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10 Tips for How to Gain Weight Fast

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By Brandon Cook

“We are all brainwashed to believe that you can get bigger and stronger and leaner in a very short time, with very little effort and even less dedication. But nothing could be further from the truth, my friends.” – Jason Ferruggia

Skinny Guy

If you want to gain weight fast and have made up your mind to transform your body once and for all, then you’re in luck.

Today, I’m going over the top 10 tips that I’m personally using to gain another twenty-thirty pounds of muscle. These tips may seem simple and that’s because they are. However, applying them to your life is definitely not easy.

If you want to gain muscle fast, then you need to make this your primary mission (at least for a little while.)

I used to weigh 130lbs at 5’11” tall and through training, persistence and hard work I’ve gotten my weight up to 165lbs. However, adding another 20-30 pounds of muscle would be pretty awesome. That’s why I’ve made that one of my prime missions in life.

This blog exists to keep me focused and accountable to that mission and so that I can share with you what I’m learning along the way.

So, if you’re ready to learn how to gain weight fast, then let’s do this!

Here’s 10 Tips to Gain Weight Fast

1. Eat Big: In order to get big you’re going to have to eat big. The truth is your life is going to revolve around food and eating during this growth period. There’s no way around it. You may start out eating 3,000 calories and gradually have to increase the calories every month to keep growing as your body mass climbs the scale.

In a month or two you may need to be eating 3,500 calories, then 4,000 calories. Some super scrawny hardgainers may need to work up to 4,500+ calories to keep gaining. I know this sounds crazy, but you can’t build a house without the materials and food is the material from which you build your muscular house (body!)

Eat Big

The younger you are and the faster your metabolism, the more calories you will need to eat. If you’re in your thirties, like me, you may not require as many calories. Keep a close eye on your waist measurements to make sure you’re not overeating and plan on gaining at least 2-5lbs of muscle a month if you incorporate all of these tips.

2. Eat Enough Protein: Protein, or rather the amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of your muscle cells and really, every other cell in your body. Athletes and those training like athletes will need to take in more protein than a sedentary person.

This is especially true for those lifting weights, as these individuals are purposely breaking down the muscle tissue in an effort to build it back up. The amino acids found in protein are needed to repair the muscles and cause them to grow back larger.

Biological Value of Protein Chart

You will need about 1 gram per pound of bodyweight a day. If you weigh 150lbs, then eat 150 grams of protein each day divided between 5-7 meals.

A little more or less won’t hurt you, yet don’t fall for the gimmicks of people advocating super high or super low protein diets. This is excessive and completely unnecessary.

The word “protein” is derived from the Greek word “protos”, which means “of prime importance”.

The best forms of protein contain all of the essential amino acids that the body needs to repair its cells. Whole eggs are considered to be the standard to which all other proteins are compared. Eggs are highly usable and quickly absorbed by the body. They have a very high biological value of 100, meaning that your body is able to quickly assimilate almost all of the protein the egg contains. Hint: eat whole eggs!

Other forms of protein like chicken, sockeye salmon, lean steak, tuna and other forms of animal protein are also good choices. However, their biological value is lower than eggs, so less of the protein is fully digested. These are still great choices and for best results it’s best to get your protein from a variety of different sources.

3. Increase your fats: This society really messed up by making fat the enemy! Fat is not evil and is a vitally important macronutrient that is highly needed by the body, especially to build muscle. Not only is fat important for a healthy brain, it also plays a role in the production of hormones like testosterone. Just make sure you’re eating the right kinds.

Fat is also calorically dense, meaning that there are more calories in 1 gram of fat (9 calories) than in protein or carbohydrates (4 calories.) You can dramatically and easily increase your calories simply by adding olive oil, flax seed oil, or hemp oil to your protein shakes. During your bulking phase, put grass-fed, natural butter on your veggies, fish and meats. Eat a variety of nuts and seeds as snacks. Eat natural peanut butter and almond butter or mix them in your shakes as well.


Please remember to take your fish oil pills! Fish oil contains DHA and EPA, which are two omega 3 fatty acids that recent scientific research determined to be extremely important to maintaining overall health and vitality. Fish oil is also great at reducing inflammation and aids in the recovery of your muscles, joints, and ligaments.

