Who would want to gain weight? At first, you might think this is a ridiculous idea but there are plenty of reasons why. This could be derived from a health perspective, to increase performance or from an aesthetical view and can be almost as challenging as losing weight for some. Tracking, timing, portions and the types of food you’re eating are all huge factors that need to be considered to achieve the best results. So how do we do it right?
Start by tracking your calories. This will allow you to gauge how many calories you need to consume to maintain a normal weight, and then from there, you can increase that number. Aim to be in a 500 daily calorie surplus when in a gaining stage. It is important to be aware and prepared to be eating more than you’re used to, and that this might feel uncomfortable while your body adjusts. If you’re struggling to fit in extra food at your usual meal times, try adding an extra meal (or two) throughout the day or utilizing True Mass as a convenient source of calories.
When to Eat
Make sure you time when you eat and when you’re consuming water. Never skip breakfast, and don’t go more than 2 hours between eating something. Eating frequently will mean you don’t have to cram large calorie numbers into one sitting allowing for you to enjoy your meals and the process of increased calories in your diet. If you want to have the best chance of finishing your meals, don’t consume large amounts of water prior to eating. Another tip is to eat before bed, and our best recommendation for this would be True Night85 (casein) protein. Casein protein is a slow releasing protein powder that will enable your body to receive the nutrients it needs throughout the night.
What to Eat
Don’t go for the unhealthy option. Choose more nutrient-rich foods. Just because you are trying to gain weight it doesn’t mean you look to the junk food aisle. Adding an extra pasta or rice-based meal are great alternatives to keep your body fuelled and growing, whilst not being bogged down by unhealthy sugars and additives. Additionally, ensure you keep your protein intake up. For a complete guide to how much protein you should be taking, click here. The goal should be to gain lean muscle at a sustainable rate, rather than to go through unhealthy bulking periods.
A common mistake when training to gain size is to overtrain. You don’t have to spend your life in the gym to gain reasonable quantities of lean muscle. Rather than training for four or five two-hour sessions a week, keep your workouts shorter (45mins -1 hour) and pick up the intensity. Ensure you’re pushing yourself in the gym and not skimping out on those last few reps. When it comes to training and gaining size, consistency is key. Don’t over-commit and then miss sessions. You’re much better off committing to a reasonable target and sticking to it, that way you’ll not only be more motivated, but you’ll see much better results.
Sleep is often overlooked but is one of the key ingredients to gaining lean muscle. Aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night to ensure your body has enough time to repair and grow. There’s no point putting in the hard work if you’re not going to give your body time to process it. If you’re having trouble sleeping or are finding your muscles extra achy, try taking magnesium before bed. True ZMA is a great pre-bed magnesium supplement, that’ll ensure you get a quality night’s sleep.
There’s no perfect formula to gaining lean muscle size. But if you consistently stick to the tips above you will see results. Train smart, eat clean, and sleep well!