Question: I am very lean and my body weight is very low compared to my height. So please guide me to increase my body mass safely without any side effects.
Answer: You are certainly not the first – nor will you be the last – person to experience this issue!
My standard answer is if you are not gaining weight, then you aren't eating enough. It is a simple math problem.
Building muscle is a little different. You have to actually exercise by overloading your muscles and then letting them rebuild so that they are bigger and stronger than before.
But putting on weight is simply a math problem:
Eat more calories than you burn.
It really is that simple. Now, I know. It's extremely difficult to eat a lot of food for a lot of people; I used to be the same way. I used to eat so much that I literally puked it all out. It was absolutely horrible!
You will need a good protein supplement, preferably made of whey concentrate. Prograde makes the best on the market, so you may as well pick some up right now.
Eat 6 or more times a day, including plenty of protein and fat from eggs, milk, beef, fish, fowl, and nuts. Make sure you eat a lot of green vegetables and fresh fruits, too.
For short periods of time (3 to 6 weeks), you can eat up to a dozen eggs and a gallon of milk per day. Don't start off with this volume, though — build up to it!
Get in the gym no more than 3 days a week and exercise using only compound movements like squats, deadlifts, chinups, bench presses, rows, and overhead presses. 3 sets of 6-10 reps.
Don't do any abdominal work and rest as much as possible. Sleep at least 8 hours a night. More if you can. Take a nap after lunch, too.
The trick is getting your metabolism to slow down, stimulating muscle growth, and eating as much as you can to effect the weight and muscle gains that you so desperately desire.
It IS do-able. I put on over 60 pounds in one year using those methods above.
You can get more details by getting my Hardgainer Manifesto course.
Many people bust their butts in the gym but when it comes to making the right food choices or getting enough of the good stuff, they simply fail.
FACT: The average grocery bill has risen 5.7% in just 2 years since 2007.
I'm going to give you some budget stretcher tips and tricks so you can shop like a pro when you are bodybuilding on a budget. You'll save money and get more food for your dollar. This is even more important for you skinny guys and gals that need to eat and just can't seem to keep the cupboards stocked with enough food.
Sit tight and take notes.
Bulk frozen individual packs, or just get them with the skin and bone. Skin them yourself. It doesn't take too much time and you save quite a bit on the whole package. A whole chicken is a good option as you can BBQ it and carve it up for the rest of the week. Grilling all your chicken in advance is a super simple way to to have 1-2 chicken breasts a day without adding to your cooking time.
Turkey burger or lean ground turkey. Adds well to pasta dishes.
Lean Red Cuts of Meat:
Get to know your local butcher if you can. Sometimes they can package a smaller cut if you'd like or run the cheaper, tougher cuts thru a tenderizer at your request. Some stores do markdowns to get rid of meats that are closer to expiration. It might be possible to ask them when they time is so you can schedule your shopping at the markdown times. You can check the “sell by date” and if it's today, ask if they will mark it down for you.
Eggs (Omega 3 if possible)
100% Whole Wheat bread
Oatmeal (not the quick oats)
Cream of Wheat
Whole Grain Pasta (watch out for mixed sources, you want the whole grain version)
Salad Fixings (lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, hickima, etc)
Before You Go On The Budget Stretcher Trip:
* Take a list. Don't start your grocery shopping trip off without a clear cut idea of what it is you want to purchase. Far too many times I've gone to the store and loaded up on chicken only to discover I had plenty of frozen breasts and I was completely out of brown rice and oats. Developing a list of foods you need to replenish weekly will aid in saving money on excess foods and keep you from buying impulse items you didn't need.
I'm going to say this is probably the MOST IMPORTANT tip on this list. Going to the gym with a plan is the surefire way to make progress. It is the same with grocery shopping. Knowing what you need for the week will save you gasoline in terms of multiple trips and you'll know exactly what types of food you need for your stated goals.
When I was bulking and trying to gain weight, having a list before I went shopping ensured that I got all the food I needed in order to gain healthy weight. And I saved money because I didn't end up buying impulse items.
* Spend 20 minutes a week and save 20% off your grocery bill! Clip coupons, watch for sales and pay attention to your local grocery store. Many people just “shop.” But you'll save quite a pretty penny if you save some of those ads and watch for sale items. If you are looking to bulk up, a 2-for-1 offer is hard to pass up. A little here and there can add up to $1000's of dollars in a year with savings.
* Don't discount those high end stores. I love my local Safeway and Costco. They have bulk items and their deals are super. Whole Foods (Whole PayCheck as I call it) sometimes has deals on particular items that are even cheaper than the regular discounts at those bigger chain stores. My point is… Don't stick to a single store and ignore the other savings that might be happening in your area. Just keep an open mind.