If you’re struggling to get the higher calorie consumption needed to build muscle, then taking in more of the healthy dietary fats is the answer to your dilemma. Since a lot of fats are in liquid form it is easy to down a tablespoon here and there and dramatically increase your calories. Typically, one tablespoon of fat can contain up to 120+ calories.   Increasing fats is one of the secrets for how to gain weight fast by providing the higher calories your body needs to grow.

4. Eat ‘Man’ Salads: No, I’m not talking about “tossing salad” ;)
I’m talking about turning a salad into a healthy, testosterone boosting, cancer fighting, muscle-building part of your meal.

Here’s what you do:
Get some romaine lettuce, spinach, collards, or other leafy greens. Add broccoli, brussell sprouts, cabbage, radishes, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables.

For salad dressing use 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey. Eat as part of a meal or add some chicken or fish directly to the salad. Enjoy!


The leafy greens are highly alkaline and especially important for health, while the cruciferous vegetables help increase your testosterone levels by lowering estrogen levels and reducing your risk of prostate cancer.

The olive oil dressing adds over 300 calories to the salad. If you want more calories, add more olive oil which as we just discussed contains about 120 calories per tablespoon.

Who says salads are rabbit food??? Not this guy! Eat them and grow into the Jolly Green Giant! Ho, ho, ho.

5. Lift Heavy Weights for 5-8 reps: Most personal trainers and bodybuilders will tell you to lift in the 8-12 rep range because that is the hypertrophy zone. Well, that rep range may work wonders for them, but skinny guys need to build a solid foundation of size and strength.

One can do this by lifting heavy weights in the 5-8 rep range for most of your compound lifts like squats and deadlifts. This is highly recommended by strength coaches like Jason Ferruggia, Mark Rippetoe and other competent coaches known for transforming hard-gainers into hard-bodies.

If you lift in the 8-12 rep range, you will not be able to use as much weight and this will not have the same effect on your body and endocrine systems. If you lift in the 1-4 rep ranges you will be stimulating your nervous system more than anything. This is the power rep range where most powerlifters train.

As you get stronger and put on some muscle, you’ll begin to work in different and higher rep ranges, but for the sake of getting massive, start lifting in the power/hypertrophy zone of 5-8 reps. This will increase your strength and size more efficiently and allow you to make great changes to your physique at a faster rate.

Make it your goal to get STRONG in the squat.

First, spend at least a week learning the proper technique with an empty bar.  Then lift weights three days a week (MWF) and make the squat your primary lift. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to increase the weight by 5 pounds each workout. Let’s say on Monday you start with 135lbs for 3 sets of 5 reps (after your 3-5 warm-up sets), then on Wednesday, increase the weight to 140lbs for the same amount of sets and reps. On Friday increase it to 145lbs and so on. Keep doing this for as long as you can progress in this linear fashion.

Pauline Nordine

This linear progression in the squat is the foundation of Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength Program. This program has become quite popular because of its ability to add thirty pounds of muscle to most novice weight lifters.

Once you’re squatting more than Pauline in the pic above (225lbs), you’re starting to make good progress. By the time you can get three plates on each side (315lbs) you should see some major improvements to your body’s musculature.

Here’s my personal program that I’m using to transform my body using squats as the foundation and Olympic Rings (suspension training) for my upper body:


  • Squats: 3 x 5
  • Inverted Rows on Rings: 3 x 5-10 *
  • Push-ups on Rings: 3 x 5-10 *


  • Squats: 3 x 5
  • Hand-stands Push-Up progressions: 3 x 5-10
  • Pull-ups on Rings: 3 x 5-10 *


  • Squats: 3 x 5
  • Dips on Rings: 3 x 8-12 *
  • Chin-ups on Rings: 3 x 5-10 *

* Use a weighted vest, back-pack or chains to increase the resistance as necessary

Note: I’ll describe this program in more detail as time goes on and talk more about the benefits of ring training.

