Or you can stick around and read our blog. It's pretty good.
This site is packed with a ton of information about bulking, building muscle, and strength training. Your best bet is to browse around the archives but here's a few of my favourite articles:
You can definitely expect more content in the future though. I've dealt with being a skinny guy in the past — I considered myself a "hardgainer" and "ectomorph" for at least a decade or so — and I know that, at the moment, you probably want all the help you can get. Over the coming weeks and months, I'll try to offer the support I wish I had.
There's a good chance you've randomly found this site on Google and are looking for answers about how to gain weight, overcome your genetic disadvantages, and become the strongest version of yourself. But while our problems feel unique, we usually end up with the same questions as everyone else. This is my attempt to predict your questions.
I'm a hardgainer. Can I gain weight?
This is really a two-part questions because, I promise you, you're not a hardgainer. Unless you have a medical condition, you're just not consuming enough calories at the moment if you're not gaining weight. To prove this, follow these steps:
- Calculate how many calories you need to eat every day.
- Use a tool like MyFitnessPal.com to track what you're eating for just one day.
And that's it. Very quickly, you're going to see that your body doesn't hate you. You can't "eat anything and not get fat" or any crap like that. You might feel like you're eating a lot but the numbers will prove otherwise.
With this in mind, yes, you can gain weight. Once again, the only time you "can't" gain weight is if you have a medical condition, so if that's a possibility: visit a doctor, get a general blood test, and also get tested for diabetes. Otherwise, there's no reason you can't bulk up, build muscle, and feel the way you want to feel.
How do I gain weight?
There's a lot of methods and that's why this website exists — to discuss every possible method. The two main variants are clean bulking and dirty bulking but there are far more strict methods and programs to follow.
If you want to keep things simple, weight gain is just a matter of eating more calories than you're consuming throughout the day, so your goal should be to eat a lot of high-calorie foods that still leave you feeling good so you're motivated to continue bulking. Some people can heat junk food all day and feel fine but, personally, I always end up feeling miserable.
Foods that contain a lot of calories and protein (the other important component) include:
- Boiled eggs.
- Brown rice.
- Olive oil.
- Whole milk.
There are, of course, plenty of other foods worth eating and I haven't yet mentioned the classic combination: chicken and broccoli. It's sound basic but bodybuilders, strongman competitors, and athletes of all ilks have very regimented, repetitive meals, and the chicken and broccoli combination has stood the test of time for decades.
Related: The Shredded Chef: 120 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean, and Staying Healthy
Are there any weight gain shortcuts?
Absolutely. All shortcuts come with some form of a side-effect though so don't expect to take the easy route without experiencing some sort of downside. The downside that's present across the board is unwanted weight gain. Because while you want to gain weight at the moment, shortcuts involve consuming an excess of calories that will surely leave you with some excess fat. If you're as skinny as I was, you might not mind this, but do at least be aware of the possibility.
In terms of shortcuts, there's a few options:
- You can buy "weight gainer" supplements like the Pro Complex Gainer These allow you to consume a lot of calories in a single shake and they definitely work. The cheaper ones use terrible ingredients like "maltodextrin" which will spike insulin levels and put you at risk of diabetes, while the more expensive ones might simply be too expensive.
- A more affordable method is known as GOMAD and involves drinking a gallon of whole milk per day for a month. If drinking a gallon of milk a day sounsd like a lot, you'd be right: it is. But a gallon also contains 2400 calories, and it's much easier to consume that amount in liquid form rather than as solid food. I've made good gains with GOMAD but it's not for everyone.
- If you have a blender, making your own shakes is one of the best ways to gain weight. It does take a small amount of time and the shakes won't be as calorie-dense as weight gainer shakes, btu they'll surely be healthier. Blend milk with almond butter, raw eggs, nuts, and other foods high in calories and protein, and get it down every morning. Try to ignore the taste.
But with all of this said, don't even think of taking these shortcuts unless you're working extremely hard in the gym. You don't want to pack on a ton of pounds without having that food converted into muscle. That'll only leave you feeling flabby.
Those, I think, are the most important queestions for now, but I'll answer more in the future. For a complete system of weight gain, I recommend Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body.