With that said, it is not rocket science when it comes to putting on quality weight. YOU GOTTA EAT! Now this may seem easier than it sounds. Many of our athletes are overly active; participating in practice, training, conditioning, etc. This increased activity level along with already having super high metabolisms (due to their age level) can leave many athletes spinning their wheels trying to put on lean muscle mass.
Many athletes think that strength training alone will increase their size and weight, but the reality of it is they need a sound nutritional strategy. While strength training can help athletes become more powerful and explosive, when it comes to gaining “good” weight it comes down to your nutrition.
The following tips can ensure you that the scale is moving in the right direction and you’re seeing serious gains in lean muscle mass.
1. Eat as much as you can at every meal
Sounds easy, but you have to make a conscious effort to never walk away from a meal leaving anything on the plate. The name of the game is consuming more calories (preferably healthy calories) than you are expending in a day.
2. Eat protein with every meal
The amino acids found in protein are the building blocks of muscle and will help to ensure your building muscle and not fat. Good protein sources include chicken, fish, beef, pork, whey protein powder, milk, and eggs.
3. Don’t fear healthy fats
Consuming fats (mainly healthy fats) does not mean you will become fatter. This is a common myth and athletes should not fear fats. Fats are more calorie dense than carbohydrates and proteins and are important for athletes trying to consume more calories in a day. Try consuming whole milk instead of skim milk. Eat the whole egg (yolk included) and not just egg whites. Consume nuts, seeds, and oils such as extra virgin olive oil.
4. Have a good nutrition plan around your practice/training sessions
Consuming key nutrients (carbohydrates and protein) right before, during, and after your workout will help to ensure your getting the most out of your training sessions as well as speeding up the recovery process. An easy way to accomplish this is to consume a carbohydrate and protein shake during and right after your training session.
5. Consume calorie containing beverages
If you follow the above guidelines and are still not seeing an increase in lean mass, then you have to turn to calorie containing beverages. Sometimes it is difficult to consume enough calories to see weight gain from food alone and must look to beverages for those extra calories. This does not mean I am advocating chugging down a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper. Rather look for beverages that not only contain calories, but are also nutritious and aid in the building of lean mass. Including workout and post-workout protein/carbohydrate shakes is one way to bump up the daily calories. Consuming beverages such as whole milk and/or fruit juices with meals will also help.
6. Consume homemade weight gaining shakes between meals.
This tip goes hand in hand with tip #5. These shakes will help to increase total daily calories, which is the name of the game. Because they are homemade, you control what goes in them. This allows you to consume quality nutrients rather than processed “crap” you find in most generic “weight gaining” powders. Below you will find one of our favorite weight gaining shake recipes.
7. Weigh yourself every morning to keep track of your progress.
Take out a sheet of paper and tape it to the wall above your scale. Every morning write the date and your weight. If you don’t see the number going up, then you need to step up your game. If you’re only consuming one weight gaining shake between meals, then drink two. If you’re only consuming one glass of milk with dinner, then drink two. It is up to you to be accountable for your actions and cannot take a day off.
Elite Mass Gaining Shake
Ingredients: 2 cups of whole milk (organic preferably) , 1 scoop of whey protein powder, 1 banana, 4 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 cup of rolled oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and 1 handful of spinach (don’t worry you won’t taste this).
Directions: combine all ingredients in a blender and blend together. If the consistency is too thick and you wish to thin it, just add water to it and blend until you get the desired consistency. Enjoy!