6. Take Advantage of the Window: Of course, I’m referring to peri-workout nutrition here and the “window” of opportunity this time period presents for increased gains in muscular size and strength. Peri-workout nutrition is what you eat before, during, and after your workout to give your muscles energy, prevent catabolism (muscle breakdown) and promote anabolism (muscle buildup.)

Your best opportunity for promoting muscle growth is during this “window” before, during and after training. Take full advantage of this period of time. Here’s how:

Peri-workout nutrition

Okay, obviously many companies make “recovery” drink supplements for this purpose. While many of these supplements are pretty good and better than doing nothing, I am of the belief that whole natural foods are always ten times better and more effective than ANY supplement. So, I use a mixture of real food and supplements for my peri-workout nutrition.

If you want a supplement, I’d recommend Biotest’s Surge Recovery. It’s one of the better ones as far as ingredients, although I’ve never personally used it. You may want to do some of your own research to find the best recovery supplement for you and your budget.

Here’s how I make my own recovery drinks:

15 Mins Before Workout: Drink Protein + Carb drink #1- Using a manual juicer I juice an orange, lemon and a lime. I mix in 20 grams of Optimum Nutrition Liquid Aminos and down the hatch. This is a sour drink, but I like it!

During Workout: Drink Protein + Carb drink #2- After I drink the first drink I prepare my “during” workout drink. I add another 20 grams of Optimum Nutrition Liquid Aminos, 5 grams creatine, 5 grams BCAA and a couple of ice cubes. Then, using an electric juicer I juice 1/3 of a pineapple, red seedless grapes, cranberries and a stalk of celery. You can use other fruit/vegetable combos if you wish. I sip this concoction as I workout and make sure to finish by the time my workout is over.

15 Mins After Workout: Drink Protein + Carb drink #3- For my post workout shake I get crazy!  :)   My goal is to take in a ton of calories so I make a huge protein packed shake. I use two scoops (40+ grams of protein) of Optimum Nutrition’s All Natural Whey Protein, 5 grams creatine and 5 grams BCAA I add 1 teaspoon of baking cocoa, 1 tablespoon of Nutiva’s Hemp Protein and 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (grind your own with a coffee grinder.)  Then I add some blueberries, 1 or 2 tablespoons of honey or black-strap molasses, a couple spoonfuls of chocolate ice cream to reward a job well done and then fill it up with chocolate almond milk. For extra calories you can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive, flax, or hemp oil as well. Mix this sucka up really good and enjoy! Tastes great!

I also take Optimum Nutrition’s Multivitamin called Opti-Men, 2000 IU’s of Carlson’s Vitamin D3, 500mg of Vitamin C, and 400 IU’s of Vitamin E. This gives my body even more nutrients and antioxidants that are important for eliminating free radical damage.

If all this seems too complicated, the simple method is to drink a bunch of Chocolate Milk (before, during, and after.) Of course, that’s if you do the dairy thing and you can keep it down. I’m not too big on milk these days, so I prefer my method for this and for several other reasons. It’s definitely not the easiest method, yet it packs a powerful punch of vital nutrients that my body needs.

I’ve given you three options here, so there’s no excuses buddy:

a. Recovery Drink Supplement – The easier method
b. Chocolate Milk- The cheaper method
c. Make your own Recovery Drinks- The healthier method

7. Take it Easy: Don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy. If you goal is to get BIG and gain some muscle, this process is going to have to be your focus for a little while. There’s no way in hizell that you’re going to succeed if you’re trying to do a million different things at once or have conflicting goals. The secret to gaining weight is to Eat, Train with intensity, Eat more, Sleep and repeat. That’s the Cliff Notes version anyway.

As an ectomorph, you need extra rest because your metabolism is in overdrive. If you’re running around day and night, playing sports, jogging, partying, climbing Mt. Everest and living life full throttle… when will your body have time to repair itself, recover and grow from those intense squat workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday? Hmmm, it isn’t going to happen! Take it easy for a while. Focus on your goal to gain weight fast. Work with your body and give it what it needs to grow.


You need to relax, chill and remain calm at ALL times. Stop taking things and life so seriously! Not only will this make you more attractive to women by portraying alpha male behavior and body language, it will also have a positive effect on your endocrine and hormonal system.

