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Health & Fitness

How To Gain Weight And Build More Muscle



Photos by Ludwig Araujo Photography

For many thin people around the world, gaining weight without using illegal steroids has been a challenge. For thousands of lean young men, the dream is to gain weight, but no matter how much they eat they remain thin. Some people are naturally thin; that means their genetic makeup is in such a way that the body burns more calories than others. The very basic method of weight gain is to eat more calories than your body burns off. By providing the body with more calories, this balance can be altered and body mass can be increased. Weight training is of great importance in this context, which enables the body to absorb more nutrients from the food by increasing the level of certain hormones and increasing the muscle mass.

Also: Muscle Cramps: Unmasking the Fitness Dilemma

There are many incorrect beliefs and theories about building muscle. The type of food to be eaten is an important factor which decides the type of weight gained, whether it is muscle mass or mere accumulation of fat. Some types of calories are not equal to others for gaining muscle; because most processed junk food contains empty, totally nutritionless calories. These foods promote accelerated fat storage and do not provide the body with the correct nutrients essential for gaining muscle. High-quality protein, which the body breaks down into amino acids, should be the centerpiece of all your meals. Intense exercise increases demand for amino acids, which support muscle repair and growth.

Another factor is the selection of the right type of weight training. Resistance exercises will help with muscle growth. Whereas aerobic exercises can result in the reduction of weight. For maximum muscle gain, the focus of your workouts should consist of free weight exercises, rather than machines or bodyweight exercises. To get a very effective workout, you must stimulate as many muscle fibers as possible, and machines do not do this. The main reason for this is a lack of stabilizer and synergist muscle development. Stabilizer and synergist muscles are supporting muscles that assist the main muscle in performing a complex lift.

The results of weight training can vary from person to person, and will usually depend on your consistency and commitment to your program. You should have the patience and motivation for building a powerful body with a consistent diet and exercise schedule.

Exercise Guidelines for building muscle:

Weight training involves the use of equipment that enables variable resistance. This resistance can come in the form of free weights like barbells and dumbbells, machines that use cables or pulleys to help you lift the weight, and bodyweight exercises like pull-ups or dips. The more stabilizers and synergists you work, the more muscle fibers stimulated. The exercises that work the large muscle groups are called compound (or multi-joint) movements that involve the simultaneous stimulation of many muscle groups. These compound exercises should be the foundation of any weight training program because they stimulate the most amount of muscle in the least amount of time. Multi-jointed free weight exercises like the bench press require many stabilizers and synergistic muscle assistance to complete the lift.

Free weight exercises like the dumbbell press or squat put a very large amount of stress on supporting muscle groups. You will get fatigued faster and not be able to lift as much weight as you did on the machine. But you will gain more muscle, become stronger very quickly and have a true gauge of your strength.

If you use machines in your program, they should be used to work isolated areas and only after all multi-jointed exercises have been completed. Beginners should begin with a limited combination of machine exercises, bodyweight exercises, and multi-jointed free weight exercises. Before increasing the weight levels, they should work on becoming familiar with the proper form and execution of each.

The following are some proven basic exercises to encourage muscle and strength gain, unlike any other exercises.

Bench Presses – works the chest, shoulders, triceps

Overhead Presses – shoulders, triceps

Pull-ups/Barbell Rows – back, bicep

Squats – legs, lower back

Deadlifts – legs, back, shoulders

Bar Dips -shoulders, chest, arms

To build mass, you must weight train with heavy weights. To consider a weight heavy, you should only be able to do a maximum of 4-8 reps before your muscles temporarily fail. A weight is considered ‘light’ if you can do more than 15 reps before muscle fatigue sets in. Heavyweights stimulate more muscle fibers than lighter weights which result in more muscle growth. Heavyweight training puts a huge strain on your body, so adequate rest and recuperation after your workouts are essential.

Eating guidelines for building muscle:
A high protein diet is an inevitable part of any weight training programme, importantly, a protein derived from animal sources. Proteins you need to be concerned with are those found in whey, casein (cottage cheese), eggs, beef, poultry, and fish. Soy protein, tofu, and bean curd are some alternatives. Eating the right amount of foods consistently will force your body to grow beyond what you may think possible. The diet also should contain an adequate amount of carbohydrates (potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, oatmeal, cream of wheat, cream of rice, rice, beans, bread, pasta, all cereals) and fat. Green leafy vegetables and fruits also should be included.

When you train with weights, you should eat a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. You also must have protein at every meal. To enable your body to actually assimilate and use them all the calories you will ingest, you have to reduce your meal size and increase your meal frequency. Splitting your calories into smaller, more frequent portions will enable food absorption and utilization of nutrients.

During the past 20 years, there have been great developments in the scientific understanding of the role of nutrition in health and physical performance. Studies have shown that adequate dietary carbohydrate should be ingested (55-60% of total energy intake) so that training intensity can be maintained. Excess dietary saturated fat can exacerbate coronary artery disease; however, low-fat diets result in a reduction in circulating testosterone. So the balance between protein, carbohydrate and fat should be maintained.

