Gain Weight With The Right Training And Diet
Health and fitness goals vary from person to person.
People who are overweight because of a sedentary lifestyle would want to be more active to lose a good amount of body fat.
Then you have those who seem to have a hard time putting on weight.
If you are one of them, it is not easy to hear, “Wow! I wish I had your problem so I can eat whatever I can!”.
The truth is gaining weight can be as frustrating as losing weight.
First let us be clear on what constitutes body weight.
When you step on the scale, the number that comes out represents the total amount of water, blood, muscle, fat and bones you have in your body.
Adding body weight could mean an increase in either one of the components: muscle or fat.
In order to gain quality body weight, we must focus on increasing muscle mass over fat.
The common misconception is that to gain quality weight, all you need to do is train heavy then eat everything in sight.
You will gain weight alright but most of it would be fat. Eating a heavy meal will leave you full for many hours and slow down your metabolism.
In order to gain quality weight, you must have a plan that covers the three most important components of building muscle mass: Exercise, diet, supplementation and rest.
The rule is simple. If you want to get big, you must lift big.
Training for strength is the fastest way to get big. If you could bench press 50 kilos for 10 repetitions today, how much bigger do you think your chest would be if you bench pressed 80 kilos for 10 repetitions?
A stronger muscle is a bigger muscle. In order to lift more weight, the muscle fibres have to get bigger and stronger to adapt to heavier loads.
But you don’t have to be a Power-Lifter, an Olympic weight-lifter or a bodybuilder to train heavy.
You don’t even have to be supremely athletic to do these exercises because these are basic compound movements.
What could be more basic or functional that squatting, pushing and pulling?
You could simply apply the principles of these methodologies to your own training.
These principles of building quality muscle are as follows:
- Use compound movements as the core of your program: Squats, Bench Press, Deadlift and Overhead Press.
- Increase weight loads periodically. Believe it or not, a 2.5 kilo increase in weight lifted per week can result in muscle gains.
- Train each lift only once per week.
A sample Split Program would be:
Wednesday: Bench Press
Saturday: Overhead Press
- Keep your sets and reps on the low side; 5 sets of 5 to 6 repetitions would be ideal.
- Rest 3 minutes between sets to ensure full recovery.
Should you do cardiovascular work? Yes but you should keep it to a minimum to 60 to 90 minutes of low intensity activity every week.
Walking or riding a bike for 30 minutes two to three times a week is good enough cardio if you want to gain weight.
Too much cardio will burn up essential muscle protein. It could also compromise your immune system if you are already training heavy or intensely.
Diet And Supplementation
Again, the rule here is simple. If you want to gain weight, you must always end the day with a calorie surplus.
But to gain QUALITY weight means you must consume mostly quality calories.
Eating a large pizza, cheeseburgers and French fries, soft drinks, ice cream and boxes of donuts will pack in the calories but these are junk calories because the macronutrient ratio is not conducive for quality weight gain.
You have to consider the correct macronutrient ratio in order to gain quality weight.
Since you will be lifting heavy or training intensely, you will need a good amount of carbohydrates.
Thus, you have to lower the amount of fat you ingest because excess carbohydrates will go to adipose tissue.
A diet that combines high carbohydrates with moderate to high levels of fat could make you fat.
The ideal macronutrient ratio to gain quality weight would be 50% carbohydrates to 40% protein to 10% fat.
Here are other important elements of a diet and supplementation program to put on quality weight:
- Consume 30 to 35 calories per kilo of body weight.
- Spread out your total food consumption over six to eight meals per day.
- Consume 30% of your carbohydrates in the day time and the remaining 70% spread out in the two to three meals after training.
- Keep your supplement stack basic: Whey protein powder, creatine, fish oil and amino acids will suffice.
If you are a beginner with less than two years of consistent training under your belt, you should focus on whole food sources and set aside the use of supplements.
Rest And Recovery
The most overlooked aspect of gaining quality weight could also be the most important. Your muscles grow when you are resting.
It needs to rebuild damaged tissue through proper nutrition and recovery.
Secondly, in order to get bigger your body has to constantly be in a state of calorie surplus.
Staying active too frequently will burn too much calories.
Sleep is a crucial component to gaining quality mass. You must get at least seven hours of sleep every night to ensure proper recovery.
A prolonged period of deep sleep has been proven to induce the release of Human Growth Hormone or HGH.
Research has shown that HGH could increase muscle mass, reduce the degenerative effects of ageing, improve mental alertness and give a general feeling of well-being.
Before you decide to embark on a weight gain journey, get yourself medically cleared by your doctor or a licensed health professional.
When you put on extra weight you are placing additional load on your bones and organs.
The doctor will evaluate your state of health and check if you should put on the extra weight.
Finally, despite the abundance of “get massive” training programs online, it would be better to hire the services of a certified Personal Trainer until such time you have mastered correct form and technique.
A Personal Trainer could also provide you assistance when the load gets heavier.
Every health and fitness goal will take time to achieve. As long as you are consistent with your training, remain disciplined with your nutrition and commit to getting enough sleep it won’t be long until you start stretching out those arm sleeves!