When you’re stressed to the MAX, you’re body is pumping out cortisol. You should know by now that this is a muscle destroying hormone that has negative effects on your muscles and your health. Begin practicing meditation, tai chi, or yoga to create a relaxed and centered demeanor.

In fact, take a minute and just focus on breathing nice and sloooowwww. Do it now! Simply put all of your attention on each breath and nothing else. Fill the air being drawn in through the nose, the lungs expanding, the belly rising and finally the slow exhalation through your mouth or nose.

Notice the changes that take place in your mind and body after just one minute of breathing deep and slow in this manner. You will notice that thoughts may enter your mind uncontrollably. See if you can NOT think about anything, only one breath at a time. It’s not as easy as you “think!”

Do this as often as you can remember or take 5 or more minutes a day to just breathe and clear your mind. This process is pure meditation.  In time you will develop an awakened presence and this seemingly unproductive activity ironically yields a ton of desired benefits. It could even change your life!

8. Walk, don’t Run: If you want to minimize the fat you gain while you’re bulking up consider walking instead of jogging. The human body was designed to walk for long distances or sprint for shorter distances. Our paleolithic ancestors had to walk long distances in the search and gathering of food and they had to sprint to save their asses from predators doing the same.

Jogging at moderate intensity levels for medium or long distances uses up a lot of energy and eats into your muscle cells. Back in college, I was training to run the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC with my father. I was running every day, often for more than six miles at a time. It was a great experience and definitely helps to develop persistence and mental toughness, but I was also the skinniest I’ve ever been during that time.

We’ve all noticed the differences between how a marathon runner looks and how a sprinter looks. Sprinting is really good for burning fat and also helps to build huge muscular legs. However, it is also very hard on the body. It’s great to utilize during a fat loss phase, yet during a muscle building phase you may want to save your energy for all that squatting.

Walking the dog

That’s were walking comes in. You can walk daily without having a negative impact on your muscle gains. In fact, it will help to circulate and pump the blood (and thus nutrients) into your legs and speed the healing process along. If you really want to burn some fat, you can walk early in the morning in a fasted state before breakfast. This will cause the body to burn fat specifically for fuel. You can walk about 15 to 60 minutes to keep fat at bay.

Personally, I walk my dogs for 15 minutes BEFORE breakfast every morning. Then another 15 minutes in the evening when I have time. On Saturdays, I’ve been taking them hiking near my house for 1-3 miles in a fasted state.

9. Get 8-10 Hours of Sleep each night: Quality sleep is vital and a necessary component of any mass building program. Most guys, including myself, have to learn this the hard way. To make the fastest progress, to reap the full benefits of the hours you’re putting into training and all of the food you are buying and eating, please make sure to get 8-10 hours of sleep every evening.

I know that in today’s fast-paced, work-yourself-into-the grave mentality, sleep is a luxury many people go without. After all, you work all day and then once you get home there are tons of things, duties, and responsibilities that are also clamoring for your attention. Plus, sometimes you just want to take some time to zone out and do absolutely nothing for an hour or two.

Hey man, I feel you! However, you have to prioritize. There’s only 24 hours in a day and 8-10 of them should be designated for sleeping. That leaves 14-16 hours to work, eat, train and do whatever else needs done. If getting BIG is a priority of yours you’ll make it happen, otherwise you’re destined to remain scrawny forever.

Woman sleeping

The reason sleep is so vital to the muscle building process is because that’s when your body is dumping testosterone and growth hormone into your body. The sleep cycle is when you’re body is in repair and recovery mode. This is the prime time when your muscles are healing and growing back larger.

Getting plenty of quality sleep is an often underestimated factor for how to gain muscle fast.

If you short circuit this process, not only are you decreasing the amount of time your body has to repair itself, you are also throwing your hormonal system out of whack and decreasing your testosterone levels. I don’t need to tell you that that’s a bad thing do I?

Sure you can be a tough guy who smirks and utters “Sleep… haha, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”  That’s fine by me, tough guy, as long as you realize you’ll be living a tired, puny and unhealthy life until that final day comes when you take your last breath. Daaaaamn, told him.

