The 98 pound weaklings, the hard gainers, the skinny guys, call them what you will, but there are those among us who have the problem opposite to the one that others have. While others cannot lose weight in spite of trying, these people cannot bulk up in spite of trying.
So what does one do when one is thin and skinny, but would rather not be? What does the hard gainer do to pack on the pounds and more importantly the muscle? There are two main components to gaining muscle – Nutrition and Exercise:
- Obviously to put on weight you need to eat more. That does not mean eating lots of anything, but eating more good quality protein – eggs, milk, fish, chicken, turkey are all good sources of protein. Also you should be having lots of fruit and veggies for their other nutrients and don’t cut down on carbs and fats because the body also needs those to build muscle.
- Eat three big meals and then two three snacks in between.
- Increase the portion size of your meals
- Eat calorie dense food.
- Consume healthy fats – Canola, Avocado, Nuts, Oily Fish and Seeds, are all excellent sources of this.
- Cut down on unhealthy drinks such as sodas, replace them with milk or real fruit juices.
- Weights and resistance training is the best way to build muscle, without proper weight training, it is difficult if not impossible to put on muscle.
- Many experts’ advice heavier weights and fewer reps to make maximum gains. Small weight, even with lots of reps will not give you desired results because it does not tax the muscle or work it optimally to cause growth. So a good high intensity routine is a must if you want to make gains.
- Use free weights rather than machines. These offer a wider range of motion and they impact muscles better than isolation exercises on machines.
- Take proper rest. It is when at rest that the muscles take the time to recover and actually grow. Working out more is not necessarily tantamount of more growth. There is an optimal balance between working out and resting that will give you the best gains.
- Supplement with cardio exercises. This will make you feel hungry so that you are able to consume more calories and consequently bulk up. Also it helps maintain good cardiovascular health.