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Gaining Muscle (Nutrition and Exercise)

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  • Gaining Muscle (Nutrition and Exercise)

    Hopefully I can get some input from everyone.

    Almost a year and a half ago, while still in college, I was weighing in at about 170. After starting this job, and working out on a continued basis I have gone down to about 150. I am happy that I lost the body fat, but now I am looking to gain muscle mass. I have been using protein drinks and such, but I am not close to my gram of protein per pound. I need to work on that.

    I am writing to see if anyone would be willing to give suggestions as to gain some muscle through nutrition and exercise. Any examples of your workout routine, what exercises you do, what you eat, what type of products you eat to get your protein, etc. I like to run a lot and that may be the problem to not gaining the muscle I want to be gaining. I have read a lot in magazines and am curious to see what everyone is doing, and more importantly what works.

    Any suggestions, advice, comments, etc. would be very beneficial! Thanks in advance.

    K9

  • #2
    K9 - start by reading this:

    http://www.eatright.org/Public/Other/index_adap1200.cfm

    It's a paper entitled Nutrition and Athletic Performance (put out by the American Dietetic Association, Dieticians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine). It's a long paper, so will take some time to read, but it has excellant, well-researched information on all aspects of sports nutrition (and includes information on gaining weight).

    Increasing muscle mass occurs when you overload your muscles through the use of resistance exercise (ie. your muscles get bigger as an adaptive response to regular strength training).

    Eating a nutritionally sound diet (high in complex carbohydrates, with some lean protein and some fat), staying hydrated, adequately resting in between workouts (to allow your muscles to build and repair themselves) - will all CONTRIBUTE to your goals. But the hard strength training workouts are what will ultimately produce increased muscle.

    It's important to realize that genetics will play a part in how much muscle mass you gain. You can certainly increase your lean muscle mass through exercise, but if you lost 20 pounds without trying (I hate you for that by the way ) - my guess is that you may not EVER look like the proverbial brick-*****-house.

    Keep running. Seriously - it will keep your heart strong, and keep your injury and disease risk down. 4 runs a week will provide you with these benefits. Lift weights 3-4 times a week also.

    My other thought is that you said you wanted to gain more muscle mass - but you didn't say what you actually wanted to DO with that increased mass (ie. once you're big - then what?). I know a number of big guys who are not flexible enough to straighten out their arms, and who do not have enough CV endurance to be able to run for more than a couple of minutes at a time - but they're big.

    People's bodies are a direct reflection of the activities they participate in. If you look at a body builder, a martial artist, a swimmer, and a runner, you begin to realize that there are all kinds of "muscular".

    I really love to run - but I also love to mountain bike, lift weights and swim (and my body LOOKS like a swimmers body). I'm drawn to these activities because they suit me both physically and psychologically.

    I could TRY and run sprints (but my body is designed to run distance). I could TRY and bring my body fat percentage down to where I looked like a serious distance runner (but I am predisposed to a heavier and rounder musculature, as opposed to the angular musculature of accomplished runners). Bottom line is that I:

    1. Make the most of what I have to work with

    2. Participate in activities that I enjoy (for the joy of participating)

    3. Participate in activities to accomplish other personal goals (ie. increase mass, gain/lose weight, increase strength, learn a new skill etc.)

    4. Set realistic goals based on genetics, physical abilities and amount of time I can dedicate to the activity
    Last edited by krj; 12-04-2003, 03:35 PM.

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    • #3
      Everyone is different, I was about 160 lb. at 17yo and by the time I was 18.5 yo I weighed 230 lb.. This was due to massive calorie intake, protein, carbs, fat whatever, I ate it. I worked out intensely 5 days a week 2-3 hours a day. Out of the 70 lb. weight gain I gained about 40 lbs. of muscle, the rest was fat. I could not keep up this pace for long, by the time I was 22yo I was 210 and worked out 2 days a week for 1 hour each time. For the 1.5 years that I put on the weight and muscle I did protein drinks, took amino acids and ate and ate and ate. I did have genetics to help out, no one in my family has trouble building muscle. Eat lots of good food and bust yer *** in the gym and you will gain size.
      Trooperden, akman75, & azmichelle ignored

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      • #4
        K-9. If there's one thing I know it's that everyone responds differently to excercise and diet, but here is what works for me, and it might not be the best as far as what is recommended by professionals.

        I went friom 150 last year to 190 this year, and it's mostly muscle. As far as my training, I go to the gym 5 days a week. I run (or do some leg workout) every day I work out and do abs each day as well. Here's my slpit:

        Day 1 - Chest, Abs, 1.5-3 mile run
        Day 2 - Back, Legs (I know most will say these are 2 big bodyparts and should not be done on the same day, but with all the running and bike riding, my leg workout is not too strenuous).
        Day 3 - Biceps, Abs, 1.5-3 mile run
        Day 4 - Triceps, Abs 1.5-3 mile run
        Day 5 - Shoulders, Abs, 1.5-3 mile bike ride

        Doing one body part a day works best for me. I try to keep my workouts to 1 hour and 15 minutes. If they were any longer, I might not want to go back the next day! 15 minutes of cardio, 45 minutes of the one body part, and 15 minutes of abs. I think with giving yourself alomst a whole hour for one body part, you allow yourself a proper warm-up, you can train to failure, and you get a full week to rest that body part. I do't lift with all heavy weights, as I like to mix it up. Sometimes I'll do real slow bicep curls with 20 lb. weights and feel the burn that way, or grab a 120 lb. cambered bar and feel the burn that way as well.

        As far as diet and supplements, I try to eat a lot of meat and chicken. I work at a steakhouse, so I'm able to eat steak a few times a week. I also take "ON Protein." I think it has the most protein per serving out there and it is cheap (like $19.99 for a month's worth - depends how much you use a day of course, but I use 2 scoops). I eat tuna throught the day (when I can), and peanut butter sandwiches (YUM!). I also try to drink a gallon of water a day, which rarely happens, but when I do I'm constantly ****ing at work. I also take Meta-Cel creatine, which is supposed to be the best as far as muscle absorbtion, but I don't know yet because I just started on it. Overall I suggest eating often, 5 days a week of training, and taking protein and creatine.

        I am SURE the experts will disagree with me (PROWRITER! ), but this helped me gain 50 pounds. It worked for me and it may or may not work for you. But no matter what you take or eat try to keep the intesity in the gym up. I find that to be my biggest problem at times. Good Luck!
        The best revenge is a good life.

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