10. Pray to God: “Pray to God? What?!?!!? How’s that going to make me bigger, faster and stronger? Dude, are you serious?” Hey dude, you gotta have faith; If not in a higher intelligence that governs the interactions of the universe, then at least faith in your self and your ability to achieve your goals and dreams. In other words, you have to believe that this IS possible for you. If not, you’re wasting your time.


If you’re a religious type of guy, then have faith while praying to God to help you on your mission.

If you’re more of the spiritual, less dogmatic type of guy, then use the law of attraction, positive affirmations and other methods for programming your subconscious mind for success.

If you’re a scientist, an atheist or one of the “non-believer” type of guys, use visualization like the top athlete’s do or quite simply just focus on success.

Whatever “type of guy” or person you are, YOU MUST BELIEVE in yourself and in your ability to succeed at whatever goal you set for yourself.

Program your mind for success by using positive self talk. Tell yourself that you are getting stronger every day. Look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and encourage yourself to stay hungry, to keep after your dreams, to never settle for mediocrity, to never give up, to be the man you know you were meant to be. Affirm that “I WILL squat 315lbs or more within six months.”

This may seem silly at first, until you realize that this is what successful people do naturally. That’s why they’re so successful!

Never make any excuses, never put yourself down, never beat yourself up, never belittle or doubt yourself in ANY way, shape or form. If you have negative thoughts like this you will NEVER succeed.

Realize that these were never your thoughts anyway. Somewhere in your past these doubts or fears got programmed into your mind, probably from your parents, teachers, peers, the media or culture. You just picked them up. Now, let them go, replace them with new thoughts, faith, and belief in yourself AND in your ability to kick some f**king ass.

Here’s a quick recap:

1. Eat Big: Take in tons of quality calories

2. Eat Enough Protein: At least 1 gram per pound of body weight

3. Increase your fats: Add olive oil to shakes, snack on nuts and seeds

4. Eat ‘Man’ Salads: Eat cruciferous vegetables to increase testosterone

5. Lift Heavy Weights for 5-8 reps: Squat, Squat, Squat

6. Take Advantage of the Window: Drink Protein + Carbs during workouts

7. Take it Easy: Meditate, breathe, and expend less energy

8. Walk, don’t Run: Walk in a fasted state to keep fat at bay

9. Get 8-10 Hours of Sleep each night: This  is when you grow!

10. Pray to God: Believe in yourself and program your mind for success

You got this!!! Now go make it happen because you’re the only one that can!

Brandon Cook

PS: I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and hope these tips help you out. If you have some tips of your own or any lessons you’ve learned about how to gain weight fast, please share them below in the comment section. All of us will appreciate it!

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41 Responses to “10 Tips for How to Gain Weight Fast”

  1. Fajar Says:

    Yet another outstanding and full of learning post! Thanks for the tips Big Man! Hope things are going well with you. Couldn’t agree more with the last tip by the way, Gotta pray to God!!!

    For your workout:

    Are those the only exercises you are focusing on now? I was expecting dead-lifts to be in the list. Would you recommend both squats and dead-lifts together for weekly work-outs exercises or just one of them?

    i’m a beginner weight lifter and my current exercises are cubans, scaptions, push-ups, pull ups, rows, elbow planks, and going easy on squats. what do you think of these? Is that a good start or I should just pick 3-4 exercises and stick to those until I gain weight? Your advise would be appreciated.

  2. Brandon Says:

    Thanks Fajar. Yeah, I wanted to add deadlifts in there yet for a few months I think I will focus on just getting stronger in the squat. I may after 2-3 months switch and focus on the deadlift OR make one of the squat days a deadlift day. I’m getting back to the basics. Those are good exercises that you’ve selected. I use cuban presses, scaptions, facepulls and pre-hab exercises like these to hit muscles that don’t normally get worked very well in the prime mover lifts like presses and rows. Also to keep my shoulders healthy. I work them in in-between sets of squats and before my upper body lifts. Not as necessary for a beginner. I use them because of past shoulder issues.

