Weight gain can be desired for many reasons. Many athletes in contact sports find their weight to be very valuable in competition, particularly in sports like football. But weight gain is much more advantageous when the added bulk is muscle, rather than fat. For this reason, a balanced strength-training workout regimen is important to adding useful weight.
Anaerobic exercise is key to gaining weight through workouts. This is best achieved through strength-training exercises, the most effective of which is lifting weights. Weightlifting places more stress on the muscles than any other activity, allowing for the most rapid growth. You should perform many types of lifts that work the muscles in different ways. Do this every other day, totaling three to four times each week.
Equally important to regular strength training is the rest you provide your body. Exercise stresses the muscles and breaks down muscle fibers, but it is during rest periods where muscle heals and grows. You should always give your muscles a day of rest in between lifting or strength-training workouts. You should also get plenty of sleep at night, where muscle synthesis and healing is at its most efficient. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep every night.
Supplementation can help increase your rate of muscle mass gain, when done correctly. There are two ways this can be accomplished. One is through adjusting your diet to feature high levels of proteins and calories. You should still eat a daily diet featuring all the main food groups, but Iron Magazine recommends consuming 1 or 2 g of protein per pound of weight per day, and about 18 to 20 times your body weight in calories. To achieve this high-protein consumption, you can use natural protein powders and supplements, such as protein shakes and protein bars.
If you want the majority of mass gained to be muscle, you need to defend against the development of fat deposits. This is a possibility when you are consuming large amounts of calories in a day -- unused calories will get stored as fat on the body. If you want to keep your body lean, you should incorporate aerobic exercise into your weekly routine. Try to exercise in an aerobic manner -- elevating the heart rate while staying active -- for at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week. This will help you cut down or eliminate any calorie surplus in your body.