By Terry Grant
Stan: “What’s that stuff?” Cartman: “Weight Gain 4000, it’s helping me bulk up.” Kyle: “Bulk up to what? Fat ass?” Stan: “Super fat ass?”
– South Park
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
When most skinny guys decide that they want to bulk up and gain some weight, their first attempt often leads them to visiting a health food store in search of a good weight gainer product. This is often the first of many failed attempts!
Hey, I was THAT guy too… so don’t feel bad if you fell for the sleek, marketing ploys of the supplement companies. It’s very easy to fall prey to these vulchers who promise you the moon with false or exaggerated claims and distorted scientific studies backing the products.
Plus, the images of the top “Pro Bodybuilders” adorn all of the products, so what’s a young, inexperienced guy supposed to think? After all, these companies wouldn’t lie to me because that’s against the law, right?
If you haven’t fallen for their tricks yet, then consider yourself lucky because….
The reality is 98% of all muscle-building supplements are completely worthless and will do absolutely nothing for the average, frustrated skinny guy wondering how to gain weight the healthy way.
How do I know this? Because I was the average, frustrated skinny guy looking to gain weight and I fell for all of the gimmicks. Bastards!Just kidding, I’m not bitter about it (live and learn) and unfortunately, false advertising claims seem to be the norm in this country now-a-days.
Sure, I wasted hundreds and even thousands of dollars, but I guess that was my own fault for NOT understanding reality and NOT learning from my past mistakes. The sad thing about it is that most of these companies are just taking advantage of people looking for a quick fix to their problems. I know, it’s messed up, but this is the world we live in!
Buyers beware (and I’m not just talking about supplements!)
Okay here’s a little inside scoop! While in college I scored a job at one of the more popular health food stores in the US. I won’t tell you the name, but I will tell you it rhymes with the abbreviation for General Motors Corporation, which is commonly known as GMC. Now that I think about it… that’s pretty close to the name of this particular health food store!
During the few years I worked at the store I had a 30% discount off of all the products, which as you may know are quite pricey. One day I found the actual wholesale log of how much these supplements really cost the store. Let’s just say the mark-up is crazy ridiculous!
Anyway, I’m like a kid in a candy store because I can get all of these “amazing” products at 30% off. I’m sure to get HUGE now!
I tried everything from weight gainers to protein powders to pro-hormones to NO boosters to you name it. My body weight barely changed, but my bank account sure lost weight.
Now, let’s get real here because I still use supplements and I do recommend them, but only the tried and true supplements that have been around the block like protein powders, creatine, fish oils, multi-vitamins and a few others.
Plus, I NEVER expect some miraculous explosion of muscle growth when using a supplement. That’s just not going to happen and if you think otherwise you’re probably deluding yourself.
It’s human nature to gravitate toward the easiest methods first until we finally realize they don’t work and that hard work and persistence are the ONLY solution!
I highly suggest learning how to gain weight the healthy way to save you time, money and health.
3 Common Approaches to Gain Weight that You Should Definitely Avoid
Here are three unhealthy approaches that skinny guy’s consider when looking to gain some weight. While it’s possible to use these methods to gain weight it may come at the price of your health and well-being and you should carefully think about that before using one of these methods.
1. Weight Gainers and Fad Supplements:
Weight gainers suck bad! I wouldn’t feed this crap to a starving dog. What you’re buying is cheap, low grade protein and a bunch of sugary carbohydrates. Why pay top dollar for sugar when you can get better carbs from several different sources for a lot cheaper.
From my personal experience, the only results you’ll get with weight gainers will be a sick, bloated stomach and disgusting flatulence (farts) that will ruin ALL of your chances for getting a hot date on Friday night. Your best bet is to buy a quality protein product like Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein, Nutiva Hemp Protein, or Sun Warrior Rice Protein.
You can add mixed berries, bananas, ground flax seeds, olive oil, spinach, almond milk and creatine to your protein shakes to make them high calorie muscle-forging health drinks.
2. See-Food Diet:
I’m not talking about fish and shrimp here! The See-Food diet revolves around one motto- “When you SEE FOOD eat it!” Unfortunately, in this society this can be quite a dangerous philosophy.
The typical see-food diet or bulking diet is basically an “anything goes” pig fest where you gorge on as much food as possible, whether it’s healthy or not. Fast food is fair game! Donuts, chips, pizza, ice cream, anything high in calories is a go.
This diet is seductive because it has no rules and allows you to eat whatever you want without a care in the world. While young teens with rapid metabolisms might be able to pull this diet off without becoming a fat slob, the rest of us should not fall victim to its tempting allure.
