Weight Gaining Methods
Gaining weight, and making those “mad gains” you hear the pros talk about, is incredibly challenging. Any lifter who’s been in the game awhile will tell you that’s the case. Weight gaining methods can be tricky. You’ve got to target each individual muscle group with equal attention. You’ve got to continuously push the limits of your one-rep max. And most importantly, you’ve got to hit your daily calorie count, whether you’re hungry or not. It’s anything but easy.
One thing that many lifters may struggle with, especially starting out, is finding the right tools and resources to gain and sustain healthy weight. There’s a wealth of information available in countless books and on thousands of internet pages, and not all of it is either effective or trustworthy.
How, then, can you find information that will enable you to get started in lifting, or improve the efficiency of your workouts, while remaining safe and healthy?
A tried and true method for discovering new and better methods of weight gaining and body building is to turn to the established pros. “Iron Man,” “Flex,” and “Natural Muscle,” are all publications that not only give great advice and example fitness plans, but can be a lot of fun to read.
When you’re selecting which publications you want to subscribe to, there are several factors you should consider to make sure you’re getting what you need:
● The Quality of Their Website
This is an obvious first step, because you’ll be able to see what this particular magazine is all about, straight from the source. You can read their mission statement, sample articles to see if their writing style appeals to you, and subscribe directly from them, taking advantage of any sales and additional resources a subscription will offer you.
● Online Reviews and Testimonials
Look at a publication’s Google reviews, and browse popular forums, to see what other lifters have to say. They’ll give a lot of insight into whether a publication is relevant, effective and accurate. It’ll also allow you to gauge prices and hidden fees that may not be immediately apparent on the magazine’s web site. In addition, read testimonials from the pros in the field. If they’re saying a certain magazine is a great resource and worked for them, odds are, it can work for you too.
While it’s not a 100% foolproof sign of quality, the amount of time that a magazine has been in business can be a great indicator for how effective they are as a resource. In the modern age of instant updates and real time information, those who are faking it or not providing relevant information don’t last long. Magazines that have been around for 10, 20, or even 30 years, are probably doing something right.
Blogs are a great outlet to not only get information and advice from the everyday people just like you who sweat and struggle on the bench, it’s a great way for you to connect to the lifting community at large.
There’s a blog out there for every topic, and even specific niches within a wider topic, such as blogs focusing on overall strength versus how to improve your warm up routine. Depending on where you are in your lifting progression, or what areas you want to improve in, you can subscribe to one blog, or several.
Besides information, blogs are a great place to find encouragement and motivation when the going gets tough. The people who write blogs, and the majority of their readers, are people who have to balance fitness and work, take time away from families to hit the gym, and are just as tempted to skip leg day as you are. They understand what you’re going through, and know what tools and mental exercises you can use to get through it.
Start Your Own Blog
Once you’ve matured enough as a lifter, and want to help others achieve the results you’ve enjoyed, you may even decide to start your own blog. This is also a great option, since you’ve already read others blogs, you have a great idea of what works and doesn’t, and you can just design a basic website and use free stock fitness images to present your ideas on your blog.
Studies by Universities and Research Centers
It might seem boring to even consider pouring through page after page of scientific research, pie charts, and graphs, but the information pouring out of both the athletic departments of major universities, and private studies among both medical and athletic centers, can be an indispensable resource to really ‘get’ why some things work and others don’t.
The human body is one of the most resilient and adaptable biological machines that nature produces. There are thousands of complex, microscopic processes in play each and every time we curl a dumbbell, or perform a squat, or max out on a deadlift. Understanding the science behind why these processes take place, and how they impact us, it critical from making the transition from a practitioner in lifting to a true master.
In addition to topics like the effects annotated, scientific studies often offer suggestions, in a scientific capacity, to create a new effect on muscles, or enhance an existing one. For example, while it may not list the specific movements or exercises you should do, science was how lifters discovered that you can use negative-reps at the end of a regular set to expand our muscular capabilities, or push past a plateau.
Besides data relating directly to motion, energy output, and strength, research articles are also key to understanding the effects of various vitamins and nutrients on the body, which is essential to constructing a healthy diet that enables muscle gain. Every lifter knows you need a combination of proteins and lean fats to build solid muscle, but without understanding the why, you can’t reach your full potential, or discover new ideas to alter or change your existing diet.
Pushing Past the Plateau
Like I said at the start: there’s nothing easy about making weight. You can read all the articles in the world, but if you don’t commit to making your gym time and cramming your calories, you’ll never get there. But just as a carpenter can’t build a house without a solid blueprint, you don’t have the tools and resources needed to reach a new max or add those ten extra pounds, you’ll never make it.