If you’re looking to add weight and get stronger, this is the one article you must read.
So you want to put on 5,10 or even 15 lbs? Do you want to know the secret? Well here it is: You have to eat big, to get big. Food is the most anabolic thing you can put in your body. If you want to put on some appreciable mass, you need to start by eating more food. More specifically you need to stop working about “losing your six pack” and start eating more nutrient rich and calorie dense food.
I deal with a ton of high school athletes, all of whom want to add on more lean muscle mass. Below is a system I use to ensure that my athletes are getting the calories they need to put on the mass they’re looking for.
Step 1: Keep a food log for a week
Keeping a food log for one week is a great way to see how much food you’re actually eating. Without knowing where you are now, it’s impossible to know what you have to do to gain weight. A food log will also reveal some bad habits that may be holding you back from achieving the results you’re really looking for.
A food log doesn't mean you have to count calories or measure food. Let's be honest, both are not realistic approaches for the typical athlete (high school, college, or even the post grad that hoops on the weekends). Chances are you’re too busy playing sports, lifting, doing school work and/or trying to pick up chicks for any of that.
However all you need to do is write down exactly what you eat everyday for a week. Include the time you consumed each meal and, if possible, an estimate of how much (use your palm as a reference) you ate.
Step 2: Start eating a BIG breakfast everyday
After working with a ton of high school athletes, a common trend I see is skipping breakfast. This is a huge mistake and a terrible start to your day. Instead of skipping out on breakfast, wake up 20 minutes earlier and eat, eat, eat!!!
Here are 3 options for breakfast that can fit into any schedule:
Aside from tasting great, it can be prepared in just a few minutes and provides all the nutrients of a complete breakfast. All you need is 1-2 scoops of your favorite protein powder, milk (preferably organic), 3/4 cup of oats and then add-ins like banana, almonds, raisins. This meal can literally be prepared in under 5 minutes and will deliver over 650 high quality calories.
2) Eggs and Potatoes
This meal takes a little more time to prepare but is still fairly quick and well worth it. All you need is 1 large potato, 4-6 extra large eggs, Ezekial bread. Cook the potato first in the microwave. Cut it to your liking, season it with salt, pepper and cook till golden brown. Then scramble 4-6 eggs and toast 2 pieces of bread. If you’re still hungry after this man-meal, feel free to take down an apple or banana with peanut butter as well.
3) Weight Gainer Shakes
This is the quickest option and a great way to get in a boat load of calories. All you need is your favorite protein powder, whole milk, frozen fruit and peanut butter. Throw all of the ingredients into a blender with ice, mix to your desired consistency, and go to town. Or, if you want an even faster option pick up some Serious Mass from the 1R store, throw it in a shaker bottle with some water, and you’ll have 650 calories under your belt in under a minute.
Step 3: Double your lunch
This tip is something we recommend at the Underground to athletes that want to put on weight. If you usually bring 1 PB & J sandwich to school, start eating 2 and make sure to wash it down with some milk. Regardless of what you’re eating for lunch now, start by eating more of it. Make sure that there is a solid protein source also like meat, chicken or eggs.
Step 4: Eat leftovers from dinner
By this point you should have already had 3 high calorie and high quality meals. It’s time to add in a 4th large meal by consuming all the leftovers from dinner. This is another easy way to get in a ton of calories and help you put on some size (especially if you’re typically lifting before dinner).
Most athletes wonder why they can't pack on size. The answer is your not eating enough and chances are, if you are eating a lot, you’re eating a ton of processed foods that are empty calories. If you want to add mass you have to eat nutrient rich foods that are calorie dense. Remember: You have to eat big, to get big. There’s simply no way around it.