Are you a skinny or very thin person that no matter how hard you try, you cannot gain weight or gain some muscle? Or on the other hand, are you someone who has no problem gaining weight, however everything that goes up ends up being fat?

 If any of these examples is your case, don’t worry, don’t think that everything is lost and that your body has no solution. You can always do something about it, the point here is that many times, despite the enormous effort you could be doing, it is very possible that you are not doing things correctly, focusing on hard work but not very intelligent, work that does not produce results. .

We better turn this around and work smart, to achieve now if we put on a few good kilos of muscle. This is precisely what we will address in this article, that key information that you must know in order to achieve the results you want.

1- FOOD

THE IMPORTANCE OF COUNTING CALORIES AND BEING IN CALORIC SURPLUS

First let’s look at the case of those who cannot gain weight no matter how hard they try, and it is like this; If you are not gaining weight, it is because you are not eating in caloric surplus.

Explaining this topic in an easy and summarized way:

All the foods we eat provide us with energy or calories. If we are skinny, what we want is to eat enough food to be able to enter a good amount of calories, higher than our caloric maintenance, that is, that point in which we do not gain or lose weight, which will allow us to have a surplus of energy and store it in our body, that if we do it intelligently in combination with good resistance training and optimal rest, we will turn it into muscle.

The most common thing we will hear about this issue is that person who says – “I eat a lot, several times a day and I don’t upload anything” – And the most repeated mistake is that these people are basing themselves on what is popularly known as ” “fitness food”: where the base is almost always foods such as white rice, cooked potatoes, chicken breast, tilapia, tuna, broccoli, asparagus, egg whites.

And yes, I know that they are nutritious foods, many high with protein, but these have in common that they are low in calories and that they are quite filling, that is, you will fill up very quickly when you consume them and also there will not be so many calories that you will get of them to be able to create this caloric surplus.

This is where the heart of the matter lies. If we are not gaining weight, no matter how much we think we eat a lot, there is no choice but to try something different, and this is different from counting calories . This, believe me, will make all the difference, because it will allow you to evaluate what you eat and realize your possible mistakes, with this you will be able to realize that perhaps despite “eating a lot”, you need even more calories to make a good surplus caloric.

This is the only way to have an exact control of what we eat and with it adjust if necessary. Now, remember that it doesn’t necessarily have to be all you eat, “fitness” food. In fact, if you analyze the panorama, a skinny or thin person represents someone who by law does not eat enough, therefore we have to get creative and include certain foods that can easily provide us with more calories, yes, without leaving a food base nutritious and high in protein. For example, including seeds, cheeses, cookies, whole milk or in case smoothies, will allow us to increase caloric intake much easier, since they are energy dense foods and with this, now, to be able to have a good surplus.

HOW NOT TO GAIN FAT BY DOING YOUR VOLUME PHASE

Now, another advantage of counting calories is that it also allows us to limit fat gain. This point is also very important to understand, as there are those who say – “I have no problem reaching a surplus, I do eat quite a few calories, my problem is that I usually gain a lot of fat quickly” –

Regarding this, what often happens is that it is thought that the more you eat, the more muscle you will gain, as if it were a linear relationship. Hence the problem that later there are many people eating uncontrollably in their volume phase and even trying the famous 5,000 or 7,000 calorie diets that are seen on the internet, which end up storing a lot of fat after several months.

What we need to understand about this, as Greg Nuckols says in his book “The Science of Lifting”, is that by making a caloric surplus, we all have a limit of muscle that we can create with surplus energy and from reaching this limit, everything else gained will be fat. This is the key reason why counting calories is vital!

Knowing that our surplus is limited, we should not exaggerate in the amount of food and calories we consume. I tell you from experience too, all this happened to me, in a period where I ate a lot without registering or contemplating anything, I ended up gaining too much unnecessary fat that then took me a long time to remove.

Now, a difficult question to answer is how many calories does this limit represent? And the truth here are many factors to consider, the body is a complex machine and it is not so easy to find a perfect range of calories.

For example, in the scientific literature we can find evidence of novice people who can consume up to 2000 calories in surplus and still gain mostly clean muscle. However, other studies done with athletes of higher level, show that even 500 calories is too much not to gain fat, so a 200 to 300 calories surplus can be enough.

Seeing these ranges so wide, it is really difficult to give a perfect amount, really each individual is unique and can respond differently. However, what I can tell you for sure is that it is clear that in novice people it will be much more likely to assimilate larger surpluses, since there is more capacity to gain muscle and the more advanced you are, then you must be more careful with the amount of calories, seeking to make smaller surpluses.

All this leads us to the conclusion that we have to experiment with our body, play with calorie ranges and see where we do have efficient progress without fat gain. Here again highlighting the importance of counting calories , this makes us take full control and discover what can really work for us.

