Many of you have expressed concerns about gaining too much body fat while on such a high calorie diet, and wonder if you should do some aerobic exercise to offset the weight gain.Absolutely not.That will be detrimental to gaining muscle. For best results, you either have to train and diet to gain muscle or lose fat. One or the other. If you are a true hardgainer, you cannot do both. If you try, you will not make any substantial progress either way. So, now is the time to gain weight. You will worry about losing fat later.The fact is that there are no magic pills, powders, foods or exercises that will allow you to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.It all is determined by your genetics and metabolism. Some people can do it, some can't. If you are naturally thin and have a difficult time gaining weight of any kind, it would be silly of you to think that you will be able to gain muscle while trying to keep your body fat low.Most skinny guys want to gain more muscle, but are afraid of gaining body fat. They see all the bodybuilder photos and read the stories about people gaining pounds of muscle while losing pounds of fat -- They want to do the same. When looking at these photos, you have to remember that most of these people do not have your body type. The majority of them are overweight and want to lose fat, not gain muscle.'Well', you say, 'What about those people who transformed their bodies? They lost fat and gained muscle'. Yes, but almost all of these people were overweight, or had high levels of body fat. In other words, their metabolisms were, for the most part, slow. They simply dieted and trained for fat loss.Weight training helped them to tone up and slightly increase their muscle mass by replacing some of the fat with muscle. However, you will never increase your body mass far above your original starting weight on that type of diet.In other words, even though you gain some muscle, you will actually weight less!For example, Big Joe weighs 189lbs with 18% body fat. This works out to be 34lbs of fat and 155lbs of muscle. He then goes on a fat loss diet and slowly diets down to a ripped 5% body fat at 168lbs, which is 8.4lbs of fat and 160lbs of muscle. He lost 26lbs of fat, and his weight only went down by 21lbs. So, looking that this we realize that he managed to also gain 5lbs of muscle. You can see that he has more muscle mass than when he started, and he looks totally ripped, but his weight decreased because his main goal was fat loss. He looks much better, and his measurements changed, but he only increased his total weight by five pounds.If you are very thin, you cannot do this. Yes, your body fat will decrease, and this will also give you more muscle mass, but it will not increase your weight. You will just get much thinner. Big Joe was 'big' to begin with; we are not. To get the same results as Big Joe, you must first gain the weight, and then concentrate on losing the body fat later. Joe had the size; he just needed to trim down. We do not have the size to work with, so we have to force our bodies to grow beyond our body's comfort range. This is the hard part.This is why if you want to grow beyond your current size, you have to diet for it specifically.Remember, most of you have extremely fast metabolisms. Gaining weight will be extremely difficult.The only way you will get bigger is to shock your body.You must shock your body by:1. Training with heavy weights, and2. Eating a lot of calories.The first shock is with weight training. You must focus on compound free- weight exercises, and lift heavy weights, which will stimulate the largest amount of muscle fibers. Your body responds to this stimulus by increasing your muscle mass.The second way we must shock our body is by eating more calories than your body is used to. This is the most important factor in gaining mass. When you overload your system with plenty of protein and fats, your body has no other choice but to "gain weight" .
