Are you tired of being known as the 'skinny guy'? If you answered yes, then try these 10 muscle gaining tips to combat your fast metabolism and achieve the mass you want!
Brought to you by Nathan Williams, Head Personal Trainer at UFIT Singapore. We will guide you on how to train and build muscle mass naturally, with NO SHORTCUTS. We have broken down our guide in two parts for you. The first part of this article focuses on 5 training tactics you could use when trying to pack on muscle mass. The second part will focus mainly on tactics you can adopt outside of the the gym.
To kick this off, first and foremost, you need to know that gaining weight and muscle mass takes time. It’s a journey you have to dedicate yourself to. Everything from what you’re eating, training to sleeping and allowing your body to recover. Follow these tips, avoid the shortcuts to help you take the make the first initial steps. Set your goals and the path you’re going to take to get there.
In a nutshell...
1. Build Muscle, Get Enough Sleep
2. Build Muscle, Lift Heavy.
3. Build Muscle, Eat Like A Horse.
4. Build Muscle, Enjoy Rest Days.
5. Build Muscle, Be Consistent.
…And then follow these top tips…
1. Eat more of the good stuff!
One of the biggest issues with “hard-gainers” (people who cannot put weight on easily) is that they don’t eat enough and the quality of the food is not optimal. Choose foods with a high nutrient value like grass fed Steak, Broccoli and avoid empty calories aka sweets and pastries, as much as possible to get more nutritional “bang for your buck”. There are several food lists that are simple and effective to follow, my favourite example Precision Nutrition 21 superfoods can be found on this link:
Eat X amount of protein per day as a goal
If your goal is to pack on as much lean muscle as possible (and it should be) then you are going to need a daily protein goal. If, for example we go for the 30/50/20 ratio, a 100kg person needs to consume approximately 250-300g of Protein daily.It may sound like a big number but this is absolutely the approach you need to have to achieve bigger gains in your physique. So what does 250g look like I hear you say? This is all relative to your devised training plan and how you aim but in a snapshot this can be 8 whole eggs, one hand sized portion of chicken, two cans of tuna, one hand sized portion of lean beef and two scoops whey throughout your meals for one whole day.
3. Plan your calorie intake
Write a food diary and calculate the calories you are currently taking in, you may be surprised how little you eat. If gaining weight is the goal you need to aim for 16-19cals per lb of bodyweight. For example, a 220lb person needs to consume a minimum of 3500cals to effectively gain weight. If this is your first rodeo, then it’s advisable you seek some advice from your Personal Trainer or someone who has experience in this field to get you achieving results better. Read all the books you want, but sometimes that small nugget of advice can dramatically change the results.
The breakdown of the Macronutrients within your daily calories is an article in itself, but a good split to start with would be 30% Protein 50% Carbs 20% Fats. This would change with the individual but generally be good starting point.
Using the above example, this would look like:
30% Protein - 260g
50% Carbs - 440g
20% Fats - 80g
These numbers can change with the individual and can be influenced by Training frequency and type; also physical demands at work. i.e. office workers would need less calories than a construction worker.
4. Get to sleep earlier
There is a huge amount of literature and research available now on the effects on a poor nights’ sleep on general health. A good nights’ sleep is sure fire way to optimise anabolic (building) hormones such as Testosterone and growth hormone. In order to build muscle effectively and maintain decent energy levels needed for intense training, sleep must be prioritised along with quality calorie intake, consistent and intelligent training. If you’re dedicated to your fitness journey and long term muscle gain success you must balance out the rest/recovery cycle or the results you gain will be short-term and short-lived.
5. Try the most effective training split to get great results
There is a question that is always asked in training:
“What is the best training split?” This means what system or strategy can I use to achieve long term results in the gym. When it comes to building muscle, my favourite answer is 4x52.
4 x gym sessions per week
52 x weeks a year
This is all about your consistency over the course of a year. This system does not require you to “smash” yourself with ridiculous high volume and high intensity, it simply means you need to show up every week and commit to continual improvements and sensible physical progressions. This is especially the case with Hypertrophy (muscle building) - the process is slower in the short-term but the results can last a lifetime.
About the author
Nathan specialises in Strength training, Kettlebells and has a keen interest in corrective and mobility work. Nathan will be able to assist those wanting to become fitter, stronger and healthier by eliminate pain and weakness in the body through improving strength and quality of fundamental human movements. A system he successfully learned and adapted from a 1 week internship at world renown high performance center ‘Cressey Performance’, Boston, MA, United States.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of How To Gain Muscle to be revealed… start making the changes to your training now. For more information, or if you’re interested in learning more about gaining muscle and weight UFIT has a number Personal Trainers that specialise in Hypertrophy and muscle building to help you understand what’s involved and the first steps you need to take. Talk to us here.