If you were missing onto the weight gain program all this time, congrats, you’ve now discovered the one you’ve always wanted.
Ready to get stuck in? Excellent.
The key to successful results lies firstly in having a plan, and secondly in how consistently you stick to your plan.
Overview on Basic Weight Gain Program:
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is the perfect physique. But if you can commit to your program/ training for the next say, 12 weeks, then you will see great results.
Set a start date of 2 weeks from now, to allow yourself time to prepare and plan effectively.
Basic Weight Gain Program:
Let’s begin with our weight gain program that actually works and helps build muscle real quick:
1- Eating Big
To gain weight, you need to be eating more calories than your body burns for energy.
To determine how many calories you should be eating per day, multiply your weight by 40. So if you weigh 60kg, then you should be aiming for 2400 calories per day.
To achieve this increased daily food intake, divide evenly into 6 meals per day. This should be roughly 40% protein (for building muscles), 30% carbs and 30% fat.
2- Lifting Big
You need to shock your muscles into lifting as heavy weights as possible, as this is what stimulates growth.
For strength gains, aim for high weight and low reps.
Start out with weights you can lift your maximum 5-7 reps, rest, then lift the same weight for 3-5 reps, rest, then lift the weight for 1-2 reps.
Aim for 3 workouts per week, focusing on a separate group each time – legs, arms, back & chest.
A common mistake is to work out too much, e.g. spending every day at the gym. This is counter-productive as you will not give your muscles sufficient time to repair and heal themselves.
3- Lift Free Weights
Machines compensate the weight you are lifting, as they move in a linear motion. This means they do the work of your stabilizing muscles and so you will not gain strength as quickly.
Compound exercises such as the squat or deadlift involve multiple muscle groups which will increase your efficiency and reduce overall workout time.
4- Get Lots Of Rest
Your muscles actually grow while you are sleeping, not while you are working out. So it is important to get a good nights sleep.
5- Getting Started
Take a photo of yourself as you are now. T
his will be used as motivation to keep you focused on your goal.
Write down your specific goal on a piece of paper – e.g. I want to gain 15 kilos in 12 weeks. Then weigh yourself and record this number somewhere.
If you want to go on better, use a tape measure and measure the size of your biceps, chest, thighs and calves.
Update these statistics every two weeks to track your progress and stay focused.
6- Eating to Gain Weight and Muscle
Your general goal should be to gain 1-2 pounds of muscle a week.
To accomplish this, you will need to consume (Your body weight in kg, MULTIPLIED BY 40).
These additional calories will promote muscle growth.
There are foods that help gain weight and build muscle as well.
7- Macronutrient Breakdown
It is recommended to begin with 40% Protein, 30% Complex Carbohydrates and 30% Fats.
Keep in mind, this is intended to be a guideline as each persons body has a unique set of dietary responses, and you should experiment to find the optimal ratio that works for you.
8- Eat protein with every meal
- Aim to consume 1.5 – 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day.
- Aim to consume 1 – 1.5 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight per day.
- Aim to consume 0.5 – 1 grams of fat per pound of bodyweight per day.
- Increase this by 25% each week if you’re not growing.
9- Meal Frequency
Especially when you first start increasing your dietary intake, your body will find it difficult to consume all those extra calories with each meal.
For this reason, eating 3 meals per day is not beneficial.
Say you had to eat 3000 calories per day, this would mean 1000 calories per meal which is a tough ask!
To allow your body to ingest and process the 3000 calories, you will have to reduce your meal size and increase your meal frequency.
Therefore, It is recommended to eat 6 meals per day, spread out across 3hr intervals.
It is better to have an eating schedule set up.
10- Compound Exercises
These are the core exercises that focus on working a large number of muscle groups.
These should be at the heart of a solid weight gaining program as they are proven mass gainers.
Your workouts should be designed so that these come at the start of the session.
The basic movements are:
- Bench Press
- Shoulder Press
- Bent Over Rows / Pull-Ups
- Tricep Dips
11- Train to Failure
Your muscles need to be adequately stressed to promote growth.
Force them to do extra work and they adapt by getting bigger.
This is accomplished by gradually increasing the weight you lift by a small amount each week.
In this manner, your muscles will get stronger in reaction the increased demands being placed on them.
Once you have lifted an amount greater than your previous session, your job is done.
There is no further benefit to be gained from repeatedly working a sore muscle into the ground, this is counter-productive and leads to wasted energy and delayed recovery time.
Having a solid weight program in place and tracking your process becomes key in sticking to these principles.
Training to failure within a set is acceptable and necessary for muscle growth
12- Cycling your Workouts
At some stage (usually after 10-12weeks), it is inevitable that you will reach a plateau and the gains you have previously been enjoying each week will start to level out.
Everyone gets to this point sooner or later and is often when people become frustrated and throw in the towel.
To combat this, you need to change your workout routines.
By varying the type of exercises, weight, length, length of rest, etc you effectively keep your body guessing and spur continued growth.
Each training session should focus on a specific group of muscles. This has the advantage of limiting your workouts, and increasing the efficiency of each session.
This weight gain program/ article recommends you to split your sessions/ training into 3 parts so you know what exercise to follow up with and when:
- Session 1: Chest & Shoulders
- Session 2: Legs
- Session 3: Back/Biceps Soreness
Never work a body part if it is still sore from a previous session, regardless of what anyone else tells you.
If you work out a muscle that is not fully recovered, you risk doing more damage than strength you build.
14- Get Plenty of Rest
Your muscles actually grow during periods of rest and recovery NOT during a workout.
Get plenty of rest between workout sets, after each workout and try and get a good nights sleep.
15- Pre-Conditioning (Weeks 1&2)
Especially if you haven’t lifted weights before, it is important to get your muscles used to exercise and learning the correct techniques.
Do the following exercises 3 times a week for the next 2 weeks to build initial strength.
For each exercise, perform 3 sets of 20 seconds:
- Dips (use a couch or end of a chair)
- Mountain Climbers
- Warm-Up (2 sets, 8reps light weight)
- Set1 (5-7reps)
- Set2 (3-5reps)
- Set3 (1-2reps)
- Burn-Out (To failure, using first weight)
- Use Heavy Weights, Rest 3mins between sets
- Monday (Chest & Shoulders)
- Bench Press
- Shoulder Press
- Dumbbell Flyes
- Tricep Dips
- Situps (3×20)
- Wednesday (Legs)
- Calf Raises
- Situps (3×20)
- Friday (Back & Biceps)
- Bent-Over Rows
- Lat Pulldowns
- Dumbbell Curls
- Situps (3×20)
Q: How do all the macronutrients add up?
There are four calories in every gram of carbohydrate and protein.
There are nine calories in every gram of fats.
An individual who weighs 150 pounds (68kg) should consume 2700 calories per day.
Protein (40%) = 1088 daily calories = 272g of Protein per day (calories divide by 4)
Carbs (30%) = 810 daily calories = 202g of Carbs per day (calories divide by 4)
Fat (30%) = 810 daily calories = 90g of Fat per day (calories divide by 9)Basic weight gain diet
Sample Mass Diet:
Here is a sample daily weight gain diet of our weight gain program, based on a 150pound (68kg) individual.
Note: Always keep a food log to track the calories you consume. This provides an accurate snapshot and ongoing reference guide to measure progress. As you gain weight, your calorific requirements will increase, so logging this info is vital. As the saying goes:
“What gets measured gets managed”.