Often people associate working out with the pursuit of weight loss or maintenance. But if you are underweight or looking to bulk up, you may be looking at working out in order to gain weight. Though working out is great for weight loss and overall health it can also be used as a healthy way to put on weight.
In this article, we will provide you with what you need to know to gain weight while working out at home. We will also provide some pointers on nutrition with a focus on weight gain and muscle building. Need more help getting started? Reach out to a personal trainer such as one of the expert personal trainers at Grants MMA and Boxing gym Toronto.
Can Working Out Help Me Gain Weight?
When you are trying to gain weight, you might feel frustrated that working out can instead lead to weight-loss. Though it is true that certain forms of exercise such as running or high-intensity cardio can promote weight loss, there are many workout options available to you to build muscle, rather than reduce fat.
In order to put on weight through exercise, your goal will be to develop more muscle density as muscle is heavy. You may have heard the common phrase “muscle weighs more than fat.” Though we use this phrase to demonstrate that someone with more muscle density can have a similar weight to someone who has a higher fat percentage, it is a little bit misleading. A pound is a pound no matter what you are weighing. A pound of feathers will no doubt look like a lot more than a pound of rocks, yet the measurement stays the same.
Gaining muscle will help you to gain weight and working out can help you develop stronger, more dense muscle. When using working out as a tool to help you gain weight, either for health-related reasons or a desire to “bulk up” it is critical that you perform exercises that will help you meet this goal.
What Exercises Should I Do to Gain Weight?
In order to gain weight by working out, you will need to focus on strength and muscle building workouts. This means that both bodyweight and weighted workout movements are your friend. One of the best ways to build muscle is to use your muscles to move heavy things (your body included!).
Gyms are often considered ideal as the starting point for weight gain exercises as they allow you access to a variety of weights and weightlifting equipment. But not everyone has the time or budget to attend a gym on a regular basis. Thankfully, you can work out at home and still gain weight. Below are our best exercises to help you develop a routine and learn how to workout at home to gain weight.
Still not convinced that you can get a great workout at home? See our previous article “Should I Join a Gym or Workout at Home.” There you can find tips to help you determine which workout option is best suited for your personal needs.
Simple Body Weight Exercises at Home:
Bodyweight exercises are ideal for at-home workout as your own body is generally the only equipment you will need. Consider adding these strength-building bodyweight exercises into your home workout routine.
Squats: Bodyweight squats are an effective way to build muscle at home without needing any equipment. Try a variety of different squat techniques such as sumo squats, squat walks, or sidestep squats to target different muscles and add variety.
Push-Ups: Push-ups are a great way to work out your upper body without weights. Like squats, you can try different techniques to make push-ups more challenging or target specific muscles. Try standard, elevated or even wide handed push-ups for variety.
Abdominal Exercises: Abdominal exercises are important to include in your home workout routine. There are a wide variety of exercises that can target different areas of your abdominal muscles. See our previous article “How to Workout Your Lower Abs” for some options to add variety to your abdominal exercises.
Simple Weighted Exercises:
Working out at home does not mean that you need to have a home gym with a large amount of equipment. Instead, you can consider having a few different weighted sets of dumbbells and resistance bands. See our favourite simple weighted exercises for at home below.
Weighted Lower Body Exercises: many of the bodyweight workouts for the lower body can also be made more challenging by adding weights. Consider adding weight to movements such as squats, lunges and jumps. This will help you to build muscle while keeping it simple and accessible when working out at home.
Weighted Upper Body Exercises: There are a wide variety of upper-body weighted exercises that can easily be done at home. Though a bench may be helpful, almost any movement can be modified to be done with just a set of dumbbells. Our favourite exercises included bicep curls, rows, front raises and push-ups with alternating rows.
Always remember that form is the most important thing to consider when using weights to workout. If you cannot do a movement safely or properly with a higher weight don’t be afraid to lift less. Consider watching YouTube videos or reaching out to one of our expert personal trainers for assistance with proper form.
What Should I Eat to Gain Weight?
When working out to gain weight and bulk up it is also critically important to consider nutrition. Working out is only part of the equation that will lead to gaining weight. Though it might be tempting to reach for high-calorie foods that lack nutrition, there are better ways to go about hitting your nutrition goals.
Reach for high protein foods from meats, eggs to vegetarian options, protein is your friend when trying to gain weight. There is no need to avoid carbohydrates or healthy fats either. Both are important not only for your health, but for your weight gain goals too.
Always remember that every person has different dietary needs and no one way of eating will be perfect for every person. Trust your instincts but also do not be afraid to reach out for help with your diet when you have specific goals in mind. Sometimes having a nutritionist or a dietician evaluate what your doing now and what you could do better can go a long way to help you reach your goals.
Can I Really Gain Weight Working Out on My Own?
Though every person has different needs it should be possible to gain weight while working out at home for most people. If you are underweight and are being asked to gain weight by a doctor it may be helpful to use their guidance in order to help you reach your goals.
Get started by simply adding muscle building workouts to your home workout routine. You may need to scale back on cardiovascular workouts if you are an avid runner or typically only participate in cardio-focused activities. Focus on nutrition and try to ensure you are eating enough calories to support your weight gain goals.
Working out at home is convenient and does not have to be complicated. Use our tips to help you get started and make the most of your at-home workouts!