For some people, gaining weight can be just as hard or harder than loosing weight. Being someone who has had trouble gaining weight while bulking in the past, I’d like to give a few tips to hard gainers on how to put on mass.
Track Your Calories/Macronutrients
One of the biggest reasons people have trouble gaining weight is because they’re simply not eating enough. By tracking your calories and macros, you’ll be certain that you’re hitting the correct amount of calories everyday. I’m going to eventually make a post specifically on counting calories/macros, but for the simplicity of this post I’ll just briefly explain how you can find out how many calories you should be eating during a gaining phase. You’re first going to want to find out what your maintenance calories are. You can do this by multiplying your current weight by 14-16. So if you weighed 180 pounds, 180 x 14 would be 2520 and 180 x 16 would be 2880. Your maintenance calories would be somewhere between 2520-2880 calories. If your a more active individual who for example, does construction for a living, you would go with the higher number. If throughout the day you are spending most of your time in an office then you would go with the 2520 calories. This number you just calculated would be around how many calories you would need to eat just to maintain your body weight. For the the start of a bulk, I would add around 300 calories to your maintenance number and make sure your hitting that number of calories consistently everyday.
Eat Calorically Dense Foods
When I began my first bulk I reached a point where I had to consume 3,100 calories daily. For me, it was very difficult to eat this high volume of food, until I started eating foods that were calorically dense. Foods like nuts, peanut butter, olive oil, and avocados are helped me to hit my daily caloric requirements while bulking. Any foods that are higher in fat (try to look for unsaturated fats) are going to naturally be dense in calories because fat is the most calorically dense macronutrient (1 gram of fat=9 calories). When your eating foods that are higher in fat, the volume of food your eating will not be as overwhelming and thus it will be easier to hit your calories each day.
Get Enough Sleep/Rest
Let’s say that you’re training hard, eating enough food, but you’re still having trouble gaining weight. It could be cause your simply not resting your body or getting enough sleep. You should be getting around 7-8 hours of sleep every night. While you sleep, your HGH (human growth hormone) levels are at their highest and this hormone is directly responsible for muscle growth. I also recommend taking around 1-2 days a week off from weight training to let your body recover. If your training every day and you notice your not making gains or your not gaining weight, try adding a rest day into your training split.