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How To Gain Weight And Build More Muscle

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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.

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Health & Fitness

8 Proven Strategies For Maximum Muscle Gains

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There is so much conflicting information out there when it comes to the topic of building muscle, and sometimes it can be very difficult to know where to start. If youíre an average beginner looking for some basic guidelines to follow in the gym, the following 8 points will start you off on the right track.

Also: How To Gain Weight And Build More Muscle

1) Train With Weights and Focus On Compound, Free Weight Movements.
If you want to make solid, noteworthy gains in muscle size and strength, you absolutely must train with free weights and focus on basic, compound exercises. A compound exercise is any lift that stimulates more than one muscle group at a time. Examples of these lifts are the squat, deadlift, bench press, chin up, barbell row, overhead press, dip, and lunge. Compound movements allow you to handle the most weight and will stimulate the greatest amount of total muscle fibers.

2) Be Prepared To Train Hard.
One of the biggest factors that separate those who make modest gains from those who make serious gains is their level of training intensity. In order to stimulate your muscle fibers to their utmost potential, you must be willing to take every set you perform in the gym to the point of muscular failure.

Muscular Failure: The point at which no further repetitions can be completed using proper form.

Sub-maximal training intensity will leave you with sub-maximal results, plain and simple.

3) Track Your Progress In The Gym From Week To Week.
Our bodies build muscle because of an adaptive response to the environment. When you go to the gym, you break down your muscle fibers by training with weights. Your body senses this as a potential threat to its survival and will react accordingly by rebuilding the damaged fibers larger and stronger in order to protect against any possible future threat. Therefore, in order to make continual gains in muscle size and strength, you must always focus on progressing in the gym from week to week. This could mean performing 1 or 2 more reps for each exercise or adding more weight to the bar. Keep a detailed training log to track your progress as your strength increases over time.

4) Avoid Overtraining.
Overtraining is your number one enemy when it comes to building muscle size and strength. When most people begin a workout program, they are stuck with the misguided notion that more is better. They naturally assume that the more time they spend in the gym, the better results they will achieve. When it comes to building muscle, nothing could be farther from the truth! If you spend too much time in the gym, you will actually take yourself farther away from your goals rather than closer to them. Remember, your muscles do not grow in the gym; they grow out of the gym, while you are resting and eating. Recovery is absolutely vital to the muscle growth process. If you don’t provide your body with the proper recovery time in between workouts, your muscles will never have a chance to grow.

5) Eat More Frequently.
The main area where most people fail miserably on their muscle-building mission is on the all-too important task of proper nutrition. Training with weights is only half of the equation! You break down your muscle fibers in the gym, but if you don’t provide your body with the proper nutrients at the proper times, the muscle growth process will be next to impossible. You should be eating anywhere from 5-7 meals per day, spaced every 2-3 hours in order to keep your body in an anabolic, muscle-building state at all times. Each meal should consist of high quality protein and complex carbohydrates.

6) Increase Your Protein Intake.
Of the 3 major nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) protein is without a doubt the most important for those who are looking to gain muscle size and strength. Protein is found in literally every single one of the 30 trillion cells that your body is made up of and its main role is to build and repair body tissues. Without sufficient protein intake, it will be physically impossible for your body to synthesize a significant amount of lean muscle mass. If your body were a house, think of protein as the bricks. A general guideline is to consume 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day from high-quality sources such as fish, poultry, eggs, beef, milk, peanut butter and cottage cheese.

7) Increase Your Water Intake.
If you want a simple, easy and highly effective way to maximize your muscle gains, drinking more water is it. Water plays so many vital roles in the body and its importance cannot be overstated. In fact, your muscles alone are made up of 70% water! Not only will drinking more water cause your muscles to appear fuller and more vascular, but it will also increase your strength as well. Research has shown that merely a 3-4% drop in your body’s water levels can impact muscle contractions by 10-20%! Aim to consume 0.6 ounces for every pound of bodyweight each day for optimal gains.

8) Be Consistent!
Consistency is everything. Those who make the greatest gains in muscular size and strength are the ones who are able to implement the proper techniques on a highly consistent basis. Simply knowing is not enough, you must apply!

Building muscle is a result of the cumulative effect of small steps. Sure, performing 1 extra rep on your bench press will not make a huge difference to your overall results, and neither will consuming a single meal. However, over the long haul, all of those extra reps you perform and all of those small meals you consume will decide your overall success. If you work hard and complete all of your muscle-building tasks in a consistent fashion, all of those individual steps will equate to massive gains in overall size and strength.

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Food & Nutrition

The Importances of Great Supplements

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Supplementation has become a big topic in the health and fitness world as more people are turning to natural answers for optimal health.

Why do we need supplements if we are already exercising and eating well? Supplementation provides the foundation within our bodies to perform at the highest level. Even if we are working out regularly and eating an all-organic diet, there are still going to be gaps in our nutrition. Uncontrollable influences such as chemicals in everyday products, genetic predisposition, and injuries can cause lack within our bodies that require extra help; help that can come in the form of supplements.

Also check out: Jade Atkinson’s Lower Body Plyos

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts put a strain on their bodies regularly in order to reach new goals or performance levels. Supplements such as Vitamin C or D3 can help reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation speeds up the healing process within our bodies and enables us to reach our goals faster with less pain and damage.

Other supplemental vitamins and minerals like calcium and magnesium improve bone health and oxygenate our blood; two vital needs for those of us building and maintaining muscle. Omegas 3’s are essential for heart health, and we don’t always have access to fresh fish and organic nuts where Omega 3’s are usually found.

Another great aspect of taking supplements is the convenience of it. We cannot always be at the gym, and maintaining a strict diet 24/7 is difficult. Supplements can be taken on the go and will enable our bodies to maintain the health we have worked so hard to achieve. A strict diet can also be difficult to maintain if we do not have access to certain foods at all times. Supplements can be easily ordered online regardless of location.

Supplementation is not an an-either-or option with a good diet. Rather, excellent supplementation compliments and enhances the positive benefits of a great diet and exercise.

Get more information on WrkEthicSupps: https://www.wrkethicsupps.com

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Workout Wednesday

Jade Atkinson’s Lower Body Plyos

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Jade Atkinson has one of the most beautiful and inspiring physiques in the fitness industry. She’s an IFBB Bikini Pro Competitor and Fitness Gurls Athlete and she shares her secrets on how to tone your lower body exercises this session.

Get Jade’s Last Article: Jade Atkinson’s Full Body & Core Workout

Plyometrics involve power jumping, repetitive bounding, and quick force production. They are a fast movement that happens over a short period of time.

Plyos help facilitates weight loss and is good for people who are looking to improve their muscular power, speed, strength, and endurance. They require a lot of energy, as they are high-intense. They help tighten, tone and define. Most importantly Plyos combine strength training and cardio exercises allowing you to burn more calories and improve muscle tone and definition.


Perform all 4 exercises without breaks.
Rest for 60 seconds.
Perform 4 Rounds

1 Circuit 1

Jump Squats x 15
Plyo Jump Lunges x 12/leg
Tuck Jumps x12
Plyo Step Ups x15/leg
Plyo Up and Overs x15/leg

2 Circuit 2

Box Jumps x15
Reverse Lunge with Knee Drive x12/leg
Long Jumps x10
Kneeing Jump Squat x10

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