If you are clueless at the gym and yet hungry for plain, good 'ol professional advice to help you on the road to that sculpted physique of a Greek god, fret not! All you have to do is to have a solid commitment, use the knowledge gleaned from this article and you will attain the body you want pronto. But remember to warm up and cool down, as well as stretching before and after each session; Or even better, after each set for better muscle recovery and prevention of injuries.Use Free Weights instead of Machines More OftenMachines will have its uses, but for a start, concentrate on free weights. That means work almost exclusively with barbells and dumb bells. Free weights recruit many stabilizing muscles for balance and control. That means you will work a lot more muscle parts other than the intended ones. That will give rise to little bumps, striations and definitions all over your body instead of one huge lump of muscle on your intended muscle. Because of the extra stimulant created, your muscles grow faster too. Why else do you think all professional body builders almost exclusively use free weights? Compound Exercises Instead Of Isolation ExercisesUse as many compound exercises as possible to your workouts. Compound exercises are exercises that involve 2 or more joint movements. Because they utilize more joints, that means greater muscle mass are involved. Greater muscle mass means heavier weights. Heavier weights means greater muscle gain.Some excellent compound exercises are the Squat, Deadlift, Chin ups, Dips, Bench press, Barbell Press, Lunges, Bent-Over Barbell Row...etc.Train with Intensity You must train intensively like a mad man for your muscle to grow. Try to do more reps or add more weight than the previous session or your muscles will think, "Ah... we've done that. Nothing new, so no need to grow bigger and stronger."Because of this, it is important that every time you train hard, you give your body time to recover as it has suffered strains and actually sustained many small scarring. Your muscles grow when you rest, especially when you sleep and not in the gym. So sleep at least 8 hours a day. Also, do not train everyday or work the same muscle group more than once or twice a week. If your training was vigorous enough, do no more than an hour per session.Try not to do cardio work on the same day as your weight lifting work. In fact, during the muscle building phase, you should do less cardio work as aerobic exercises burn muscles. You can increase your cardio work when we come to the cutting phase, to lose fats and gain rippling definition.Correct Technique And FormEverywhere, everyday, you will see people using wrong form and technique when training with weights. This not only compromises your growth, it will also make you susceptible to injuries.Wrong form occurs usually when people try to lift weights that are too heavy, whether out of vanity or ignorance. As a guide, always lift with strict focus on the muscle you intend to build for that particular exercise. Feel it contract and extend. Lift the weights deliberately and slowly. Never ever swing your weights up especially when doing bicep curls or the military press. Lower the weights slowly, taking about 3 seconds instead of letting gravity pull the weight down. You must fight gravity to stimulate the muscles, if not, half of your effort is going to waste. Another common mistake is when people arch their back when they are doing their bench presses. By arching your back, you are using your spine to press the weight up. Your back must be pressed against the bench at all times for the exercise to be effectively working on your chest! However you MUST arch your back when doing squats and deadlift.With some exceptions, as a general rule, if you can lift a weight in good form for more than 10 reps, it is too light. Conversely, if you can't lift it more than 5 times in good form, it is too heavy.To Grow Fast and Huge, You Must Perform Lower Body Exercises!This is what most people don't realize. Your lower body makes up 60-70% of your musculature. If you don't train them, not only will you look spider-legged, your entire body will not grow as quickly and as large. Don't think that you can hide those skinny legs in your pants! Most people do not train their legs because squats, dead lifts and lunges can be very grueling exercises. But it is precisely because of such intensity that you will produce more growth hormones when you sleep and overall muscular development is stimulated.EAT and EAT CorrectlyLosing weight and building muscles cannot happen at the same time although there are methods to do so and will be too technical to describe here. To lose weight, you must have a caloric deficit. To build muscles, you must have more calories, period! So do not be afraid to eat. Have plenty of protein, moderate complex carbs and some good oil like Omega, olive, flaxseed, fish etc., especially immediately after a workout. That is when your body is most nutrient hungry and will absorb whatever you eat very quickly. The longer you delay eating after a workout, the less effective it will be. Even better, take quick absorption protein shakes and high glycemic carbs during this time. The carbs will induce insulin production almost immediately and shuttle the protein to your muscle cells very quickly.Eat about 2 gm of protein for each kg of your bodyweight or 1 gm per pound of your body weight. Spread your meals evenly throughout the day about 3 hours apart. It is advisable that you have supplementation of Creatine, Protein, Multivitamins and L-Glutamine.Yes, you will probably gain weight, but a lot of it will be muscle weight because muscles are heavier than fats. You may also gain some fats because of the extra calories consumed. Don't worry, it is a happy problem because the more muscles you have, the easier the fats are to shed when you come to the cutting up phase to get those rippling definitions. Easy isn't it? Now that you know the facts, the rest is up to your determination.
