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10 Feb 2004

muscle gain- easiest way??
Hi, I am preparing for a new rugby season which will be starting in a few months and I would like to know the easiest way possible to gain muscle without consuming drugs of any sort. I have easy access to a gym, and have stared going there three times a week during my lunch hour.

A response would be greatly appreciated,


Josh Robertson
Answer 523 views

01 Jan 0001

Good choice to steer clear of drugs – I commend you for this. Now, for weight gain, the combination of diet and exercise training is the way to go. You must make sure that for building mass and especially muscle mass, that you are eating enough proteins and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important as the body's main source of energy during exercise. Feelings of fatigue, lack of energy, tiredness are all indications of a lack of carbohydrates in the diet. Foods that contain carbohydrates include rice, potatoes, pasta, bread etc. Any starchy food is a good bet.

Then, in terms of proteins, you must try to eat meats, fish, eggs etc. as good sources of proteins. Ideally, these types of foods should make up 30% of your diet, with carbohydrates about 60 to 70%. Fats should be kept to a minimum of about 10 to 20%.

Then finally, keep in mind that you must train properly to increase mass, and eating well is not enough on its own.

If your aim were to build muscle, the following guidelines will help you:
• Perform 6-10 reps at a high intensity - use a weight that you could lift 12 to 15 times
• Perform 3-4 sets
• Rest 30-60 seconds between reps
• Train each muscle group at least once or twice a week
• Allow 48 hours rest between each muscle’s workout

If your aim were to tone muscle, the following guidelines will help you:
• Perform 10-15 reps but at a much lower intensity - use a weight that would allow you to lift the weight at least 25 times.
• Perform 4-6 sets
• Rest 30-60 seconds between reps
• Train each muscle group at least once or twice a week
• Allow 48 hours rest between each muscle’s workout

If you were to exercise three times a week, you will increase your toning but to a much lesser extent compare to training 4-6 times per week. The volume of your training is much more important than the intensity of your training, bearing in mind your aim is to build muscle.

Your improvement will depend on your initial fitness level. The greatest improvement will be during the first few weeks of your training due to the adaptations of your muscles. A training program is individualized and every person will progress differently. It is hard to tell exactly when you will see changes, but generally after two weeks you will feel stronger and after six weeks you will be able to see an improvement.

A really good website that you can go to to find out more about weight training is the following:
It contains good advice, explanations and assistance with the different types of exercises for different body parts, and even programmes for different types of people. Well worth a look

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