The action of gaining body mass at a rapid rate will require dedication at both the exercise and diet regimen level. To gain muscle, a person will need to take in more calories than regular maintenance requires as well as undertaking exercise to target specific muscle groups. According to McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois, a healthy weight gain is 1/2 to 1 pounds per week.
Gaining Muscle Through Exercise
Exercise to achieve an increase in muscle size, or hypertrophy. This will require weightlifting with specific rep sets. Always begin with eight to 12 reps per set, sticking to this plan for approximately 10 weeks. Afterward, gradually increase the reps. Intensity and healthy stress on the muscles will be required in order for them to grow.
Limit cardio exercises. Cardio and aerobics have a tendency to burn a lot of calories, which is the opposite of the desired effect. You should still participate in cardio roughly one to two times per week, in short 20-minute bursts.
Focus on your muscle groups. To gain the appropriate amount of mass, participate in strength training exercises that target the back, abdominals, biceps, shoulders, triceps, quadriceps and hamstrings. For example, a seated row exercise will adequately target the back muscles, while situps will help build abdominal muscle. Bicep curls and overhead tricep extensions will help the biceps and triceps, and leg curls and leg presses are designed for the quadriceps and hamstrings.
Appropriate Nutrition for Mass
Eat above your maintenance level, but not too far above. Often, athletes in training will eat too many calories per day, which results in fat gain rather than muscle. To gain muscle mass, add an extra 200 to 300 calories per day to your usual diet, for 3,500 calories per week.
Eat the proper foods. Protein is exceptionally important. In addition to meats, keep in mind that foods such as peanut butter, dairy, flaxseed and hummus all have significant amounts of protein. Grains such as cereals and breads are important to providing extra calories as well as energy. A balanced diet is important. Aim for 40 percent protein, 30 percent carbs and 30 percent fat.
Have several small meals and snacks per day. Eat small amounts multiple times daily to add the extra calories to your diet without weighing you down.
Make sure that you drink plenty of water. A good way to calculate how much water you need is to multiply your body weight by 0.6 to determine ounces needed. Get plenty of sleep.. Adequate rest will increase blood flow to the muscles.
Take your time and don't give up. Gaining body mass will take motivation, discipline and patience.