    If you’ve used a bodyweight prep phase to condition your body, then you’re ready to move onto squats and presses and rows. After you’ve learned proper squatting technique you can select a weight and start adding 5 lbs each workout (2.5lbs each side.) Say you start at 95lbs, next workout do 100lbs. Then on Friday do 105lbs. Keep the progression going as long as you can. Every 4th week do a deload week. After your squats do an upper body pulling exercise like rows or pull-ups. Then an upper body pressing exercise like weighted push-ups or overhead press. If you want to do a set or two of planks after that you can, yet keep in mind your core will be hit hard from squats.

  3. Farouk Says:

    thanks for the detailed tips :)

  4. Brandon Says:

    Your welcome man.

  5. Matt Says:

    Hi Brandon,

    Thanks for this very informative post… you covered a lot of bases here that probably would’ve taken forever to find on my own.

    You mentioned how you’re currently doing some ring training. Do you have any more information on that? I’m not sure exactly what the exercises you mentioned are.

    Also, I tried to sign up for the Way To Mass eClass but it says the list isn’t active. Is there another way for me to check it out?

    Thanks again!

  6. Matt Says:

    I was able to signup for the eClass on another signup form… the one on didn’t work, but maybe it was something I did :D

  7. Brandon Says:

    Hey Matt,

    Your welcome and glad you found the article helpful. I’m still a little new to the ring training myself and plan on writing about it in the near future. Until then check out this website for more info on ring training exercises

    Thanks for letting us know about the sign-up form. I’ll double check that one.

  8. Matt Says:

    Thanks for the reply… I look forward to it and will check out the link.

  9. Brandon Says:

    Your welcome Matt!

  10. Rozer Says:

    What to eat for weight gain? In your daily food, you may add nuts. Nuts are very convenient and also a healthy snack so carry containers of nuts with you to snack on throughout the days. Goat Milk is healthy and a good way to gain weight.

  11. chris Says:

    Thanks for posting these great tips all in one place. I really like the salad idea, as that is something I’ve always liked to do. I’m not a big vegetable fan, but when I make my salads that way I like the vegetables and it’s a great way to get some good fats in your diet.

  12. Nick Says:

    Very Informative, I am a hardgainer myself and have struggled for years to add muscle and gain weight. Have tried a lot of supplements and different workouts.

    I will definitely try to keep up to date with this blog

  13. Brandon Says:

    No problem Chris! Yeah salads taste really good with the apple cider/olive oil/ honey dressing… it’s an easy and healthy home made dressing. Vegetables contain so many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that our body needs and over the years I’ve grown to really like them. Your tastes change as you continue eating the healthy foods. When I’m in a high calorie cycle I will also put butter on my veggies to increase my calories. In fact, I’m about to eat a salad RIGHT NOW! ;)

  14. Brandon Says:

    Thanks Nick. It’s definitely a challenge training as an ectomorph, although I’ve come to realize that you learn so much about training and nutrition because of it.

  15. Jeff Says:

    Great post. The only thing I’m wondering about is the cardio… I find that if you’re a hardgainer, any cardio will only hinder your gains. Doing any cardio in a fasted state will definitely not help things. Yes it will keep more fat off, but I believe you will also grow slower. What are your thoughts there?

  16. Brandon Says:

    Hey Jeff, thanks for the comment. Lots of guys have the fear that doing cardio will hinder their gains and I’ll be the first to tell you that doing too much cardio and conditioning WILL limit your muscle growth as an ectomorph. Especially long distant endurance training.

    The skinnier you are… the more this may apply to you. If you’re really skinny you may need to FOCUS on building some strength and muscle for a while.

    On the other hand, your heart is the most important muscle of all… so we want to keep it strong and the blood flowing. At the bare minimum I suggest walking at a brisk pace for 20-60 minutes 3-5 days a week. This is the least likely method to hinder your gains and should have little to no impact on your muscle gains.

    In fact, it will actually help your muscle gains by removing lactic acid, increasing blood flow and bringing fresh nutrients into the muscles. On top of those benefits, this will help to improve your recovery.

    If you’re concerned about doing this in a fasted state then I would suggest experimenting with and without. Walking in a fasted state will increase the burning of fat and keep your gains lean. If you have no fat or aren’t concerned about gaining fat, then this may not be an issue for you. In which case, you can walk regularly.

