Since you all went crazy about the „15 Ways To Lose Weight“ blogpost I thought I shouldn't wait long till I publish the second part called „15 Ways To Gain Muscle“ ♡
I also have way more experience in gaining weight & muscles - so here are my 15 tips on how to gain muscles & weight while still looking lean!
1. EAT MORE BUT DON’T OVEREAT: In order to gain weight you of course need to eat more calories than your body needs but that doesn’t mean that you need to stuff your face 10 times a day. Muscles grow verrrry slowly and that’s why I think a decent calorie surplus (200-500 kcal) is fine. If you eat too much your body will store it as fat and that’s not what we want. Just FYI: An average woman can gain between 50g and 100g of muscles per week - which is not much. So take your time!
2. LIFT HEAVY: Such a basic point. But your body won’t get curvy and muscular from doing cardio. If you train with weights you will signal your body that it needs to build muscles in order to lift those weights.
3. CHANGE UP YOUR ROUTINE: From time to time your body will get used to those new stimulations and will stop building more muscle. That’s why you also need to progress your training routine. Add more weight, do different exercises, try things like „supersets“ and „dropsets“, do one more set, add one more rep or do anything else that makes your workout more intense & challenges your body.
4. COUNT CALORIES: It’s hard to estimate how much food 2300 calories are. That’s why I started counting them with an app & that’s one of the best things I could have done. I noticed right away that I didn’t eat enough food and that was one of the reasons I wasn’t gaining muscles and weight. You also need to make sure that you eat at least 2g of protein for each kg of body weight. In my case this is 50kg *2g = 100g of protein a day. So take control, start counting & be sure to eat enough food!
5. PREP YOUR MEALS & KEEP SNACKS IN YOUR BAG: Cooking 5 times a day is probably not possible for anybody out there. Still we need to eat more than 3 times a day in order to get our calories in. That’s why you should always have some snacks - bananas, nuts, protein bars, rice cakes, etc. - or some proper, pre-cooked meals with you. If you have something in your bag it will be easier to eat more regularly!
6. LOOK FOR HIGH-CALORIE FOOD: 100ml of Rice-Almond-Milk has 80 (healthy) calories - skim milk has 40kcal in comparison. You can easily get double the calories in by switching to another kind of milk. Coconut Milk, Greek Yogurt, Tofu, Oats & Granola, Minced Beef and Salmon are also great high calorie foods.
7. READ SUCCESS STORIES: That helped me a lot. Gaining weight takes a lot of time & sometimes you will think your body is just not made to gain any weight. But trust me, it is possible! You need to be consistent and patient. If you read through stories of other people, who already went through it and were successful you will feel motivated to keep on going!
8. FOCUS ON COMPOUND EXERCISES: Compound exercises are movements like deadlifts, squats, lunges, glute bridges, pull ups, etc. Compound exercises work more than 1 muscle group and are therefore more complex than isolation exercises. In order to do those movements you will need to build overall strength and your workout will be more intense. Your body will also naturally release lots of growth hormones this way!!
9. LOWER YOUR REPS: With compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, etc. I always try to do the majority of my sets with a really heavy weight which only allows me to do 6-10 reps with good form. If I can do more than that I will increase the weight. This way you will get beautifuuuuul, round muscles (and a perky butt). When it comes to abs I will do higher reps, depending on the exercises.
10. DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL: Alcohol slows down the processes of muscle gain and increases the fat storage. Especially if you get super hungry when your drunk and will eat everything you see haha. Did you know that alcohol contains 7 calories per gram? Plus the sirups and sugars that are added in cocktails. Alcohol also makes you feel weaker. And if you feel weak you can lift less weights and gain less muscle - makes sense right?
11. "DRINK" YOUR CALORIES: I know that it’s super hard to get that high amount of calories in. I always have big problems with eating 2000-2300 calories a day. One of the „easiest“ way for me to achieve this calorie goal is "drinking" them. I drink 1 high calorie shake a day, preferred directly after my workout. I use 1 banana, 50g of oats, rice-almond milk (has more calories than normal milk), fruits, cacao powder & quark. This will get you about 700 kcal in which HELPS. At least for me drinking is easier than eating a plate full of food. And it’s perfect for on-th-go!
12. GET ENOUGH SLEEP & AVOID STRESS: Sleeeeeep. My favorite topic on earth. I love love love to sleep (although I’m never getting more than 6 hours of sleep each nicht, uggh). Ideal would be 7-8 hours in order to give your body enough time to recover and grow. And stress elevates a hormon called „cortisol“. And cortisol makes your body store fat and burn muscle. Of course stress does another hundreds of things that are bad for your body & soul but that point is definitely important if you want to get a little bigger. So calm down, relieve stress & remember to don’t stress about things you can’t change.
13. EAT QUICKER: I know, that’s not what our mothers told us haha. But if you eat quicker you can eat more before your brain realizes that you’re actually full. So don’t be the person that takes 30min to eat a salad! And avoid distractions while eating, they will slow you down.
EVER FEELING FLABBY AND PUFFY? NO PROBLEM:
14. CARB TIMING: While gaining weight you can easily feel big & puffy if you put so much food (especially carbs) into your body. What I find super helpful is trying to eat most of the carbs in the morning & around my workout. I definitely feel leaner this way!
15. DO HIIT!: High Intensity Interval Training is great if you want to stay lean. You can also do things like 200m sprints, battle ropes (ahhh love and hate them at the same time), pushing cars (haha - you know what I mean). My 10min Ab Workout will also make you sweat quickly!!
Do you have other tricks, that made "gaining muscles" easier for you? Would love to hear them!! xx