The three ingredients to go from skinny to muscular are nutrition, training and consistency. Here are the most important tips to gain weight for skinny hardgainers and ectomorphs…
- Eat More. Eat more calories than your body burns. How much depends on your metabolism and activity levels. But if you’re not gaining weight, you’re not eating enough.
- Eat More Meals. Small meals are easier to eat than big ones. They don’t make you feel stuffed. Wake up earlier, eat breakfast, and then eat 3-4 more meals a day.
- Eat Caloric Dense Foods. Food high in carbs and/or fats has more calories per serving. It takes less eating to create a caloric surplus. Bulk on pasta, dried fruits, nuts, etc.
- Eat More Protein. Your muscles need protein to recover from your workouts and grow bigger. Eat a whole source of protein with each meal – meat, chicken, fish, eggs, etc
- Go Liquid. Blended food digests more easily than solid food. Make weight gainer shakes by mixing oats, milk, banana, peanut butter and whey protein in your blender.
Fat for Muscle Building
Time to debunk the fat myth! Fat is energy dense and should be a firm part of your diet. It goes without saying of course, to limit the saturated or trans fat but bulk out the healthy fats – if you don’t already, grab for the peanut butter, nuts, avocado, coconut oil, oily fish.
Protein for Muscle Mass Building
Protein is the key nutrient when it comes to bulking transformations, as it’s the nutrient responsible for supporting lean muscle development. On a bulk, every meal should contain protein and you should aim for 2g per kg of bodyweight per day.
Carbohydrate for Muscle Mass
Unlike a cut, where you need to cut down on carbohydrates, those on a bulk can and should enjoy plenty of carbs. Hence, the harder you can train, the more likely you are to build mass. Stick to wholegrains as opposed to processed refined carbs which quickly spike blood sugar and can be stored as fat.
However, post-training simple carbohydrates are useful. They quickly spike insulin levels – and insulin increases protein synthesis and decreases muscle breakdown.
Hydration For Mass Building
When you’re bulking, you’ll need to keep yourself well hydrated. 1.5 – 2 litres per day or 6-8 glasses of water. To increase your caloric intake, you could also drink milk for additional protein – a perfect evening drink before bed to keep that protein synthesis in the black. You could consider a product such as Micellar Casein, for a tasty slow releasing protein powder. Fruit juices can add extra sugar which can be useful post-workout, but limit this to once or twice per week.
Key Points On Bulking
- The bulk phase – the big feed. Bulk it out then lean up with a cut.
- To smash the bulk phase, you need to train like you mean it and feed like you need it.
- Bulking isn’t about eating as much, of whatever you want. It’s about feeding the muscle growth.
- Check out our top nutrition tips to support your bulking diet.
- Try the Supps247 Personal Trainer 4 week bulking diet plan.
Breakfast options – select one from the following list each day.
- 6 egg omelette with spinach (approx. 564 kcal)
- 2 scoop Mass gainer
- Large portion of granola, whole milk and sliced banana (approx. 750 kcal)
- 1 or 2 bagels with peanut butter (approx. 380/760 kcal)
- 2 Poached eggs, salmon and avocado (approx. 550 kcal)
Morning meal/snack options – combine these to increase calories if needed
- Progain flapjack (approx. 324 kcal)
- test booster 2 Tabs + 5g Creatine
- Progain extreme shake (600 kcal)
- Handful of almonds (approx. 92 kcal per serving)
- Apple with peanut butter (approx. 200 kcal)
- Small portion of chicken breast, tomatoes, celery and brown rice (approx. 450 kcal)
- Double chicken breast, broccoli and rice (approx. 700 kcal)
- Salmon, sweet potatoes and sesame seeds (approx. 700 kcal)
- Chicken breast, salsa, brown rice and peppers (approx. 720 kcal)
- Vegetarian bean chili burritos (approx. 900 kcal)
- Tinned tuna, quinoa, avocado and broccoli (approx. 500 kcal)
- 2 scoops for mass gainer
Snack options (select 1 or 2 per day depending on calories)
- Dark chocolate (a single ounce is 153 kcal. Eat as much as your surplus allows)
- Mass gainer shake (approx. 600 kcal)
- Cup of mixed nuts (approx. 640 kcal)
- Beef Jerky (approx. 410 kcal)
- 1 scoop Branch chain Amino acids
- Tuna steak with olive oil, two sweet potatoes and quinoa (approx. 800 kcal)
- Sirloin steak, white rice and fried egg (approx. 950 kcal)
- Burger with lean beef, fries, white bread roll, cup of green beans (approx. 1450 kcal)
- Tuna, pasta and Bolognese sauce (approx. 600 kcal)
- Chili con carne with rolls of bread (approx. 700 kcal)
- 1 scoop casein Protein