  17. Kourt Says:

    This article was detailed and amazing. Thanks for providing so much insight and information.

  18. Brandon Says:

    @ Kourt: Your welcome and thanks for the comment.

  19. Henry Says:

    Hi Brandon,
    I really appreciated reading through your article. I did have a question about the workout aspect of your piece. I’m pretty new to working out, and at the moment can’t really get access to a gym. I do however have access to 10 pound and 20 pound free weights. What are types of exercises I can do at home that will help gain muscle, whether they be with the free weights, doing pushups, or maybe getting one of those doorway pull up bars?

  20. Brandon Says:

    Hey Henry, glad you liked the article. You CAN gain a lot of muscle at home if you train smart. There are lots of great books on bodyweight exercises that can help you build a solid foundation. You might start with push-ups, inverted rows (reverse push-ups), pull-ups, handstand holds, dips, chin-ups, planks, side planks, bodyweight squats, lunges, jump squats. This would get you off to a great start.

    A simple started workout may look like this:

    Bodyweight squats 50-100 reps
    Push-ups 20-50 reps
    Pull-ups 10-30 reps
    Plank hold for time

    To add a lot muscle, however, it helps to have some equipment or weight you can use to progress. After a few months on the exercises I listed above, I would suggest buying an olympic barbell with some weight. Typically, you can buy a new one for around $99 or so that comes with 300lbs of weight. You may be able to find a used one if you check ebay or garage sales. With just a barbell you can do back squats, front squats, deadlifts, romanian deadlifts, power cleans, barbell rows, overhead presses, good mornings, barbell curls and more. These are the main exercises that WILL build a lot of muscle.

    Later if you become really dedicated, you may decide to buy a power rack, which is a squat cage. And you may decide to buy an adjustable bench. Now you have yourself a basic home gym with all your bases covered. I personally have always trained at home and have just kept adding more equipment to my garage gym over time.

  21. Henry Says:

    Awesome, thanks!

  22. ERNESTO Says:

    First and foremost Thank you for sharing your wisdom on how to put on some pounds of muscle. I have always been stuck on 154 pds. It’s been about 2 weeks since I began to read as much as I could off your web-site, and I must say it’s one of the best things that has happened to me. I am beginning to see the results already and cant wait to keep going and pushing my body to new limits. The hardest thing has been the 6 meals, but I believe me and my body will get use to it. I love sprinting is that gonna mess up my muscle growth? Once again Thank you for all the knowledge you dish out God bless and take care.

  23. Brandon Says:

    That’s awesome Ernesto, thanks for sharing this! Glad the results are already noticeable and that the info has proven helpful to you. It takes a little while for you body to adapt to 6 meals a day and ultimately it doesn’t matter if it is 3,4,5 or 6 meals a day… just as long as you are getting the calorie surplus you need. That’s the key! Sprinting is fine and will actually help with muscle growth and fat loss. Just don’t over do it. Some coaches like John Alvino recommend sprinting on the same day of your weight lifting… so sprint in the morning and then lift weights at night. Or lift weights in the evening and do a few rounds of sprints as a finisher. You can do sprints on others days yet probably not the day before or after lifting weights as it can effect your weight training workouts or your muscle recovery. Keep us posted on your success!

  24. ERNESTO Says:

    Thanks for your answer Brandon, I am glad I don’t have to eliminate sprinting from my workout program. I will keep you posted on my progress thanks.

  25. Brian Says:

    I have to disagree with the “walk not run point”. There is no problem running so long you eat enough. Agree with the rest of the points though, and maybe I only disagree with number 8. because I am a runner myself ;)

  26. Brandon Says:

    Brian, I knew you would disagree with this one! lol… From my own understanding… when you are trying to gain muscle as an ectomorph you have to conserve your calories and allow your body to recover from the strength training workouts. Since it takes so much food to build muscle it becomes challenging when you are also running a great deal and have to eat even more to prevent muscle loss. Muscle loss can also be stimulated by long distance running’s catabolic effects and the excessive lactic acid that it produces. That being said…. running between 1-3 miles would probably be fine… but any longer than that and you are going to start seeing some impact on your ability to gain lean mass.

