How to Gain Weight


howtogainweight1How to Gain Weight

It was an awesome deadlift workout and I was in a great mood.

“You guys wanna go grab some dinner?”

“Can’t, man. Sorry.”

“Yeah, I got plans already.”

So I was on my own. Since we’d trained an hour later the normal the last thing I felt like doing was driving home and starting to cook.

Instead I stopped by a local restaurant where I had gotten to know the staff and become quite friendly with the owner. Gianni was in his late 50’s, short and stocky. Like an older George Costanza, with a thick Italian accent.

“How you a doin, my friend? I have a beautiful dish with your name on it. You gonna love it.”

“You’ve never steered me wrong. Whattaya got for me?

“A fresh, wild caught salmon, with brown rice and steamed spinach.”

“Perfect. I’ll take it.”

Gianni didn’t disappoint and the meal was pretty damn good. After I finished eating Gianni took a seat at the table and we got to talking about his kids.

“Jason, my friend, I gotta tell you this Anthony is driving me nuts. He’s obsessed now with the bodybuilding. Always reading about how to gain weight. Every day he wanna try a new protein powder or this crea-something. Then it’s the H20 or NOX or something like that. All the muscle mags are scattered all over the house…

I tell him, Anthony, ‘Why you keepa wasting my money and you still looka the exact same?’

He’s been at it for almost two years now and I no think he gain a pound.

I wish we didn’t live so far away or I’d send him to your gym.”

“How old is Anthony now?” I asked.

“Seventeen. He gonna graduate this year. They think they know everything at that age. He no wanna listen to a word I say.”

“I know how it is, my friend. Tell you what… why don’t you send him down to the gym one day this week and I’ll talk to him? I’ll set him up with a program and show him how to gain weight the right way, once and for all.

I know it’s too far for you guys to make it regularly but send him one time and I’ll get him on the right path with a program he can do on his own for a few months.”

“Oh, that would be beautiful, my friend! I’ll let him know.”

The next week Gianni’s son, Anthony came by the gym for a talk. He was about 5’10”, rail thin and looked like he was trying out for a role on the Jersey Shore.

“You just get back from vacation?” I asked him.

“Na, yo.”

“You’re a little tan for this time of year in Jersey, no?”

“Gotta keep it fresh, yo.”

“Very true. So tell me a little bit about what you’ve been doing.”

“Well, I’ve been hitting it hard, six days a week for about two hours a session. The last few months I always end up being too hung over to get my Saturday workout in so I cut it to five days.

I do chest on Monday. Gotta start the week with that cuz chicks like big pecs. Then I do back on Tuesday, Legs on Wednesday, Shoulders Thursday and finish up with a big arm workout on Friday so they’re pumped up to go out that night.”

“Hmmm… Sure sounds like a lot of work. I know some guys in construction that are looking to hire. If you wanna do that much lifting you might as well get paid for it, right?”

“Whattaya mean?”

“Look, your dad told me how long you’ve been doing this and you don’t seem to making much progress and gaining any weight at all, right?”

He looked a bit hurt and slinked back in his chair a bit.

“Well, I mean, I put some size on my arms. The sleeves are definitely getting tighter on these t-shirts.”

I glanced at his arms but all I could focus on was his incredibly pointy elbows that looked like they could be used to open bottle caps.

“To be honest, I’m kinda shocked your neck’s not bigger.”

“Why?”

“Well, you gotta have a few pounds of mousse in there, no? It’s like walking around with a helmet or a neck harness on all day.”

“Ya know, now that you mention it, I think my neck is a little bigger. But I need to get the guns up. And the pecs. That’s what the bitches like.”

“Good point. Ok, so here’s what we’re gonna do…

First of all, you’re gonna cut down your training to just three days per week instead of five.”

“What?! Why would I want to do that?!”

“Well, you’re not gaining now, are you?”

“Well, not really too much, but I was thinking maybe that was because I cut down from six days to five. You gotta stay anabolic all the time, yo.”

