Mass Gain

Whilst many people are looking for ways to lose weight, some folk suffer from a lack of weight. They may require extra weight for their particular sport, they may have lost weight due to illness or are self-conscious about their appearance.

When gaining weight, you need to be careful that you gain the right kind of weight. Putting on fat solves the problem but it does you health and physical well-being no good. So when someone is trying to put on weight, what they really trying to do is put on muscle - noting that muscle is also pound for pound heavier than fat.

Muscle gain is a relatively simple equation, and is a result of three main factors; resistance training, nutrition and rest.

Resistance Training

Training with weights, especially heavy weights, causes slight damage to the muscle fibres. The body repairs this damage and compensates by making the muscle stronger, thus bigger. This is why after a few weeks you may feel like you can lift a heavier weight than your first attempt.

The best exercises to support weight gain are ones that use multiple muscle groups, like the bench press, squats and deadlifts, and when you start off you should be doing only about 3-4 sets of about 8-12 repetitions per exercise.

It is advised that you get instruction on the correct form, as poor form can lead to injury.

Initially, training needs to be only 3 times a week – as your body adapts this may increase but as muscle growth happens during recovery, too much too soon can have a detrimental effect.

Muscles need protein. To gain weight (muscle) adding extra protein to your diet is important. Protein can come from foods such as dairy, eggs, meat, fish or beans. Also, as you’re training more often, you need carbohydrates or else your body will start burning protein for energy (and you want all that protein building muscle), so foods such as cereals, breads, pasta, potatoes etc provide the energy to train and leave the protein to build muscle.

Most weight gainers like to eat consistently throughout the day (between 6-8 meals) and often they will supplement their nutrition with a protein powder (with carbs). Mutant MASS is perfect for this as it provide a high protein, high carb meal. Something else to consider is a Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) supplement, BCAA are the building blocks of protein and help utilise the protein best to build muscle.

Often overlooked is recovery. All exercise works like this: Training + Recovery = Improvement.

And this can be applied to all types of training, be it weight management, endurance or weight gain. Over time, the body adapts to training loads and the length of recovery may be shortened, but for the first 4-6 weeks it is suggested that, to gain weight, you should only train with weights 3 times a week.

What is sometimes difficult to manage is if you’re playing other sport. The best example is a person playing contact sport (Rugby or Rugby League). They need bulk and power, but if they’re doing other fitness training throughout the week, often they may be losing weight rather than putting it on. If this is the case, then additional high quality nutrition needs to be explored.

So to summarise, weight gain means muscle gain, and to add muscle you require resistance training, good nutrition and adequate recovery.