Too skinny? 7 tips to gaining weight and muscle
Mind Your Body, The Straits Times
By Dr Kevin Teh
Q: I am a 28-year-old guy who has problems gaining weight. My weight hovers around 47kg to 49kg and has never exceeded 50kg.
Despite playing football and running marathons, my thighs and legs are very slim.
I would like to seek your advice on how I can increase my weight to 60kg and get more fat on my thighs and my lower legs.
A: First, I congratulate you on keeping fit and active as it is something that many of my patients have a hard time committing to.
Weight gain for men and women can be a combination of weight from fat and muscle.
You may have, unfortunately, been working at it from the wrong angle.
Highly aerobic exercises such as running marathons and playing football help burn fat and build lean muscle.
Ironically, you may have been burning fat actively with your exercise programme and preventing weight gain.
The lean muscle mass built up by long-distance endurance running will also contribute to a higher metabolic rate and promote even more fat burning.
I recommend that you gain weight in the following ways:
1. Change the type of exercise
Stop or cut down drastically on the highly aerobic exercises you do such as running.
Focus more on muscle-building anaerobic exercises, such as working the leg muscles with resistance training.
Leg extension and flexion exercises that work the quadriceps and hamstrings in the thighs are useful in getting rid of that skinny look.
Using a high load (heavy weights of up to 50 to 75 per cent of your maximum load) and doing one to 12 repetitions of each exercise will help build up muscle mass. Your muscles will bulk up over time.