So the focus on weight gain programmes must be on two components, lifting heavy weights, which will stimulate the largest amount of muscle fibers. Your body responds to this stimulus by increasing your muscle mass and secondly eat more calories than your body is used to. When you overload your system with plenty of protein and fats, your body has no other choice but to gain weight.

A Mass Gaining program is incomplete without the timely measurements to monitor your progress. Without it, you won’t know how exactly your body is responding to your diet and training routine. Just looking in the mirror and guessing is not acceptable. If you want to start getting great results, you must develop the habit of accurately tracking your progress. This also provides the motivation to continue with the weight gain schedule and for the further progression. So even though you have a very thin body type, and havenít been able to gain weight no matter what you try, you will definitely succeed with a well-planned weight gain program.

Health & Fitness

3 Weight Loss Trends Which You Should Forget About



Photo By NomadSoul1

Not each and every weight loss trend which you will come across will actually be beneficial for you. There are the few weight loss trends which are actually harmful to your body as well. That is why, instead of following each and every weight loss trend blindly, it is a much better idea to actually know the trends which you should follow and which trends you should avoid.

We will today share with you 3 different weight loss trends which you need to forget about.

Also, check out: 4 Diet Mistakes That Are Interfering Your Weight Loss

1 Weight loss shakes:
Weight loss shakes or meal replacement shakes have become pretty famous. Many people are consuming them on a regular basis. You need to, however, keep in mind that these are not enjoyable. Moreover, in many of the cases, the meal replacement shakes are actually not satisfying as well. Both of these are requirements for losing weight on a consistent basis. That is why; you have to avoid meal replacement shakes as far as possible.

2 Apple cider vinegar:
Many people have started consuming apple cider vinegar in order to suppress the appetite. You need to, however, keep in mind that in small quantities, it might help but not in the longer term. That is why, instead of consuming any substance is because you heard that it can help you in losing weight, it is a good idea to find out about the longer it effects of these circumstances. Moreover, when you’re consuming it, our body will actually neutralize the pH level of the Apple cider vinegar. Thus, if you’re thinking that it will actually help you in the digestion of food, you are wrong once again.

3 Black seed oil:
If you believe the weight loss trends, black seed oil is supposed to increase the metabolic activity in the body. It can also work as a lubricant to help move the food along the gastrointestinal tract. The truth is that the research done on black seed oil is pretty limited. If you really want to lose weight, it is a much better idea to eat healthy foodstuffs. Rather than relying on black seed oil, it is a good idea to control your diet. As long as, there is no more research on black seed oil, it is a good idea to avoid it for the time being.

Thus, instead of believing each and every weight loss trend which you come across on the Internet, it is a good idea to actually avoid these 3 trends. There is not enough data that they actually help in weight loss.

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Lynx Body Lab: Savannah Lynx

Savannah Lynx



Photo by @jessiepalumbo

So it’s August and bikini season is giving way to sweater weather which means hibernating in your cozy room with comfort food in your lap will soon be a thing. But here’s the real thing- did you get the beach bod you were aiming for this summer? Rewind to January. Has your New Years resolution to get in the best shape of your life kicked into gear or did old habits rear their ugly heads to come March?

Catch, Savannah’s past columns: LynxMode column

We’ve all heard it before; unless you put serious work in, you’re not going to get results, blah blah blah *insert fitness speech here.* This really is your game though. All you’ve ever wanted in terms of your fitness goals have been in your control and reach every single day. Don’t forget that the mirror selfie showing off rock hard abs and toned thighs isn’t the result of one month of hard work. It’s the final product of a series of choices that YOU make that get you one step closer to obtaining the physique you want.

I never like to delve into diet and exercise tips without a little mental exercise first. The reason for that is pretty obvious- what’s most people’s excuse for not eating clean or going to the gym? It’s usually along the lines of “I didn’t feel like it,” “I don’t want to wake up that early,” or even “there’s too much good food out there not to eat.” The true origin of physical excellence isn’t genes or luck, it’s hard work. Instead of envying the people at the gym with perfect bodies, take note of what they do and admire the fact that they, just like you, are busting their butts trying to be their best.

So how do you go about getting Lynxy and STAYING that way? My mother always told me if you stay ready, you never have to get ready, and man is that the truth (shout out to Moomjy for the advice 101). I don’t believe in crash diets, or even bulking/shredding seasons like a lot of my fitness contemporaries do. Personally, I think all that does is breed unhealthy habits and a cheat/reward system that messes up with your body’s natural desire to fuel itself with nutrient-dense foods. Let me break this down into three parts.

Also, check out: Listen to Savannah Lynx on the Fitness Gurls Podcast

IG @careyhess

The Hardest Part

Think of it like this. You’re on a bicycle and you’re facing a huge hill. You are starting from a full stop and have to inch your way up the hill. This is just like starting a new diet/workout regiment. It’s hardest at the beginning because you have no momentum! This is when most people tap out and never get to the second part.