What To Do While You're There:
* Shop on the border first. Many of the items I've listed above are found on the borders of the store and not up and down the aisles. Usually higher priced items are in the middle. If you start off your shopping around the borders of the store, you'll fill up your cart quickly with the most healthy items and the ones you need to have and spend less time on the higher priced stuff. Almost always, the pre-packed, high priced, more unhealthy stuff is in the middle. Tackle those aisles for the remainder of the stuff on your list.
* Look Up and Then Down. You won't notice this as much unless you are into advertising or have somebody point it out but many times, the best priced items are NOT at eye level! More often than not, the higher priced items are right where you can quickly stop them. If you take a second to glance up and then down, you'll find alternatives, smaller sizes and discounts that aren't quite as visible. Take a second to look around before you just grab what you think you need.
For example, in most stores I've shopped at the very best cereal item you can purchase in that particular aisle is whole oats. Are the oats right at eye level? Of course not. They are most likely on the very bottom shelf, where you have to look and bend down to grab. One of the BEST things in the morning for breakfast is not at eye level and you must look for it in order to find it.
* Sign up for the Program. I'm a Safeway shopper. Naturally I've got the Club Card. I save money every time I shop. I signed up for any other program the stores around me offer not because I want to be spammed with their ads (although coupons are nice) I simply want all the savings that I can possibly get without having to do a thing. Some stores will match competitor's offers. You'll only know this is you get those type of notifications.
* Look for discounted vegetables and fruits. Sometimes at the last minute, the grocery store needs to get rid of some items, maybe tomatoes, because they are going soft and will spoil in a few days. You might stumble across a good sale if you snag those items quickly before a new shipment comes in and you pay full price. Instead of buying bagged salads, you can pick up all the veggies yourself and make your own! In fact, you'll probably make enough salad to last a week and at half the price of most packaged salads.
* Avoid too many frozen foods. They are usually pricey. I keep a few on hand for emergencies. When I don't want to cook a darn thing, I've got nothing in bulk ready to go and I'm not about to drop money on eating out, having some healthy frozen dinner sure can be handy. Just keep them to a minimum as they can be expensive. They can actually save you money if you are just too tired to cook and don't want to spend money on eating out.
* Match em' Up! Remember the coupon lecture a bit ago? Take that coupon and combined with a great sale, you are really going to save a bundle. Not always but many times, the store will let you use a coupon in addition to an item that is already on sale. Even if you don't need it and it's something you can use later, you'll save money buying it now vs. waiting until it's at regular price and you lost that coupon or it expired. Combinations, just like in video games, can pack some amazing punch if used in a timely fashion.
Additional Budget Stretcher Tips:
* Tupperware is your friend. It will extend the life of some items like salads and chicken if you are able to vacuum seal the item. Storing it will be easier. Taking it for lunches will be simple.
* Check the expiration or sell by dates. It does happen that you can purchase meat items and they are best used by the very next day. If you don't ask for a discount in this case, you just paid for items that are not going to last all that long. Check the dates if possible and make sure the food you are buying isn't about to go bad tomorrow.
* Freeze the meats. When I purchase chicken, if they are not individually wrapped already as in the case of some Costco items, I'll unpack them immediately. Then I'll wrap them up and freeze them. This way they will last much longer and I can pull out however many chicken breasts or other meat items I need and cook them quickly.
If you follow these tips, you'll almost guaranteed to save money on your grocery bills. This is especially important for those of us who are trying to gain weight and food is a premium. If there's only one thing you remember, please shop with a list and know before you go.
Fed Up With Confusion Over What Foods To Eat?
Put An End To Dieting Plateaus And Meal Planning Madness Forever Using This Simple Little Time-saver…
Marc David is a bodybuilder, writer, and author of the e-book “The NoBull Bodybuilding Program.” He also has experience in sports nutrition and supplementation.
He created The NoBull Bodybuilding Program that makes creating meal plans a snap. Armed with the shopping tips above and a budget stretcher meal plan guide to create these approved meal plans, you can be assured your nutrition will be set. It's so much better than guessing at what to eat, or trying to figure out at the last minute what to cook. Planning meals is essential if you want to make progress. Using such a meal plan can take that difficulty right out of having to figure out “What's for dinner?”
I suggest you take a look at The NoBull Bodybuilding Program and take the frustration of what to eat out of the equation.
Here's to you saving a bundle on your grocery bill…
Article Source: EzineArticles
Supplement Scam Alert! Read here about supplement scams the food supplement industry does not want you to know about (because if you did, they'd go broke and you'd make some gains!).
