You’ve tried everything to get big. Yet it’s still not happening. You’re still severely underweight. But why? You work your tail off in the gym. You eat everything in sight. But you’re not gaining any weight. Let’s check out a few factors you just may be overlooking.
If you consume more calories than you burn, you will absolutely gain weight. It’s simple science. Eat 500 more calories than you burn over a 7 day period, and you will gain one pound (3500 calories per pound). It’s that simple.
If you’re severely underweight, chances are pretty good that you’re just not sleeping enough. Our brains release growth hormone when we sleep. The reason babies often sleep 14 hours per day is that they are so busy growing. It’s very common for young, busy people in their late teens or twenties to sleep five or six hours per night. You need to change that.
Making up over 70% of our body, water is the building block for all cells – including muscle cells. If you are dehydrated, your muscles will be shriveled and your organs will tape muscle glycogen reserves for the water they need to function. If you’re trying to gain muscle mass, you should be drinking a gallon of water per day, without exception.
Whenever your body experiences mental stress, it releases a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol has a catabolic nature which causes muscle destruction. Listen to some interviews with the world’s top bodybuilders. There aren’t too many wired, or inordinately hyper men among them. They all seem to have this super-relaxed feel to them. As a result, their bodies don’t release much cortisol. You need to be the same way in your temperament.
This reinforces the stress point. Both mental and physical stress can reduce muscle gains and keep a person skinny. If you work eight hours per day at a job where you’re running in circles solving crisis after crisis, chances are you’re wasting many valuable body resources which good be devoted to muscle growth. Try to find a job which allows you to move and stress minimally. A writer who spends his day in a recliner typing and can enjoy meals any time he wishes is going to be in better shape for a 5 pm workout than a manager who spent his entire day running in circles. Slow down.
Gains will come, but they will come in terms of 1/8 of a pound at a time. It’s only through steady, consistent training over time that you will turn these miniscule gains into 5 and 10 pound additions to your frame. Training on for a week, off for a week will not lead to gains. Instead, make training and diet a regular part of your life. Over time, the very small gains will become big gains.
No matter how skinny you are now, realize that when you reach age 25, your metabolism is going to drop and you’re going to have a newfound ability to add size to your body. In fact, the metabolism you curse now for keeping you so skinny will soon be a great blessing when you finally do decide to diet down to show off your newfound muscle mass one day. A little bit of calorie restriction and cardio, and you’ll be ripped in no time!
Being severely underweight is a curse that many of us just have to accept as a reality of our genes. However, through proper nutrition, training, and lifestyle management, you can overcome the narrow frame, and even use it to your advantage. Good luck, and stay consistent!