The body gets the energy that it needs from food and then it uses this energy to breathe, generate new cells, think, move around, etc. If you want to gain weight, you'll need to eat more energy than your body needs. There's this scientific term, homeostasis, and it describes the physiological process where a variable is held constant through active regulation. What does that even mean? It means our bodies are actively trying to maintain their current weight. If you eat more energy one day than your body needs, what do you think your body will do with that extra energy? A naturally fat guy might store that as fat, but as hard-gainers, their bodies will try to burn it before storing it. It is very difficult for a skinny guy to put on some good weight (muscle mass). It is because of the ill diet practices and their genetics.
Who are skinny people?
The human body is classified into 3 types- Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mesomorph. Of all ectomorphs are the skinniest ones who are usually identified by their small frames. Characteristics of an ectomorph include the inability to gain weight and have a very fast metabolism. They are often called as hard-gainers (people who find it very difficult to add muscles).
Nutritional guidelines for skinny population:-
Eating in surplus
For an ectomorph who is looking to gain muscle and trying to put on some weight will have to start eating more calories than his/her maintenance calories (TDEE). You can calculate your from the 'freebies' section of www.getsetgo.fitness. Tracking of calories for a person on weight gain is as important as those on weight loss diet.
Adding enough protein
Most of the skinny people fail to get enough protein in their diet to build some muscle. It should make up at least 35% of overall caloric intake. Protein demand has to be fulfilled by non vegetarian sources including meats, poultry, eggs and fishes for people who are non-vegetarians and vegetarian sources such as dairy products, soy protein, and legumes for vegetarians. Supplementing with a whey protein shake is also a very good option.
Consume calorie dense food
It is easier to gain weight if you eat food containing more calories per serving which help you to reach your calorie goal for the day and you end up consuming less food. Your diet should contain atleast 25-30% of the calories coming from healthy dietary fats such as coconut oil, butter, nuts etc. Fats helps in regulating hormones in the body, keeps the brain health at par and also help reduce inflammation from the body. Once the protein and fat intake is set appropriately, the remaining calories can be completed with carbs. It is always recommended to mix up the carbohydrate sources ranging from starchy to fibrous carbs. Carbohydrates help you fuel your workouts by releasing quick burst of energy by burning muscle glycogen.
For an ectomorph who is really looking to buff up on muscles (gain good weight) should not only be consuming lot of foods as eating a lot will only make them fat. Then how to gain good weight while consuming too much of calories? The answer lies in weight or resistance training, the primary training in muscle building is intensity (high muscular tension) as the muscle fibres placed under mechanical tension grow bigger, by thickening up, absorbing amino acids and storing carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. All exercises work the muscle, but not all exercises build muscle. Some exercises are better than others at creating high muscular tension. A key to creating high muscular breakdown for gains is to perform heavy compound and multiple compound movements as it builds mass over the entire musculature which includes squats, deadlifts, bench press and military press. The more you train, the more calories you burn and more you have to eat to create a caloric surplus. People usually follow popular bodybuilding routines endorsed by the guys who usually are not ectomorphs and often have the chemical enhancement to boost. Those guys can grow just fine doing 8-10 exercises a workout, 6 days a week. You can't.
The program should be designed in such a way that it should give the most bang for your buck. It does not do you any good to be in the gym for an hour and a half when you can really accomplish all you really need in 45 minutes. I know it is a hard concept to swallow, but there is no other shortcut. Otherwise, you are doomed to stay where you are!
Things to avoid while gaining weight
You are on a calorie surplus that does not mean you are free to consume anything just because your metabolism is fast. It is not permissible to go crazy with junk foods as healthy weight gain require the balanced approach, just like a weight loss program. Enjoy your snacks that contain plenty of protein and good carbohydrate such as protein bars, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, peanut butter etc. Consider whole food over processed ones.
Do not get fooled by brands/Companies who are persuading you to consume mass gainers as they are filled with hell lot of artificial sugars in the name of good carbs instead go for a simple whey protein and fulfil your carbs demand by consuming whole foods such as sweet potato, rice, oats and other whole cereals and save your hard earned money.
Running long distances isn't going to help you. If you're going to run, do sprints or run up a hill. If you like to run long distance and gain weight together then it is not going to take you anywhere near to your goal of gaining weight. Keep your distance cardio to a minimum if you want to put on some pounds.
Never go for the workout the same muscle consecutively in a row. Your muscles need to rest, recover and rebuild itself, so never exercise the same muscle before it is ready. Training 3-4 days a week with a day off in between training is recommended. Skinny guys often don't need to train more, they need to eat and rest more!
In the end, I would like to conclude that it is easier for an ectomorph to gain muscles if one follows a systematic routine that includes eating in surplus calories and proper training which works with the goal. It sometimes becomes very difficult and you get stuck after some point of time feeling very demotivated and low on energy with the slow improvement rate but you should least be bothered about the results and stay consistent and motivated, you will surely hit the bull's eye.
- By GetSetGo Coach Adil Islam (http://getsetgo.fitness/public/coachprofile/Adil)
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