Think about it for a minute: If all those nutritional supplements worked, then why don't we all look like [insert hottest body on the planet right now – examples might be Dexter Jackson, Brad Pitt, or Megan Fox]?
Why don't food supplements work? Here's a key question in seeking out that answer: How could the supplement industry stay in business if they did?
Here's the lowdown on the supplement scams the food companies run on you every time you open up a fitness-, health-, or muscle-building magazine.
Did you know that all the fitness-related magazines were either controlled, owned, or heavily influenced by the supplement industry? Look it up. Advertising is big business and there's no bigger business in the health-related magazine industry than food supplements.
Muscle&Fitness sells nothing but supplement ads, many of which are promoting Joe Weider's own supplement line. Here's an excerpt from an ad in the July 2009 edition of Flex Magazine (another Weider publication):
New Super-Molecule is 2,000 Times More Potent Than Anything You've Ever Taken!
Is that hyperbole? Yes, absolutely. Does it sell? YES! ABSOLUTELY!!
You're not in this game to get 5 -10 percent gains. You want 2,000 percent gains!
SUPPLEMENT SCAM #1: If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
Choking down a pill or mixing up a powder is far easier than hitting the gym, running up stairs, and eating healthy food. That's why people take supplements, for the most part. It's for the magic elixir, the instant gratification.
Don't get me wrong: Some supplements DO work. But they aren't miracle workers. None of them will do what anabolic steroids do, either. Some claim to have “anabolic effect.” But so does steak and eggs, heavy weight training, and steroids.
The supplement companies have a vested interest in keeping you from reaching your peak. Think about it: If you “became” Ronnie Coleman by taking Supplement X, then, when you got there, wouldn't you stop?
If a drug cured you of cancer, you surely would stop taking it once your cancer was in remission.
If you got to your goal weight of 330 pounds of rock-solid monster muscle, would you keep taking your weight-gain powder?
If you lost 100 pounds and looked the best you ever looked, would losing 120 pounds make you happier? You'd have to keep taking the supplement forever and, soon, you'd be dead, weighing a whopping 37 pounds!
So, supplements have to give the appearance of working, yet they simply cannot deliver on their promise, or else they'd go out of business. Hence, the supplement scams!
In the latest edition of Flex, page 38 had the first “editorial content.” Guess what was on the first 37 pages? Supplement advertisements. I'm not kidding.
SUPPLEMENT SCAM #2: If you have to “sell it” that strong, it's probably too good to be true!
Here's another trick the supplement industry uses to sell their “goods” (we should call them “bads” in this case): They take a bodybuilder, have him “bulk up” (i.e., get fat), then have him take their supplement while he works his arse off in the gym and eats like a concentration camp victim.
“Miraculously,” the dude trims down, loses 10 percent body fat and gains 10 pounds of muscle, all in “less than 28 days!”
What a crock! First, they took somebody who had already “been there,” and took him “back there.” That's too easy. Give me ANY pro-caliber athlete and in 3 months' time, I can have him looking like he used to look. It's simple.
Arthur Jones did this 40 years ago with his Nautilus training machines. He took a young Casey Viator who had been in a car accident, after having been crowned the youngest Mr America ever, and “transformed” him using the Nautilus method (high intensity, single sets per body part, isolation exercises, training to failure, etc.).
Casey could start training today and get back to 80 percent of his best shape in 3 months!
SUPPLEMENT SCAM #3: Beware the “Before-After” photo scam.
The supplement guys also strategically place “testimonials” next to the “Before-After” photos (or outright lie about it) to imply that THOSE models gave the glowing review.
Also beware the “phony review,” where an internet marketer is selling supplements by giving an “objective review” of a product. Most likely, he's getting paid for any sales of the product made through his page. It's called “affiliate marketing” and the FCC is about to crack down on this practice.
(By the way, I do the same thing here on these pages, but I only sell what I take myself and I only take what works.)
Another thing you may not be aware of: Nutritional supplements are not regulated or tested by any government entity. Manufacturers can claim nearly anything. Further, they can put just about ANYTHING in their products!
Did you know that? Here's a line for a product called “EPONOX.”
NEW EPO Blood Building Technology for Extreme Muscle Growth
Does that sound a little scary to you? It certainly does to me! Basically, if this stuff does what it says it does (which it probably doesn't), you will be manipulating your body to build more red blood cells than it would naturally manufacture. Athletes call this “blood doping.” Lance Armstrong, 7-time Tour de France winner, was accused of blood doping through use of drugs that boosted EPO output.
