This article describes how mass gainers can affect Abs: positively or adversely.
The gainer effects on abs vary for each person.
If you don’t balance your calorie consumption and workout routines, then YES, mass gainers can ruin your abs, but if you properly manage your supplement, diet, and training, mass gainers can help you GET abs.
In the following sections, I have covered complete details on how mass gainers affect your abs and how you can use them in your favor instead.
Keep reading to get some handy tips on maintaining your six packs with weight gain;
Does mass gainer increase belly fat? And ruins your abs?
Yes, you might get belly fat if you consume a lot of mass gainer, masking your abs. Improper consumption of mass gainers can lead to unhealthy bulking due to the high proportion of carbs and fats.
Carbs are the most significant component of the gainer powders, and taking a high-carb food ultimately leads to fat production.
Most of these fats get stored under the belly skin, just above the rectus abdominis, aka—your six-pack muscles.
Thus, if your body fat percentage is high, it’s nearly impossible to get impressive abs.
That is why if you are seeking core muscle growth, you should carefully consider the carb intake through mass gainer because it can keep you from achieving your dream looks.
Mass gainers also contain a good amount of fats which can play against your fitness goals if your body does not burn them during exercise or use them for muscle recovery.
Otherwise, these ingredients form a fatty layer (named subcutaneous fats) around your belly muscles, veiling your abs.
However, you can gain weight using these high-calorie supplements and still keep your abs if you take care of the following things;
Can you get abs while taking mass gainer?
Yes, but only if you;
Exercise is the number one thing to get regular in if you want to build abs, either with or without mass gainers.
Simply put, you must have a low body fat percentage to get abs.
To help you get started, I have included some useful tips to acquire those six packs faster in the next section.
But besides the proper workout routine, the following tips would help you expose your six packs when you are also trying to gain weight;
Take the right serving.
As we just discussed, getting six-pack abs is not something you can achieve with a large calorie surplus. Instead, you only need as many calories as your growing muscles (including abs) can utilize for growth and recovery.
In this case, blindly taking a mass gainer shake worth 1200 kcal is clearly counterproductive.
Hence, you should adjust your serving size according to your personal calories, carbs, and protein needs.
That is why you should check the nutritional labels before buying a gainer powder. For ab building, choose a mass gainer, that is;
- Has a moderate calorie count
- Do not contain carb fillers
- Have a high protein-to-carb ratio
I personally love Crazy Nutrition Mass gainer results for healthy bulking because it has all of these qualities.
Take mass gainer post-workout
The popular question of ‘when to take mass gainer’ becomes even more important when it comes to six-pack development.
To grow your abs muscles, the best time to take a mass gainer is 15- 30 minutes after your workout session.
That’s because post-workout, your muscles are exhausted and are craving to get nutrients and energy.
When you supply a carb-filled shake at this time, tired muscles get an instant burst of energy which help them recover faster, becoming stronger and more prominent.
As a result, mass gainer calories are instantly used, reducing the risk of fat production.
Drink more water
Hydration improves the efficacy of protein shakes and mass gainers in many ways.
As water comprises 76% of healthy muscle mass, drinking more water would help your abs’ muscles grow larger.
Hydration level also affects the muscle response to workouts and physiological stress. Thus, increased water intake seems to improve muscular strength and endurance.
Researchers have also found that poor hydration induces faster protein breakdown in muscular tissues, and an increased rate of protein degradation in abdominal muscles would ruin your abs.
And the better a muscle group can respond to exercise, the bulkier it gets. So, if you hydrate yourself well, your core muscles will become prominent easily.
Besides this, water also has thermogenic properties, due to which your body generates more heat when well-hydrated.
This internal heat-production process ultimately leads to fat burn and helps you shed off subcutaneous belly fats, exposing lean abs muscles.
How can I keep my abs while gaining weight?
Weight gain and maintaining a ripped-off abs look can sometimes be overwhelming.
Because for gaining, you need a calorie surplus, while for abs, you need a calorie deficit.
However, if you put in some effort to manage your macros and do enough exercise, you can keep your abs while gaining weight. For instance;
Perform multiple exercises
Adding both cardio and resistance workouts to your gym routine is the best way to gain weight and abs simultaneously.
Cardio exercises, especially HIIT (high-intensity interval training), help burn fats and make your muscles active. In this way, it will remove the fat layer between the abs and skin.
On the other hand, resistance training (especially weight-bearing workouts) puts stress on muscles, forcing them to grow larger and stronger.
As a result, your core muscles will become prominent.
Try Compound exercises
When it comes to core workouts, crunches are the talk of the town.
However, only doing crunches would not get those aggressive abs (at least not sooner).
Instead, compound workouts that focus on other muscle groups besides core muscles are more effective as they help you get abs quickly and increase your overall lean weight due to the growth of various muscles.
Make a workout routine comprising cardio, crunches, and compound exercises to get the best results.
Here are five effective compound exercises that engage your core muscles;
- Captain’s chair
- Barbell back squat
Don’t overdo carbs/ fats
I cannot stress enough that you need to keep your carbohydrate and fats intake under check if you want a six-pack torso.
If you are seeking abs, I recommend you to sort out your macros and calories with the help of your gym trainer, then limit your carbs and fat intake accordingly. And this also includes adjusting your gainer serving.
A low-fat, high-protein, and moderate-carb diet would be helpful, though personal requirements may vary.
Choose lean protein
Protein consumption is essential for prominent abs (and other muscle groups like the biceps and quadriceps). Here is a quick formula to find out the daily protein requirement;
1.6 grams protein x your body weight in kgs = daily protein requirement for optimal muscle growth
But do remember that no food item is composed of a single nutrient. Hence, your protein-rich meals also contain a portion of fats and carbs.
That is why you should choose lean protein sources (high-protein food with a minimal amount of fats) to ensure that your belly gets muscular six packs, not the fatty blabs!
Skip processed food
Processed food serves no good other than satisfying your hunger and taste buds for a while.
Junk food, bakery items, and fried snacks can quickly increase your calorie consumption. But most of these calories are not used in body metabolism and end up as fat globules stored under the skin.
Hence, it’s necessary to avoid empty calories from processed foods for lean bulking and impressive abs.
Getting abs with mass gainers is possible, but it takes conscious effort and consistency. Abs growth is often a time taking process, and you need to adjust your dietary intake carefully to maintain a low body fat percentage.
Hence, adjusting your gainer serving according to your abs-focused diet plan and taking it post-workout can prove helpful in this process.
Plus, getting six packs requires you to exercise regularly to burn belly fat and grow your abdominis muscles.
Mixing different workouts like low-paced cardio, interval exercises, compound exercises, and crunches would lead to fast abs development rather than relying upon a single type of exercise.