Does that rib cage of yours protrude so much it bothers you? Do you want to put more meat on it? Are you sick of being called an 110-pound weakling?
It might seem strange to want to be heavier when it seems like all the people around you are trying to get rid of those pounds. If you dare to say out loud that you are trying to gain some weight all you will probably hear are sighs of “It would be so great if I had that problem”. What they do not realize is that, for someone who is trying to find a safe way to bulk up, the struggle can be just as great as it is for someone who wants to lose weight.
It does not matter if the problem is that your frame is just naturally slender or that you have a high rate of metabolism, you will still be able to gain weight and it will probably be a lot of fun. So tell everyone that they might as well stop all their jokes about being skinny because you are going to learn the best way to gain weight and pretty soon you will be a real beefcake.
It is surprising how similar the process of gaining weight is to the process of losing weight. They both require eating healthy and exercising regularly. When trying to gain weight in a way that is healthy, you must eat more calories but you cannot head straight for a vending machine and pick up a bunch of junk food. That will just give you a beer belly to cover up your ribs – not the muscle that you are after. Instead, you need to go for the muscle building foods so you will be creating lean muscle mass along with the nutrition the body requires for muscle building. So the message is to eat very well and make sure you eat fruits, vegetables, lean proteins like beans, fish or chicken, whole grains and dairy products.
Since you probably already know that it will take a surplus of approximately 3,500 calories to gain just one pound, you are probably wondering how eating food that is low-fat and healthy will do the job. This food probably sounds like it is intended for someone who is interested in losing weight. But the difference is all in the size of the portions. Someone who is trying to lose weight might only have one serving of pasta for dinner while you can go for that extra helping. And it is okay to add an extra tablespoon of olive oil to the stir-fry chicken. No guilt necessary! You can also allow yourself to eat more nuts, cheese, and potatoes. And make sure to eat three regular meals every day and include two or three snacks.
Also, the key to gaining weight is to exercise. This is important because you do not want those extra pounds to be flab rather than muscle. To manage this you will need to put the focus of your exercise on strength training.
That means your regimen should include weightlifting a minimum of three days a week to gain weight. When you lift weights the form you use is very important. So it is a good idea to have a few tune-ups with a personal trainer. It is also a good idea to have a spotter when you are just beginning. With each workout, push yourself as hard as possible and lift the most you are able to handle. Aim for an amount of weight where you cannot do more than six or eight repetitions.
You also need to allow time to recover for a couple of days after you work out. Working muscles will give you little tears in the tissue. So to help the muscle build up more effectively make sure to take this time to rest. If you allow this time to heal, those muscles will have more strength the next time you lift. Then either every workout or every week, try to lift more weight. If you add weight slowly like this you will soon see that there are improvements in your strength. If you have never lifted weights before, or if you are just beginning to exercise, do not overdo it. Go two to three days every week and that will be enough to soon see results.
When you are doing cardio exercises, a little bit can be very effective. You should not overdo it because you are trying to hold onto calories not expend them. While you do need a cardio activity for your heart, it will also burn a lot of calories and this will slow down the bulking up process. So try to find a balance and do light forms of cardio, maybe walking, two or three days a week.
If you are wondering about taking supplements, they may not be needed. It is usually kinder to your digestive system if you are getting all of your nutrition through whole foods and you are making diet the main source of your calories. If you eat the right foods, you probably should not add any supplements.
But if you would like to take supplements, look first at what you are eating. By tracking your food and supplementing it with anything you might be lacking, there will be a benefit. For example, if you are not eating enough protein then have some whey protein powder. Or if you are not eating fruit often enough a multivitamin should cover you.
There are also other supplements which are very popular such as creatine. This is used to help cut down on fatigue so you will be able to lift more weight. There is also glutamine which provides fuel to keep muscle cells healthy. You might want to make these supplements part of your routine but, again, if you are eating well you really do not need any supplements.