Many of you have expressed concerns about gaining too much body fat while on such a high calorie diet, and wonder if you should do some aerobic exercise to offset the weight gain.
This would be largely body type dependant. If you’re an ectomorph, then absolutely not! As you’ll be burning more calories than you can eat taking you out of calorie surplus and you’ll really struggle to put any mass on. However if you’re an endomorph, then you can do some light cardio once or twice per week to help with limiting fat gain.
For best results, you either have to train and diet to gain muscle or lose fat. One or the other. If you are a true hardgainer, you cannot do both. If you try, you will not make any substantial progress either way. So, now is the time to gain weight. You will worry about losing fat later.
The fact is that there are no magic pills, powders, foods or exercises that will allow you to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.
It all is determined by your genetics and metabolism. Some people can do it, some can’t. If you are naturally thin and have a difficult time gaining weight of any kind, it would be silly of you to think that you will be able to gain muscle while trying to keep your body fat low, naturally.
Most skinny guys want to gain more muscle, but are afraid of gaining body fat. They see all the bodybuilder photos and read the stories about people gaining pounds of muscle while losing pounds of fat — They want to do the same. When looking at these photos, you have to remember that most of these people do not have your body type. The majority of them are overweight and want to lose fat, not gain muscle.
‘Well’, you say, ‘What about those people who transformed their bodies? They lost fat and gained muscle’. Yes, but almost all of these people were overweight, or had high levels of body fat. In other words, their metabolisms were, for the most part, slow. They simply dieted and trained for fat loss.
Weight training helped them to tone up and slightly increase their muscle mass by replacing some of the fat with muscle. Not converted but burned off fat and built muscle. However, you will never increase your body mass far above your original starting weight on that type of diet.
In other words, even though you gain some muscle, you will actually weight less!
For example, Big Joe weighs 189lbs with 18% body fat. This works out to be 34lbs of fat and 155lbs of muscle. He then goes on a fat loss diet and slowly diets down to a ripped 5% body fat at 168lbs, which is 8.4lbs of fat and 160lbs of muscle. He lost 26lbs of fat, and his weight only went down by 21lbs. So, looking that this we realize that he managed to also gain 5lbs of muscle. You can see that he has more muscle mass than when he started, and he looks totally ripped, but his weight decreased because his main goal was fat loss. He looks much better, and his measurements changed, but he only increased his total weight by five pounds.
If you are very thin, you cannot do this. Yes, your body fat will decrease, and this will also give you more muscle mass, but it will not increase your weight. You will just get much thinner. Big Joe was ‘big’ to begin with; we are not. To get the same results as Big Joe, you must first gain the weight, and then concentrate on losing the body fat later. Joe had the size; he just needed to trim down. We do not have the size to work with, so we have to force our bodies to grow beyond our body’s comfort range. This is the hard part.
This is why if you want to grow beyond your current size, you have to diet for it specifically.
Remember, most of you have extremely fast metabolisms. Gaining weight will be extremely difficult.
The only way you will get bigger is to shock your body.
You must shock your body by:
1. Training with heavy weights, and
2. Eating a lot of calories.
The first shock is with weight training. You must focus on compound free- weight exercises, and lift heavy weights, which will stimulate the largest amount of muscle fibers. Your body responds to this stimulus by increasing your muscle mass.
The second way we must shock our body is by eating more calories than your body is used to. This is the most important factor in gaining mass. When you overload your system with plenty of protein and fats, your body has no other choice but to gain weight. Aim to eat 6-8 meals per day, spaced out at 2-3 hour intervals.
Above all, be consistent, be patient and be disciplined!
Stay Healthy & Strong,
Steven Wong – CPT, Pn1
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