For many men, it isn’t losing weight that is their fitness problem; it is bulking up. Whether you are struggling to gain weight or develop more muscle mass, there are steps you can take to help you reach your goal. Here are some things to keep in mind as you try to increase your bulk.
Have Realistic Expectations
How much you are able to increase your muscle mass depends largely on what your body type is. Not everyone will end up with the same looks even if they follow the same diet and same fitness regime. The toys and video games people grow up with depict men with impossible proportions. So realize that no matter how many whey shakes you drink and how many hours you put into your goal, you won’t end up looking like GI Joe.
Take the time to set realistic and specific goals. Think about how much weight you want to gain and how much weight you want to be able to lift. In addition to setting long term goals, set some short-term goals to help you stay motivated.
Supplements Can Be Helpful or Harmful
There are many supplements available that may help you build muscle quickly, but not all them are safe or effective. You’ll want to avoid anabolic steroids because they have many harmful side effects. Many bodybuilders use instead creatine and glutamine, which have many of the same benefits without the dangers. Even these can cause side effects, however, so pay attention to your body and stop if they are causing you problems.
Protein supplements are another standard in many bodybuilders’ diets. These are often shakes made from whey powder or another protein source such as hemp. Protein shakes can be a great way to recover after a workout, but don’t rely on them too much.
Train and Rest
Working out daily for several hours will not help you bulk up quickly. Doing this often leads to injuries which can set your progress back for many months. Even if you don’t end up injured, you are likely to plateau if you are working out too much. Be sure to get plenty of rest and give your body a chance to recover from the stress that you are putting it through.
If you are looking to increase your weight you will have to increase your calories. You probably already know that you should increase your protein if you are doing a lot of strength training, but you also need to make sure that you are getting plenty of carbohydrates and healthy fats. This includes essential fatty acids that are found in flax and many types of fish. Don’t eat a lot of junk food just because it is high in calories. Your body will be able to do more if it is getting plenty of nutrients.