Most people associate spending time at a fitness facility with attempts to lose weight, but for someone who's underweight or wants to gain muscle and strength for a specific purpose, gaining weight is the goal instead. Choosing the right exercises at the gym and supporting your exercise efforts with a few simple techniques can increase your weight gain without putting your health at risk. Gain the bulk you want the right way with these five tips.
Start your journey to gain rather than lose weight by choosing muscle-building exercises over cardiovascular work like running, swimming, and using equipment like the elliptical. It's fine to stick to light workouts for building endurance and heart health, such as intensive walking or light swimming. But limit your cardio bursts to around just once a week when you can to prevent potential weight loss due to burned calories. Lifting weights or using muscle-building equipment burns fewer calories while increasing muscle size, tone, and weight, resulting in the gain you want in a shorter amount of time.
Focus on Free Weights
The complex machines at your local fitness center may seem appealing, but they're not as useful for building sheer size and weight as free weights. Free weights loaded to around 75% of your maximum lifting load give you the fastest muscle bulk gain, which results in the most weight gained from time spent working out. You also need fewer repetitions in order to get a good workout from this amount of weight, resulting in less total time spent in the fitness center with the same results. Start your workouts with the help of a trainer if you're new to using free weights to find out what your maximum load is and how to prevent injuries from misusing the weights.
Stick to Compound Exercises
Instead of just working specific parts of the body, focus on free weight routines that involves as many muscle groups as possible. Compound exercises like the squat press and clean and press provide the most muscle building power with the least calorie burn. This helps you gain weight without having to eat a lot more since you're limiting how many individual exercises you're doing just to work all your major muscle groups. Combining a higher calorie intake with a reduced amount of total calories burned and plenty of muscle building exercise will result in healthy and attractive weight gain that sculpts your entire body along the way.
Eat Carbs Correctly
It's true that some carbohydrates are necessary for fast weight gain, especially when you're working out during the gain period in order to gain muscle rather than just body fat. The timing of when you eat those carbs will determine how much they'll help you gain and what kind of weight gain you receive from them. Carbs are most effective as a breakfast meal to prepare the body for the day's workout, then as a pickup snack immediately after a workout. This supplies the body with both a starting stock of fuel and the building blocks it needs to begin recovery for maximum muscle growth. Avoid them the rest of the day to control the type of weight gain you experience.
Add Fat to Your Diet
Finally, fat is just as important as protein for muscle growth over fat development. Eating more fat will not necessarily lead to fat growth on the body as long as you're working out and not consuming thousands of calories over your goal each day. Fats are an essential part of any weight gain diet because they pack the most calories in each serving so you can eat less and still gain the weight you want. Stick to healthy fats and limit your saturated fat intake per day.