Fifty Two Ways to Gain Weight
Fitness for mind and body.
1. Count how many calories you eat in a normal day. Don't change anything, just eat like you normally would and count how many calories you consumed. This is an extremely important step, so try to be as exact as possible. Also, weigh yourself.
2. Starting the day after you counted calories, eat 500 calories MORE then you normally do. So, lets pretend that the day you counted calories you counted 2000. For the rest of the week, you would now eat 2500 calories a day. Instead of eating 3 big meals a day or eating all day all the time, spread those calories out over 5 to 6 smaller meals. Eat one meal every 2 and a half to 3 hours. To get big, you have to eat big! Remember that.
3. Weightlifting! Get in the gym and lift! This is another important step to how to gain weight, so make sure you are doing it correctly. For more information on weightlifting workout routines and exercises, read the Exercise section.
4. At the end of that week, weigh yourself. You'll notice your gaining just after one week! Now, don't expect to see a 10lb increase. Gaining anymore then 1 or 2 pounds a week is unhealthy and means your putting on way to much fat. So look for 1 or 2 pound gains at the end of the week. Don't sound like much? You can be gaining 5-8 pounds a month!
5. Heres an important one. At some point, you will stop seeing weight gain. At this point, you will have to eat even more. So, when you stop gaining for at least 2 weeks, it means it is time to start eating an extra 250 calories a day. Every time you see you haven't gained weight for at least 2 weeks, add an extra 250 calories.
6. Stay away from fat! Even though weight gain is your goal, you don't want to be gaining fat. Get rid of the chips and candy. No more fast food, nothing fried. Stick to high protein low fat foods like tuna fish (and other seafood), chicken breast, turkey, lean meats, fruits and vegetables etc.
7. Protein is the building block for muscle. Without protein, do not even bother going to the gym. To gain muscle mass, you need to eat protein. Some people say eating 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. I disagree. I say stick with 1 gram per pound. So if you weigh 150lbs, eat 150 grams of protein. And that means everyday, whether your going to workout that day or not, you still need to supply your muscles with the protein they need to recover for the next workout and to grow.
8. Also about protein.. you need it after a workout. Eat a can of tuna or something high in protein after your workouts to supply your body with the protein it needs to recover after the workout you just had. I have a protein shake after every workout.
9. As you might have guessed, fruits and vegetables are very important to your diet. Besides the fact there is no fat, they have the vitamins and minerals you need!
10. Drinks. The best thing to drink is water, and a lot of it. You need it. It will give you the fuel you need to kill yourself in the gym getting the body you want. Another good drink is low/non fat milk. Milk has a lot of protein in it. But if you like it, non fat milk is great for you. But don't forget about the water!
11. Diets. You have to make yourself a diet. Whether it's a weight gain diet, or a weight loss diet, you have to get organized. Plan what your going to eat before you eat it. Make yourself a diet as low in fat as possible, and high in protein and then get yourself organized so that eating isn't a problem anymore. It becomes as easy as walking, you just do it without thinking. This way, theres no time to think about eating those potato chips, or not eating enough protein.
12. Carbohydrates. People trying to lose weight should eat a diet very low in carbohydrates while someone whose trying to gain weight can get away with eating the extra carbohydrates.
13. Sleep! YES! Sleep! The easiest, yet most over looked step. Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Your going to need it!
14. Now the concern some people have about how to gain weight, is how to do it without putting on extra fat. Let me tell you how, YOU CAN'T! Unless you are using steroids, it is basically impossible to gain weight without putting on a little bit of extra fat. But hey, you want to see some weight gain right? Well then who cares about the little bit of extra fat you might put on while gaining. You will be able to burn that off later on, right now gaining is your main concern, so that is all you need to worry about.
15. One rule when making weightlifting workout programs for gaining muscle weight is to make sure to split it so that you aren't overtraining. Doing chest on Monday, then triceps on Tuesday, then shoulders on Wednesday will overtrain your triceps. Why? Because just about every chest and shoulder exercise works the triceps secondary. And almost every back exercise works the biceps secondary.
