A lot of people work out to lose weight and tone their bodies but some people exercise with the intent to gain weight and build as much muscle mass as possible. Gaining weight might sound easy for some of us, but it can actually be very challenging, especially if you are trying to build significant amounts of muscle and not just increase your overall weight.
How long should your training last?
To gain muscle mass you should carry out short, intensive training sessions that last no longer than an hour. Whilst weightlifting you spend the reserves of carbs and glycone after about an hour and working out for longer than this can lead to your muscles not completely recovering and thus you end up actually losing strength and muscle mass. It is advisable that you invest in a weight bench and barbell to carry out weight training at home, gradually purchasing more and heavier gym weight plates as you build muscle. This way you can fit in a small training session whenever you can instead of relying on when you can go to the gym.
How many times a week should you train?
You should not weight lift more than 2 days in a row because you need to allow your muscles plenty of time to recover properly and reduce the chances of any injuries. After two days of weightlifting, you should take a day to rest and recover. It is advisable to lift about 4 times a week on average. You should also alternate which muscle groups you work out and not focus on the same area for consecutive workouts.
What are the best workouts to gain muscle?
Squats – this is one of the most basic exercises you can do with weights. It mainly strengthens your legs but is also great for your abs and lower back. Do not pile on too much extra weight and compromise the form and depth of your squats. Control every move and make sure you go down with your thighs parallel to the floor.
Deadlift – the deadlift is possibly the best workout for building your legs and lower back, but it is very demanding and activates almost all your muscles. Make sure your back is straight.
Bench press – this is the best exercise for building your chest muscles. You can do these on a regular bench, but you should try using an incline bench press to build your upper chest.
Pull-ups – this is a great workout that uses just your own bodyweight. It works your back, shoulders, abs and biceps. Changing the grip or angle when you lift your body can help with stimulating different parts of your body.
Dips – another exercise that uses your own weight. Dips build your chest muscles and also work your triceps. Lean forward slightly to include your chest muscles more or keep your body straight to work your triceps more.
Overhead press – this is one of the best workouts for gaining muscle. You need to get up and give up the backrest and do this exercise standing. Take it easy when you first try this workout and use lighter weights, building up to heavier weights over time.