Tired of people telling you how lucky you are because you can't gain weight? Kick your body into gear with these 5 tips for packing on the pounds.
By Adrian Guščia
If you want to change the way your body is, then live by these six tips and you'll be packing on quality muscle in no time.
1. Eat muscle fuel.
Eating is definitely the most important thing in gaining muscle. You need to eat a lot of proteins, which are building blocks for muscle and you need carbohydrates, which are the main energy source for your body. If you don't get enough carbs during the day your body will start using proteins and muscle as a source of energy! The best foods for muscle gaining are chicken, turkey, steak, rice, pasta, oats, nuts, milk, eggs, and fish. So make sure you are eating these!
2. Eat every 2-3 hours.
Your body needs to have nutrients all the time, especially so if you're trying to gain muscle weight. To eat 3 times a day is not enough, it takes too long before you start feeding your muscles. It's best to eat a serious breakfast, then have a snack after two hours, then eat a protein rich lunch, then another snack, a workout an hour or so after that snack, a shake after a workout and then another big healthy meal in the evening. If you want, you can drink another shake right before going to bed so your muscles don't starve while you sleep.
3. You grow when you rest NOT when you workout!
So many guys think that you are gaining muscle when you work out. WRONG! You are tearing your muscle, giving them micro-trauma when you train which gives them the ability to grow. BUT if you don't give your body enough nutrients and enough rest you wont be growing at all, you'll actually be working against yourself. You need to give your muscles adequate rest in between workouts to give them the time to heal and grow. So remember, don't overtrain at the gym, you will just slow down your gains.
4. Focus on compound exercises.
Forget those fancy machines and fancy abs exercises. They aren't as effective especially at the start of training when you need to gain muscle all over your body, not just those abs, chest and arms that are visible in the mirror. You have to do exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and overhead presses. They challenge most of your body's muscles and give you the most bang for your buck!
For the exercise plan Primer founder Andrew Snavely used, which features compound exercises, read our Big Lifts, Big Progress guide.
5. Set goals.
It will be easier to motivate yourself if you have exact goals, like gain 20lbs of muscle in a year or improve your bench press from 100lbs to 200lbs in one year. Track your progress monthly also — see if your bench press has improved or if you've gained weight. Measure your arms, chest, and waist at key intervals so you can keep tabs on your program and progress.
I really can say that hitting the gym and starting to workout changed my life for the better. Bodybuilding teaches you not only to become stronger physically but mentally too. You have a stronger will, more determination, more self-confidence and you certainly get healthier. I used to be ill every winter as a child, but now, I can't remember the last time I was really sick.
Best of luck,