16. Work chest, triceps and shoulders on the same day, and biceps and back on the same day so that its ok if the secondary muscles get worked that day, because your doing them anyway.
17. Separate those muscles that work a secondary muscle so that they are far enough apart not to overtrain you. For example, do chest exercises Monday, triceps on Wednesdays, and shoulders Friday... and biceps Monday with chest, and back Wednesday or Friday.
18. Do chest and triceps Monday, and shoulders Thursday, and back and biceps together on Friday.
19. Carefully plan your meals with foods that will help you gain lean mass, not fat. We suggest 6 meals. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and three other small meals scheduled throughout the day. The goal is to eat every 2.5 to 3 hours.
20. Focus on foods such as steak, chicken, fruit, milk, vegetables, cheese and assorted types of nuts. It's recommended to eat 4 to 6 pieces of fresh fruit a day, and at least four tall glasses of milk. Milk is a great, cheap protein source - take advantage of it. A sample snack meal would be a glass of milk, an apple, and a hand full of peanuts.
21. To gain weight, you do not NEED supplements, but they will help you gain the weight quicker. That's what they are, supplements to an already good diet and training program. Think of supplements as the finishing touch.
22. Drink weight gain shakes. The way this will help is by giving you a large quantity of calories in one small serving. It will provide you with 620 calories in one easy shake and is especially great for people who do not have time for breakfast, or snacks while on the go. Just mix a serving with water or fruit juice and gulp it down in a just a couple of minutes.
23. Creatine monohydrate: Most people gain 5 to 7 pounds in the first two weeks of creatine use. If you are interested in quick weight gain, and increased energy for your workouts, creatine is definitely worth a go.
24. Buy new fitness clothes. Let's face it: Good equipment is everything. Proper shoes, workout gloves, etc., that make it comfortable to walk (see Walking Clothes), and clothes that make you feel good when you move, can act as an incentive to lace up the sneakers and hit the gym to bulk up.
25. Shoes: The American Council on Exercise warns that athletic shoes will lose their cushioning after three to six months of regular use, increasing the susceptibility to knee and ankle injuries. Replace them periodically. Buy a comfortable sweat suit or shorts and a tee-shirt in bright colors, such as bright red or orange, which are known to have an invigorating effect.
26. To build mass, you must weight train with heavy weights. By heavy, I mean a weight that is challenging for you -- not anyone else. To consider a weight heavy, you should only be able to do a maximum of 8 to 12 reps before your muscles temporarily fail. A weight is considered "light" if you can do more than 15 reps before muscle fatigue sets in.
27. Keep your workouts under one hour. Short and intense!
28. Concentrate on free weight exercises that work the large muscle groups. The best weight training exercises for building mass are the simple ones. For mass, stick with compound free weight exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, barbell rows, pull ups and bar dips.
29. Use heavy weights and low reps, rest 3 minutes between each set.
30. Stretching before your session is necessary to warm-up and loosen your joints, muscles and ligaments, while stretching after your workout helps to aid in recovery. When you stretch the muscles you just worked it will help to remove the lactic acid buildup in those muscles. Stretching helps in the removal waste from the muscles, and supplies them with much needed oxygen and nutrients. This will also help to alleviate some of the muscle soreness that accompanies heavy training.
31. Using food supplements like Meal Replacement Powders and whey protein help to eliminate the common problem of "not enough time", by providing you with an quick efficient way to get your required nutrients each day.
32. Deliver messages by hand. Send fewer interoffice emails daily. Hand deliver messages instead. While we are all geared into saving time, moving our mouse more often than our feet will, unfortunately, also reduce the amount of calories burned. Make a habit of getting up and delivering a couple of messages every day to fellow employees who sit the farthest away from your cubicle. The more you move, the more you will use those muscles.
33. Increasing strength and decreasing recovery time. Using vitamin and amino acid supplements help to minimize the negative side effects of weight training and speed your recovery.
