Last Updated on September 4, 2018 by Martin
How to gain weight? A question some guys are asking when you have been working out for a couple of months, getting not results!
For some guys, it is a lot easier said than done, gaining weight in the form of pure muscle mass and strength.
Before you get started using steroids or give completely up on packing on some muscle and a couple of pounds, I think you have to read this article!
It is my personal experiences and advice on how to gain weight when you are a skinny guy!
Are You Not Gaining Weight?
Why am I not gaining weight, when I put in all the hard work, in form of consistent hard training, lifting weights and dieting?
It is a question a lot, especially skinny guys are asking after a couple of months of hard work in the gym! Either because you only have a gained a little, or not weight at all!
First of all, don’t panic it is completely normal and it is not because you are not normal, are having a parasite or something else.
You are most likely to have a high metabolism that burns off all your calories before you are able to convert them into pure muscles.
My Skinny Guy Complex
When I first got started lifting weights I used to have the same problem. No matter what I did my current weight just stayed the same. My muscles did get harder alright, but they did not grow bigger at all.
From my first experiences, of being the skinny guy in the gym, the guy that the big guys were laughing at and did not respect, I learned a lot about myself and how to solve my issue and get started to gain weight.
I spend hours of reading and learning from the old pros like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dorian Yates, and Ronnie Coleman. I paid particular attention to the ones who like me, were skinny when they first started out like Ben Pakulski.
Finally, I also used a lot of time, learning about the science behind working out, training hard and dieting the right way. The most valuable lesson I learned here was to stay consistent with my training and diet.
Enough about me, now this article is going to be all about you, and how you can get started to gain weight and build some lean muscles and strength.
Let’s take a closer look at your workout next.
With your muscle building workouts, there are a couple of things we have to straight out, let’s have a quick look at them.
Forget About Cardio
When you have a high metabolism and want to gain weight, you don’t want to spend too many calories working out in the gym. So forget about cardiovascular training and stick to the weights. You don’t want to burn off 200-400 calories that are crucial to your weight gain.
Go Heavy With The Weights
Stay away from high reps training and stick to a range between 6 to 12 reps. Start out with a high rep number and then keep adding weights until you can barely do 6 reps on your last set.
The weight should be at a level where you can barely lift the last two moves.
Amount of Sets and Exercises
With the first exercise for a muscle group, I will do as much as 6 sets, where the two first sets are just to warm up the muscles. After that, I will do 4 working sets for each exercise.
For the major big muscle groups likes chest, and back I will do 4 different exercises. With legs, I will do 5, and consider calves as a separate muscle group where I will do one or two exercises.
When it comes to biceps, triceps, shoulders and abs I will stick to 3 different exercises, but sometimes do an extra one, if I feel I am in the mood.
At this point, you will have to test to see what works best for you.
Use Compound Exercises
With compound exercises, you engage as much muscle mass as possible in each move. It is important because you also want to develop all the connective tissue connecting your muscles.
Another benefit you have with compound moves is that is that you can get your workouts done faster. You are not spending so much time on isolation exercises that will take time and swallow too many calories.
Simply said, with compound training you are getting the best output without spending too many calories.
What are Compound Exercises?
Compound exercises are the classics like bench press, pullovers, military press, squats, and lunges. They move more muscle mass than any other exercises and are very beneficial to use when you want to get big and gain weight.
Go Heavy With the Weights
When it comes to your weight you should not go high reps either, but stick to a rep range between 6 and 12. Go as heavy with the weights as possible but make sure have plenty of rest between your sessions.
Do a Split Routine
A split routine is an excellent way to put a maximum impact on your muscles and at the same time give them plenty of rest. It also means that you can put more attention and focus on each muscle group
With a split routine, you train different muscle groups on different days instead of doing a full body.
You split routine can look like this:
Monday: Chest, abs, and biceps.
Tuesday: Back, triceps, and shoulders.
Wednesday: Legs and Abs.
Friday: Start all over
Target Each Muscle Group Every 5 Day and Not 7
Most guys typical have a workout schedule where they train chest on Mondays, back on Tuesdays, legs on Wednesdays and so on. They target each muscle group every 7 days.
Aim to train each muscle group every 5 days instead of every 7 days as most guys do, following this routine. Normally your muscles are fully recovered and ready for the next load after 5 days. So why waste two days, just because you want to train chest on Mondays?
My opinion is, as long as you are doing a split routine and have some rest between your workout days, you are much better off training each muscle group every 5 days. It is what it takes muscles to recover, on average.
It is what it takes your muscles to recover, on average. Therefore I cannot see any point in waiting for another two days before you train a muscle group again.
Besides that, with a 5-day split routine, you will not fall into monotony just because you training the same muscles the same days.
How Much Time to Spend in the Gym?
To start out you will have to find your own level in regard to workout frequency. Go to the point where your body is tired, but you are ready for the next workout. However, I will still recommend you to go at least 4 times a week.
Don’t spend more than an hour in the gym each time. But spend your time working out and not talking to the other guys.
