After receiving numerous requests for such a post, I’ve decided to write a “how to” type of article on how to gain Weight gainweight for those of us who seem to have trouble doing so. Keep in mind that at some point most of us, not just those of us who have trouble gaining weight, may be inclined to gain muscle. That being said, let’s break it down as simple as possible.
How To Eat
Tackling this facet of the weight gaining adventure is the most important, the most difficult and the crux separating those who either do gain weight or do not. Without paying attention to not only what you eat, but how much, I promise that the fast metabolism folk will never see gains. Your new inspirational phrase – “Eat like it’s your job”. Here is a list of bullet points that will be the foundation.
- Calories – It’s simple. You eat more and more until you start gaining weight. Don’t complicate this process. Write down how much you eat, monitor your weight and increase your calories accordingly. So for example, if you eat 3,000 calories a day for two weeks and you don’t gain weight, bump it up to 4,000. Wanna know where people fall short? Some need so many calories to gain weight that they simply can’t suffer the burden. To those, it’s simply a matter of how bad do you want it. Just do it!
- Food – While there is no debate around the caloric intake in a weight gaining program (more is necessary), there is some debate in what type of food you should eat. I’ll start with the no-brainers: Green leafy vegetables (along with an assortment of other vegetables), protein (in the form of meat, eggs, fish), fats (fish oil, nuts, avocados), carbs (fruits such as berries, bananas, oranges). The debate lies with grain type carbs. Some will argue that in order to replenish your muscles after a workout, you must eat grains, breads and pastas in addition to protein. I’ll just say this; while trying to gain mass, you can get away with eating these types of food after a workout, but you don’t have to. A classic rule of thumb for protein intake is a gram of protein for every pound in your body. Consider it as a guideline to get you in the ballpark of how much protein you should be eating.
- Frequency – This one really just depends on what is easiest for you. If you find it impossible to eat 4,000 calories in 3 meals, then split ‘em up! The point is, you have to get those calories throughout the day however you can. So if it’s easier in 5 meals, go for it.
How To Train
While there are numerous ways to weight lift, there are a few staples that will be essential in making your weight gain process effective.
Exercises – Free weights, full body exercises, compound exercises, and bodyweight exercises are some of the few. The key is to keep increasing your strength. But be careful as you make strides to increase your strength as there is a chance of getting injured. Argue if you’d like, but a weight gaining exercise program must have bench press, pull ups, dips, squats, and deadlifts. Trust me, these compound exercises will help you get stronger.
Frequency – This is hard to swallow for the ambitious skinny guy looking to gain weight fast, but it’s essential for results. When you start training, you should be getting at least as many days off as you are training. Muscle builds during rest, so focus 50% of your efforts on lifting and the other 50% on sleeping. Over training will cripple your results and may lead to injury. But make those training days count, really push yourself to lift harder each week. Remember, you’re trying to get stronger which will get you bigger, if you’re eating enough calories.
Believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceburg. So here are a few links that will help you get a better idea of how to gain weight effectively:
Strong Lift’s How To Gain Weight For Skinny Guys
Strong Lift’s How To Build Muscle
Fitness Black Book’s Build Muscle Mass With Bodyweight Exercises
Mike OD’s guest post on Mark’s Daily Apple: Building Muscle 101
Tom Venuto’s How To Gain Lean Muscle Without Turning Into A Tub Of Lard
Intense Workout’s Workout Routines and Splits
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