Regarding the issue of protein consumption, something as simple as taking care of around 2 grams of protein per kilogram of weight is enough to maximize muscle growth, you do not need to go too high in this amount because you have a surplus of energy, your body has calories to spare to grow. A case other than fat loss, where it is convenient to have a little higher amounts of protein, since the muscle is at risk of being lost due to being in an energy deficit.

2- TRAINING

QUALITY IS WORTH MORE THAN QUANTITY

If you understand everything from the previous point, then you will already know how to take care of your diet for muscle gain, so you will already know how to focus on making a smart caloric surplus, without being too exaggerated to accumulate fat.

Now, we have to concentrate on maximizing the quality of our training to be able to take advantage of that surplus energy from the caloric surplus and be able to convert it mostly into muscle mass.

These key points are:

  • Learn and always seek to have a correct technique in each exercise.
  • Work at an adequate volume, prioritizing multi-joint exercises.
  • We put a lot of effort into each series we do.
  • Search whenever possible, progression in training.

If we focus on understanding and taking care of these 4 points, we will really stimulate our muscles in an excellent way, let’s see now one by one.

Learn and always seek to have a correct technique in each exercise

This point is vital for 2 reasons, the first is that a bad technique increases the risk of injury and an injury is weeks or months away from training, an injury and say goodbye to progress. And the second is that a good technique is the center of everything, since it allows you to really stimulate the muscle you want with a certain exercise.

Also having a good technique allows you to define a starting point of progression. For example, if you define that your pull-up is by stretching your arms to pass the chin, then you will focus on all your repetitions being like this. And if you decide to increase the load, then for this progression to really be valid, you must respect the defined technique. If for example, with 10 kilos you do not pass the chin, then you are not ready for that progression, so you must continue to improve. This allows us to put the ego aside and be much more methodical with our progressions, to do them with quality.

Work at an adequate volume, prioritizing multi-joint exercises

Regarding this issue, the most important thing to understand is that if you are a skinny man without muscle that does not progress, you do not want to go directly to do the routine of the muscular man with drugs that has been training for 15 years, understand that with a little quality you have to grow .

Remember that the recommended ranges of sets are from 8 to 20 sets per muscle group per week. It begins by testing the lower ranks (8-12), seeking to do little but high quality work. That is, 1 or 2 exercises of about 3 to 4 series per muscle group, preferably multi-joint to work several muscles at the same time and make the routine more efficient, done about 2 times a week will be quite a good starting point to have great progress .

Here is a routine as an initial recommendation, it is a torso / leg routine, one of my favorite schemes to progress as a novice or intermediate.

Try hard all the time

Unfortunately, this mistake is made by many people, humans tend to be lazy by nature and try less than we really should.

This is made very clear by Greg Nuckols in one of his articles, showing how we are actually very bad at evaluating our effort thinking that if we are giving too much when in reality we are falling short. For example, in a study that precisely evaluated this of the effort and the selection of loads, it was found that more than half of the participants actually worked with very easy loads in the bench press, very far from failure, with which they would hardly have stimuli suitable to hypertrophy the chest to its maximum capacity.

Taking care of this point is key because, as I have already explained in many videos and articles, we have almost all the stimulation and hypertrophic potential in the last repetitions, in which they really cost and those that most avoid because they do not want to feel that discomfort or that little pain that comes with this.

The idea is to understand that if we are doing few exercises and few series then we have to do them of quality and give the best of ourselves, give a lot of effort. This is how we will really see that muscle growth that we all desire so much.

Search whenever possible, the progression in training

Finally, the last key point to be able to have a good growth of muscle mass is to always aim to be better than before, to be a little stronger or to do a little more work. In many studies a clear relationship between strength and muscle mass has been shown, showing how generally the more strength, the more muscle the person will have. And of course we can see this reflected in the gym, a person who lifts 60 kilos in the bench press and 60 kilos in the squat will very possibly have less muscle than someone who lifts 120 kilos in these exercises, the same as someone who lifts 180 kilos in these. training..

Now, strengthening and connecting all the points mentioned above, if you have relatively few exercises and few series in your routine, if you always work with high efforts and have good technique, and you are in caloric surplus, that is, you have a surplus of energy, then you have everything. the field to progress little by little, looking for month after month to be a little stronger, to do a little more repetitions. Nor do you have to achieve it from session to session, do not stress too much about this, just have the clear objective of being stronger, to try to give more and that’s it, believe me that progress will come by itself.

Likewise, using supplements such as creatine and protein powder is not a bad idea either, they can help improve performance and get easier to the amount of protein needed in our day to maximize our muscle gain. What is unnecessary is spending on supplements like BCAAS or testosterone precursors, these really won’t help you and are only wasting your money. Better invest this in better quality food or accessories to train better.

I hope this guide has been of great help to you! Share it if you think that this information can help someone slim to improve their physique!

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