How Do I Gain Weight?
Today’s fitness is all about weight loss. It’s all rapid fat loss this, super duper lean that, with the end goal of looking good with your shirt off. That’s an admirable goal to work towards, but what about those who want to gain weight?
You’re nodding, yeah? That’s good – we’re on the same page then. You must be one of the ones who has struggled to gain weight and muscle. That’s OK, too. Life is a work in progress. Let’s make you a masterpiece.
There’s a lot of talk about weight gain being bad, but that’s a shady story. If we’re talking about fat gain, sure, it’s probably not in your best interests. But muscle gain…that’s a different matter.
Gaining weight in the form of lean muscle comes with tons of advantages like creating the illusion of lower body fat, boosting your confidence, and allowing you to move furniture with ease. The latter is obviously the most important, but they’re all pretty handy.
We’ve scoured the web to bring you the fundamentals on how to gain weight. Shyeahhh, you know we got your back! Read on, my friend.
Eat Mountains of Food
Okay, slight caveat: quality food. It might seem obvious, but one of the biggest hurdles in gaining weight is hitting the huge amount of calories necessary to make it happen.
Guys hit progress-squashing plateaus – or don’t make any progress at all – because they think they’re eating like Michael Phelps when they’re barely even hitting 2,000 calories per day.
The fix? It’s a three-part solution.
- First, find a solid calculator to figure out your goal calories.
- Second, create a list of good food – lean meat and complex carbs, for starters.
- For the last step, keep reading.
Track Your Calories and Macros
It’s great to have a calorie goal to shoot for and a list of food to eat, but that’s not enough to help you gain weight. You gotta know how many calories you’re taking in daily, and calorie tracking is an easy fix for that. But it’s not that simple.
First, determine your BMR to determine how many calories you burn typically in one day. Then target your caloric intake based on that information. Once you determine your targeted intake, then determine your macros that will help you achieve your goals. You can learn about them more in depth here.
Hey nothing worth achieving is easy. While this may seem overwhelming, you only need to learn it once– you need to know the inner workings of your body so you can plan a strategy that works WITH it.
Get Enough Protein
Protein is like candy for your muscles. Studies have shown that higher protein intake makes you stronger and helps you build lean mass. You can hit the gym hard day after day, but you won’t see optimal results if you ignore your protein intake.
There’s some debate about how much protein we really need, though. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend that athletes take in 1.2g to 2.0g per kilogram of body weight, while the government-recommended RDA is way lower at .8g per kilogram. Start somewhere in the middle and adjust as you go.
Build Serious Strength
The nutrition side of the equation gets smothered with love – rightfully so, we should add – but it’s not the only factor. Strength gain means muscle gain, and that means weight gain. If you want to get massive, you have to enter beast mode in the weight room.
Get there by using big bang for your buck exercises like squats, deadlifts, and presses. Stay in the strength-building rep range by cranking out high-intensity sets of up to eight reps and try to increase the weight you’re lifting each session.
It only takes a bit of light reading to learn how to gain weight, but you have to get your mind and your habits in the right place to actually make it happen.
Choose good food to eat, make sure you hit your calorie and macro goals, get enough protein, and lift heavy weights. That’s your homework. You got this, we’re just here to watch you cross your finish line.