Read these 11 Exercise and Weight Gain Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Weight Gain tips and hundreds of other topics.
To maximize your weight lifting workout and build muscle mass for weight gain, lift hard for a short, intense period of time and then take time to recover until the next workout. You should focus on what are considered "big exercises" such as squats, dead lifts, bent-over rows, chin-ups and bench press. These exercises focus on many muscle groups but they are also focusing on the muscles that are easiest to build up. You should also increase your strength by adding a small amount of weight each workout. If you focus on building strength steadily, size will follow. If you are uncertain what to do and how to do these exercises or employ this technique, you could get help from a professional trainer or someone at the gym with experience. Don't be afraid to ask for help!
Some exercise will help to gain weight such as weight training where extra muscle mass adds to the body weight. Other exercise like running and cycling will burn calories and without extra calories you will lose weight, not gain weight. Remember though, that weight training raises your metabolic rate, so you will require more calories to maintain any weight gained through added muscle. A combination of proper diet, weight gain shakes and exercise for weight gain will maximize healthy weight gain with added pounds of muscle.
To build muscle mass for weight gain, you need to train with heavy weights, more specifically, heavy free weights. A heavy weight is one that is challenging for you. This means that it could be 5 lbs if you have never lifted a weight in your life. You don't want to injure yourself, so challenge your muscles, but don't push yourself into injury! To ascertain if a weigh is challenging, try the following: complete 8-12 reps and if you muscles temporarily fail, you are using the right weight. Heavy weights will stimulate more muscle fibers, and therefore more growth, than lighter weights, therefore, additional muscle stimulation means additional muscle growth.
To gain muscle weight, your muscles need to grow and get larger. Muscles need high calorie fuel and exercise to grow. With a combination of proper diet and exercise for weight gain, your muscles will grow and you will therefore achieve your weight gain goals. Without the exercise, the muscles can not grow. Without fuel, the exercise will burn calories, not build muscle.
You don't have to work out to gain weight. Gaining weight takes eating more calories and nutrients each day than you use, whether through exercise or your normal daily routine. Working out can help with weight gain by increasing muscle mass because muscle is heavier than body fat. So, if you are maintaining a weight that is not optimal, you need to increase calories. If you are working out, you will need to increase your caloric intake exponentially to make up for the calories you are burning with exercise.
When using exercise to gain weight, you want to focus on working the large muscle groups that are commonly called multi-joint (compound) movements that simultaneously stimulate many groups of muscle. Compound exercises should be the basis of any weight training weight gain program because they offer the best results for the least amount of work (not that you won't be working hard!). These compound exercises include Bench Presses, Overhead Presses, Pull-ups/Barbell Rows, Squats, Dead lifts and Bar Dips.
Gaining weight with exercise works best when you target the larger muscles for growth and work to add muscle mass. Push-ups are excellent for adding weight to the upper body. Lunges and squats work best for the thighs while standing heel raises are highly effective for building the calves (works best on a step). Try crunches for the abs, and pull ups (if a bar is available) work well for the arms and back. All these exercises can add weight with muscle mass when combined with an appropriate weight gain diet.
The reason that weight training is so effective for muscle weight gain is that it is anaerobic exercise as opposed to aerobic exercise, which is often recommended for weight loss regimens. Aerobic exercise includes running, walking, biking, aerobics programs and other exercises that burn calories without specifically building muscle mass. The term "anaerobic" is defined as "without oxygen." Anaerobic exercise uses muscles at high intensity in short bursts. When you are weight training and trying to maximize the benefits of anaerobic exercise, focus on all of your movements being short and fast.
A membership at a gym can help you exercise to gain weight, but home equipment works just well. Without equipment, regular strength exercises like push ups, pull ups, crunches and leg lunges can build muscle mass and gain weight. Be sure to add the high calorie weight gain shake when you workout to replace any calories you burn during your exercise routine.
When you are weight training heavily to gain weight, the exercise puts a strain on your body, so make sure that you get adequate rest and recuperation after each of your workouts. If you over train you are not giving your muscles enough time to repair which will impede the effectiveness of you next workout. If you are not at maximum strength you won't reach your muscular potential. You could also injure yourself. Make sure that you approach your weight gain and your muscle gain in a paced and balanced approach.
There are some exercises that are better at helping you lose weight than gain weight. If you are trying to gain weight by building muscle, you will want to stick to weight training, the best anaerobic exercise. Examples of aerobic exercise that you may want to avoid include biking, jogging, swimming, running, basketball, cross-country skiing, jumping rope, roller blading and walking for fitness.