Troubles Gaining Weight in MUSCLE

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by namy, May 28, 2008.

  1. namy

    namy New User

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    Now I know there are a lot of ways to gain weight... but I don't want to just eat a lot. I don't want to gain weight as in simply gaining excess body fat. However, people keep telling me that I have to gain my weight in fat first before I can make strides in gaining weight in muscle?

    I have enlarged my diet and done a lot of lifting for the past year, but I've seen minimal strides in gaining weight! Last fall, I was 145 lbs. Right now, I am still 145 lbs but I can max 100 lbs more on the bench press than I did last fall. Also, I'm 5' 8" (don't know if height is relevant or not). My target weight is around 160-165 lbs.

    I'm on the verge of giving up on gaining muscle weight, because of all my failed attempts, but I keep reading stories of athletes gaining 20+ lbs in the off season in muscle! So PLEASE someone help me.
     
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  2. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    What's the point?

    Some people simply don't have that build. I can max out at 250ish and I'm only 135lbs.

    Lifting more doesn't do you any good, you're just stressing your muscles and bringing your body out of balance.
     
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  3. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    That's a good weight for your height, particularly if you are playing tennis.

    Very few guys gain 20 pounds of muscle in a year. Most guys don't have the genetics, bone size, ligament support, etc. to do it. On a regimen of steroids, and a lot of heavy lifting, you might gain 20 pounds of muscle, but then you'd lose it all in the Federal Penitentiary. :)

    What exactly is your reason for wanting more muscle? You don't need it for tennis. For tennis you might put on 10 pounds of muscle and still be as fast, depending on your bone size, but I suspect your tennis might suffer for at least a few months because you'd be sore so often.

    -Robert
     
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  4. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Professional

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    I don't claim to be an expert, just a formerly very enthused weight lifter.

    I used to weight around 135 in college, and was determined to increase my mass. The 3 things that really helped me gain weight (I'm presuming a large part of it was muscle and not just fat, since the amount of weight I could push increased dramatically as well), was 1) focusing on my larger muscle groups (particularly legs), 2) consuming more food (at the time lots of carbs+protein) 3) resting enough to give my muscles a chance to heal (sleep/frequency between training same muscle group). Training one body part a week, over the course of 3-4 years, I was able to go from 135->170 (body fat up from ~11%->25+%). My squat went from 135x10 to 405x10, Chest went from 135x1 to 305x1 (sadly never was able to get to 3 plates on each side), and still was able to do 25+ pullups.

    Back then I was as into tennis as I am now, and I think it hurt my tennis game since I wasn't doing as much stretching, and I think too much muscle slowed my strokes/running down. The biggest benefit IMO for tennis, was that it helped me be more resilient to injury.

    These days I still lift (per Ano's suggestions), but I don't try to go heavy any more, and I'm more concerned with keeping the fat % down, than I am trying build huge muscles.

    If you're still really motivated to gain muscle, I'd use my experience (as well as other posters) as a starting point to research a routine that would suit your body/schedule/goals.

    my $0.02
     
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  5. Gram Parsons

    Gram Parsons New User

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    That is very good. When I weight train, I just want to be stronger, rather than bulkier. Think of it in terms of having a good strength to weight ratio. Light and strong, now that's a winning combo for tennis
     
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  6. BullDogTennis

    BullDogTennis Hall of Fame

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    you have to eat ALOT of protein...shakes work well too
     
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  7. namy

    namy New User

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    Thanks for the help you guys.

    As for why I want to gain weight, it's just a personal preference. There's no specific reason to it. I guess I should have mentioned that the gaining weight in muscle was solely for tennis reasons. Again, I don't want to increase weight while increasing in body fat.

    In terms of my tennis game, I also don't think an extra 15 lbs would dramatically decrease my agility and I just want a more powerful game, and I think that extra weight could help, particularly when serving.

    Also, I have been drinking protein shakes every time after I lift.
     
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  8. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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  9. herosol

    herosol Professional

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    Ano i was reading this, and I was wondering if it's still applicable if im not really trying to get "big", but really just trying to tone up. My weight is perfectly fine, but like in my other post, i'm just trying to shift the percentage of body fat more towards muscle-weight.

    does heavy-lifting still apply? or?
     
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  10. Forehand_Punisher

    Forehand_Punisher Rookie

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    Yes...you need to train "heavy" to stimulate muscle growth. Eat quality proteins (chicken, fish, some lean beef).

    As a tennis player, it's going to be hard to "get big" anyway, so don't be afraid to lift heavier weights.
     
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  11. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    Yes, heavy lifting (6-12 reps per set to failure or close to failure) still apply.

    However, you need to create a caloric deficit - no two ways about it - you must burn more than you consume.

    When trying to lose bodyfat, heavy lifting will retain your muscle.
     
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  12. tenn23

    tenn23 New User

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    Hey Ano I was wondering if you could check out my thread called "please review my workout routine." I was referred to you by The Watchman and will greatly appreciate your input. Sorry for hijacking your thread namy.
     
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  13. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    it takes a lifetime of very hard work to reach your potential, i doubt there are more than a few who have

    protein wont make you gain weight, excess calories will..


    i noticed that i pimp it a lot, but theres a book called Starting Strength, buy it it will help you immensely
     
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  14. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Starting Strength is excellent. (Also, you can visit the BB forums and check out the Rippletoe thread in the Novice section.) Also Ano's Wannabebig link is good too.

    As for the food thing, try getting a rough count of your caloric intake for a few days. Even though you believe you're eating a lot more food, getting a real idea of your actual caloric intake will give you a reality check about how little (or a lot) you're actually eating.

    This is especially a major mental roadblock for people afraid of getting fat during a bulk.
     
    #14

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