I’m guessing that by best way to gain weight you’re referring to lean muscle weight! I mean, not many people want to get big and flabby. Some do, I’m sure. But not many. To answer this question, think about natural bodybuilders for a moment (that is, bodybuilders without the performance enhancing drugs). I doubt you really want to look like that either – bulging muscles and veins popping out isn’t a look for everyone! But these guys are hugely muscular and know exactly how to put on lean weight. If you wanted to know how to wire in a new light socket you wouldn’t go to your greengrocer, right? You would speak with an electrician, the person with the right kind of knowledge. Same here. We need to find out exactly how bodybuilders put on lean weight. So lets take a closer look at these guys.
Best Way To Gain Weight – A Bodybuilding Perspective
Pick up any bodybuilding magazine or speak to any bodybuilder and they’ll tell you that gaining lean weight is 90% down to your diet and 10% training. Training is the easy part. But what does this mean? Put another way it means that you can train and lift weights all day long until the cows come home, but you won’t gain a single ounce of muscle unless you eat the right foods! So you need to combine a muscle building diet with an appropriate muscle building workout routine. Then you’ll soon see your lean weight creeping up! I’ve already talked about eating to gain weight. That article will give you an idea about increasing your calories and the types of foods and possible supplements you could use. But here we’ll move on to the 10% part of lean weight building . . . resistance training.
Best Way To Gain Weight – The Physiological Perspective
Knowledge is power. And in this case, a little bit of geeky science knowledge will help you understand the type of training you have to do to build lean muscle weight. Bare with me, it’s actually quite interesting! Your muscles are made up of two main types of muscle fiber (and variants of): your slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibers. Slow twitch fibers are endurance fibers, and are used for aerobic exercises like walking and cycling. Basically, they are long lasting, low intensity fibers that take a while to become fatigued. Fast twitch fibers on the other hand are short to medium lasting and moderate to high intensity fibers. The interesting thing for us to know is that . . . weightlifters and bodybuilders use these fast twitch fibers far more so than aerobic athletes. And these guys are often huge! Your proportion of one fiber type to the other is largely genetically determined. The more heavily the proportion leans towards the fast twitch fibers, the greater the potential is to increase your lean muscle weight quickly. But that doesn’t matter to us. If your proportion leans towards the slow twitch, then so what? You’ll put on lean weight a little more slowly. What matters is that we now know the best type of muscle fibers to recruit to gain lean weight. So what workout routines make best use of these fast twitch fibers?
It boils down to this . . . for the best way to gain weight you have to lift heavier weights to stress the muscles in a way that will encourage them to grow. This is hypertrophy. There is a growing list of workout routines here, but the following list of rules sum it up. Exercise all muscle groups for even growth and to avoid imbalance injuries – that means, exercise more than just your biceps!
For each exercise, work to failure – that is, until you can’t lift anymore repetitions
Complete 2-3 sets per muscle group, between 8 and 12 repetitions each set
Rest for 2 to 3 minutes between sets
Training each muscle group once per week to start with
Split your muscle groups up so you only train on 3 or 4 days each week maximum
Make sure each session lasts no longer than 1 hour – the shorter the better
Progressively lift heavier weights, as long as your lifting form isn’t compromised
Avoid injury at all costs!
Listen to your body – if it needs rest, it needs rest!
And there you have it! Follow these simple rules and you’ll soon start to gain weight.