The Medium Hard Part

You’ve gained a little momentum by making good choices and feel the proverbial bike beneath you moving faster. It’s still a struggle, but now that you’re in it, results seem just around the corner.

Frustrating part

You’ve done everything by the book and you’ve seen some results, but not nearly what you had hoped for by this time. DON’T QUIT. This is just a plateau and you can expect a lifetime of healthy habits to give you an active lifestyle and the body that comes with it in due time.


This is the part where former pageant girls and bikini competitors tend to go back to their “off-season” ways. In my experience, it’s better and easier to keep this regiment going so that it becomes second nature to you. At this point, daily exercise is a no-brainer and you’ve got it all down now that you’ve biked your way to the top of that hill.

How’s here I do it

**Note I’m am not a trained nutritionist but have dedicated my life to pursuing a healthy/happy balance that can also get you and keep you looking and feeling your best.


EVERY SINGLE DAY. Make it to the gym. No gym? No problem. Floor exercises are JUST as effective and work well in concert with a daily regiment.

Be mindful of stretching hip flexors and calves

Warm up:
1-mile jog
5 sets of 20 push-ups and 20 crunches alternated

1-mile jog at 6 mph
10 sets of 20 push-ups and 20 crunches
Run .5 miles at 7.5 mph
5 sets of 20 push-ups and 20 crunches
Walk at 4mph in steep incline for .5 miles
Run .5 miles at 8mph
5 reps of sprinting for one minute with cooldown 2-minute walk in between
3 sets of 20 push ups and 20 crunches

Personally, my routine isn’t that strict. If I want to run harder and faster, I do. If I don’t, I jog but make sure I make it to the gym every day. The very act of going makes you think twice about food choices when your willpower is running low which is what this is all about. Consistent work will yield results.

If you don’t have a treadmill, opt for mountain climbers and burpees in conjunction with push-ups and crunches. It may sound old fashioned, but it’s tried and true and let me tell you IT WORKS!! Don’t fool yourself thinking you need fancy equipment to break a sweat.

Here’s a lil story about the most patriotic photo I’ve ever had or will have 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 When I was a little girl, I was an annoying little complainer. But when my my incredible stepdad stepped into my life, that changed. If something wasn’t right, I was too cold, or didn’t want to do something, he would collect himself and very matter-of-factly state in his former marine manner, “pain is weakness escaping the body.” I took that to heart and cultivated an understanding of mental toughness and the power of mind over matter from that point on. During my sunrise run this morning, I spotted a group of marines wearing t-shirts with that exact saying printed on the back. I went over to them and asked if I’d be able to buy one. They said no…but I could earn one. After a grueling training camp in the hot sun, lifting heavy metal tins till my arms and legs felt like wet noodles, they congratulated me and handed me my “earned” t-shirt. I have so much respect for our men and women in service and today was just a little taste of something I know I would never be able to endure. God bless America and thank you to anyone and everyone for their service. Just reminds me how much our country needs to do something REAL about fixing our broken VA system. #freedomisntfree #goarmy #semperfi #earnit #painisweaknessleavingthebody #usa #merica #proudtobeanamerican @sakuraswimwear

A post shared by Savannah Lynx (@savannahlynx) on

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Health & Fitness

What Should be the Duration of Your Gym Workout?



When you’re just starting in the gym, there might be confusion regarding the amount of time which you should spend in the gym. Rather than mimicking someone else, it is a good idea to look at the type of workout which you are following. Once you are able to look at the type of workout, it will become easier for you to understand the duration of the workout as well.

We will today share with you the details of 3 different workouts and how much time you should spend when you’re doing those workouts.

Also, check out: How To Gain Weight And Build More Muscle

1 Aerobic sessions:
When you’re undertaking aerobic sessions, you should ideally be spending 60 minutes in the gym. When you are able to spend 60 minutes in the gym, it will become much easier for the body to get accustomed to various exercises. Even if you’re undertaking the gym workouts for the 1st time, the body will not be under a lot of strain. That is why you have to stick to the 60-minute mark when you are opting for the aerobics class.

2 High-intensity interval training:
High-intensity interval training as the name itself suggests, is pretty high in intensity. Before undertaking these workouts, you should be fit and you should have at least some workout experience. A single session of such a workout can last for 10 minutes at max. You have to repeat this 3 times a week. In addition to that, most of the trainers will also advise you to undertake cardio sessions 3 times a week as well. These cardio sessions will be 45 minutes each. Thus, when you’re undergoing high-intensity interval training, the actual time of the workout is on the lower side.

3 Strength training:
When you are opting for normal strength training, the workout duration will last from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. A lot will be dependent on the exact sets which you are opting for. Your personal trainer will be able to advise you the exact time depending on the type of exercise which you are indulging in on that day.

Thus, when it comes to the duration of your gym workout, it is important to keep these few factors in mind. Only once you are able to do that, it will become much easier for you to plan your work out in the right way and to ensure that you are not overdoing it.

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