THERE are two ways of gaining weight and only ONE of them is healthy weight gain
• Increase your fat weight
• Increase your muscle weight
I’m hoping you selected No. 2… You can only do this by following a regular, effective resistance training programme and a well-balanced, protein-rich diet. The exercise is obviously going to stimulate muscle growth, but more importantly your food intake is going to provide you with the correct nutrition to enable you not just to grow, but also to accomplish healthy weight gain.
Your genetics make up 75 per cent of your very being; therefore, if you are an ectomorph (long limbs, narrow shoulders and hips) you are going to have to work extremely hard to build up some substantial muscle and change your shape.
Having said that, did you know that Brad Pitt is in actual fact a famous ectomorph? And he really transformed himself for the film that sky-rocketed him to fame, Fight Club. Therefore, healthy weight gain even for an ectomorph is possible.
Nutrition counts! In order to gain weight you need to consume more calories than your body uses on a daily basis. You need to know how many calories you are using up on a daily basis and you need to ensure that you eat more than you are using to ensure healthy weight gain. As a personal trainer, I work this figure out during the client’s first assessment.
To gain 1lb of muscle you need to take in an extra 2,500 calories per week or an extra 400 calories per day. This also depends on individual metabolism, so you may require more or less. You would need to monitor this and also make sure you are gaining muscle and not fat. I recommend you fill out a nutritional diary and log everything you eat.