For some people, gaining weight in the form of muscle rather than fat can be a frustrating task. If you follow our top 8 tips, however, you’ll pack on lean muscle and size far more easily and be well on your way to achieving your physique goals.
1. Eat enough calories
Most people who struggle to gain weight misunderstand the most basic principle – ‘the body will only grow if you provide it with sufficient high quality calories each day’. In other words, you need to consume more calories than you burn each day!
Aim to consume at least 20 calories per pound of bodyweight you weigh to gain muscle mass.
Many people eat two or three meals a day and a protein drink now and again (when they remember), and then wonder why they’re not putting on any weight. You’ll only build new muscle tissue and put on weight if you have an abundant amount of protein and calories in your system, supplied by regular small meals throughout the day. Most people have no idea how many calories they need. You may find that eating until you’re full is not enough, especially if you’re eating the wrong sort of calories (i.e. all carbs and no protein!)
You’ll only build new muscle tissue and put on weight if you have an abundant amount of protein and calories in your system.
Most people require around 20 calories per pound of bodyweight to gain muscle mass. Using a 180-pound male as an example, we end up with a daily calorie requirement of 3600 calories (20 x 180 = 3600 calories). When it comes to gaining weight, it is likely that you may put on a few pounds of fat along the way, but if you do find your body fat increasing, either increase the amount of aerobic exercise (moderate intensity) you are doing or reduce the total number of calories you are consuming slightly. Remember you can’t force feed muscle gain!
2. Be smart and choose the most effective muscle building exercises
Choosing the right muscle building exercises can make the difference between endless frustration and achieving the physique of your dreams. Build your routine around basic compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, lat pull downs (or chins) and shoulder presses. Performed correctly, these core exercises will stimulate muscle growth and strength like no others, due to the stress they place on your muscles, and the nervous and hormonal responses they produce.
To maximise strength and mass gains stick to compound exercises.
Avoid endless isolation exercises (such as tricep kickbacks and leg extensions) which are poor muscle and strength builders. For best results combine a sensible and progressive training routine (2-3 times weekly) with the nutritional advice mentioned.
3. Fuel your workouts with carbohydrate and creatine
Eating the right carbs is important too. Carbohydrate is stored in your body in the form of glycogen.
Try to eat the right type of carbs.
Glycogen in the muscles is an important fuel reserve during intense physical exercise and topping up your glycogen stores with carbohydrate will make sure you have the fuel to perform. It is best to restrict or to keep away from junk carbohydrates such as sweets, cakes, and biscuits, and stick to foods like porridge, pasta (wholemeal), rice (brown), bread (wholegrain), and cereals (try to choose the versions with low or reduced sugar and salt).
Creatine is a proven ingredient for increasing strength, building muscle size and training intensity.
Progain contains an easily digested source of carbohydrate, providing much needed carbohydrate to fuel your workout before or after. Numerous research studies show that creatine is an excellent ingredient for increasing strength, building muscle size and training intensity. Maxinutrition adds creatine to many of its core products such as Creatamax Extreme, Creatamax Capsules, Cyclone, Progain Extreme and Promax Extreme.