A fast metabolism is a bit like the proverbial two-edged sword. On the one hand it will be a real help in assisting you to shed pounds and stay lean. On the other hand, it could make it harder for you to pack on solid muscle mass. Unless you implement a routine that is geared towards your metabolic structure, you will struggle to add mass to your frame. Let’s check out just how a person with a fast metabolism can do just that.
In this article, we’ll go over some weight gain tips to pack on pounds fast in a healthy and productive manner. We’ll go over topics like weight gaining foods, exercises to pack on muscle, as well as the best weight gainer supplements available on the market.
Nutrition: How Much To Eat & What To Eat To Gain Weight
How Many Calories Should I Be Consuming?
At its core, gaining weight is about consuming more calories than you burn. As a skinny guy or hardgainer who wants to bulk up, you MUST be intentional about your diet, more specifically your calorie intake. This is why you need to figure out your total daily calorie requirement.
A quick and easy way to do this is to multiply your body weight in pounds by a multiplier between 12 and 20. For those people who are focused on gaining lean muscle tissue that multiplication factor should be 17. But for those, like you, who want to gain lean muscle tissue and who have a high metabolism, it should be 19. So, a person who weights 200 pounds should consume: 200 x 19 = 3800 calories per day in order to support muscle growth.
Those 300 calories should be divided between 6 meals which are spaced 3 hours apart. Each meal will supply about 630 calories. For you ectomorphs and hardgainers, the optimal macronutrient breakdown of each meal should be 40-50% complex carbs, 35-45% lean proteins and 15-20% unsaturated fats. The ranges exist so that you can experiment to see what works for you and your body.
What Foods To Eat to Gain Weight
After you figure out how many calories you need on a regular basis, the next logical step should be to figure out what exactly you need to eat. As someone with a fast metabolism, you may think just stuffing your face with chips, cupcakes, and cookies will do the trick. However, this is certainly not the right way to go about gaining healthy weight for the long term. Instead, a proper macronutrient profile consisting of lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats and oils is key to gaining mass.
Here is a list of 10 recommended proteins, carbs, and fats for weight gain:
- Lean Red Meat (beef, steak)
- Fish (tuna, salmon, cod)
- Chicken Breast
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Tropical Fruits (mangoes, papayas, pineapples, bananas)
- Brown Rice
- Peanut Butter
- Nuts & Seeds (peanuts, walnuts, almonds)
- Whole Milk
- Vegetable Oil
As you can see, there are many delicious foods that you can eat independently or in combination with others on the list above. The great thing about trying to bulk or put on weight is that you have a wide array of foods available for your consumption, so take advantage of that…in moderation of course!
Best Weight Gainer Supplements
In an ideal world, your diet would be all you need in order to put on your desired amount of weight or mass. However, in reality, it is far from an easy task to consume enough calories throughout the day to meet the required thresholds for sustained increases in mass. This is why weight gainers exist and are highly effective as a meal replacement to achieve higher caloric intakes. These supplements contain all the ingredients necessary (i.e. quality protein, carbs, fats) to speed up the process of putting on and keeping on weight. Weight gainers should be used in conjunction with a solid workout and nutrition plan.
An effective weight gain protein can go a long way in helping you gain mass quickly. We’ve compiled this list of the best weight gainers on the market to help you get to your desired caloric intake. Our top choice is Pro Complex by Optimum Nutrition.
Also, make sure that you are taking a quality pre and post workout stack to support your muscle building efforts. Creatine, BCAA’s and a Nitric Oxide stimulant should be ingested before your workout, while afterward you need to take in a quality stack that will fast track nutrients to the stressed muscles, allowing them to rebuild and recuperate. We recommend Cellucor C4 for a solid pre-workout and RSP Nutrition’s Regen Endurance for a post-workout.
Your workouts need to be fast and intense. You should be on a mission to get in, hit it hard and then get out. You should aim for no more than 20 minutes on any given muscle group. Focus on heavy weights, pyramiding your sets to a maximum of 4-5 reps on your 3rd set. Reduce your between set rest time to 1 minute. Hit 2 muscle groups per day.
Here’s what a typical chest and triceps workout might look like:
Dumbbell Bench Press
Set 1 – 12 reps / Set 2 – 9 reps / Set 3 – 5 reps
Set 1 – 10 reps / Set 2 – 6 reps
Cable Flyes super-setted with Dips
Flyes – 15 reps / Push Ups – 20 reps = 3 sets
Close Grip Bench Press
Set 1 – 15 reps / Set 2 – 12 reps / Set 3 – 8 reps
Tricep Pushdowns – 3 sets of 12 reps
You should train 4 times per week, hitting each of your major muscle groups once. Here’s an ideal split to achieve this:
Monday – Chest & Triceps
Tuesday – Back and Biceps
Thursday – Thighs and calves
Friday – Hamstrings and Shoulders
Because your body is predisposed to burning calories, you don’t need to put as much emphasis as others on your cardio training. You will still want to put in a couple of decent training sessions per week, however. Focus your cardio workouts on high intensity interval training (HITT) to reap the maximum benefit in the minimum time.
Here’s how a HITT session should look:
(1) Choose an exercise that you are comfortable performing with maximum intensity (sprinting, cycling and skipping are good options).
(2) Perform a medium intensity warm-up for 2 minutes.
(3) Perform 20 seconds of maximum intensity.
(4) Recover for 10 seconds.
(5) Repeat this sequence until 4 minutes are up.
As a person with a fast metabolism, you’ve got to be smart in order to build muscle. By ensuring that you’re getting enough macronutrients into your system in the right ratios, you’ll be giving your muscles the fuel they need to synthesize protein and inject muscle building nutrients into your muscle cells. Training that is intense and focused will stress the muscle maximally without eating into your energy reserves. And short, sharp cardio sessions will allow you strip off fat without compromising muscle tissue.
Now, it’s Your Turn! Are you someone who struggles putting on and/or keeping on weight? What foods, exercises, supplements, and other strategies have you found to be most beneficial to you? Share in the comments below!