Your Workout Routine Can Look Like This
Let’s set up an example on how your workout week can look like so you can get a better understanding of how this work.
Incline Bench Press
Bicep dumbbell curls
Biceps EZ bar curls
Preacher bench bicep curls
Do two warm up sets for the first exercise you do off each muscle group and then 4 working sets for all exercises
Hold some weights in your hands while performing sit-ups and crunches. With leg raises you can use a chain to keep some extra weight with your feet.
The extra weights make it harder to do the exercises, meaning you don’t have to do hundreds of reps.
Aim to get a range between 10 and 25 reps.
Dips carrying your own weight
Close grip barbell bench press
Military dumbbell presses
Military barbell presses behind neck
Seated leg curls
Seated calf raise
Hanging knee raises
use this muscle building program as a starting point. You can always adapt it and add in extra exercises when you get more experienced.
Never leave out your leg workouts! Getting a good leg workout is just as important as the rest of your body. Training all muscles and you will release a cocktail of hormones that will stimulate more muscle growth, compared to only training your upper body.
Your Diet – How to Gain Weight in Form of Pure Muscles
So far we have taken a closer look at your workout. To get the maximum impact from all the hard work you put in the gym, it is important that you tailor your diet for a weight gain in form of building pure muscles and strength.
Let’s get started.
What Not To Do
With the diet part of this article, you are going to learn a lot about what to do when you want to gain weight and build some lean muscles and strength. But before we get started with all the tips and secrets, let’s first have a quick look at what not to do first.
How to Gain Weight – The Oldschool Method
Back in the days, dieticians and even doctors would put guys with a high metabolism on a fat cream diet to make them gain weight.
Having ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, may sound like a dream come true. You will gain weight all right, but it is in the form of body fat and not pure muscles, which should be your overall goal.
If you are a young guy, I can assure you that your metabolism will slow down in a few years from now, making it easier to gain weight.
So, if you go on a cream diet and load on pounds of body fat, coming from the cream and far you are eating, it will backfire on you later. You will risk getting overweighted and obese.
So instead, follow my recommendation! Go to the gym and work hard to build lean muscles and strength. Make sure to eat loads of all the right nutrients your body needs to build lean muscles and strength.
And remember, be patient and consistent. Pure and simple.
What To Do
Sorry guys, no junk, no fast food, and no ice cream. When it comes to how to gain weight, you will have to eat functional food, meaning getting the nutrients you and your body need to maintain health, growth, and get stronger.
Even if it is difficult and you are not hungry at all you have to get a substantial breakfast to start your day with. It has to be as soon as possible after waking up.
After sleeping 6 to 8 hours your body is in a catabolic state, meaning it is breaking down muscle tissue in order to provide your body with energy. You don’t want this to happen because it means you are breaking down muscle tissue.
So make sure to get a substantial breakfast containing a good combination carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Also, make sure to eat something you like to eat because it makes it a lot easier.
Example of a Breakfast
2 whole eggs
a couple of eggs whites.
2 to 4 slices of turkey bacon
Oatmeal with milk or water
add some blue, black, and strawberries
Also, try to get some Almond nuts or similar, and raisins. Put them in your oatmeal to add some healthy fat.
Alternative Breakfast If You a Too Busy
I know, it takes a time to prepare a good solid breakfast. A great alternative is to make smoothies instead. It is a fast way to get some calories and all it takes it a decent blender for shakes and smoothies.
A good smoothie for a muscle hard gainer is.
250 grams of yogurt
100 gram of milk
a half cup of oatmeal
one cup of berries
1 to 2 scoops of a Muscle protein powder like BPI Sports Whey HD protein powder.
Morning snacks are always a difficult one to manage because at this time you are at work or in school. The last thing you think about now is yet another meal after a huge breakfast. You are probably not even hungry at this time.
Keep your snack as simple as possible. Me for example, I like to have a bag of mixed nuts with me, they are easy to carry and to eat while I do something else.
Nuts are an excellent source of both fat, proteins and antioxidants and they should be a part of your diet always.
At this point, you are probably starting to get hungry and it is time to get some calories, in form of meat, fish, or chicken with some healthy carbohydrates like rice, potatoes, and vegetables.
Your lunch can look like this
250 to 300 grams of chicken, red meat, or fish
potatoes, rice, grains, and vegetables until you feel full and satisfied.
As long as you are eating clean, there is no need to be afraid of carbohydrates; you are getting them as pure as possible.
Potatoes is a better choice than rice. Sweet potatoes are even a better choice. If you can get some brown or basmati rice they will be better than regular rice as well.
Now things are starting to get serious, we are getting closer to your workout, in case you are training late afternoon or early evening.
First, if you take your pre-workout snack too close to your workout, you may end up feeling like vomiting, because you still have food in your digestive canal. Moving your muscles can start to push your food upwards instead of downwards. Trust me, feeling like vomiting while doing squats is not a nice feeling.
