Well let’s think about this question for a moment.
First, understand that your body is more than content with staying EXACTLY the way it is right now. It would rather not change and it is programmed to be this way after thousands of years of evolution. This means that to make any change in our bodies composition, we are going to have to ‘coax’ it or persuade it in doing so.
So for today’s purpose, building muscle, how do we persuade our bodies to do this?
Well we have to give it a ‘reason’ to grow!
There are many ways to do this but I am going to break it down into some manageable chunks.
One of the keys to gaining muscle and weight is to consume more calories. The reason we want to give our bodies more calories is because if we are going to demand more out of them than what they are accustomed to, then we need to feed them with more fuel.
Think of it as if you want to travel further in a car. If one tank of gas gets you so far but you want to go further, you need to have more gas right? It’s the same for building muscle. Feed it more so you have more energy to push it into spurting new muscle.
Now without going into excruciating details (which is not the point of this particular article), you cannot simply overfeed on junk food. Make sure you are eating lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Now that you are eating enough to give your body ‘extra energy’ you will need to stress the muscles so that they respond by getting bigger.
Your muscles are currently the size they are based on the level of activity you have done in the past, your genetics and your strength.
We cannot change your genetics, but we can however change your strength to a degree as well as elicit hypertrophy (muscle building) by weight training.
To put it simply, you need to start progressively overloading your body with some form of resistance training.
Honestly, do not get too concerned about finding that ‘Special’ program that will be better than all the other programs out there. There are just too many training programs to try and choose ‘the best’ one.
In my experience, they all work! Yes of course some may be better than others but in the end you will get results no matter which program you try as long as you follow the key rules to muscle building. Rely on the foundation and principles instead of the program. In doing so, you will get results no matter which program you are on.
What are the foundation and principles?
Progressive Overload, Adapt, Proper Form, Mindset, Rest and Recovery.
Pretty simple right?
The main thing is to continue stressing the muscles by either overloading with volume training, getting stronger by strength training and making sure to give your body enough time to rest and recover and therefore GROW!
This is not to say that you can just keep getting stronger to the point that you will be performing 1000lb bench presses, but by cycling your training through different stages, you will start to get closer to what your genetic potential for muscle mass really is.
Eventually the gains will get harder to come by, but if you are just starting out, this will not be an issue.
Accepting the Inevitable:
By applying the right factors for muscle building, you will start to gain lean mass and you will start to gain weight which is good because that is the goal we are after.
However, you need to also accept that when you are gaining muscle that it is almost impossible not to gain a bit of fat while doing so.
Now I know there are going to be lots of people claiming that it can be done but in my experience these are people who are genetically gifted and they are the exception to the rule.