34. Whey Protein -- many people use Whey protein to help gain weight.
35. I recommend that everyone should be taking a multivitamin, plenty of vitamin C, and glutamine.
36. Multi-Vitamins Because: Weight training increases the body's need for many minerals like magnesium and selenium. The multi-vitamin should ensure that you are not deficient in any major essential vitamin or mineral. Deficiency symptoms include muscle weakness and suppression of the immune system, muscle cramping and fatigue.
37. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is essential to prevent free radical damage, which is accelerated after the heavy trauma of weight training. It is also essential is helping to repair connective tissue which helps decrease the amount of time you are sore. Vitamin C helps recovery so you can get back to training. A typical intake is around 3,000mg in divided doses. That would equal quite a few oranges!
38. Iron: Grown men do not need additional iron. They get enough from our food. Men and postmenopausal women should never take iron supplements unless they have iron deficiency anemia, which is only diagnosed by blood tests. The body has no way to eliminate excess iron except through blood loss. Women who menstruate are protected from iron overload, obviously. Iron is also an oxidizing agent that can cause damage to the heart and arteries, and is a major risk factor in arteriosclerosis.
39. Glutamine -- Glutamine is an amino acid that is produced by our bodies, but most of the time our bodies demand so much, that it can't create enough. You can supplement your diet with glutamine to increase levels of glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant, which helps to combat the stresses of exercise trauma, and prevent muscle protein breakdown. Suggested intake is about 15g per day (in divided doses), which would be impossible to get naturally. Take one dose at bedtime.
40. Make it easy! Keep foods within easy reach. When you're shopping, remember that convenient packaging.
41. A little secret: Nothing ever goes as planned. No one ever makes the gains they expected when they expected. At some point, guys who have made incredible gains got discouraged and felt disappointed. But they did not quit. They stayed focused on their goals.
42. Change your workout parameters. If you have been performing the same weight training routine for at least 5 weeks and you are not seeing any further strength gains, you may want to consider changing your workout parameters (i.e. sets, reps, tempo, exercises). Any small change should be enough to continue your progress. For example, if you are performing your reps with tempo of one count up and one count down, you may try slowing down your reps for a count of one up and three down.
43. Take a before picture. And put it where you can see it everyday. This reminds you of what you used to look like, and what you will look like again if you stop training!
44. Write down your specific goal on a piece of paper (e.g. you want to gain 30 pounds of muscle and get your body fat below 6 percent), and either carry it with you everywhere, or hang it somewhere you will see it everyday.
45. Find a photo of someone who has the physique that you are trying to attain. You must be realistic when choosing this. Choose someone who is realistically achievable. Now hang that where you will see it everyday. Each time you look at your role model photo or read your written goal, you should visualize what you will actually look like at that goal and how you will feel.
46. Take your physical measurements every two weeks. This is a gauge of how well your program is working for you. It will show you how far you have come. You will also see what is and what is not working for you.
47. Give yourself a free day. Allow yourself one day out of the week to eat anything you want - without guilt.
48. Unfortunately, when you're trying to figure out how to gain weight, it's easy to ignore the most important limiting factor, your genetics. Specifically, scientists have isolated one particular gene that, through a protein called myostatin, actually slows your rate of muscle growth. Variations in myostatin genotype could explain why some people gain weight in the form of muscle far more quickly than others. Muscle fibers in elite bodybuilders, for example, are often no bigger than someone who has never picked up a barbell in their life. Their muscles are larger because they contain a greater number of small to average sized fibers.
49. About being underweight, sometimes being too thin requires medical intervention. A physician can rule out hormonal imbalances, depression, and other hidden diseases such as anorexia or bulimia. Risks associated with being too skinny include complications in surgery and slow recovery after illnesses.
50. Try replacing foods such as diet sodas with good energy sources, such as fruit juice.
51. Power-pack each meal and snack, such as an energy bar. A few simple additions can add considerable amounts of nutrients and calories to your food. Add peanut butter to toast with honey or jam, dried cranberries and almonds or walnuts to oatmeal, low fat cheese to crackers.
52. Try to limit greasy or fried foods. They take longer to digest and therefore diminish your appetite.
Freebie! Eating Strategies to Gain Weight
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