Many think that being skinny is a benefit since thin people can eat whatever they want and still not gain weight. This, however, can be a problem if you’re trying to gain some mass. To help you put on some pounds and develop your body, here are a few tips on how to gain muscle.
Tip #1: Get some help from supplements
The food we consume is usually enough for vitamins, minerals, and nutrients (provided that you eat healthily). But if you want to exercise to build muscle, you’ll have to take supplements because your workouts will consume a lot of fuel.
That’s where protein powders come in: taking them would increase your calorie and protein intake. Look for powders with digestive aids like probiotics, and without artificial sweeteners, corn, and soy to avoid gastrointestinal distress.
Professional bodybuilders also take branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) for reducing muscle breakdown during exercise. This helps you build muscles more quickly. Just make sure you consult a doctor before taking BCAAs.
Tip #2: Keep your workouts under an hour
It’s a misconception that longer workouts are better. Instead, you should keep your exercise sessions to under an hour and focus on keeping the intensity and effort high by lifting heavyweights. However, you should see to it that you have a personal trainer or spotter to help you with weights that are too heavy for you to handle alone.
Tip #3: Eat more frequently
Lifting weights burns a lot of energy, so you better consume around 300 to 600 calories in a meal two to three hours before your workout. To gain mass even more quickly, you can eat after the workout because muscles absorb carbohydrates and sugars more quickly during this time. All in all, you’ll have to eat every two to three hours, for up to five or six meals per day.
Remember to break up your protein intake by consuming several portions sized 20 to 25 grams per meal instead of drinking a large protein shake at the start and end of each day. If you usually don’t eat this much, you’ll have to get used to it; this is how you gain weight and build muscle.
Tip #4: Eat meat
To gain more muscle, you need to eat 0.7 grams of protein for each pound of body weight. You can get protein from plants, but you’ll need to consume large amounts of it to get the right amount you need, but this quantity won’t be good for your stomach. The solution: eat meat. It contains protein, fats, and hormone precursors—stuff you need to gain mass and muscle.
Tip #5: Change your routine
You’ll have to change your workout routine every three to five weeks to compel your body to adapt to new stress. Doing this will help you gain more weight through muscle and keep your progress from plateauing.
Tip #6: Train frequently
Muscle is difficult to gain at first. On average, it can take up to four to six exercise sessions per muscle group to develop, and enough time to recover between workouts. Once you do gain muscle, it’s easier to maintain since all you need to keep it on is one workout per week. But until you get to that point, you’ll have to exercise frequently.
Ideally, you don’t exercise all muscle groups at once; you split it up between several days. For instance, on Mondays, you work on shoulders, biceps, and triceps; Wednesdays are for your chest and back, while Fridays are for your legs and core strength.
Tip #7: Relax between sessions
After all the exertion, you need to take the time to relax. Rest days are necessary between workouts to let your muscles rest and recuperate. It also enables you to save your energy for the gym.