Anybody else trying to GAIN weight/muscle?

posted 3 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
Member
4998 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@LVoeBride:  Not quite at the stage of building muscle yet, but I’m trying to maintain/recomp for a couple of months before either deciding to bulk or cut again. Always delighted to have muscle-building friends, though!

Post # 4
Member
2704 posts
Sugar bee

Not skinny fat but have always been way too skinny!  I completely understand your dilemma.  The only time I see us hardgainers (and talking from experience)  be successful with gaining weight is to lift HEAVY weights and keep on a progression.  Additionally, you have to eat a lot!   The problem with me is that when I do gain the weight, it is hard to maintain it!  Uggh…I know how to get there but it is hard for me to be motivated enough to get there when it comes to the eating part. 

 

I read somewhere that motivation is not what it takes and that what it really takes is being disciplined.  So, this year, I want to commit to being disciplined because yeah, my motivation level just depends on the day of the week.lol 

How often are you working out?

Post # 6
Member
670 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

  • Lean Protien with every meal
  • 3 (portion controlled) real meals a day, minmim 2 snacks in between
  • Lots of salads and veggies – kale, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, etc. Sautee them, too. I love blanched, roasted and steamed veggies.
  • Skip the junk food (most of the time)

Wk out minimum 5 days a week

  • Days 1, 3, and 5 Start off walking /jogging 3 miles every other day (remember – 3 miles. The quicker you get them done the sooner you are finished with your wk out)
  •  Days 2 and 4 walk / jog 2 Miles then spend 20 minutes performing lunges, squats, or other lower body wk outs.
  • Day 6 try to add a yoga class for your “restorative” rest day. This will allow you to stretch your muscles and restore your body from all the hard work of the week. It also builds muscle tone in your arms, back, and core.

What I described above is an excellent easy way to build and maintain your body shape and health – especially for beginners. Its easy to do, as long as you stay comitted, and each wk out should last no longer than 40-60 minutes which is not terrible. I have an auto-immune condition and I find that my body responds very well to this without causing stress or fatigue. Its the distance and the squats / lunges that do it, but my best ‘asset’ is def my legs and butt – very toned and very shapely.

ps. my body type is very willowy and skinny so I have to intentionally work to gain muscle.

 

Post # 7
Member
4998 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@Starling13: Building muscle requires progressive resistance and a calorie surplus, neither of which are built into your advice.

@LVoeBride:  Barbells seem intimidating at first, but even walking into the weights area makes you a bad-ass. Get a few personal training sessions to teach form, read the Starting Strength Wikia and do Stronglifts or Starting Strength (I did SL with great results). 

Also, don’t forget to eat. Aim to eat at least enough calories to maintain your weight (so probably at LEAST 2000 per day if you’re working out regularly), get 0.8g protein and 0.5g fat per lb of bodyweight, and fill in the rest with carbohydrates (making sure that you eat enough vegetables and keep your fibre intake up).

Have a look at Spezzy’s story. At her lowest weight, she was probably fairly similar in size to you: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2011/07/21/meet-staci-your-new-powerlifting-super-hero/ 

Post # 8
Member
670 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@SpecialSundae:  Actually, Lower body workouts such as lunges, squats, deadlifts etc are defintily muscle builders – as is yoga, LOL. Ask any dedicated yogi Wink

In regards to proper nutition 3 balanced protein rich meals PLUS in between snacks is certainly substantial in terms of what is needed to build muscle. If you notice, I did not recomend “how much” to eat, only to balance it. The OP needs to make that call alone as only she knows her true weight and size and what her caloric requirements should be. If she doesnt then she should really consult with a nutritionist and have a personal consoltation with them.

I do agree that the method which you are suggesting is another effective way to build muscle, but it is different  and one that is quite a bit more intense than what I would want for my ownself – or for somebody is is “starting out”. Before somebody can start heavy ‘intense’ lifting they need to work on building and strengthing smaller balancing muscles and stability tissues, otherwise their larger muscles will grow really fast without “support” which usually leads to reocurring injuries.

