The Best Way to Gain Weight for Muscle Mass

  • NicoTheGreat

    Posts: 19

    Aug 19, 2008 6:26 PM GMT
    So, here's the deal...I'm fairly thin/skinny. I weigh 175 pounds, and have a 30 or 31 inch waist. Most people think I weight less or have a smaller waist because I'm so tall (6'6").

    Because of this, and also to just be a bit healthier and it's something I've wanted to do for quite some time, I want to get back into the gym to put on some muscle mass. I have a few friends that said they would share some workout routines, and I've seen a few routines on here that look promising.

    Problem one is that my metabolism is crazy. I could eat a buffet out of business, and still shed 5 pounds. Problem two is that when I do work out, I burn off so much weight and go from looking normal (what I look like now) to "extreme Skeletor" (that's what I said fans of He-Man!)

    Anyone know of any good weight gaining advice (supplements, dietary thoughts, etc) that they'd be willing to share.

    Thanks in advance. My ego, as well as the fact that I might have people thinking I am the son of Karen Carpenter, will appreciate your help. icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 19, 2008 7:29 PM GMT
    Very amused at the Karen Carpenter reference. She's my favorite invocation when it comes to the world of the thin.

    I share the same challenge as you. I could gain weight if I added fat, but that's hardly a healthy way to eat. That said, after reminding youself of the bright side (we'd have to reaaaaaaaly let ourselves go to get very overweight), there are a few things you can do...

    For one, I eat several times a day. There is a degree to which I think this speeds up my metabolism even more, but it also helps give tired muscles steadier nutrients.

    This is bad, but I do almost zero cardio. I would like to do cardio, but there are only so many times a week I can eat pizza and pasta.

    I'm a fan of ProLab's N-Large-2 protein shake mix. It actually tastes good, has no weird ingredients or fake sugars, and you can consume 50g+ of protein per shake. This stuff is a big help for me as well, and I find it less bloating than other shakes... So I can actually eat again a few hours after a shake.
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    Aug 19, 2008 7:37 PM GMT
    Try this book, Muscle-up by Matt Roberts an illustrated work-out book comprising two routines which are easy to understand.

    Not sure what u can do about the food situation. As Chucky used to say eat eat eat and eat some more.

  • ajw18

    Posts: 141

    Aug 19, 2008 8:35 PM GMT
    A book I recommend is "Scrawny to Brawny" by Michael Mejia and John Berardi. This is a great place to start with to really understand your body and the way to put on some mass. Although it can get kind of technical and the information is not sorted in the most efficient way, it has helped me put on 10 pounds in the past year (sounds like very little, but to us skinny guys it is actually a lot).
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    Aug 19, 2008 8:54 PM GMT
    At your age I was 1 inch taller and ten pounds heavier with 4% body fat (bike racing). 4 years earlier I was 165 and untrained. Splitting the two, I'd say we're fairly similar body types. Today at around 210, I'd still like to be bigger but it's a huge difference from when I was younger.

    If I could go back and change the habits of my younger self... I'd say eat more. Eat a lot more. Eat 6 times a day unless you feel the need to snack between and make sure they're good calories for the most part.
    Learn proper power lifting form and use it. You have another 10 years to work on ripped definition, explosive muscle development happens young so do it now and build muscle until you have to walk funny. Once you hit 30 it becomes more of a battle against losing mass. While you are building muscle mass, you will not be able to see a six pack, so get over that now. Building muscle by definition will require that you not be lean for a while. Other members have repeatedly reinforced that it is nearly impossible to gain muscle mass and loose fat at the same time. At best you could break even and that would require a medical staff monitoring your progress.

    Finally, you are cute now, adding mass could only make a good thing even better.
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    Aug 19, 2008 9:01 PM GMT
    Adding lean mass is awfully taxing, so best of luck. I'm gaining gradually, but I keep slipping into weight loss.

    Have you considered padding?
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    Aug 20, 2008 12:38 AM GMT
    First thing to do if you want to put on weight - stop running marathons. I lost 8-10 pounds when I trained for the marathon I did last year. I guess you could keep doing marathons but your calorie intake is going to have to increase dramatically if you want to gain weight.

    Just this week I hit my highest weight ever. I'm now almost 20 pounds heavier than I was three years ago. I've tried all sorts of things over the years. I have never added just one change at a time so I can't say what helped and what didn't, but here's what I did (listed in what I believe to be the order of importance):

    1. eat 5-6 times a day - It was the hardest thing to get used to. Now I don't know how I used to make it through the day on only three meals. I always bring a bag of almonds or PB&J sandwich with me for my afternoon snack. I have cereal, milk and fruit at work for my second breakfast. Sweet potatoes cooked with apple sauce or pineapple makes a great after work snack, as does low fat cottage cheese with some sort of fruit.
    2. try to consume more complex carbs than simple carbs, eating whole grain pasta and bread or brown rice when possible
    3. protein shakes. This is my favorite change. I love BSN's TrueMass chocolate shake. I have one after every weight training session and one before bed every night.
    4. cut out junk food. Junk food may be easy calories but isn't going to help build lean mass.

    I believe all these contributed to my weight gain, but I wonder how much my age played a role in the fact that I am retaining more weight.

    I just got the Scrawny to Brawny book. I'm going to try to incorporate some of the things they suggest. The book can be technical. I am also shocked by the amount of calories it recommends consuming in one day, especially the amount of fat they recommend. I have high cholesterol so there is no way I will be following all the dietary advice they offer. The authors have a free five day web course which basically summarizes the book. Just google Scrawny to Brawny and it'll be near the top of the results. Check out the meal plans on Real Jock. I have used those to find ideas for meals/snacks.

    You should also browse through the Real Jock weight gain forum. I found lots of good ideas in there.