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I am 23 years old, my height is 5'8" and weight is 56kg. I have been going to the gym for the last two months. my target is to gain muscle and weight.

After doing some initial routine (without weight) for 15 days, my instructor gave me a weight training schedule that covers 3 days of training (covering major parts of the body). I have been maintaining that for the last 1.5 months. I added milk, eggs and JUVO (raw meal) to my diet. I'm also trying to get more food during my regular meal.
I go to gym 4 days a week at morning, my stomach is empty at that time. After workout I eat breakfast milk, egg etc.

Unfortunately, I found that my weight didn't increase as I expected. It increased only around 5-1.5 kg. I can feel that my strength has increased (discovered it while taking weight), but I think that the shape of my figure is like before except that my biceps size increased a bit.

I do 10-15 reps per set every exercise and also try to push myself to lift more weight.
While reading some of the suggestions for gaining muscle found that 8 reps per set is best and 10-12 reps/set for people who want to gain strength rather than muscle.

Are my routine and eating habits enough to shape myself and to gain some real muscle and weight?

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10-15 reps in a set is more for endurance/definition so you wont gain the weight you are expecting. Try upping the weight a bit and dropping the reps to 6-8. –  Stuart Blackler Nov 6 '11 at 23:02

3 Answers 3

I know your situation very well. I'm 24 yrs old, height 5'11", and 2 months ago my weight was 63kg. Today it's 72kg, with zero fat gain. So I gained about 1kg of muscle per week. Before that I've tried gaining muscle many times, and failed just like you. People told me to simply be patient, but they were wrong.

I went to the gym 2 times a week, for 30-45 minutes at a time. I'm still skinny, but not quite as much. So what did I do?

  • I've learned that "trying to eat more" is simply not enough. It seems tiresome, but you actually have to calculate how many calories you get, and perhaps even how much protein, carbs and fat, and then start to tune it. Personally, I had to eat double what I'd normally eat to start gaining. If you notice you're gaining fat, do some HIIT (high-intensity interval training) in addition to the lifting. Don't do cardio.

  • If you simply don't have enough appetite to eat what you should eat, you're probably not working out intensely enough. Working out will stimulate your appetite.

  • The best thing I've ever done in terms of nutrition is get a weight gainer. Specifically, I recommend Weider Mega Mass 4000, one or two portions per day for the likes of us. That way, I'm consuming a total of 3500 calories.

  • This is more controversial, but I've experienced that fewer reps lead to higher gains. Even as few as 4-6 reps per set, but with very heavy weight obviously. Make sure that you actually work your muscles to exhaustion, do not just stimulate but overstimulate them. Also, slower movements lead to more gains than faster movements.

  • In any case, your muscles should be sore the next day. Not necessarily burning like hell, but still sore. If you don't feel anything, you're doing it wrong.

  • Track your weight every morning (before breakfast) in an Excel sheet so you know whether or not you're on the right track.

  • Finally, I recommend exercises that work out large muscle groups, such as pullups, squats, deadlifts, bench presses, as opposed to exercises which focus on individual muscles. You simply get more bang for your buck that way.

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The only thing I'd add is that squats and deadlifts help build mass like nothing else. You get the biggest testosterone spike after these workouts, and because they incorporate just about all the muscles in the body, they all get increases. Don't do them to exhaustion though. Use these to help build base strength, and the other exercises to fine tune the shape of muscles, etc. –  Berin Loritsch Mar 27 '12 at 12:53

Without knowing caloric intake, output, etc. it's difficult to say.

To gain weight, you must consume more than you burn.

Realistically, you're likely to gain anywhere from .5-1.5lb/month (~.25-.75kg/month) depending on a huge number of factors--I'd say you're right in that range.

It takes time, patience, and consistency--hang in there!

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A lot has been said here. I wll add just a few thoughts:

1) You should be getting 100 grams of protein spread out during the day.

2) Your last rep of each exercise should push the muscle to failure. If you can do another rep, do it.

3) Think long term. If you wind up adding 1 kg per month for a year, you will have done a tremendous body transformation. Think long term.

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