It may be fun for a short while to eat so care-free, but you’ll likely blimp up and get fat sooner rather than later. Besides, this is definitely not a healthy way to gain weight at all. Keep this diet up long-term and you’ll be dead before you’re forty (if you live that long!)
Many people are not willing to put in the hard work and dedication it takes to build a magnificent body. They couldn’t care less about all of the negatives and downsides as long as they get what they want as fast as possible. These people are willing to take anabolic drugs like steroids to avoid the hard work required. This is very short-sighted thinking!
Sadly, this often back fires on them because you still have to train and eat lots of food if you want to get big… even if you are taking steroids. What most people don’t realize is that the professional bodybuilders who use steroids often turned to steroids AFTER they had taken their body as far as possible naturally. Even though they take steroids they still work hard. This isn’t always the case though.
Just realize that if you use steroids to gain weight you are going to have to continue using steroids to maintain your physique. This is going to cost you a ton of money in the long run and besides, if you quit them, you will shrivel up fast and be back at square one or maybe square two, if you’re lucky. And DEAD, if you’re really unlucky!
Now that we’ve covered the unhealthy ways to gain weight, we need to discuss one more concern of gaining weight the healthy way. This one’s a little counter-intuitive since most people associate fat with being unhealthy.
To Gain a lil’ Fat or Not to Gain Any Fat, that is the Question?
We’ve been talking about “gaining weight”, yet it’s always to your advantage to be very specific about your goals. There’s basically two types of weight you can gain:
Muscle AND Fat!!!
Most people are referring to muscle mass when they say that they want to gain weight. I don’t know of too many people that purposely want to get fat (besides Sumo wrestlers.)
From my research, if you are doing an aggressive bulking phase at least 60% of your weight gain should be muscle, while up to 40% may be fat.
For example, if you put on 50lbs of weight over the next 6-12 months, approximately 30lbs should be muscle and about 20lbs would be fat. That’s about two-thirds.
If you currently weigh 150lbs, you would now weigh 200lbs with about 20lbs of fat to strip off.
After going on a fat-loss phase, you would then weigh about 180lbs ripped.
Take a look at Frank Zane in the pic on the left. He typically weighed 185lbs ripped (contest weight) at a height of 5’9”. And yeah, he looks freakin’ awesome!!!
Just realize that it’s natural to gain some body fat when you are trying to gain muscle. That’s just how the body works. Of course, the ideal situation is to pack on more muscle than fat by keeping a close watch on your waist line during the process. If you feel like you are putting on too much fat, simply lower your calories a little bit and include some fasted walking in the morning.
Brandon’s Personal Revelation: I recently realized that I’m not getting anywhere lately because I’ve been afraid of getting fat again. In the transformation I’ve been working on this year, I started to gain weight, but once I saw some fat gains I got a lil’ scared and cut my calories way back and went back on a fat loss phase. Doh!
BIG mistake! This is probably the reason I’ve only gained about 5 net pounds of muscle this year. No more Yo-Yoing for me! I’ve learned my lesson.
This time I’m going back to the basics of heavy lifting and focusing on getting bigger and stronger until I’ve made some serious gains. I’m staying focused no matter what. If I gain some fat, oh well, I will be fat for a little while and then strip it off later.
Become okay with losing your six-pack for a while, otherwise you’ll be spinning your wheels but not getting anywhere.
This is not a recommendation to become obese, just to stop being a fat-o-phobic who panics whenever his six-pack turns into a four-pack or two-pack. Just pack on the pounds (size and strength) and then get ripped and cut after you have enough mass to work with.
I know this goes against what Tom Venuto was advocating in The Holy Grail Program. However if you read the book, he does make this argument and tells you the fastest way to put on a lot of muscle is by doing an aggressive bulk versus trying to “gain muscle and burn fat” at the same time. This is not easily accomplished and they don’t call it the “Holy Grail” for nothing!
For ectomorphs this becomes even more of a challenge. Your best bet is to put all of your attention and focus on getting BIG AND STRONG first. This could mean the difference between 30lbs of muscle gained in a year or 8lbs of muscle.
Which do you think will have more of an impact on how you look; thirty pounds or eight pounds?
Exactly! Now you’re seeing the light! Besides, even if you do put on a little fat it’s not like you’ll stand out like a sore thumb these days. Summer is over (in the US anyway) and the baring of flesh has mostly subsided. Think of it like this, you’ll just have a little insulation for the cold winter ahead.
Give me a day or two and I’ll be back with 10 tips on how to gain weight the healthy way.