(My take, by the way: He did use drugs, but only while in cancer treatment, but not while competing. I have no proof of this, other than the fact that he never failed a drug test while competing, and he was placed under far more scrutiny than any of his competitors.)
Not only are the proposed benefits of such blood-boosting dubious, they can be harmful! Imagine more blood coursing through your veins. Your blood pressure will rise, more stress will be placed on your heart pumping all that blood around. Remember, you cannot compress a fluid, so what happens is, if taken to extremes, your blood vessel walls get thinner. Not a good thing!
However, it's highly doubtful that this supplement delivers on its “promise.” But if it did, I'd run away from this supplement. Nothing long-term-good can come of it.
Finally, a word on ephedrine. Lots of “fat burners” have used this chemical compound, or a derivative, for years. A handful of people have died while taking supplements containing ephedrine. The FDA finally pulled it off the shelves. It's now a banned substance.
While I'm skeptical that the root cause of these deaths was due to ephedrine, I remain unconvinced that you cannot get similar results with — get this — HARD WORK.
I know, it's tough to get all excited about working in the gym and eating well. But it remains the best long-term method for building the body you want. It works. And it won't kill you.
Some of the stuff they put in food supplements is downright scary. Putting untested ingredients is not only part of the supplement scam, but it ought to be a crime.
You don't need fancy “blends” or “optimized” proportions. You certainly don't need the multi-color, multi-page “Special Advertisements” hawking such hyperbole.
And you certainly don't need the outrageous prices.
by Brian St. Pierre, CSCS, CISSN
Lunch is definitely one of those meals where people often have the best intentions, but things often go awry.
If you don’t prep and pack your lunch in the morning for the day, and instead, rely on your ability to make good decisions when you are starving and faced with multiple opportunities to stray from your usual intake, you are in trouble.
While some people do have an iron will, resist the temptation and make good choices, that is not most of us! This is where packing your own delicious and healthy lunch can come in and prevent that from ever being an issue in the first place.
Since time is always an issue, here are 5 quick lunch recipes that you can make in 10 minutes or less before you head off to work and take with you.
One quick note is that many of these recipes call for pre-cooked chicken breasts, as this can be a HUGE timesaver.
In a large Pyrex dish, cook chicken breasts that have been cut in half (so they are half as thick) or chopped at about 350°F for approximately 20 minutes, or until done. To retain moisture, cover dish with tin foil. Season these breasts to taste with sea salt, garlic powder, Montreal chicken seasoning, or anything you like prior to cooking.
When you go away to college, you are thrown into an unfamiliar environment. Sleeping in a bed that is not your own and dealing with a new roommate you don’t know may be difficult enough, but you can’t forget about learning how to eat healthy foods while at college. Healthy eating is important so that you keep the weight off and keep your immune system healthy.
It is first important to settle into an eating routine. At home, you would probably never eat after a certain time at night—don’t at college either. If you’re used to eating breakfast, wake up before classes in enough time to do so. At the very least, be sure that you have time between classes for a balanced lunch and dinner. Don’t skip meals.
If your schedule is hectic, as most people find, you’ll need to schedule time to eat. Instead of grabbing food from a vending machine when you are hungry, plan ahead. Take a healthy salad or sandwich with you to eat if you have class over mealtime. Most professors don’t mind if you bring food to class as long as your eat it quietly.
When you do have time to eat in the cafeteria, it is important to make healthy decisions. Most colleges offer pizza and a variety of desserts every day, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat them! Look for choices that have a balance of the food groups in every meal. A good indication that you have a nutritious meal is color. If your trey is colorful, with fruits, vegetables, and proteins, you are on the right track.
Of course, not every college has a cafeteria, and even if yours does you might choose to eat elsewhere. It’s very tempting to order Chinese food or other delivery, especially when participating in study groups. Try to find the best options here and allow yourself to splurge only on special occasions. For example, if someone is ordering pizza, see if the pizzeria also offers salads. This may be a healthy option. Try to stay away from fried or greasy foods.
College is one of the best times of your life. Don’t let poor eating choices ruin the experience. You might also want to note as a closing thought that alcohol has more empty calories than most of the foods you can eat at the cafeteria combined. Staying away from it can not only keep you safe, but also healthy. Add an exercise routine at a local gym, and you’ll never see that freshman fifteen!
Look, I know how hard it is to build muscle. Trust me when I tell you it took me 20+ years to figure it out. But once I did--BAM!--muscle appeared almost overnight. Give me your email address and I'll send you the keys.
Discover how including just one simple (and inexpensive) supplement can revolutionize your muscle-building efforts.