“Here’s the thing; what you’re doing now is too much. Trust me. You came here looking to find out how to gain weight and I’m telling you.

If you cut down on what you’re doing now your body will have a better chance of recovering and growing. Right now you’re never giving yourself a chance to do either.

Anthony leaned in closer.

“Really? But that’s what it said I should be doing in all the magazines I read.”

He pulled out some of the aforementioned mags and spread them across the desk. Each one was bookmarked with workouts he’d been doing that he wanted to show me, although I would have been much more interested in leafing through the Glorious Glutes layout then seeing another one of these workouts.

“Mr. All World’s article about how to gain weight said I should be doing 15-20 sets per bodypart. I can’t get all that work done in less than five days per week.”

“Just humor me for a second and try what I’m going to recommend to you. Because obviously, Mr. All World’s program isn’t working for you right now. So let’s try a different approach. I want you do cut your workouts down to just three days a week and you’re gonna reduce your sets per body part from 15-20 down to just three.”

“WHAT?!”

“I wouldn’t steer you wrong. I’ve been helping guys like you for a long time.”

He sat back in his chair and gave it some thought.

“You really think that’s the answer?”

“Definitely. And no more bodypart splits. You’re going to work the entire body at each workout.”

“Dude, that’ll take me all day.”

“Dude, it will take you less than an hour. And no more arm work either.”

“No more bi’s and tri’s?! Why?! That’s the most important part!”

“Not for now, it isn’t. Let’s just focus on some big, basic compound movements and get really strong on them.

That’s all I want you to worry about for the next few months. If it doesn’t work and I’m wrong we can go back to 20 sets of arms, I promise.

Think about it like this… If you can squat 135 for 8 reps right now, what do you think you’ll look like when you can squat 275 for 8 reps? Obviously way bigger, right?

And the only way to make those kinds of strength gains is to eliminate all the excess bullshit.”

“Oh, I don’t squat, yo. Leg presses, leg extensions, leg curls. That’s how I do.”

I glanced toward one of his magazines and locked in on the picture of Jamie Eason’s ass while praying for the strength to surge forward with the conversation.

“From now on you squat. That’s your lower body exercise; that’s it. You won’t gain without it so there is no discussion to be had. Squats and deadlifts are the cornerstone of a good weight gain program.”

“Okay, okay. So what do I do? What’s the workout?”

He grabbed a pen and opened up his notepad.

“You get any hot chicks coming in here or what? Some big booty bitches in spandex n shit?”

“Yeah, but I keep them all in the back on lockdown. Listen, you gotta stay focused on what I’m about to tell you. You’ll be getting plenty of hot chicks in a few months if you do this right.

You’re gonna do just three exercises per day for four sets of 5-8 reps.”

“I thought 10-12 was the growth zone.”

Higher reps have their place when you get stronger and are more advanced, but most hardgainers and beginners always do better sticking in the 5-8 range.

Going above that will be a waste of time for now. Not to mention the fact that it can be dangerous because your smaller stabilizer muscles will give out before your bigger prime movers. That increases the injury risk on exercises like squats, deadlifts and overhead presses.”

“Oh… okay.”

“Do a bunch of five rep warm up sets and work up to a starting weight that you can do for five reps with perfect form. If I held a gun to your head you’d be able to get it seven times. So it should be a good hard set but not to failure, where you actually miss the attempt mid rep.

You never want miss a rep or come close by doing those extremely slow, grinding reps that take 10 seconds to complete.

“Oh man, I always go to failure. They said that was the key to building muscle. Grow or die, right?”

I cupped my face in my hands and wondered why I didn’t order those Bob Ross painting videos like I wanted to back in the late 80’s.

“Most times I even have a training partner help me do 3-5 additional forced reps. They said the intensity always has to be high.”

“Holy shnikes. We gotta get you on the right track here. Stop doing that ASAP and do what I told you. Stop 1-2 reps shy of failure. Hard and heavy but never slow and grinding. Got it.”

