Although I am not currently attempting to gain weight (soon, thank god, I will be though), I have quite a lot of experience with it. When I started lifting I was 6 feet tall and all of 130 pounds; combine that with my sweet Seattle tan (read: pale) and I would have made a great body double for Schmiegel.
At my heaviest I was hovering around 205-210 which is pretty good since I don’t gain weight easily. Now I will be the first to admit that I had a little more body fat than I generally care to carry around, between 13-15%. Not too high but I’m incredibly vain. Currently I am about 180 pounds at sub 4% body fat. Still pale though.
My point is that I have a lot of experience with weight gain and I know that there are a lot of people out there that have similar goals.
Here are some of my favorite strategies to pack on the pounds:
GOMAD – Gallon Of Milk A Day. This one is a classic that has been around for a long time for the simple reason that it works. Usually this is paired with a Super Squats, 20 rep sets type of training. That isn’t the point of this post, you can still drink the milk and train another way. It is easy to follow as you know if you drank the gallon or not. Simply add it on top of all of your other food for the day. CALORIES: About 2400 FAT: 128 grams, CARBS: 176 grams, PROTEIN: 128 grams
LIQUID MEALS – This requires the use of a blender. This isn’t like most of the shake recipes that I have been posting. This is FOOD that you drink. It helps to get a lot of calories before you get full. For an example see my morning shake.
OPEC – Add some kind of oil to everything you eat. Shakes, pizza, eggs. It doesn’t matter. Dump some oil in it. Olive oil, coconut oil, flax. Pretty much any oil. At 14-18 grams of fat (about 150 calories) per tablespoon you can really pack in the calories without feeling stuffed. Word of caution though: you might get a little runny.
PEANUT MADNESS – Eat (lots of) peanuts and peanut products. Why? They are cheap as all hell. This was a popular method back in the 50’s and 60’s and, as someone who loves peanut butter, it’s awesome. Just munch on peanuts in addition to every meal and/or eat a crap ton of peanut butter each day.
EAT ALL DAY/SEE FOOD – Again, very simple. You should be eating all day. Pack snacks to eat after meals. If you aren’t munching on something you’re doing it wrong. This one can be a blessing and a curse. The positive is that you get to eat all day. The down side is that you have to eat ALL DAY.
THE COMBO – This one is my favorite and probably the most effective. Combine them all. I will eat 4 square meals a day with extra oil added to each meal and a glass of milk. I will make a big gallon jug full of blended foods of various types (1/2 gallon of milk, eggs, protein powder, oats, chicken, etc.) and drink at it all day. At night I like to eat cottage cheese and peanut butter. Mix 2-4 cups of cottage cheese with 1/2 a jar of peanut butter. Tasty.
As you can see there are plenty of ways to gain weight. It takes effort and commitment. To those who say they “just can’t gain weight,” I say give these a try. Most of them will result in some level of discomfort but deal with it. That’s the price you pay to be strong and ‘UGE!