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Gaining Weight


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I weigh 130 lbs and I am 5'7" and trying to build some mass. Since I skateboard, I want to remain flexible but build lots of strength in relation to fast twitch muscle fiber. I would love any insights, ideas, pointers, etc that anyone has to offer as I am really new to the site. I haven't been tracking my calories, but I have been eating as much as I can; I have been eating a lot of builder's bars, peanut butter, boca burgers with veganaise, hemp oil, hemp protein shakes, bananas, sprouted crackers, tofurkey sausages, and a lot of bread. Any ideas on how I can maximize my weight gain? I am not doing much in the way of cardio besides skateboarding, and I haven't been lifting weights, but I want to start. Any additional information or ideas would be appreciated.

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I skated for the first few years of when I first started lifting, so I've been where you're at. Too many injuries and not enough time took me away from it after 15 years, but hopefully I'll get back to doing it again one day

 

For gaining weight, if you're not weight training, it doesn't really pay to eat too much extra unless you want to get fatter, which is rarely what anyone's really after. Without weight training, you're likely not going to add much good weight at all if skating is your only other main exercise, so don't bother adding in tons of extra calories yet if you're not going to make much use of it for your goal since I doubt that adding bodyfat is what you're after. I can safely say that, despite skating for lots of hours for years on end, it didn't make me any more muscular than any other normal aerobic activity.

 

Flexibility is related to how much you practice it - I've seen skinny guys who aren't very flexible as well as larger guys who have incredible flexibility. Gaining muscle does not decrease your flexibility unless you stop working your body in the range of movement that retains or gains the flexibility you seek, so as long as you keep working to remain flexible in the ways you want, adding some muscle won't hamper it. My flexibility never decreased (until I stopped skating, that is ), and my weight varied between around 220 and 280 lbs. depending on the time of the year. Summer I was lighter from being on my board 2-4 hours/day every day, winter, only 2-3 times per week for an hour or two. With my old bad eating habits, I could gain 30-40 lbs. in a year easily and work it off again the next year, but I never got below 220 for some reason.

 

You can't really build your body precisely by which type of muscle fiber you prefer to focus on, but if skating is your primary desire athleticially, then you'll likely want to keep reps lower in training, work the essential lifts as much as possible and leave isolation type stuff on the backburner (you sound like you may be a candidate to check into olympic weightlifting, since it's the type of lifting that is most sport-specific for increasing speed and overall power), and keep things simple. Work on being explosive and skip the slow-tempo type stuff, since it will have better carryover toward skating. Just be prepared - I know that skating for a day or two after a leg workout was less than fun, so that's the one thing you may want to plan around when it comes to working lifting in to your schedule.

 

You can definitely work to build some lean mass and skate at the same time - you just need to find out about what you need to eat to maintain, and add more calories when you begin weight training so you can get the best benefit from it. There are many ways to get where you want to go, but start simple and take it from there. And, again, if you are looking at all to train for the sake of improving your skateboarding, see if you can find an olympic weightlifting club in your area for a group who you can learn proper technique from.

 

Best of luck in your training!

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Hey man -

 

being far less knowledgeable about putting together a good routine (though I'm working on it) than many people on this board, I'm not going to try and offer you anything specific in that regard. However, pertaining to putting on mass, I will tell you this...

 

I'm about 5' 9.5" tall, and used to weigh 130 pounds, for years (I'm twenty six, now), so very similar to you. Eventually, I may have weighed 135 pounds. Well, after deciding to get into "bodybuilding", a term which I use loosely, because I'm not aiming to get absolutely, massively hulked-up to the extreme, just, er, well muscled and formed...I came across the word "hardgainer", given to us slimmer types with fast metabolisms who don't seem to gain weight easily.

 

"Oh", I thought, "I must be a hardgainer". Anyway, I went and worked on an organic farm earlier this year, and did a lot of manure shoveling, scythe swinging, carrying cinder blocks, a bit of wood chopping, I milked a cow every day by hand, and threw in a bodyweight training semi-routine, with pullups, pushups, bench dips, crunches, v-ups, planks, a bit of isometric stuff, etc. I was naturally hungrier than before, and made a point to eat more on top of that.

 

When I came back, I weighed 148 pounds. Whoa! Now, for me that's something. I don't know exactly how much I weighed before I went farming for two months, but I'm guessing that I gained between 7 and 10 pounds. If any of it was fat, it's hard to tell, and it can't be much, IMO. I just look more filled in and muscular, broader in the shoulders, still slim and tight in the stomach.

 

All I can suggest is keep eating more but don't overdo it at the beginning, be sensible about your choices and eat frequently, and with that in sufficient quantity and quality, combined with adequate training, you should eventually gain weight of the good kind. Oh, and for God's sake, I know that physical activity can be great fun to really get into, but if something hurts other than a normal sore muscle, stop. I've got a bit of tennis elbow goin' on that I'm taking care of now, should be okay, but just be well!

 

Best,

 

R.

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