“Yeah.”

Now, you’re gonna stick with the same weight until you can get three sets of eight reps with it. At that point you increase the weight by 5-10 pounds and start back with five reps, sticking with it until you can get eight. Simple enough, right?”

“Got it. Sounds too easy, though.”

“That’s the point. If you make it too complicated it’s bound to fail. Simplicity is the key to success.

So on one day you’re going to do the following exercises-

Squat
Incline press (with the bench set to no more than 30 degrees)
1 Arm Row

The other day you’re going to do these three exercises-

Deadlift
Chin up
Military press

And that’s it.”

“What about the third day?”

“There is no third day. We’re gonna start with two. You’ll rotate them A-B style. So the first week you do A,B,A on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the following week you do BAB on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Run that just as I have it laid out for at least six weeks with no deviation and no questions asked. Make progress at each workout by adding weight or reps.

If you’re smart you could probably milk the gains on this for twice that amount of time. Eventually we’ll add a third day and tweak some things. But not until absolutely necessary.”

“Got it. Man, this is way different than what I was doing. I hope it works.”

“I promise it will. As long as you eat and sleep enough. I want you eating three big meals per day.”

“What about six? I thought I was supposed to stay anabolic and stoke the furnace. Gotta eat 6-7 times per day. That’s what everyone says.”

“One of the reasons skinny guys don’t gain isn’t always because they aren’t eating enough. Sometimes it’s because they aren’t digesting properly and absorbing enough of what they actually eat. Most ectos have too much nervous energy and are kind of hight strung, stressed out dudes.

Eating all day like that causes too much digestive stress and never gives your system a break. Cut down from six meals per day to just three and double your quantities in each. This will improve your digestion.

Not only will this work better but you won’t be seen as such a Tupperware toting douche by the rest of society. Removing that huge diamond studded cross necklace would go a long way also.”

“Ah come on, you don’t like my bling, yo?”

“Ahhh… so anyway, you’re going to have one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day.

On training days eat 2-2.5 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight and on off days eat 1.5-2 grams per pound. Look to gain about a pound or so a week for the next eight weeks. After that we’ll aim for a pound or so a month.

Focus on eating organic beef, chicken, fish, rice, sweet potatoes, and fruit. Veggies are awesome for health purposes and getting lean but for the next two months they don’t have to be a major focus because they take up too much stomach volume and won’t allow you to eat as much as you need to.

Just have a big spinach salad for dinner after you’ve eaten your protein and carbs. That’ll cover your need for greens for now.”

“Okay, what about supplements? I was taking NO2 and hyper fast creatine and…”

“None for now. Just focus on eating right. The only thing I’d suggest would be a post workout shake. Take it immediately after training and then eat a huge meal an hour later.”

“So that’s it? I shouldn’t do any supersets? No supplements? No forced reps? I don’t know, man, this is kinda hard to believe. I just can’t see how it’s gonna work. Seems too simple.”

“Exactly. The simpler the better. Just do it exactly as I said for a minimum of six weeks then we’ll add a third day in. And make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night.”

“Oh, I’m good with that. I get at least six hours.”

“Whoa, six hours? That’s not even close to enough. You need eight, minimum.”

“Dude, I’m in my prime, I’m gettin at hoes n shit. You know how it is.”

“And are they gettin back at you? Randomly friend requesting hot girls on FaceBook doesn’t count. Get to bed by 10:30 or 11 at the latest, every night and come see me in six weeks.”

“Aight, yo. I’ma trust you on this.”

“That’s all you need to know about how to gain weight for now. Do it right and you’ll be a new person in three months. I guarantee it.”

 

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49 Responses to How to Gain Weight

  1. Eric March 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    J,

    Really enjoyed this post, as usual you cut the bull and get to the point. I’m working with some similar young guys right now… always interesting.

    Would you say you’ve changed your stance some on nutrition since MGS with the 3 meals per day recommendations or was this just simplifying it for the guy? Which way would you consider ideal if you knew the person would follow?

