Over the years of being involved in the fitness community, I have discovered not only the best ways to lose weight, but also the best ways to gain mass. How do I know? I have done both myself. I constantly go from one goal to the other just so I can mix things up and stay motivated. At my lowest weight I was down to 154 lbs (I’m 5’7″) and at my heaviest I was right around 183 lbs, and that was right after 90 days of focusing on building mass using a program called Body Beast. In this post I’m going to share with you some things that I feel are very important when you’re trying to put on weight.
How to Gain Weight and Build Mass
(1) Calorie Surplus. If you’re trying to gain mass, you need to have a calorie surplus each day, not a calorie deficit. If you’re skinny and looking to put on weight, there’s a great chance that your metabolism is through the roof, and that just means that you will have to take in a TON of calories if you’re trying to build muscle. I have coached people over the years who have needed in excess of 6,000 calories per day just so that they can get that caloric surplus. With my body type, though, all I need is right around 3,000 calories per day. Really, the only way to tell if you are taking in enough or not is by trial and error. There are tools that allow you to calculate how many calories you should be taking in, but they can be inaccurate if your metabolism is super fast or not. If you are going by trial and error, you should be able to tell if you are taking in enough by about 2-3 weeks into the routine.
(2) Eat Healthy Calories. When people are looking for the best ways to gain mass, they will come across quite a few people who say that they should just eat whatever they want, not worrying about whether or not it’s healthy for them, just so that they can get in the calories each day. In my opinion, this isn’t the proper route to take. If you want to build muscle, you need to feed it with the proper vitamins and nutrients, and the only way to do so is by taking in healthy food and supplements. Fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, lean steaks, eggs, whole grains, nuts, are good foods to eat when trying to gain weight and build muscle.
(3) Get Enough Protein. It’s interesting because there are quite a few theories out there about how much protein you should take in, but I have always been able to gain mass by taking in a fat/carbs/protein ratio of around 20/40/40. If you want to keep track of that, My Fitness Pal is a great website and they have a great iPhone app as well. Anyways, if I’m taking in a 20/40/40 ratio and about 3,000 calories per day, that’s 1,200 calories per day that are coming from protein. In my opinion, that’s enough, and I’m only saying that from experience. Regardless of what I think, though, always follow what the Nutrition Guide (and doctor) recommends for protein intake for the program you’re using.
(4) Use the Right Supplements. You’ve got to take in the proper supplements if you’re looking for the best ways to gain mass. The supplements that I use when I’m trying to put on muscle, which are also the Body Beast supplements, are whey protein, Suma, creatine monohydrate, Shakeology, and a post workout recovery drink. However, there are many people who like to also use mass gainers and protein bars as well. As far as when to take the supplements, the Suma and creatine monohydrate (5g) are pre-workout supplements, and I usually take them about 20 minutes before my workout. When you do take the creatine, though, make sure you mix it with non-acidic fruit juice. Post workout I will either have a high calorie Shakeology shake, which I usually blend with a banana, organic peanut butter, almond milk, and raw honey, or I will mix together some whey protein with the Recovery Formula or Fuel Shot (Body Beast brand). I will also take 2-3 protein shakes per day as well to make sure I get in the proper amount of protein.
(5) Do the Right Workouts. If you want to build mass, you have to make sure you’re doing the proper workout routines. With Body Beast, you do a lot of supersets, giant sets, and drop sets, and are sticking to 8, 12, and 15 reps. You will need to make sure that you either have enough weights at home or at least have access to a gym. You’re not going to gain mass by doing 60 reps with 10 lbs dumbbells! It’s important to focus on each muscle group and make sure you have the proper amount of rest as well. If you work out your shoulders today, for example, you need to give them at least 48 hours rest to heal before working them again. Some of the exercises that are important to do when trying to gain mass are regular bench press, incline press, chest flys, squats, lunges, curls, tricep extensions, shoulder presses, shoulder flys, shrugs, etc. For a complete 90 day routine, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you get Body Beast, which has these exercises and a lot more!
I hope you found these best ways to gain mass helpful, and remember, these are the things that I have personally done to gain mass. I ended up gaining about 15 lbs in 90 days by using the Body Beast program! If you do end up getting the program, be sure to follow the workout schedule, diet plan, and recommended supplements. If you follow it properly, you should be able to gain mass as well!