By now you've made significant progress in your bodybuilding career. For the past three to six months you've learnt how to perform the core lifting exercises in a technically correct manner. You've also conditioned the body and developed sufficient core strength to prepare yourself for a whole new level of intensity. Hopefully you've also built some rock solid muscle! But that's only the beginning.In recent weeks your workouts have probably lost some of their effect so, even though you're lifting bigger weights, your muscles now need even greater stimulation to generate maximal growth. Don't expect miracles though - from this point onwards, every little bit of improvement will take even greater and more intensive work than before.Because you'll be working your muscles more intensively, they'll also need more recovery time to adapt and grow and that's why you'll be reducing your workouts to three a week. Each primary muscle group trained will now need one full week to recover. After being used to whole body sessions and more workouts per week it may seem as if you're not doing enough but the point is, you'll be working your muscles very, very intensively and making better use of your time.As you gain more experience you'll be able to tweak or re-design your basic muscle building program to suit your own individual needs, but the program described here should provide a useful starting point. What I'm proposing is basically a 3-split of the body on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.MONDAY (Chest, Triceps, Shoulders)1. Chest ExercisesIncline dumbbell press - this is a compound exercise that targets the chest but also works the triceps and shoulders to a lesser extent.Pec-deck flye - this is an isolation exercise that works the pectorals.2. TricepsDips - this compound exercise targets the triceps but also works the chest and shoulders.3. ShouldersFront military press - this compound exercise targets shoulders but also works the triceps.Dumbbell lateral raises - this isolation exercise works the shoulders only.Bentover dumbbell laterals - this isolation exercise works the rear delts.WEDNESDAY (Back, Biceps, Forearms)1. BackFront lat pulls - compound exercise that targets lats but also works the biceps and mid-back.Deadlifts - compound exercise that targets the back and quads but also works hamstrings, calves and glutes.Dumbbell rows - compound exercise that targets mid-back but also works biceps and lats.Dumbbell shrugs - isolation exercise that works traps.2. BicepsDumbbell biceps curl - isolation exercise that works the biceps.Dumbbell hammer curls - isolation exercise that works the biceps.3. ForearmsBarbell wrist curl - isolation exercise that works the forearms.FRIDAY (Lower Body)1. LegsSquats or leg press - compound exercise that targets the quads but also works the hamstrings, calves and glutes.Leg extension - isolation exercise that works the quads.Leg curls - isolation exercise that works the hamstrings.Standing calf raise - isolation exercise that works the gastrocnemius calf muscle.Seated calf raise - isolation exercise that works the soleus calf muscle.You could start this program by aiming for two sets of 8-10 reps per exercise but as your strength and size increase you should really introduce techniques that boost the intensity even further. This can be achieved in a number of ways including the use of pre-exhaustion, super sets, partial reps, isometric contractions and forced reps. These techniques are covered in detail elsewhere in this series of articles.