    Keep up the good work, I constantly find myself looking forward updates on your blog.

    • Jason Ferruggia March 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

      @Eric: Yes, I have. I’ve been experimenting a lot over the last year. This is definitely the way to go.

      @Gianni- Great to hear. I look forward to it.

      @Shawn- Best glutes I’ve ever seen, for sure. Forget her name.

      @Julio- I will do a part two sometime soon

      @Brandon- Thanks, man. Great progress.

      @William- Great job.

      @Kellie- Thanks! I hear ya. I wish I knew a lot of this when I was younger and getting started.

      @Carlos- Greatest book in Iron Game history. I haven’t read through it in far too long but it’s a classic that needs to be looked at least once or twice a year.

  2. Raymond- ZenMyFitness March 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Really entertaining and funny it would make a good book … but also a bible on how to grow in size. Definitely excellent rules to lift and live by.
    Where do you find those most excellent pictures! … I mean of the guy squatting, of course!
    Raymond

  3. Gianni March 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Awesome post, had I not found out about you and your teachings 2yrs ago I’d still be a skinny fat nobody. Thanks to your help I’m also taking my 1st steps in becoming a Personal Trainer!
    When I open the UK equivalent of Renegade I’m gonna invite u “christen” it. Thanks J!

  4. shawn March 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Great article as always but I must ask, who is the girl with the glutes? They are insane!

  5. Jack Meehoff March 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    How do you use the MGS system to lose weight? Just change up the diet and add in Sprintings and Walking?

  6. mike salvietti March 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    jamie eason – the only reason to ever buy a fitness magazine……uuuugggggghhhhhh

    ok enough drooling over jamie I wanted to let you know that I have been lifting since I was 12 years old (seriously like bench, leg press, squats and machines when i was 12 with my roid headed step dad) and lifted for football all through high school. fast forward to now I took a step back adn started muscle gaining secrets. Saturday i start week 4 of phase one and havent done any of the arms or calfs jsut the three major lifts going heavier each time. before i started i was barbell overhead pressing 160 for 3. I just did day 3 of phase one and got dumbell shoulder press for 8 with 75 pound dumbells (ok the last 2 were “push presses” but still) and i’m 9 pounds up. can i post the journal for phase oen on facebook and tag you so you can see it or would you rather me not show teh workouts?

  7. Julio G. March 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Epic post as always… very motivational also, at least to me: I started some months ago at 5’10” and 121 lbs. (16 years old) and have managed to get to 152 lbs. (not very clean my last pounds though) halfway to finish Intermediate Phase 1 of MGS.
    Now I was thining of losing maybe 7-10 pounds of fat in April so I can maintain an even higher calorie diet with less amount of fat stored when I start Phase 2…
    Thanks for all your hard work.
    By the way, did this story happen many time ago or recently? I’d like to know how did it end. :)

  8. Dutchys Fitness March 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    Great post Jay, have to agree with Gianni, I have so much other training going on with football etc that its great to know I am still doing enough.

  9. Brandon Cook March 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Informative and humorous! Great job…. I’m not sure I can eat that much food in 3 meals though! I eat a ton yet it’s doing the 6 meals a day way. I did start taking digestive enzymes with each meal and a daily probiotic. I guess I need to up my carbs and cut out some of the veggies. I weighed 157lbs in january and I’m up to 170 now…. 180 HERE I COME!!!!

    Keep at it Jay

  10. Marcos Torres March 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    I should print this out and tape to a wall at the local gym.

  11. William Linnert March 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Thanks for your latest post. At 51 years old and an insulin dependent diabetic for 32 years, I got REALLY tired of weighing between 139 and 147 lbs.
    Finally last July, I took the bull by the horns and quit smoking!
    Knowing people gain weight by quitting… I knew I would gain too but was then concerned about where the poundage would end up.
    Thanks to the internet, I located you.
    I have maintained the “minimalist” training you teach.
    As of today, I weigh just shy of 170 lbs (the most I have weighed since 1979)
    I eat mainly organics and just love brown rice and eggs!
    All my workouts are done with dumbbells.
    Very happy!
    Thanks very much!!! Bill

  12. Kellie@motherfitness March 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    Great story! I wish someone told me these things 5 years ago. It would have saved a ton of overtraining and obsessive eating. Glad I figured it out and packed on quality muscle in the process.

