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How can I gain weight? (underweight BMI)

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Old 8th December 2016, 8:42 PM   #16
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You are what they call an ectomorph (bean pole) look it up and you may get some good ideas of the proper ratio of protein, carbs and fat you require to make gains.

And yea, gotta agree with everyone else who says with time....comes weight!
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Old 8th December 2016, 10:40 PM   #17
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Yep, classic ectomorph. I was/am one too. I don't know your age, but theres a fair chance you're younger than me (nearly 50). I'm 5'10" and now weigh 180lbs.

Its tough for us ecto's to get anywhere near the classic male shape but it -can- be done. I'm going speak on things you don't want to hear given your responses so far - I'm not having a go at you mind, but a lot of the advice given already is actually spot on and you need to embrace it if you want to gain some weight and get some shape.

Firstly, why are you this way? Classic ecto's are genetically predisposed to this thin and light body type. Generally speaking, assuming caloric intake is sufficient, your metabolism is probably running very high, this bit is genetic. Its why you can eat essentially anything, junk food, good food, whatever, and still remain thin. Your body just burns it up even though you might spend all your life at a school desk or watching TV.

To a large extent, the more you eat the higher your metabolism will go. You might sometimes develop a thin layer of fat, but not much.

What to do? Well, you've simply got to eat more, a -lot- more. Responders here have already covered this off pretty well. Most body building magazines and general advice is not geared towards ecto's though and will stress low fat foods - this advice is mainly directed at endomorphs, who have to constantly watch out for putting on fat ... or at competition body builders who already have size and want/need to keep their body fat below 7-10%.

This is -not- you. You need to pull in calories as often and in as big a quantity as you can stomach without feeling sick. Don't trim the fat from your steaks, eat the skin from chicken, drink whole milk, etc, etc. This will overcome 60% of the problem, you need to consume calories far in excess of your metabolisms ability to simply burn off.


Because you're going to need these calories for the next step which is the remaining 40% of the problem.

The gym. Don't approach this half heartedly. Place the gym secondmost in your list of things that need to get done, second only behind eating. Whilst you must eat, a lot, and every single day, you should only go to the gym 3 times a week, up to four if you really must, but certainly no more.

Again, this goes against the advice most sources will talk about. The reason, and its particularly important when you're starting out, is that if you don't feed in and retain enough calories then you, as an ectomorph, will overtrain very very easily ... very easily! When this happens you will start to break down the muscle you already have ... you'll get smaller! You will also feel awful, painful.

When you're in the gym, work as heavy as you comfortably can, without injury (more in a moment) and for a relatively short time. No gym marathons for you. Again, reason is you will easily overtrain and your body will break down. You will get a feel for this after a couple of years and workload can change and increase as you get stronger, but initially, I'd recommend 30-40 minutes maximum, 3 times a week.

Go heavy. Don't go near the walking machines or the bikes or any other cardio equipment. You're metabolism is already running hot. You need to hit the weight machines. I say machines here because again, initially, they can help you to not injure yourself. Free weights are important, but later, when you have some muscle and can control the weights more easily. In the beginning, go the machines, back, chest, biceps, triceps, all the major leg muscles (do NOT forget your legs ...). Don't worry about the minor muscle groups at this stage, point training is for body builders who are finely sculpting and needn't concern you at this point. Your minor muscle groups will naturally come into play as you mess with the big groups and heavy weights.

Now, heavy weights. Be careful. Ecto's generally have light frames and are easily damaged. Be extremely careful. You need to work with weight that feels heavy to you, but not ridiculously so. Be particularly careful of the potential for rotator cuff injury (shoulder socket). Ecto's as a group tend to have underdeveloped shoulders and slight chests. Too heavy weight early, during shoulder or chest work, will see you gain an injury that can literally take years to overcome. So, heavy, but be careful. I'd recommend working your way up to being able to do 50 pushups, hands wide, as these will help develop your chest and shoulders in a way that shouldn't cause you injury.

Good luck! Feel free to ask further - I've been down this road you are on including the insecurity that many of us can feel because of it.
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Old 9th December 2016, 8:00 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by LordMacharius View Post

I mean crap, the girl I currently have a crush on is almost a foot shorter than me, and certainly probably weighs more. I have seen her ex, and he was a really big guy of fat, so either she is into that sort of thing, or likes bigger guys and that doesn't really help me talk to her.
Or maybe she doesn't really care that much about looks. Maybe she actually prefers a more wiry guy, but she dated a bigger guy because she liked his personality. Don't sell yourself short.

I say this as a woman who doesn't really care too much if a guy is skinny.
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Old 9th December 2016, 2:04 PM   #19
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Lots of great advice here.

In regards to the advice to eat... you should make a food diary to get a sense of your actual caloric intake, and where those calories are coming from. For lots of reasons, it is easy for people to misjudge what they eat. I suspect that, based upon your comments here, you are not getting NEARLY enough calories. I think having a diary will give you perspective. Once you know how many calories you are eating, then you will better understand how much you will need to eat if you want to put on weight.

When I went through the trouble of making a food diary, I was amazed. In my case, it was not that I wasn't getting enough calories - I was amazed at how many carbs I was eating, and how little protein
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