Trust me, feeling like vomiting while doing squats is not a nice feeling.
So, make sure to get your pre-workout snack around an hour before your workout.
Your workout snack can be many different things, depending on how much time you have to prepare yours.
If you don’t have the time you can grab some food or get a banana, but remember to think about your calorie intake.
Personally, I like a bowl of oatmeal with some milk and a BPI pre-workout supplement like 1.M.R Vortex that boost more energy levels and give me a much better quality workout.
You should also consider getting BPI Sports Best BCAA supplement which is a bonded chain of amino acids that will improve your performance and make you recover faster.
BCAA will also keep your body anabolic during and after your workout. Normally when you get fatigue your body will switch from being anabolic to catabolic, it is the last thing you want as described earlier.
Your post-workout snack is the most important in between meal of them all and you should never ignore it. It is here your recovery begins and you will have to get started to feed your muscles with all the nutrients they need to grow and recover.
Make sure to get it as fast as possible, the best you can do is to have a shake in your gym bag and drink it in the locker room right after your workout.
For skinny guys, I personally recommend using the Whey HD from BPI Sports, the same I also recommended as an alternative to your breakfast. Make sure to mix it with some chocolate powder and oatmeal to make it a powerful hard-gainer.
With Whey HD including the chocolate powder and oatmeal, you are getting 625 calories in each serving and a total of 53 grams of proteins. It is just what you need to kick start your muscle recovery and gaining some weight.
Around 2 hours after your workout, it is time for dinner and just like your lunch, make sure to get either some lean meat, fish, or chicken.
At this point I will aim to get at least 300 grams of meat, it is around 63 grams of proteins.
Make sure to fill up with potatoes, rice, and vegetables until you feel full and satisfied.
For some muscle hard gainers, it can be difficult to eat that much especially after a hard gainer shake. But just wait for a little and eat slowly. Your dinner is very important and should not be left out.
Night Time Snack
Your night time snack is about making sure your body has some nutrients available for recovery during the night.
It is important that you make your night time snack as easy as possible and do not spend too much time in the kitchen.
A simple night time snack can be some chicken or meat leftovers from earlier. Blend it with vegetables or a salad and you are ready.
At this time I do not recommend you to get too many starches like potatoes or rice.
ISO HD also contains Lecithin from soy, which is a benefit at night time because it takes your body a little bit longer to digest.
But if you are on a budget stick to the Whey HD, so you are not ending up with an arsenal of 10 different protein powders.
Basically, you can be a hard muscle mass gainer without the use of supplements, however, the right ones can make the whole process easier. Protein powders can make the diet part easier and also a lot cheaper.
BPI Sports Supplements and Protein
In this article, we have already made a couple of recommendations when it comes to using whey protein and muscle hard gainers.
BPI supplements is an excellent choice because they are high quality and still relatively cheap to buy. You get only the best ingredients, and they taste great as well.
Let’s have a quick a look at the ones I recommend you to use.
BPI Sports Whey HD
Here is the classic whey protein powder, you can bring with you in your gym back and use as a snack between meals and night time. For guys who are looking for a post-workout supplement, Whey HD is a great choice as well. Remember, it is easy to digest so you will not end up with bloating and constipation issues.
BPI ISO HD
ISO HD is very similar to Whey HD, except some of the proteins you are getting comes from soy instead. It is particularly beneficial at night time, where you want a protein shake that takes a little bit longer to digest. Remember, you have 6 to 8 hours of sleep ahead of you and you want to proteins to last as long as possible.
1.M.R Vortex Pre-Workout
1Mr Vortex gets you well prepared for your workouts. It will boost you with energy and give you a more concentrated quality workout.
BPI Sports Best BCAA
Best BCAA will keep your body anabolic and will improve the quality of your workout. BCAA stands for Branch Chained Amino Acids and is particularly important for guys who want to build lean muscle and strength.
The above recommendations regarding your training, diet, and supplements will get you far on how to gain weight. I am sure you are going to gain some weight in form of pure muscle mass and strength.
If you are still not happy about the results you are getting, You may have to work with your nitric oxide or testosterone levels. These are two other reasons that may hold you back from gaining muscle mass.
For improving your nitric oxide levels check out this article No2 Power Blast – Do You Want to Build Bigger Lean Muscles Faster? It will give you a real insight into what nitric oxide levels is all about.
In regards to your levels of testosterone check out this article Testosterone Reload Review – Do You Really Need This Testosterone Booster? Here you will learn more about the importance of your testosterone levels and how you can boost them.
You Need Extra Help With Your Training?
If you require a more specific training program to help you to build lean muscles and strength, I recommend you to take a closer look at Ben Pakulski’s MI40 it is all you need when it comes to getting bigger at a bodybuilding level.
If you just want to get marked with some nice muscle definition and not stand out as a bodybuilder, you should take a closer look at Bony to Brawny – Muscle Building for Skinny Guys.
Also, check out the article about how skinny guys can build lean muscles and strength using five powerful tips.