  13. Marc March 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Another classic post. Just drills in the basics and how if you have the patience to stick with them that the results will be superb. Can’t be simple, old school training… Progressive overload and consistency! Just a quick question (or two)… Firstly, I know this is probably aimed at beginners but are the basics the same for more advanced athletes? Like, other than maybe adding in some assistance exercises to the workouts and maybe playing about a bit with carb cycling and fasting is there anything else you’d alter when training more advanced guys? And secondly, can females use the exact same programs as males (such as MGS and 3XM) and if not what would you change? Thanks in advance Jay, you’re the man!

  14. You can’t beat the basics, and you have laid them all out here for us. Great post.

    like you mentioned in the article I think it is important to lay off the supplements. Every time I talk to a beginner lifter has won the first things they ask. I haven’t even started to work out and are already looking for a quick fix.

    Great advice

  15. Carlos March 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    AAAH! Seems like someone has been reading Keys To Progress by John McCallum!!!

  16. Dominic March 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    I’m wondering if this program would be beneficial for me. I don’t think I’m a hard gainer, I’m 5’10 about 198 probably about 16 – 18% body fat i’ve been working out consistently for a year now and I’m 26. Is this program beneficial even for someone like me who does not have an extremely difficult time putting weight on?

    Thanks

    • Jason Ferruggia March 16, 2011 at 10:24 am #

      @Dominic: If you’ve only been training for a year then Muscle Gaining Secrets would be great for you.

      @Marc- Thanks man. Best book ever.

      @Divya- Thanks man.

      @Gary- If that’s what you’re into ;)

      @Jonny- Not sure yet. A lot on the table right now.

      @Britt- Thanks

      @Sean- Thanks so much, man. That means a lot coming from you.

      @Joe- Organic, grass fed meat is part of a healthy weight gain diet.

      @Jameson- Luckily it’s not like that everywhere. But it was one of the reasons I had to relocate to SoCal.

      @Moez- That’s awesome! Thanks so much, man.

      @Matt- I’ll probably do a follow up.

      @Sam- If only we knew then. Thanks for the comments.

      @Bill, Geoff, Mike, Ben- Thanks guys!

      @Siddharta- You have to get down to 15% bodyfat or lower before you start trying to gain weight.

      @Lee- Thanks a lot, Lee. I appreciate that. True, indeed.

  17. Marc Cardinal March 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    Awesome article as usual, quite humerous. Reminded me of Keys to Progress.

  18. Divya Kothari March 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    @Sir Jason – I was kinda hooked after I read your conversation with the “skid”‘s (Skinny Kid) father. The point I noticed is that you never are so explain-ing sorts to people who are outright swayed into following the Magazines. I after reading tons on your blog never was expecting this from you. However, I could understand his father is a friend to you in good right and he asked you for help. So probably you were doing it for that sake.
    Or is it that are you so polite to swayed Skids in general?

    I am a die hard follower and believer in the theories you believe in (training related or life related or habits related), some I learnt from you and some from life. But quiet frankly, you are very motivating too. Just an article is all I need to get my motivation back. Your manner of writing has it all, setting aside your real strength and work on the field.

    Great Work Sir,
    Rock harder than ever.
    Your Follower big time
    Divya Kothari (India)

  19. Gary Deagle March 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    So your trying to say jersey shore cast member is a bad look? Haha, good stuff Jay. There are a lot of guys with Anthony’s mindset that need to read this.

  20. Martin March 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    @Shawn- Her name is Flavia Crisos. She is a professional fitness model from Brazil.

