Building muscle is one of the best ways to gain weight. Why this is the case, how you need to train and what your diet should look like for muscle growth, is explained in this article. I’ll also show you which mistakes you absolutely must avoid. Enjoy reading
Muscle growth for gaining weight
If you want to increase body weight effectively, I can really urge you to build muscle. There are several reasons for this. If you are s
That’s fine, but if you just sit around on the sofa, the following happens: You’re actually gaining weight, but unfortunately only fat.
And you first have to ask yourself if you want that. Certainly not. That’s why building muscle is so extremely important. In addition, muscle mass is heavier than fat. This means that not only do you get a nice, shapely body, but you also gain weight faster.
In addition, you will get fitter and healthier. So if you’re serious about growing, you should do strength training to build muscle.
How does muscle building work?
What exactly is muscle building? And how does it work? In principle, it is relatively easy to explain. To build muscle, you first need a stimulus.
This stimulus you achieve through targeted strength training. If you train with your body weight or heavy weights, your muscles will get small cracks.
That sounds worse than it is. These hairline cracks are not serious injuries. There are only very small cracks that the body needs to repair in the regeneration phase. And this is where muscle growth begins.
Your body notices that the muscle has not withstood the stress of training. Now “fixes” and strengthens the muscle so that the muscle can endure more in the next workout.
The healing process will make your trained muscle a little bit thicker or stronger. This process is called hypertrophy. Of course this is a very simplified explanation, but on the whole it works that way.
The training that stimulates your muscle growth is only half the battle. Much more is needed for successful, effective muscle building. Another important factor is a fitness-oriented diet.
You can imagine building muscle like building a house. When you train, there are plenty of workers ready to build the house. But how should the house be built if there are no stones to build the house with?
That’s why you have to provide your body with the necessary building materials in the form of food. Of course you have to pay attention to that. As you progressively build the right workout plan and nutrition plan, you will learn throughout the article.
Pros and cons of building muscle
When you do strength training and build muscle, not only does it help you gain weight, it also has many other benefits. These benefits additionally bring you muscle gain:
- Your body becomes more attractive
- You feel fitter
- Your mood and your well-being improve
- You become more efficient in everyday life
- The chance to catch a cold sinks
Actually, weight training and most other sports have almost only benefits. If I were going to list them all, I’d be there tomorrow.
There are a few disadvantages or risks associated with weight training. However, you can prevent these disadvantages with proper training and proper nutrition. For completeness, I still count on the short:
- Heavy weight training can cause injury
- The fitness-oriented diet can partially limit the enjoyment of your social life
However, if you do the exercises correctly, your risk of injury will naturally decrease very much. In addition, you can always treat yourself to a few “outliers” in addition to your fitness diet. Overall, you gain tremendous quality of life with weight training.
Optimum strength training for muscle building
There are many different approaches to how you can design your workout plan. Which way you choose personally is up to your goals. Below I introduce the three best training divisions. Here we go:
Full Body Workout
The classic full-body workout is best suited for beginners and for people with little time. You train your whole body two or three times a week. You will train your chest, back, legs, arms and shoulders in a single unit.
Of course, in total body exercising, you can not train your individual muscles very intensively, as you train each muscle several times a week. But you can train the corresponding muscles more often or with a higher frequency.
For most people who want to build muscle and gain weight, a full body workout is the best option. This is my personal opinion, but you have to find out for yourself which training plan is best for you.
If you have a lot of time and love to spend a lot of time in the gym, a full body workout may not be the best for you.
Here are the advantages of the whole body workout summarized:
- Full-body training is very time-saving
- 3 units a week are sufficient
- The risk of injury is quite low (correct versions required)
Upper Body, Lower Body Training
The upper / lower body training plan will split your training into two separate units. In this 2-split you train once your upper body, the other time your lower body. This split is suitable for people who already train at an advanced level. The 2-split is also suitable for you if you are a beginner. This is how your training can look like:
- Upper back
- Lower back
The upper body / lower body system is almost as popular as the whole body workout and is also recommended if you do not achieve any significant results with the whole body plan.
By sharing the workout, you can train your muscles more intensely and set new growth stimuli.
The split training is traditionally used in hardcore bodybuilding. Here the training is divided into 4, 5 or even 6 different units. The respective muscle groups are then intensively trained with different exercises.
I recommend this type of training only to people who want to be in the gym almost every day and want to get into professional bodybuilding. Because for an average athlete who wants to build muscle and stay fit, this workout is absolutely nasty.
Training with a 5 or 6 split has some disadvantages:
- The risk of injury increases significantly
- The training takes a lot of time
- For “natural” athletes, this system brings no scientific benefits
Conclusion: If you do not want to become a professional bodybuilder who consumes steroids, it makes much more sense for you to do a full body workout or a 2 split.
Muscle Growth – The best Exercises for Building Muscle
Now we come to the exercises themselves. Basically, one differentiates between basic exercises and isolation exercises. Basic exercises are exercises in which you train different muscle groups at once as you perform the exercise.
In the isolation exercises you train only a single muscle. Which exercises should you do now? The answer is: both.
