Stop listening to every ridiculous piece of advice you hear in the gym or read on a message board.
This is a mistake and it showed in his lack of further progress. In addition, don’t judge the validity of what a person says by how they look. Just because the guy is huge doesn’t mean he is spewing pertinent advice for you.
Many people that have big physiques are big despite of their training, not because of it. Some of those huge guys know very little about training and dieting correctly. They can do whatever and still gain muscle; unfortunately we are not that way, so we much approach things in a more intelligent way.
This is the most difficult concept for many to grasp simply because it involves less action, instead of more. When we get motivated and start a new program, it’s natural to want to do something. We want to train and train and train. Thinking all along that the more you train, the more muscle you will build. Unfortunately, this could not be farther from the truth.
More training does not equal more muscle growth. Understand that the purpose of weight training is to stimulate muscle growth. That takes very little time. Once that has been done, the muscle needs to be repaired and new muscle needs to be built.
That only happens when you are resting. You do not build muscle in the gym, you build muscle when resting! If you never give your body any essential “non active” time, when will it have a chance to build muscle? Think about that.
Now, add in the fact that you have a difficult time gaining weight and the importance of rest increases. Individuals who are naturally thin and have difficulty building muscle tend to require less training and more rest.
Focus on multi-jointed lifts
Multi-jointed exercises are those that stimulate the most amounts of muscle fibers. Unlike isolation exercises which only work individual muscles, multi-jointed lifts work many different muscle groups simultaneously.
For those needing to gain weight, this is ideal because these lifts put your body under the most amount of stress. This is the stress that will shock your nervous system and cause the greatest release of muscle building hormones. This results in increased muscle gain all over the body.
You can still do some isolation work; however it should not be the focus of your workouts, and should only come after your multi-jointed lifting is complete.
Focus on using free weights
Free weights are preferred over machines for many reasons, but most importantly because they allow the stimulation of certain supporting muscle groups when training. Stimulating these stabilizer and synergistic muscles will allow you go get stronger, and ultimately build more muscle faster.
Yes, some can most likely still build large amounts of muscle using machines, but why make it more difficult if you already have a difficult time gaining weight?
Lift a weight that is challenging for you
Building mass involves lifting relatively heavy weight. This is necessary because the muscle fibers that cause the most amount of muscle size growth (called Type IIB) are best stimulated by the lifting of heavy weight. A heavy weight as one that only allows you to perform 4-8 reps before your muscles fail.
Using a lighter weight and doing more reps can stimulate some Type IIB fibers, but again if you have a difficult time gaining weight, why make it more difficult? You need to try and stimulate as many as you can with the use of heavy weights.