  21. Dominic March 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    …oh and my goal is a lean 10 to 12% 210lbs

  22. Jonny March 11, 2011 at 12:41 am #

    Awesome article and story Jason. I was cringing and laughing all the way through, but all the information was laid out simply, and I pretty much know most of it now, after following your programs.
    Any news on when your Renegade Diet is going to be released, or any information on it?

  23. Alex March 11, 2011 at 3:03 am #

    Great post J.
    I think it’s just missing the warming up, stretching and cardio part… i think this guy was just trying to put on some weight but we must never forget the healthy part of working out too..
    Keep up the amazing work and breaking thru the status quo !!

  24. Britt March 11, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    J,

    You must really be taking to the socal lifestyle because your pumping out lots of killer posts. Great article! Every beginner and hardgainer need to read this.

  25. Sean Hyson March 11, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    The truth is, I was the kid Jason was writing about and he’s just being nice and covering for me. I’m down 10 pounds of mousse and up 20 pounds on all my lifts… Life is all about give and take.

    Great story from one of the industry’s best writers.

  26. joe March 11, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    that sounds a lot like my story! Minus the mousse.
    wait, i noticed your meal at the beginning, have you changed your stance on eating meat?

  27. Jameson Wolff March 11, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    lol ohh Jerseyyy..

  28. Moez March 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Great Post Jason!

    Had a client asking me the same thing. He wanted to know when we are going to change the exercises. He had been doing squats and deadlifts for over two months then. I told him the same – do ordinary things extraordinary. I give him ample time to rest too. He wasn’t allowed to rest in his previous gym. That was a question for him. He thought we are doing something wrong.

    Now he is loving the new way. His squats, deadlifts and presses are all improving day by day. He knows he is doing things right cause everyone not only tells him that he is getting massive but also looking leaner.

    More importantly I love building strength cause you don’t lose it so easily. Have another client who is 59 years-old. First time I put him on chin ups he did 20 of them. I was shocked. I asked him and he said back in high school he used to do 33 pull ups. He hadn’t done it for over 30 years but embarrassed young guys in the gym with his chins that day.

    Strength is the way to go be it for size or fat-loss.

    By the way, I had a client who was visiting Islamabad from Norway. He was following your stuff with his broken English. You are global. Love your work.

  29. david March 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Hi Jason,
    I follow very similar principles to yours, but only fit in training once a week. I am at uni, and am doing lots of martial arts (kali, kickboxing and judo) at least 5x a week, so lack the recovery time for more frequent training – still think it will work?
    My current schedule is :
    military press 5×5 with chinups (7-8 reps) in rest period (alternating sets, not supersetting)
    deadlift work up to 4 rep max in 5 sets, alternating with weighted pushups for sets of 8-10
    1-arm rows/bulgarian split-squats supersetted 3×8 as assistance work
    all done in less than an hour and my whole body covered – whoever says you can’t train your whole body in one session :)

  30. Matt March 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Great Story! Is there an ending to it? How does this guy turn out. Just curious.

  31. Sam- Look Like An Athlete March 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    Great advice for a hardgainer! When I first started working out over 10 years ago I was in my early 20′s and I got the same cookie cutter advice many guys read in magazines from personal trainers, “eat 6 meals, take these supplements, work out 6 days a week to failure.”

    I am glad you are giving out such quality information for hardgainers. This kind of info would have saved me several years of trying to figure it out on my own. Hilarious the way you told the story by the way.

    Your advice here just goes to show that most of the time “less is more.”

    -Sam

  32. Bill March 11, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    Great story and even better Excellent Lesson to be learned AND applied as well !!

  33. Geoff March 12, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    Epic post. Timeless advice. It’s got the storytelling flair of John McCallum’s old “Keys to Progress” series combined with safer, healthier, and much more sane training and diet advice than anything McCallum ever recommended. (Anyone else remember that gross “Get Big Drink”?) The updated cultural references will definitely resonate with the young kids of today. Thanks for posting this one. Reading it made a crappy day stuck in the airport a ton better.

