I was always the thinnest guy in my friend circle. So, when I first started to hit the gym, I had a lot of motivation to gain muscle and become absolutely jacked. I used to go to the gym six times a week. I was struggling to gain weight but I still kept going on. But my motivation absolutely crumbled down when guys who joined the gym much later than me are making progress a lot faster and already ahead of me. I used to measure my weight every day and it looked like the weighing machine is stuck in the same number: almost negligible progress. I ate as much as I can and tried to lift as hard as I can but the only thing I got was routine injuries only for trying to over-lift.
Then I talked about this matter with my trainer. He explained to me that I may have a faster metabolism, so, all the food I eat is converted into energy instantly, so, there is nothing to build my muscle. I said “Okay” and moved on with my life accepting my fate that I won’t be able to gain weight like everybody else. I held on to this belief for about one year,.
Out of nowhere, one day I decided to research to find out if that is true. Do some people actually have a higher metabolism that prevents them from gaining weight or is it a myth? If it is true, is there any way to slow down metabolism or any remedial measures that we can apply to gain weight like normal people? And, if it is just a myth, why do some people seemingly never gain weight?
In this post, I will explain my findings in as simple terms as possible.
The most important thing that I have found after reading various research papers published in multiple journals is that the rate of metabolism DOES NOT HAVE ANY EFFECT on your weight gain or loss process.
Having a faster metabolism does not necessarily mean that you are unable to gain muscle. In fact, having a faster metabolism may actually make it easier for you to build muscle, as it means your body is burning calories and using energy more efficiently.
Also, conversely, being unable to gain weight (while you think you had enough diet) doesn’t mean it is due to faster metabolism. There can be various reasons you may not be able to gain muscle despite hitting the gym regularly and eating enough diet. The main reasons that I have found over the years listening to people with such issues are:
1. Overtraining: While resistance training is essential for building muscle, too much of it can hinder muscle growth. Your muscles need time to recover and grow, so make sure to include rest days in your workout routine and avoid working the same muscle group two days in a row.
2. Genetics: Genetics can play a role in how easily you gain muscle. Some people may have a harder time building muscle than others, even with the same diet and exercise routine.
3. Health issues: Certain health conditions or medications can affect muscle growth. If you have concerns, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider to rule out any underlying health issues.
4. Hormonal reasons: Hormonal imbalances can play a role in preventing muscle gain. Here are a few examples:
a. Low testosterone: Testosterone is an important hormone for building muscle, and low levels of testosterone can make it difficult to gain muscle. Men with low testosterone levels may experience muscle weakness, fatigue, and difficulty gaining muscle mass.
b. High cortisol levels: Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to stress, and high levels of cortisol can interfere with muscle growth. Chronic stress can lead to high cortisol levels, which can result in muscle breakdown and a decrease in muscle mass.
c. Insulin resistance: Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, and insulin resistance can make it difficult for the body to build muscle. Insulin resistance can be caused by factors such as a high-carbohydrate diet, lack of exercise, and obesity.
d. Thyroid disorders: The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism, and thyroid disorders can affect muscle growth. An overactive thyroid can result in muscle weakness and wasting, while an underactive thyroid can cause fatigue and difficulty gaining muscle mass.
If you suspect that a hormonal imbalance may be preventing you from gaining muscle, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider to undergo testing and receive appropriate treatment.