Avatar universal

Gym or outdoors?

So here’s the dilemma!

I’m a skinny guy. An ectomorph or a hard gainer as they say. But I’ve always been active and energetic generally. I’ve always enjoyed sports like tennis and soccer. However, I want to gain weight. Im currently around 60 kg. In order to gain, everyone advises me to go to the gym. Now, since I also work, going to the gym AND playing sports is not possible. It can be either of the two. Obviously my preference is playing outdoor sports. I love it. But I do feel gym is necessary. So what do I do? The heart is still in the tennis court I feel. How do I gain weight then? It’s not like I want to get really buff. Just 5-10kg gain maybe.

Yes, I do feel a slight lack of strength sometimes but nothing significant. I use a fairly heavy tennis racket too and I’m fine.

So, in short, can I gain weight WHILE playing tennis or is gym absolutely necessary?
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973741 tn?1342342773
You don't have to go to the gym to do this.  You can strength train at home.  Weights are pretty inexpensive and you can keep them in your bedroom or living room and work on that in your house.  Also, how many days a week do you work out?  You wouldn't go to the gym and lift every day.  Maybe two to three times a week and the other days you do your outside sports!  Also, your own body weight can build strength.  Push ups!!  Lots of them.  Core work, lots of it.  Squats.  Get some exercise bands and it's like a resistance work out that builds muscle.  

You can have the best of both worlds.  good luck
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
This is really easy.  The only reason to go to the gym is to get bigger muscles, and you don't want them.  They are not necessary for your health.  It's always better to play than to just exercise -- frankly, I played until I got too hurt to play anymore and now I exercise, which is dull and I'm still getting hurt.  Both sports you play are building muscle as well as giving you great cardio, as they use arms (tennis) and thighs (both).  So just eat more.  That's all you have to do -- eat more of the healthy food you already eat, maybe add a meal, and you'll gain weight and keep doing what you want to do.
Helpful - 1
1081992 tn?1389903637
Hi, as you've just heard, you have to eat more and do resistance exercise (especially at home). But you'll also discover that you likely just don't have enough recovery ability to do sports regularly and also gain much muscle mass at the same time. If you try anyway, you'd need to throw in extra sleep and also restrict all other movement, which even has a scientific name: NEAT for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

There's a guy named Martin Berkhan that became rather famous with his "Lean Gains" but I'd say that's mostly misleading. You'll have to gain some bodyfat, unless you progress very very slowly - like maybe a pound a month.

Also btw, you can get somewhat stronger without getting bigger, especially initially (called beginner gains) though you'll hit a plateau on that. The reason is that initially, strength increases mainly from the neuromuscular ability to recruit more muscle fibers in a movement.
Helpful - 0
You can also get stronger by learning how to move better.  Martial artists can learn tremendous power without having big muscles by learning how to utilize body movement to get the whole body into it. Muscles are mostly for show, and they do require a lot of nutrition -- protein -- that isn't necessarily healthy or historically economically obtainable.  
Well, strength and power are two different things.

Using your example of hitting power, a person can indeed increase power as you say. But then they'd plateau. However, they could still increase their hitting power further by adding muscle size and strength.

As far as protein, there certainly are those who say that protein should be limited to the minimum - especially animal protein - as a way to try to prevent cancers and other ills. C. Colin Campbell and his China Study comes to mind. Plus a lot of vegan docs.

But then as I'm sure you're aware Paxiled, there is debate going back and forth that seems endless on diet&health topics like that. E.g., the Paleo named Minger that I'd mentioned elsewhere says that the China Study was very flawed in its methodology.

But probably everybody with kidney disease should keep protein to the minimum.

As far as protein amounts, that's also up for debate even among bodybuilders - but the distinction should always be made between gaining muscle versus keeping muscle which takes far less protein.

Vegans would point out that elephants, gorillas and blue whales only eat plants. But then mostly their whole day involves eating.

In the highlands of New Guinea, people live almost entirely on yams their whole lives.

Every living thing other than modern technological humans spends most of their day on finding food.  That was true of humans until the invention of modern agriculture.  Carnivores such as dogs and cats die young because of the size and output necessary for the heart to allow them to hunt.  After the catch, they go to sleep, so that's their lives, hunting, eating, and sleeping.  It's also interesting that whole civilizations, such as the one you mentioned, lived on foods that contain very little nutritional value.  Polynesians eating taro, Africans who ate yams, these are just starches with very little in the way of diverse nutrition (unlike sweet potatoes, which are not yams and are very nutritious).  As for your studies, I admit to not spending my life looking for studies, but the most comprehensive and long-lasting studies, done over years and years of following people who have documented identity documents and so we know how old they are and not how old they say they are, keep coming out with the so-called Mediterranean style diets being the ones that produce the longest-living, healthiest, and least obese societies.  These communities are all over the world, so they're not really in the Mediterranean, except for Greek islands, but what they share in common is eating lots of simple carbs, some animal protein but mostly in the form of fish, and lots of veggies and fruit.  No high protein diet has ever help up well over long periods of time when studied.  Doesn't mean they won't with more study, but so far, we are where we are.  Doesn't mean I personally eat by ideology, I don't, and also doesn't mean a long life is the best judge of a life, it isn't.  But I've lived through and sold the Atkins, Zone, Blood Type, South Beach, vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, etc. etc. etc. diets and have seen good and bad in all of them (the worst being Atkins).  Which is why I no longer read studies all that much.  Peace.
I'd spent some time listening to talks about the Blue Zones. The common thread seemed to me to be 1) stay active 2) don't overeat, and then 3) as you say, variety of plants.

Though for health I've for years tended toward using spices instead of vegetables. for the phytonutrients. But I've been pushing myself into vegetables more and more.

Then there could be another 400 hours to talk about those things.

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Arlington, VA
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