The focus of your training should always be on the basic exercises. Basic exercises form the solid basis for your muscle building. In addition, you can add a few isolation exercises as a supplement.
Basic exercises are:
- bench press
- pull ups
Isolation exercises are very many. Which isolation exercises you add to your training, you have to decide for yourself. Listing all the exercises here would go beyond the scope. There are many good Youtube videos.
Regeneration for Muscle Growth
Regeneration between your workouts is very important. Nevertheless, the regeneration of many athletes is neglected, according to the motto Much helps a lot. But that’s a big mistake. In general, it is recommended to pause between the units of a muscle group for 48-72 hours.
My personal experience, however, is that regeneration can last longer. This is especially true if you train very intensively. If you have severe muscle soreness, you should give your body some time to recover.
In addition, you can also ensure active regeneration that the recovery accelerates. You can do this:
- Go to the sauna
- Perform light stretching exercises
- Take a hot bath
- Let you massage
In principle, anything that helps your muscle to flow well helps you. In addition, you should treat yourself to enough sleep and nourish yourself.
The perfect Diet for Building Muscle
In addition to training and regaining, it is fundamental for your muscle building to provide the right nutrients to your body. There is a lot to consider. But once you understand the basic principles, it’s actually quite simple.
Basically, your food should be as unprocessed and healthy as possible. Frozen pizza, burgers and chocolate should definitely be the exception. Your daily food should consist of foods that provide you with neat power and nutrients. It is important to cover your macro- and micronutrients. The following foods are recommended:
Carbohydrates give you a lot of energy for training and everyday life. Short-chain carbohydrates from sweets should be avoided. Instead, these carbohydrate sources are recommended:
- sweet potatoes
- whole grain products
As you know for sure, it is very important for muscle growth to cover your daily protein needs. For a hobby athlete 1.5 – 2 grams per kilo of body weight are enough. For example, if you weigh 70 kg, you should consume between 105 g and 140 g of protein a day. Good sources of protein are:
- Dairy products
If you only consume plant based protein, you need to be careful to combine different sources of protein to get a good amino acid profile. A good combination is here e.g. Rice with red lentils.
Fats are absolutely vital and essential for human metabolism. Of course, that only applies to the good fats. Fryer fat is of course not meant The following foods contain healthy fats:
- olive oil
- linseed oil
- Chia seeds
- Fat fish like salmon
Just as important as macronutrients are the micronutrients. Not only are they essential to your health, they also actively support your muscle growth. Micronutrients are e.g. vitamins, minerals, enzymes etc. Micronutrients are mainly found in:
- fish and meat
The basic requirement in addition to covering your nutrients is of course your calorie surplus. If you want to build muscle and gain weight, you need to consume more calories than you burn. Only then can you really increase.
I also wrote an article about how you can make a nutrition plan to gain weight.
Which supplements are useful?
The best you can do is cover your nutrients completely with your diet. That is also very possible. But if you’re one of those people who are having a hard time eating a lot, then some supplements are useful. The following supplements can help you to cover everything:
Of course, it is always better to take your protein from your diet. However, on some days you have a lot of stress or little time to eat. So you do not get along fast with the protein amount. At this point it may be useful to drink protein shakes.
You can either buy a finished powder or prepare your shake with natural ingredients. If you buy a powder, whey protein is a good option. If you want to take a vegetable protein, there are also good options. A combination of rice and pea protein is recommended here.
Weight gainers make sense especially for you if you have difficulty gaining weight. A weight gainer consists of a mixture of carbohydrates and proteins. It has a particularly high calorie intake and helps you to achieve a calorie surplus.
You can either buy a ready-made Weight Gainer powder or you can buy homemade shakes.
Creatine is a supplement that can help boost your strength and boost your mass buildup. Although creatine is also found in natural foods such as beef, it is low in volume.
Before you take creatine, you should read about it in detail. Some people experience side effects such as diarrhea and stomach cramps. If you want to take creatine, I recommend you consume only small amounts. Nevertheless, creatine is one of the few supplements that can actually support your muscle building.
Like all other nutrients, you can easily absorb zinc through your food. Good sources are here e.g. Meat, eggs and oatmeal. However, ingesting too little zinc through your diet can negatively affect your muscle growth. This is because your body needs zinc to produce the hormone testosterone. Testosterone is significantly responsible for your muscle growth.
Always make sure that you take enough zinc.
Avoid these mistakes
When you start building muscle, you have to pay attention from the start. Because if you inform yourself well, you can avoid many rookie mistakes and save a lot of time. To get you started well, avoid the following mistakes:
- Too low calorie intake
- Wrong execution of the exercises
- Too low protein intake
- Lack of regeneration
- Focus on supplements
Muscle Growth – The Summary
In conclusion, one can say that muscle building is feasible for everyone. Provided the foundation is right. No one can build muscle overnight. Building muscle is a process where you have to be patient. Here again the most important summarized:
- Building muscle supports your weight gain
- You have numerous health benefits
- Always ensure a calorie surplus
- Watch for enough protein
- Perform the exercises slowly and correctly
- Always ensure adequate regeneration