How Can I Build Muscle and Get Big with a Fast Metabolism?


question-icon-newI’m very thin and I’ve always had a fast metabolism. I’d like to pack on some quality muscle and get more toned but all the advice online says I need to lift heavy weights and eat a lot of food. If I start weight training, will I get bigger and more toned by just working out or do I need to make changes in my diet also? I don’t have much of an appetite so eating all day long doesn’t really sound like fun to me. Are the foods I eat really that important for gaining muscle mass and getting bigger?

answer-icon-newAmericans have experienced an obesity outbreak blamed on unhealthy lifestyles which centers around eating high fat, high calorie and sugar loaded foods coupled with very little activity. Following this outbreak, most people have come to terms with the fact that having a slow metabolism poses problems when trying to lose weight. On the other hand, most people are unaware of the difficulties involved when trying to build muscle with a fast metabolism. It sounds like you are a hardgainer with a super lean physique and a fast metabolism. Even with this body type, you can still achieve your goals of packing on slabs of quality muscle mass through a clean diet with quality nutrients, intense weight training and dedication.

First, you need to supersize your diet. Its true, you need to eat big to get big! Your inability or ability to grow highly depends on the amount of quality calories you consume. Therefore, this is by far the most essential part of your muscle building program. It is vital to maintain records of your diet, specifically the quantities and types of food eaten over a given period of time. This ensures that you document the foods and drinks you are consuming in order to analyze the data, make changes and achieve better results.

It’s crucial to calculate your average daily protein and caloric intake. For the best results, you need to consume at least 18 calories per pound of body weight in order to gain muscle mass. You also need to eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight every single day! You need to increase your meal frequency at which you eat to at least five times a day.

For some people, this target may be hard to achieve. It is recommended that all meals should be rich in protein. Examples include lean chicken, steak, fish, beans and eggs along with supplements like whey protein powder or bars. This ensures that you meet the recommended protein intake if you intend to build muscle with a fast metabolism. You will also need to include complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice and whole grain bread if you intend to meet your caloric target. An easy way to pump up your calories quickly is to add healthy fats to your diet by eating nuts, peanut butter, olive oil and flaxseeds.

The second step involves training with weights. It is recommended that you train at least three times each week. Although achieving your target on protein and caloric intake will result in providing the nutrients your body needs for growth, building the muscle will require consistent and intense weight training to tear down muscle fibers. During training sessions, ensure that you exercise all muscle groups within a period of about 45 minutes to an hour. You should focus on multi-joint compound mass building exercises such military press, squats, deadlifts, bench press and bent over barbell rows for the best results. Each set should be performed with the heaviest possible weight while staying safe and injury free, while trying to increase the weight each week and continually progress.

The last step involves adjusting your lifestyle accordingly to ensure muscular growth. For instance, it is vital to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep releases stress hormones which affects your training negatively, and inhibits the ability of your body to release muscle building hormones which help to produce new muscle tissue. If you are serious about your goals to build muscle, try to avoid alcoholic beverages among other recreational drugs since they also inhibit the secretion of key muscle building hormones.

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    I have trouble eating the right things including protein and calories. Having a super fast metabolism also does not help. I’ve been working out 45-60 minutes every day and I’ve had very slow progress. I am trying to add muscle mass, but I only seem to be getting toned. I am very limited on what I eat since I’m currently stationed on an aircraft carrier in the Navy so I have to rely on whatever I buy from the store and bring aboard since the ship’s food is very unhealthy. Is there anything I can do at all to build muscle mass aboard a ship with limited access?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Riley – First off, thank you for your service to our country! Since you have limited access on the ship, the most valuable piece of equipment to use are adjustable dumbbells. Bowflex makes a great set that goes up to 50 lbs and is very convenient to use in a tight space. If you don’t have access to any equipment on the ship, then try bodyweight movements like pull-ups, push-ups and squats. Grab anything anything heavy that you can hold onto securely for added resistance and perform squats and lunges for your lower body. For adding resistance to pull-ups and target your upper body, try to attach some weight around your belt. In regards to nutrition, if your ship does not offer any healthy options, your best bet is to bring a bunch of protein bars with you to snack on during the day. Best of luck!

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