  34. Mike Smith March 12, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    What’s up Jason,

    Great stuff and I know the ‘exact’ type of 17 year old you’re depicting! (I live in Montclair, NJ, so I can relate, and my GF lives in Bedminster).

    Always like reading your blog for the great reminders on simplicity and how important it is to overall progress.

    Keep it going,
    Mike

  35. Ben Swogger March 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    It’s always great brushing up on the fundamentals, thanks man…and it was entertaining too

  36. Siddharta March 15, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Jason, thanks for your posts, I always enjoy them.
    One question: I’m 5’9” at 174lbs, with approximately 20-22% of body fat. I’m bigger than I used to be, but not as big I’d like to be and probably could. What should I do? Follow a diet to gain weight, or trim a bit of fat away, as you suggested in the post on carbs-cycling?
    Thanks!

  37. Lee Hayward March 15, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Awesome post, I was cracking up reading that story. I think everyone (regardless of training experience) can make great gains from occasionally going back to a very simple, but progressive program just like the one you outlined here.

  38. JMJ March 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    I’m gonna experiment with the 3 large meals per day vs. 6 meals. I’ve been doing the latter for years now, and it’ just second nature for me to always have my meals packed up with me. I’m that tupperwear toting douche! (Hilarious way to put it). I have really good self-discipline so it’s no big deal for me to pre-plan and pack up my meals, but there is no question, life would be much simplier by switiching to 3 meals per day, if the results come with it.

  39. Matt March 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    This article was alright but there’s a little gray area when it comes to gaining weight.

    First of all, the person that’s looking to gain weight still has to achieve a certain amount of stress on the muscle fascia that will lead to the microscopic fiber tears that allow the body to come in and repair the muscle to “gain weight.” As long as he can achieve that from a simplified workout, that’s fine.

    Second of all, in terms of nutrition. Having three big meals may not be the best way to go. Nutrition journals indicate that the body can only use about 25 grams of protein at one time – everything else will just be a waste. Spacing out protein intake throughout the day would be more effective in terms of the body actually being able to metabolize the protein for his benefit. Another thing, watch the carbohydrates that come from oats and rice and grain and what not. Studies show that carbohydrates in that form cause a spike in insulin that actually triggers lipid synthesis and storage.

    • Joshua Hector Matos October 19, 2011 at 1:32 am #

      @Matt: Honestly, this stuff irritates me. Training journals and data, don’t live, we do. Humans. No study can compare to real-life results.

  40. Jason Ferruggia March 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    It’s these types of comments that make me smile, Matt.

    Thanks for the cutting edge info. I’ll take heed

  41. Joshua March 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Damn, I knew I should have used those journals in my Masters Thesis. Guess those nutrition studies are legit after all. Thanks Matt

  42. Mike S. April 3, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Jason, awesome article! I may have missed the answer on another post but I will ask since I have not found it yet. I know that you keep evolving and optimizing your methods as it should be. I just read MGS from 2007-2008. In it is the 6 meals a day, and protein drink before and after the training session recommendations. Has the new MGS been updated to the new nutritional guidelines in this article? Any other changes? I want to make sure that I have the latest version of your material and move alongside the new information.

    Thank you for your time!

    Mike

  43. Till July 25, 2011 at 5:13 am #

    Hey Jason, you already answers questions concerning updated nutrition… Now what about 3 sets/exercise? The current MGS still lists 5 for the very same program (SQ, MP, CU / DL, DBP, DBR). It’s just a minor thing really, but I’m curious.

  44. Mick E October 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    You have some good tips on gaining weight. This is very helpful for some of the young hard gainers. Keep up the good work :)

  45. Brian November 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    any update on this kid? i’m curious if he followed your advice and actually got results (which i’m sure would happen) or if he quite after a week and stayed skinny.

  46. FitnessTacoma June 12, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    That is a great tip especially to those fresh who want to gain weight. Short but very precise info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!