d like to see!