Being an advanced or intermediate trainer does not guarantee you’re following the correct protocol to gain results. From time to time, we all get off track a little and need a realignment.
The following information is designed to positively reinforce correct methods, and as a reference point for all levels from beginners to advanced.
Weight Gain vs. Muscle Gain
Gaining weight, for most people, is relatively easy. Eat more and do less. Simple really.
Many people ask me about the most effective way to gain weight. I get this question often and after a few short questions back and forth, I quickly establish exactly what those individuals really want to achieve…muscle/lean tissue gain.
Weight gain and muscle gain are actually two different things. It is possible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, but like anything in life worth achieving, you need to be committed.
How long you remain committed depends on your personal goals and desire to ‘get in shape and stay in shape.’
For some, gaining muscle is difficult and I usually find that to be the case with the younger demographic, and in particular those with a gifted rapid metabolism.
I do encourage everyone to monitor and note their workouts.
In order to progress, you need to know your starting point and be able to progress at a steady rate. Without noting your routine, it can be a little hit and miss at times.
If you really want to put on muscle there are a few simple principles you need to follow.
Here are 5 simple and highly effective methods you can apply to allow you to reach you fitness goals:
Steps to Muscle Gain
Stay consistent and train specifically for muscle hypertrophy – muscle hypertrophy refers to muscle growth.
By far, the most effective repetition range for muscle growth is 8-20 repetitions.
If you’re not feeling your muscles engorged with blood (commonly referred to as a pump), chances are you’re not stimulating muscle growth to its full potential.
Lifting heavy weights will increase strength and connective tissue and will add muscle, but not as efficiently as lighter weights.
If you’re not getting ‘a pump’ lower your weight, increase your reps, control your movement more so and concentrate on that movement and the muscle you’re stimulating.
It is important to progress towards increased/heavier weights as you become more intermediate and advanced, but even so, it’s still more efficient to stimulate lean tissue with weights/resistance that the individual can handle for repetitions above 8.
Consistency is one of the keys. Three to four sessions of 30-60 minutes per week will do the trick. It’s not a huge sacrifice.
A total of 4 hours maximum. It’s actually not a sacrifice at all when you weigh up the gains. It’s an investment!
2. Log your workouts
You must keep a log of what you’re doing in order to monitor progress and in order to progress – full stop.
As previously mentioned, fitness apps can make a big difference, otherwise, simply putting pen to paper and noting your routines is also a highly effective way of monitoring where you’re at.
You certainly won’t recall all you have done in your previous weeks’ training so always apply some form of effective monitoring during all training routines
3. Progress is key
When I mention progress, I’m suggesting small increments as regularly as possible.
For example, this may mean you’re ready to increase your run time, run speed or increase your weights. Every increase should be subtle and slight.
Every day may be different so keep in mind that regardless of how good or poor you are feeling on any particular day, that increase in your level of exertion should always be subtle with long term goals in mind.
As an example, you may be able to lift 30kg which is up from last week’s 25kg for the same repetition range, but you’re always better off going to 27.5kg and performing the movement properly, lowering the risk of injuries and continuing the subtle flow of progress.
As another example, you may be able to run 2km up from 1km last week but why not master 1.5km for the next 1-2 weeks prior to going straight to 2km.
It’s still progress. Steady, safe and efficient progress is more conducive to sustainable workout routines.
4. Be patient and don’t be distracted by others
Losing body fat and putting on lean tissue takes time.
It is possible to gain incredible results in just 4 weeks. Now 4 weeks is not a long time, but so many people give up just way too easily and expect results within days.
Being patient and persistent also means that the focus you apply requires no interruptions. Way too often I notice people looking for a quicker fix.
They jump from one course of training to adopt another that some influencer claims to be the magic pill. I strongly recommend you don’t take further suggestions or advice from others when you initially start a workout plan, more often than not, significant changes will set you back causing confusion and further frustration.
Stick with the game plan and give yourself at least 8 weeks prior to considering changing your new routine. If it’s not broken don’t fix it. Continue doing exactly what produces results.
5. Focus on your food intake to maximise your results
You simply cannot out train a poor diet.
You can eat a little crap from time to time, but during your initial stages, to ensure you get the absolute best results to keep you motivated and progressing forward, it’s imperative you eat well.
Don’t force feed yourself and don’t starve yourself. You’ll need good fuel to ensure you not only have appropriate energy for your workouts, but also that you feel well enough to exert yourself and are feeding on beneficial nutrients working congruently with your goals.
If you eat well results will be exceptional, but poor nutrient intake leads to disappointment and frustration even for those that ‘train like demons’.
Most of my clients would have heard me preach this mantra. It’s a fact!!!
Putting lean tissue/muscle on is a highly effective way of increasing your overall health and fitness.
Resistance training, also known as weight training, increases your ability to take oxygen into your body efficiently, increases your bone density, enhances connective tissue, increases energy, positively impacts overall well being and has an array of other wellness aspects.
More lean muscle will also allow you to burn more calories at rest and enhances your metabolic rate. There really aren’t any negatives that come to light when undergoing a routine aimed at putting on lean tissue/muscle.
If you stay focused, and really want it, then it’s yours for the taking!!!