Build mass healthily: 6 tips for diet and training

Do you belong to the hardgainers? People who can eat whatever they want and simply don’t gain any mass often don’t have it any easier in life than someone who is overweight. Muscular bodies are not only considered the ideal of beauty, but actually keep you fit. Here come a few tips on how you can build muscle mass without junk food.

For many, our topic today sounds like a real luxury problem, but quite honestly: Bodyshaming remains Bodyshaming, whether you have to hear that you are too small, too big, too fat or too thin. Every one of us knows at least one drossy person from school or among friends who, no matter what they eat, is always the "beanpole" stay. Quickly, people with a narrow "ectomorph" become Physique as "Spargeltarzan or unathletic "Body Claus stamped. Eat more and do strength training? This advice does not help the so-called hardgainers as a recipe for success any more than "diet and sport" as advice for overweight people: Both remain too vague and often end in resignation, because gaining weight takes just as long as losing weight – it just doesn’t seem that way to most of us.

With this hardgainer guide, we don’t want to advocate a body transformation so that we soon all look like the fitness models on Instagram, but rather give people with a fast metabolism and little muscle mass 6 tips on how they can become fitter and more powerful without any pressure at all.

1. Eat right instead of eating indiscriminately

For actors, burgers, fries, soda, chips and chocolate may be the mass recipe when a new role calls for rapid weight gain. The fact that you don’t do your body any good with masses of saturated fats, sugar, salt, flavor enhancers and white flour is the price you pay for Hollywood. For normal mortals, the goal should be to build up healthy mass with the most natural, nutritious foods possible. With potatoes, whole grains, legumes, meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and fruit, you’re not only getting a relatively large number of calories on your plate, but also a lot of nutrients – without sending your blood sugar levels on a roller coaster ride. Avocados, nuts and seeds are also super healthy and contain lots of good fats.

A clever combination is also decisive for the utilization of the food: In order for the body to process protein better, it should be eaten together with complex carbohydrates. Intuitively, however, most people do a lot of things right when it comes to eating – if they haven’t forgotten to listen to their gut. In the mass phase, sports scientists recommend 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. Protein recipes for athletes are presented separately.

2. Six meals instead of three are more digestible

If you want to put on weight, you should never skip a meal, and it’s better to plan five to six wholesome portions throughout the day than three huge meals. So you do not overload your stomach. So that you don’t have to reach for cake, chocolate or sandwiches when you’re out and about, you should always pack a snack: fruit, nuts, power bars or homemade wholemeal cookies, cottage cheese with fruit or vegetables, wholemeal bread with toppings or a fruit-vegetable smoothie are all great options.


Small snacks for athletes in between are better in the mass phase than three lavish meals. (© 2018 Pexels/JeSHOOTS )

3. Calculate patiently and moderately

In order to gain or lose one kilogram, you theoretically need to eat around 7.000 calories more to consume or save, it says. But it totally overtaxes the metabolism if we suddenly really dig in or starve ourselves. In order for the body to break down fat deposits without going into starvation mode, you should cut back on no more than 200 to a maximum of 500 calories. Conversely, 200 to a maximum of 500 calories extra a day are enough for healthy weight gain. This may take a few days longer with 200 calories, but so the change for you and your metabolism is not so difficult after the mass phase, and you can keep the weight well.

4. Food and training tracking help with the calculation

In order to make a realistic calorie calculation, you should determine your basal and working metabolic rate as accurately as possible. The former is easy to find out via corresponding formulas on the net. The balance becomes really interesting, however, if you take into account the daily activity. Activity trackers do a great job here, while formulas only give rough estimates depending on whether you’re doing a sedentary or physically demanding activity and how often you exercise. Fitness trackers with heart rate monitors take into account not only the training intention, but also how long and intensively you have really trained and every single step – this is of course much more accurate. So with a wearable, you know what you’re burning each day and can use the average to create a nutrition plan and add about 300 calories to it. To make sure you know whether you’re getting them, it’s worth having a food tracker. Many activity trackers already come with their own food diaries, but you can also download dedicated apps like Lifesum, MyFitnessPal and others.

Tracking your diet manually for a few weeks is tedious, but worthwhile: it gives you a better feel for nutrition and helps you reach your goals more quickly. In addition, we are creatures of habit, and after a few days, the common foods are stored in the database and the tracking is always faster from the hand. Don’t forget the drinks and also avoid other beginner food tracking mistakes.

The LifeSum app is a great tool for losing weight and gaining muscle: it keeps track of your calorie balance. (© 2017 CURVED )

5. Clean eating is not just a weight loss trend

Who times somewhat more near with the topic "Clean Eating" The body is simply not made for artificial additives in food and cannot metabolize them properly. In case of doubt, artificial colors, preservatives and flavorings end up on your hips or promote diseases of civilization such as diabetes and cancer. Ultimately, no one should be concerned with building mass no matter how, but to become fit, strong and powerful: This still works best with foods that nature has provided for us, so as far as possible unprocessed instead of finished products. Although many people lose weight with Clean Eating because they leave out typical fattening foods, it is not primarily to be understood as a weight loss trend. Instead, it is a matter of conscious enjoyment and the renunciation of cryptic E-numbers and flavor enhancers such as glutamate and yeast extract, because they confuse the body and brain and are addictive. Eat more of the healthy foods that grow under the ground, on trees or bushes, or graze in the meadow – preferably in organic quality.

6. Strength training, but do it right

Sport is always a good idea, after all you want to gain not only fat, but especially muscle, or? Here, targeted strength training is naturally more suitable than endurance sports. Don’t train on an empty stomach, so that the body doesn’t touch the valuable muscle and fat reserves.

Maximum load at four to six repetitions increases strength, up to twenty repetitions and little weight increases strength endurance and everything in between makes the muscles sprout, it is often said. Although most trainers advise eight to twelve reps at 80 percent of maximum weight for the mass phase, muscles also grow well with less weight and more reps. This was the conclusion reached some time ago in a sports science study by the American McMaster University. According to this, any muscle training with a weight higher than 50 percent of the maximum strength is effective until muscle exhaustion. It is best to vary the loads and repetitions regularly, so that no habituation effect occurs and muscles react to the training stimuli.

Schedule 45 to 60 minutes of full-body training with weights three times a week: classic exercises for the major muscle groups such as deadlifts, squats, rowing, bench presses, curls or cable pulls are ideal. After training, the muscles need food, preferably in two portions: first a shake and then protein in combination with complex carbohydrates at home. And remember, muscles grow overnight, not during workouts. So give them enough sleep and recovery time.

sports, fitness, gym, weights, muscle, dumbbells

We don’t all have to look like Popeye, but with a little more muscle mass, you feel fitter right away. (© 2018 CURVED )

Conclusion: If it were easy, everyone could do it

If it were easy to look like Popeye, anyone could do it. So don’t get discouraged and be patient. The important thing is that you train diligently and in a varied way, and that you deal more intensively with balanced nutrition – which also means cooking more yourself. Fitness and food trackers can be an immense help with energy balance. In any case, beginners should also consult a trainer and familiarize themselves with deadlifts, squats and the like. have them admitted – otherwise you’ll end up doing more harm than good. Those who take our six tips for hardgainers to heart will soon see and feel the first progress – and can then be just as proud of themselves as someone who has lost a few kilos of body fat without crash dieting and keeps the weight off. Do not put yourself under pressure and above all have fun while training and eating.

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