In most cases, people use anabolic steroids in sports and exercise. Sportspersons, including athletes, bodybuilders, footballers and others, who put a lot of stake in improved performance on the field, resort to frequent usage of the drug. The same goes for those who wish to build muscles and cut down on body fat, thereby presenting themselves with well-toned physique.Researchers have found that there is a growing tendency among youth to abuse anabolic steroids. In sport and exercise the phenomenon is known to be happening for quite awhile. But there are cases where apparently well-built persons too use the drug, believing that without it they will look small and insignificant. In medical parlance, it is called muscle dysmorphia, which surprisingly is prevalent in both men and female, though to a lesser degree in latter's case.Even as anabolic steroids are known to cause less to grievous harm to health over short to long term of usage, what is equally true is that there are many myths surrounding its supposed ill-effect. One such is that anabolic steroids cause shrinking in penis and testicles. While that is true in short term, over long term the size returns to normalcy soon after exogenous androgen administration is halted. This is one reason why boys at tender age are never suggested to use the drug, for in their case the effect can be quite damaging.Be that as it may, the fact that the drug can boost muscle size and ability to perform well in exerting games would mean that the use of anabolic steroids in sports and exercise is not going to go away forever. To that extent, the role of agencies to control the abuse of the substances is important.And indeed that is the reason why the US Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 has been enacted to ban selling and using anabolic steroid and pro-hormone without relevant medical prescription. To what extent the new act is able to check the abuse of anabolic steroids in sport and exercise, while not unnecessarily preventing genuine medical reasons, remains to be seen.This Article is Originally Published here: Anabolic Steroids in Sport & Exercise
WHY CAN'T YOU GAIN WEIGHT? Though there may be many reasons why you may be thin, the most apparent reason is because of your genetics. If your parents are naturally thin or have a small body frame, then you will most likely have the same small body type. To some degree, your size can also be controlled by your metabolism. If you have a difficult time gaining weight of any kind (fat or muscle) then you most likely have a fast metabolism. That simply means that your body burns calories at a faster than normal rate. You must take this into account whenever you are considering a particular diet or training program. Is it geared towards someone with your metabolism and goal? Now as you know, there are many ways to train. Hundreds, thousands even. Some work and some do not, but for the specific goal of gaining weight, there are a few UNIVERSAL things that all skinny guys must do. Though much of the information I cover here is not as "magical" as you may like, I consider these rules to be the basics with regard to weight gain. These are not all of the answers, but they are definite elements that MUST be addressed in any successful weight gain program. You should be able to easily integrate these rules into your current program to make it more suitable for your particular body and goals. GENERAL RULES 1.Get the proper information that pertains to your SPECIFIC condition and goals. The first big problem I find in most people is the lack of correct information. Yes you are motivated and doing things, but your effort is wasted on incorrect dieting and training information. Basically, skinny guys are taking advice from people who have never had a weight gain problem. Want to know how to gain weight? Then find someone who has walked your shoes. Someone who has been where you are. 2.Set a specific goal and create a plan of attack. If you were to drive cross country to another city, would you just start driving randomly, or would you plan a route that would get you quickly and efficiently? Think of your plan as a road map and your goal as your destination. Without a plan and a specific goal you will be without focus and can easily get lost or side tracked. This happens more often than you know. I see many people in the gym just doing whatever, or just eating whatever -- no plan or specific goal. They wonder why they don't make progress. They have no focus. Having a specific program to follow allows you to take action each day. This action is focused on specifically getting you to your destination quickly. There is no thinking, debating or guessing. You just do it. A specific plan provides necessary daily structure that not only keeps you on the road moving forward, it also helps to develop good eating and training habits that will benefit you long after you have reached your destination. 3.Have confidence in yourself and belief in what you are doing. Lets face it; we live in a cruel world. Hate and jealously is everywhere. For most people who begin a fitness program to improve themselves, getting started will be half the battle. The other half will be staying motivated throughout the constant onslaught of negativity from others. A few negative words can do serious damage if you allow it. The most insulting things you hear may be from friends, co-workers and acquaintances at the gym. People hate change. It makes them insecure, because they suddenly discover theres more to you than they were probably willing to admit. They fear that you may actually achieve your goal. It makes them look less superior. Once you have begun your plan, you must have faith and believe in what you are doing. Stay focused and avoid overly critical or negative people. If you have to, keep your business to yourself. When I first began my program, I stopped talking about what I was doing because I got tired of hearing things like you cant do that, thats impossible, youre wasting your time and money. Funny thing is, now those people are constantly bugging me for advice. Its your life. Its your body. Its your dream. Dont allow your success or failure to rest in the hands of others. In Part 2 of this article, I will cover your workout rules and guidelines to MAKE SURE you gain muscle.