I am not too sure how large OP wants to build her muscles, but I would suggest starting off slowly, with a well balanced approach to strength and cardio (especially cardio to help with her current body fat percentage she mentioned).

At the end of this, this is just my opinion. The OP was asking for tips and advise, I simply am sharing what has been very effective for me. FWIW- I am 5’7 130lbs and my measurments are 34-26-38.5

Post # 9
Member
2704 posts
Sugar bee

@SpecialSundae:  I agree.  I even worked with a personal trainer once concerning this.  He told me to try to do minimal cardio and go for the weights!  However, the OP did say she was skinny fat so if I were, I would try to lose the fat but still incorporate weight  building…in other words, a little bit of ‘resistance’ cardio like sprinting, hiit etc.  along with weight training.  Also, he recommended that I not weight train everyday (3 times a week for the most) and get lots of sleep.

Post # 10
Member
1951 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@SpecialSundae:  I agree with your advice. Lifting heavy (for the individual) is the most effective way for me to build up my muscle. Lunges and squats are nice, and can change body shape, but throw some actual additional weight on there? Heck yes!

OP – remember your diet too! Protein is necessary for gaining muscle. Your body needs nutrients – don’t shy away from healthy sources for carbs. You need them when working out. I love the book Nutrition Timing for Peak Performance. You don’t need to buy into the timing idea, but the first half of the book is a fantastic breakdown of how your body uses food. Highly, highly reccommend to anyone working out!

And don’t be afraid to get into the free weight area. Sure, it’s mostly dudes, but you’ll look baller as shit when you walk in and lift seriously. I second the suggestion of having some personal training sessions to develop a routine and lift safely. 

Good luck!!

Post # 11
Member
4998 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@Starling13:  We’re more or less on the same page then. I just see so many people suggesting rubbish like the 30 day squat challenge, which does nothing to actually build muscle.

Likewise, I’m sharing what’s worked for me. I started last year at 5’5″ and 170lb 41-34-41 and finished it at 132lb 38-26-37. Whilst that has been about losing weight, I’m soon going to be aiming to gain some.

I was “starting out” this time last year. Now I’m starting to compete in powerlifting and revelling in being “slim and toned”.

If you’re using free weights with good form, you are building the stabiliser muscles as well as the “big” muscles. Bad form is more likely to be the cause of injury in women, as we tend to be less liable to try to show off with heavier weights.

I’m not sure where the idea of having to do isolation work before starting on compound work comes from. All the advice I’ve had has been precisely the opposite.

Usually, I’d recommend losing more fat before building muscle, but at a size 0/2 a recomp or slow bulk won’t do her any harm.

Post # 12
Member
4998 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@Butterfly6:  All good advice. 🙂 My trainer gives similar counsel. 🙂

Post # 13
Member
670 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@SpecialSundae:  Yeah, I totally agree that you need to add weights, I just caution beginners with that until they reach a certain amount of “strength” first. I’ve never done a 30 day challenge of any kind (everyone knows it takes longer than that to see real results!) but I do believe in the power of the squat (spesh when weighted) – but when done alone it certainly is not very effective.

And holy smokes! Way to go with your results! That is a HUGE accomplishment in a short amount of time. #HIGHFIVE!

Post # 15
Member
4998 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@Starling13:  Thanks. I chuffing love squats! Even on a bad day, they make me feel like a total badass. 🙂 

Post # 16
Member
3344 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

I’m gaining muscle as well.  It’s important to push yourself to your limits when strength training and to eat a lot of protein within 30 minutes after finishing a workout.  Shoot for at least 40-60g of protein right after you workout.  Even more protein eaten throughout the day is great too.

I highly recommend P90X if you are new to strength training and want to learn how to do it properly.

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