Despite the fact that a great number of adult men and women struggle to drop weight, there are many out there who struggle to find the best strategy to gain body weight and build muscle. If you intend to put on weight and build solid muscle, you may need to eat a few extra calories every single day. You will need to exercise to increase muscle mass, but you will also have to make sure that you are not exercising and training way too much because you will be losing bodyweight instead of gaining it. Eating extra calories everyday doesn’t mean that you should eat junk food either. If you want to know how to gain weight and muscle, consider eating foods full of protein and focusing on weight training.
There are some general rules and tips on how to gain healthy weight and build hard muscles.
Eat extra calories seven days a week
The amount of extra calories you will have to eat to gain weight depends on how easily you metabolize food and how much you plan to work out. There are rather simple steps to figure it out. For this you should use a basal metabolic rate (BMR) calculator. You can find one anywhere on the internet. But if love math, this is what the formula looks like and you can figure it out on your own.
In case you don’t use kilograms (kg) and centimeters (cm), then 1kg=2.2 lbs. and 1 inch=2.54 cm.
For grownup men the formula is: BMR = 66 (13.7 X wt in kg) (5 X ht in cm) – (6.8 X age in years) and for ladies it’s BMR = 655 (9.6 X wt in kg) (1.8 X ht in cm) – (4.7 X age in years).
So for instance, I am a 32-year-old male, 6′ 5″ tall (196cm), and I weigh 96kg (211 lbs.). My BMR is 2579 calories per day.
If you know your BMR, you can calculate your daily energy expenditure by multiplying your BMR by your activity multiplier. If you have a desk job and have no exercise, then multiply it by 1.2. If you exercise 1-3 days per week, then multiply it by 1.375, and if it is 3-5 times per week, then by 1.55. If you are very active, then by 1.725, and if you run a marathon or do some extreme exercise, then it’s 1.9 for you.
Now in my case I would multiply my BMR (2579) by 1.55 because I go to the gym 3-4 times per week, and this comes to 3996. What does this mean? It’s very simple; I have to get almost 4000 calories a day to keep my body-weight. If I wanted to lose weight, I would need much less, and on the other hand, if I wanted to gain weight, my daily calorie intake would have to go up.
But like I mentioned before, you can find the calculator on the net. You don’t have to calculate it yourself because this alone would burn a few hundred calories.
Eat much more often
Eat up to 5 to 6 meals every day to make sure you eat enough and have constant energy. It can be tricky to get most of the calories you need having only one meal a day. And even if you do it, prepare to be pushed into the sea by Greenpeace as they will mistake you for a whale. Breaking up your meals will allow you to add extra calories to your daily intake without becoming uncomfortably full and fat.
Eat the perfect foods to build muscle. Foods high in carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, such as desserts, potato chips or french fries, will help you put on weight, but they won’t increase your muscle mass. Stick with protein-rich meals, such as lean chicken, fish, beans, and nuts. Nuts and certain fish, such as salmon, will give you both protein and healthy fats. And if you can’t get that or don’t have time, you can always have a high protein energy bar. That’s a much better choice than a Snickers.
Sorry to disappoint you, but it’s extremely hard to build muscle mass if you don’t work out. And if you already do exercise, then remember that you’ll gain weight and muscle mass quicker if you lift heavier weights fewer times than if you lift lighter weights more times. Aim to exercise your whole body to build muscle mass. For this the best exercises are leg squats and dead lifts. Try to do those as much as possible. If you like running or a lot of cardio, then STOP! Have you ever seen a marathon runner with big muscle groups? Probably not, and there is a reason for that. Cardio burns a lot of calories, and that is the exact reverse of what you need.
Get enough sleep because your body needs recovery time for muscles to grow. Try to have about 7 hours of sleep every night. Exercise for about 4 times a week to gain muscle mass without getting hurt. It is very inconvenient when you can’t work out because you have injured yourself by pushing it way too much.
Try to stay stress-free as much as you can to gain healthy weight. Stress causes your body to release a hormone, cortisol, which can lead to storing fat. So keep smiling!
There is also one very significant issue I must address. All of these helpful tips work in a broad sense, but to achieve better results, you have to shape your training regime and eating and sleeping routine around your somatotype, which is merely a person’s body type. There are three types: an ectomorph (tall, thin body), an endomorph (rounded body shape) and a mesomorph (muscular and stocky physique of medium height). Every body type has specific characteristics, and what works for one might not work for the other two. So if you have struggled to gain weight, this could be the reason.
When you start a new workout program, you will quite often get extreme muscle soreness, called DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). This soreness is perfectly normal and it shouldn’t stop you from keeping to your weight training program. It disappears in a couple of days. And if you get DOMS, it means you trained hard and you really should be proud of yourself.