If you ask the approximately 70% of Americans that are overweight or obese how they got there, you would find it takes a lot of unhealthy eating and physical inactivity to gain a meaningful amount of weight. Unfortunately, gaining muscle is not as simple as stuffing your face and avoiding exercise. Gaining muscle is a two step process: 1) working out and 2) eat more healthy food.
The first step in gaining muscle is working out, or more specifically, strength training. Strength training involves any exercise that places a load on the muscle: free weights, selectorized weight machines, resistance bands, cable machines and body weight exercises. Working out creates tiny tears in muscle tissue. Muscle tears are treated as injuries and get repaired during rest. The repair process makes you bigger and stronger.
Eat More Healthy Food
The repair process only happens if you provide your body with an adequate amount of rest and nutrients. Repairing damaged muscle tissue is very energy intensive requiring a calorie surplus; a state in which you take in (eat) more energy than you burn. Your body uses the surplus of energy to repair damaged muscle tissue. Gaining muscle is impossible without eating more.
The Bottom Line
Gaining muscle is not a blank check to eat anything. Gaining muscle requires a calorie surplus of healthy foods and an exercise routine centered around strength training. This guide will help you combine a healthy and high-calorie diet with an intensive strength training routine.
How to Gain Weight Gaining weight, muscle and strength doesn't have to be a complicated process. You can be successful by combining an appropriate amount of calories with a solid strength training program. Since complaining about genetics will only lead to failure, a much more efficient use of your time is to simply eat more and lift weights.
I Want to Gain Muscle and Burn Fat Gaining muscle and burning fat at the same time is pretty much everyone's fitness goal. How awesome would it be to get stronger, watch your muscles grow and reduce your body fat percentage all at the same time? Unfortunately, these two goals aren't compatible with each other.
Protein Supplements Protein is used by the body to rebuild damaged muscle tissue after an intense (or even moderate) workout. Without protein, you would never get stronger, bigger or faster. Aside from a balanced diet, there are various protein supplements you can use to ensure you're getting an adequate amount to help aid the recovery process.
Protein Supplements Part 2 In Part 1 of Protein Supplements, we discussed the role of protein in the body, the difference between complete and incomplete proteins and how different types of protein supplements can affect you and your workout routine. Here we'll go over when you should use supplements for gaining versus losing weight, ingredients of a protein shake and proper nutrition.
Muscle Diet Those looking to gain weight are told over and over again to eat all foods, all the time. If you aren't eating you aren't gaining, right? This is true, but if you take this advice, you’re much more likely to get fat and unhealthy rather than muscular and in shape.
How to: Gaining Weight for Skinny Guys Though some people find it very difficult to lose weight, there are people that find it just as hard to put any on. A combination of super fast metabolisms, bad eating habits and wrong approaches to exercise are all factors that cause this problem.
Benefits of a Protein Shake Protein shakes are associated with meat heads, body builders and gym rats. You don't need to fall into any of those categories to drink or benefit from one. Protein shakes can help you gain muscle, increase your strength and get you into shape. In some cases, drinking a protein shake can even help you lose weight.
Avoid Catabolic States To gain the most weight, you need to keep your body from going into catabolic states (breakdown of muscle tissue).
How Much to Eat Figuring out your daily calorie needs is the foundation of any weight goal. Gaining, losing or maintaining your weight requires you to eat different amounts and if you don't know how to figure that out, you won't be able to reach your goal.
No Matter What I do, I Can't Gain any Weight There are some people that find it impossible to lose any weight and then there's you. It seems no matter how much you eat and how little you move, you can't put any weight or muscle onto your body.
Gaining Weight the Healthy Way You have heard it over and over again, 'If you want to gain weight, eat everything you see.' This advice will undoubtedly lead to weight gain but there are better ways to do it.
Foods for Gaining Weight When you're trying to gain the right kind of weight (muscle as opposed to fat) you want to eat healthy foods and a lot of them.
Nutrition for Cutting to Get Lean Cutting, or getting lean is a balancing act. You want to burn the extra fat you've gained while at the same time minimizing the amount of muscle you lose.
Snacks for Gaining Weight Eating the right kinds of snacks will make it easier for you to reach your daily calorie goal.
Fast Metabolism Weight Gain Diet For some people gaining weight is close to impossible. You wake up and eat, go to work and eat, come home and eat and you keep weighing the same. The simple solution is that you need to eat more.
Breakfast for Gaining Weight Your goal when trying to gain weight should be to eat many meals throughout the day. Sleeping overnight isn't very conducive to this since you'll be fasting for 6-8 hours which means no food.
Meals: Gaining Weight Gaining weight is all about eating more calories than you burn and doing it over a long period of time. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between meals have to filled with calories in order to gain weight.
Eating Basics of Gaining Weight To some, gaining weight can be very difficult. As with losing weight, gaining weight can be achieved by adhering to a simple equation: to gain weight you must eat more calories than you burn.
Exercise Basics of Gaining Weight An important part of gaining weight is eating enough food, but to gain the right kind of weight you need to exercise. Putting on muscle is more complicated than taking in a lot of calories.
What is a calorie surplus? A calorie surplus is a state in which you consume more calories than you burn leading to weight gain in the form of muscle or body fat. While a calorie surplus is required to gain weight, simply eating more only leads to unsightly body fat. To gain muscle, you must combine a calorie surplus with a solid strength training routine.
What are the best foods for gaining weight and muscle? The biggest misconception about gaining weight is that you need to eat everything in sight. If you follow this myth, you'll definitely gain weight, but it might not be the kind of weight you had in mind. Gaining any kind of weight is as simple as eating anything you see. If you want to be fat, overweight and unhealthy, eat fries, hamburgers, pizza and candy. You'll definitely pack on the pounds. If you want to gain muscle, you need to make your food selections a bit more carefully.
