A lot of people want to get huge, gain muscle mass and get lean at the same time. This is almost theoretically impossible. To get bigger and gain mass, you have to increase your calories. To get lean, toned muscle, you have to work out and reduce your calories. They ideally do not go hand in hand.
In the 1950’s there were actual ads where the scrawny, skinny dude could never get the girl – got sand kicked on him, and teased. There was a drink that skinny guy could drink and become this massive hulking man who no one would dare tease, kick sand on and he always got the girl. That miracle drink didn’t exist then and doesn’t now. The skinny guys are now able to buy weight gain supplements that increase their calories by providing a thousand calories or more, per serving. The kind of shakes made as a “weight gainer” are a calorie packed monster of a drink. They not only pack on the calories but are also full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins and other ingredients. They are formulated to help put on calories, but in a responsible way.
Yes, increasing your food intake can also help you gain, but slamming a couple of pizzas at a time is the wrong way. Weight gain supplements coupled with health, high protein foods can build a body up in no time. There are high protein foods that are also high in calories, but the fat content is something to be aware of. Don’t get me wrong, you will build muscle taking a weight gainer, especially those high in protein, but it will be a less defined muscle. If you are not working out while taking a weight gainer, you will get a bit jiggly – especially in the gut. This is why working out while increasing your calories is so important. You most likely will not get the washboard abs taking a weight gainer – you will increase your abdominals but you won’t be getting the rippled muscles if you aren’t working them harder. Even then, they may not be as pronounced as you’d like. The washboard abs come with developing lean muscle and lower calorie intake.
Unlike weight gain supplements, there are muscle building supplements. Whey Protein and Creatine are two excellent muscle mass building supplements. Both are low in calories and fat. They won’t bulk you up but will build muscle in conjunction with weight training. The numbers on the scale may increase, but, it is muscle, not fat you are building and muscle that’s causing you to gain. If you are taking a protein supplement and your gains become more than a few pounds, and you are getting areas where fat is forming you are either not working out hard enough or need to adjust your protein intake.
Weight gainers are great for those with fast metabolisms who just can’t seem to gain any other way. There are, just as with all supplements, a ton of different kinds out there and choosing these are even more difficult. Usually you choose a supplement by purity and those without fillers. Weight gainers are full of fillers, but there are good and bad. Two huge weight gainers are: Vitol – Russian Bear 5000 that contains 184 g of protein and 2600 calories per serving. This is for those guys who have a really hard time putting on weight. Another is Dymatize Super Mass Gainer. At 1900 calories and 82g of protein, it is another great weight gainer.
Those who are not concerned about gaining that much body weight and are concerned about that high of a caloric intake, there are a couple of other that are lower calorie but still add the body mass. Optimum Nutrition – Serious Mass is 1250 calories (1/2 of Russian Bear) and 50 g of protein. BSN-True Mass has 700 calories and 50g of protein.
When it comes to increasing muscle gain, without body weight gain, there are four that are tops. Whey Protein, Creatine, Glutamine and Branch Chained Amino Acids (BCAA’s).
Whey Protein is packed with 9 amino acids, some BCAA’s and high in protein. It is low in fat, is an amazing muscle recovery supplement and is 100% natural. Extremely effective and one of the most often used supplements today. Make sure it is all-natural and not diluted with fillers – this cuts the calorie content if you buy it pure. It comes in at low 3-5 calories per serving (This is for pure whey protein – if the calories exceed 100, you are probably dealing with a supplement that is filled with excess sugars – check the labels.)
Creatine pulls water into the muscle and increases ATP. This is an excellent source for lean muscle mass. It is a major energy burst allowing longer and more intense reps. Increase your water intake as creatine is very effective at pulling water to the muscle. This increases muscle size but can leave you dehydrated if you aren’t supplying your body with extra water. Creatine comes in at 0 calories per serving.
Glutamine targets the muscles to improve endurance and strength. It slows muscle tissue breakdown. It also increases the growth hormone that increases muscle size. Glutamine has approximately 15 calories per serving.
BCAA’s help muscle recovery much the same way whey protein does. While working out, you burn these BCAA’s so supplementing them restores this loss. It is fights pain from muscle fatigue and helps with endurance. BCAA supplements generally have 0 calories unless there are other added supplemental values.
As with all supplements, training and diet goals, you need to test out different products to find what works for you. Pay attention to any signs your body gives that might mean a supplement isn’t quite working how you wanted. Once you have reached your body mass goals, be careful not to continue excessive caloric intake – focus instead on the muscle mass building. It can be difficult at first to find what works for you. Be patient and be consistent. Eat clean, train hard and in time you will see the results you want.