Do you recommend free weights or machines?

Free Weights or Machines?

Why do you recommend using free weights on your weight gain website Are they really necessary to build muscle? If so, why do gyms have more machines instead of free weights?

Free weights are absolutely necessary, and in my opinion a requirement for muscle building. Machines are excellent for isolation exercises and in some cases allow you to do movements that you cannot do with free weights, but overall, free weights lifts should be the main focus of any weight training program.

They allow the stimulation of certain supporting muscle groups when training. Stimulating these stabilizer and synergistic muscles will allow you go get stronger, and ultimately build more muscle faster. Yes, some can most likely still build large amounts of muscle using machines, but why make it more difficult if you already have a difficult time gaining weight?

I can speculate that gyms have fewer free weights and more machines mainly due to ignorance. Many people have been told that free weights are dangerous, or that they will make you too bulky or that machines are better because they are easier to do and safer. All of which are false.

No muscle gain after 3 years! Help!

I’ve been weight training for 3 years, and I’m not seeing any weight gain progress. I started out at 138 lbs. I train 7 times per week hard. My workouts last about 2 hours or so, maybe a bit longer — I’m very dedicated, so that’s not the problem. I love working out.

OK, I see a few big problems here. First, you are training TOO OFTEN. If you are training naturally (meaning without steroids other performance enhancing drugs) then there is absolutely no reason for you to be training so much. Why are you training six times per week? Let me guess, because you think that the more you train the bigger you will get. Right? Wrong. Training more often does not equal more size. If it did, all one would have to do to be huge is to workout all day, everyday. The truth is the just opposite. Less is best, when training for size and strength.

Your body can only repair and build larger muscle fibers when your muscles are resting. So, if you are training all the time, when do you rest? When does your body get time build new muscle? Training less will allow your body to fully recover between workouts. This will give it the time to actually build bigger, stronger muscles.

Users of my weight gain program, know that if you are naturally thin, and have a hard time putting on muscle mass, you should be training no more than 3 times per week.

Next, you’re training sessions are too long. 2 hours? I know you are dedicated, but unfortunately this is hurting your progress. You must reduce your workout time. Continuing to train after 60-75 minutes becomes detrimental to your goal. I know it’s difficult to leave gym. You are pumped up and feeling good. You feel as if you are making true progress so you want to do one more set, one more exercise… Don’t’ do it. The longer you are in the gym, the higher your chances of losing muscle due to the dramatic rise in cortisol.

I tried to eat more calories, but I just gained fat!

I know that you recommend eating more calories to gain mass, but I seem to be getting fat. How do I gain muscle not fat?

Truthfully, you will always gain some fat when on a high calorie diet. That’s just an unavoidable fact, and anyone who tells you differently is misleading you. Though you cannot totally prevent fat gain, you can keep it to minimal levels.

The major reasons people gain large amounts of fat on a mass diet is usually because they are eating too many calories. Yes, you need plenty of calories to build muscle, but too many calories will simply be stored as fat. What I recommend is slowing increasing your calories in small increments while closely monitoring your body fat levels. If you notice that you are starting to gain more fat, then reduce your calories slightly. The other cause of excess fat gain is usually due to a large intake of simple sugars. Many people on a high calorie diet resort to sugary foods and drinks because they have a lot of calories, but what they don’t realize is that the sugar is contributing to their “above average” fat storage. Just remove the sugar and replace it with starches or whole grains instead.

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