What is the best post workout meal? Post workout meals deliver the proper nutrients to the muscle in a timely manner in order to help the body start the recovery process quickly. A good post workout meal will help you get stronger, gain more muscle and improve your overall fitness level.
What's the difference between weight gainers and protein powders? If you're a hard gainer, you've most likely turned to weight gainers or protein powders for help in putting on muscle mass. These two products aren't the same. One is simply a protein supplement while the other is more of a meal replacement used to greatly increase your calorie intake.
What's the difference between a calorie deficit and calorie surplus? Whether you're trying to gain weight, lose weight or simply stay where you're at, you need to control your calorie intake. Gaining weight requires that you eat more calories than you burn while losing weight requires the opposite. Your calorie balance (difference between what you eat and what you burn) will determine your weight, there is no way around it.
What's the difference between a catabolic and anabolic state? Catabolic and anabolic are two different states that describe whether the body is building tissue or breaking it down.
How can a hard gainer gain weight? A hard gainer is someone that finds it nearly impossible to put on muscle or weight no matter how much they eat. These people are cursed (or blessed) with a very fast metabolism that seems to instantaneously adjust and burn off any extra calories that are taken in.
How often should I change my workout? To get stronger and bigger, you need to stimulate your muscles through exercise. It's not so much the exercise that makes your muscles grow (although exercise is needed), it's the change from doing nothing to forcing your muscles to work that causes them to respond.
How can I gain weight as a vegetarian? The main principle of gaining weight is the same for everyone: if you eat more than you burn, your weight will go up.
Should I do cardio while trying to gaining weight? The rule for gaining weight is to eat more calories than you burn. If you are doing cardio while trying to gain weight, you'll be burning a lot more calories.
Are weight gain shakes effective? Weight gainers may seem like a good idea until you look at the nutrition label and realize what they're really made of.
What supplements can help me gain weight? In general, most supplements make claims that aren't backed up by independent studies and research but there are a few that can help you make better gains.
Top 5 Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake Protein is the building block of all tissue in the body. It is an essential nutrient for everyone, not only hardcore bodybuilders and powerlifters. Protein provides the body with the materials it needs to build and repair tissue. An adequate amount of protein builds muscle, increases strength and improves fitness ability.
Top 5 Supplements that Work Supplement sales have exploded and there now seems to be a pill for everything. Fat burners, muscle builders, weight loss aids and mood enhancers all promise to help improve your overall life or physical appearance. This 'solution in a bottle' mentality is dangerous because many of these products are more marketing hype than functional. Being able to differentiate between what works and what doesn't can help you reach your goals faster and healthier while saving you money.
Top 5 Ways to Increase Your Calorie Intake Gaining weight, and more importantly, muscle mass is dependent on eating more calories than you burn. This calorie surplus coupled with a strength training routine is what leads to lean (muscle rather than fat) weight gain. Unfortunately, increasing your calorie intake is not as easy as eating everything in sight. Junk food will lead to junk results.
Top 5 Easy Ways to Gain Weight Gaining weight is a two step process: 1) eat more and, 2) exercise more. When you start eating and exercising more, your body will use the extra energy to build muscle. Combining both steps is essential as simply eating more will only lead to fat rather than muscle gain.
Top 5 Ways to Get Stronger Strength comes from three main areas: healthy diet practices, solid workout routines and genetics. Since you can't change your genetics, diet and exercise are the two areas that need attention. Through proper exercise, nutrition and supplementation, getting stronger is a very straightforward process.
Top 5 Ways for a Hard Gainer to Gain Weight A hard gainer is a skinny person (usually male) that has an extra hard time gaining any sort of weight. It seems as though they eat and eat only to find that their weight stays the same. Hard gainers are still human and because of that, gaining weight requires the same steps that everyone else needs to take. Hard gainers simply need to work harder because of their fast metabolisms.
Top 5 Muscle Foods Building muscle and gaining quality weight is more than just hitting the gym and eating whatever you crave. If you want to get muscular and avoid the fat, what you eat is as important as how you workout.
Top 5 Ways to Increase Your Bench Press One important measure of strength is the amount of weight you can bench press. Improving it is more involved than simply benching over and over again. Here are a few steps you can take to increase the amount of weight you can lift.
Top 5 Muscle Building Myths In your quest to gain muscle, you've probably read magazines, visited web sites and asked a question on a message board in hopes of finding accurate information. You were probably bombarded with some good and bad solutions. Here are the top 5 myths you shouldn't be doing to build muscle.
Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Trying to Get Big Getting big can be very hard for some people and in their quest to gain muscle mass, some make mistakes that can rob them of real gains.
Top 5 Breakfast Foods for Weight Gain Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but if you're trying to gain weight is has added significance.
Top 5 Ingredients of a Weight Gain Shake Here are the top five ingredients all weight gainers should include.
Top 5 Snacks for Gaining Weight Gaining weight requires you to eat whenever you can. That is why snacking between meals is crucial to keep your calorie count high.
Free Diet Plans This tool will provide you with a daily meal program that is personalized for your own needs. Whether you're looking to gain, lose or maintain weight, the SH Trainer can help you reach your goals.
Free Workout Routine This tool will provide you with a daily workout routine tailored to your goals and schedule. Whether you want to tone up or build muscle, the SH Trainer has a plan for you.
Calorie Calculator The calorie calculator uses physical characteristics (weight, height, age, gender), activity level and weight goals (gain, lose or maintain weight) to estimate daily calorie needs. In addition to calorie estimations, the calculator provides: BMR, BMI, healthy weight range, macronutrient distribution and meal & snack size examples.