While there are many who want to lose weight, there are some folks out there who actually want to get bigger or gain mass! These people who wish to get bigger need to put together a workout routine that engages the body completely. This must be supplemented with a proper diet and that has enough calories to meet energy demands and then some.
When deciding how to go about this you must remember, it is important to workout the body equally; there is little appeal to a big upper body and chicken legs. Therefore, your workout should include your shoulders, arms, chest, back, core, legs, and most importantly of all, cardio. Your heart is most important and is much like the engine in a car, it must be finely tuned, so be sure to keep it healthy by performing at least forty five minutes of cardio a week.
When your goal is getting bigger, you need to lift heavy. If you are just a beginner you will need to build up your strength – so don’t go overboard trying to lift weight that you know you can’t possibly lift; however, you need to lift enough so that your muscles are challenged. Shoot for a six rep max on your heavy set. For example, a typical workout may consist of three sets, with the first set being the warm-up set, the second being the set where you max your weight (meaning if you can easily do six reps with the amount of weight for an exercise, you likely not lifting heavy enough) and the third set somewhere in between the first two or low weight, with a goal of failing the muscles.
Exercising is only one piece of the puzzle though when it comes to building mass, the other piece is diet. You need to eat appropriately; calories taken in must exceed what the body regularly requires so that muscle development and mass can be added. Determine how many calories you need to add mass by using a calorie calculator. When you are intensifying your workout it’s important to follow up with a good serving of protein and carbohydrates. Just make sure it’s lean protein such as fish, lean red meat and chicken so as to build muscle instead of fat. You want to stay away from processed meats and try to limit your intake of fatty red meats such as hamburgers for it has a lot of fat. In terms of carbohydrates white pastas (packed with simple sugars) are ok as long as you consume them before working out (an hour or so before) – and never after. The simple sugars are beneficial when you need a burst of energy. Otherwise, stick to complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, potatoes, brown pasta / rice. Good fats are unsaturated, think olive oil instead of butter, avocado instead of mayonnaise, and nuts are good examples of food with good fats.
It also does matter when and how often you eat. In order to gain mass you will need to eat more frequently having smaller meals, around 5-7 smaller meals a day is a good start. Most will advise not eating before going to bed, but if you’re trying to get larger you’ll need to keep calories coming in even while you’re sleeping. Some have protein shakes before going to sleep, while some prefer food, that’s up to you.
For gaining mass, a gram of protein is suggested per pound of bodyweight daily. Therefore, if you’re 175lbs, you should be consuming at least 175 grams of protein a day – this can be often be difficult so some decide to purchase protein powders which are used in shakes. These are often mixed with water, or milk (if you’re goal is mass). They can be consumed between meals and will help make sure you are getting enough protein. If you’re not eating enough, or especially not having enough protein, you will get smaller! You’ve been warned.
If you try these methods out and still have problems adding mass or weight despite working out properly and eating a heft yet healthy diet, you may have an ultra fast metabolism, or maybe a tape-worm! Let’s hope it’s not the latter but in any case, for those having trouble, you can also try the following:
A common bodybuilding tactic to gain mass is called GOMAD where bodybuilders drink a gallon of milk day, or try “weight gain” shakes combine protein and calories so that it’s easier to gain mass. Look for them near the protein powder.
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