Are you trying to put weight on?
If that seems like a ridiculous question to you, well, you’re not going to enjoy this article.
For those of you intrigued by the idea of gaining some mass, the following is the answer to all your hard-gaining woes.
I’m going to share with you the recipe I recommend to help you gain lean muscle in a sustainable way.
It’s a shake, and it’s delicious.
Adding size isn’t rocket science, it’s just regular science.
How do you actually put on weight?
In the Ultimate Composure Nutrition Guide, I lay out a very simple and clear formula to manipulating your body composition without getting fat in the process, like would happen on a dirty bulk.
In short, that entails adding 300-500 calories to your daily consumption each and every day for a period of up to 6 months.
That is the answer. Follow that sentence, and you will add a sustainable amount of weight without losing the definition you’ve already achieved past the point of no return.
The easiest way to do that is to have the Weight Gain Shake. It’s one simple addition to your diet. One variable change, that’s my kind of math.
It doesn’t need to be pretty, but it will be tasty.
The weight gain shake
This is my go-to favorite.
When I’m cutting or maintaining my current weight, I have my daily protein shake with water. That’s
- 1-2 scoops of protein powder
- 12-24 of water
When trying to add size I simply throw in:
- a banana ~100 cals
- 2 tbsp of peanut butter, AKA ~a heaping spoonful AKA ~32 grams ~200 cals
- 8 oz of whole milk ~150 cals
In total, I’m adding 1.5 servings of carbs, 1 serving of fat, and ⅔ of a portion of protein.
It’s somewhere in the neighborhood of extra calories each day 450-500 calories per day. That’ll keep your second brain happy.
BOOM! That’s your caloric surplus.
Eat normal and have this shake every day, and weight will accumulate.
You can always eat more, if it’s sustainable…
Is that really enough?
If your goal is to really pack on size you should be more aggressive. BUT, if you’re a true hardgainer there’s a psychological barrier you need to overcome, or a more aggressive bulk will never work out for you.
I go deeply into the psychology of a hardgainer in the Ultimate Nutrition Guide.
One of the main hurdles for you to overcome is to become okay with your “abs” becoming softer. Skinny guys almost always take solace in their abs. It makes sense, everyone has abs if they can just get lean enough. Modern culture has decided that abs=strength. Not true.
Especially not true if the rest of your body looks emaciated.
Nevertheless, hardgainers find their identity in their stomach muscles that look more like extra ribs than something capable of protecting their midsection and developing power.
If that’s you, a more modest caloric surplus is the best way to start adding some size. You won’t “lose” your abs and may even start to see an increase in definition depending on how diligently you’re training.
If any of your bulking meals look like this you have a 99.99999% chance of having a bad time.
The dirty bulk
90% of the time, the above is my recommendation to add weight (in addition to doing the opposite of everything laid out here). That other 10% are people who need to add weight faster or are of a different caliber of mind.
Not better caliber, just different.
The dirty bulk, AKA eating like an asshole, is unsustainable for true hardgainers. It implies that you’ll get a few calorically heavy days and then go back to your normal eating patterns. Being a hardgainer means that you naturally eat less than you should, you can’t trust your body to intuitively want to eat more than will feel physically comfortable.
A more modest increase of 300-500 calories is much more sustainable for the time period it takes to gain muscle. On average, if you’re gaining more than 5 lbs a month, it’s going to be mostly fat. You don’t want that. The math of a 500 calorie surplus works out to about 4.5 lbs of muscle gain per month for a novice lifter. That’s right in the sweet spot.
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If this article has spurred more questions than it’s answered, check out the Ultimate Composure Nutrition Guide, it’s in my Free Resources Vault over at Composure Fitness. This guide is the perfect compliment to the Mighty Fit Plan, which is about to get a huge update shortly. If you’ve already completed the plan or are interested in it, now is the time to sign up for it so that you can be one of the first people to experience the plan in all its mighty glory after the overhaul.