  27. shaqs Says:

    hi brandon,
    ur post is awsum n vry informative,great effort.
    i wanna share my problem, if u or any1 else can help me out, i’ll b problem is:
    m 24 yrs old n still luk like 16-17 yr old boy, i tried 2 workout in gym bt cudnt continue 4 not more than 2 months ‘coz ov my job n study. i wanna luk like people ov my age. is there any altrnative 2 workout @ gym to gain body n face weight.m thin with slim face cut.
    i’ll be greatful for any sort ov suggestion in dis regard.

  28. Sorin Says:

    Very competent and detailed advices, I enjoy how you treat sections 5, 9 and also 10… Thank you.

  29. brendan cook Says:

    Stumbled upon your article noticed the author name decided to give a read. I too am a hard gainer and am doing a similar routine. lets hope it pays off

  30. TheNast Says:

    Hey, Sorin, if you want to get big, you have to workout in the gym. I go to college, too, so I understand the time constraints of it. A thing you could do is, before class, early in the morning, go workout for 1-2 hours, then go to class. I find it helps me throughout the day, and I am able to complete my workout with the utmost intensity. Also, before your morning workout–and any other workout, in fact–you want to have a massive amount of complex carbs and protein in your body. Contrary to Brandon’s advice, I don’t believe one needs all of that nutrition during the workout; you just need a good influx of complex carbs. and protein before your workout, and then after, take in a large amount of simple carbs (these spike insulin levels, putting your body in anabolic mode) and protein. If you have any more questions, ask me.

  31. Brandon Says:

    Cool Brendan! I used to have a friend named Brandon Baker and I always thought that was funny. Good luck with your training.

  32. Brandon Says:

    Good tips Nast! There’s a lot of top strength coaches that advocate peri-workout nutrition. That being said I’ve somewhat simplified my protocol since I wrote that post by eliminating the lemon/lime/orange predrink. I think what I have written is very healthy and a sound formula, however, it is somewhat time consuming to make all of that before your workout. An old school bodybuilder, Reg Park, used to make a workout drink of orange juice (freshly squeezed is best) and honey. This is a simple method you can use. You could add some BCAA to that as well to sup it up a bit. Jason Ferruggia recommends drinking coconut water. The benefits to having a shake while you workout is to replenish carbs, electrolytes and reduce catabolism (muscle breakdown.) The BIGGIE is post workout nutrition! When in doubt focus on that.

  33. Cecil Says:

    Our body can only build so much muscle mass each day and once it’s built, any excess protein consumed past what to body used will either be used for fuel or converted to body fat stores. This is in the case of high calorie surplus. Enough protein is a requirement but past that, there’s no real need to take in any further protein.

  34. Andy Says:

    I think that you’ve really got to be able to manage your expectations and then battle through the periods where you don’t feel you’re making any significant gains. I’ve seen numerous guys give up too early when a little bit of dedication would have got them over the ‘hump’. If you want the results you’ve got to be prepared to put the work in and not give up at the earliest opportunity.

  35. Mike Behnken Says:

    Thanks for the great post, I will send a link to my personal training clients. Would it be okay if I printed out this article and hand it out to my clients? Cheers :D

  36. Brandon Says:

    Yeah Mike, it’s okay to print it out for your clients!

  37. Oz Says:

    This is a most special one for me yes indeed!! Gotta write these 10 HIGHLY important points down. Especially the first 9! Number 10 should actually be done daily, for any and many things, because God is the reason we’re here; obviously I’m no atheist! Had he intended other plans, we’d not be here now. First nine are most important in general, for a bulk-up diet for me. Thanks!

  38. Brandon Says:

    Glad to hear you liked this one Oz! Let me know how it goes after putting these 10 tips into practice.

  39. Purice Says:

    Yes, you have to train like a barbarian! Just like in losing weight, weight gain also requires utmost time and dedication. If you are into weight gain, make sure that you are serious about it so you will achieve the results that you want.

  40. GUNASEKAR Says:

    awesome tips to improve gain………………….

  41. David Says:

    Dude 2 words, LIFE SAVER , didnt try ur methods but they seem legiit, thank u for sharing this for free. It is my lucky day after all :)

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