You are trying to gain muscle, but it’s just not happening.
You train hard. So that’s not the problem. It must be your diet.
Sadly, most discussions about the proper diet for gaining muscle start with “if you weigh XXX pounds and want to gain 1 lb per week, you will need YYYY calories and ZZZ grams of protein every day”.
This completely overlooks the fact that you don’t live your life in a laboratory.
You have no clue what 25 grams of protein or 300 calories actually looks like.
To top it off, even though you put every morsel of food consumed into that app on your smartphone, there is up to a 20% margin of error with calorie counting.
So how does a natural ectomorph (science for ‘skinny dude’) like myself gain muscle?
Pretty simple: EAT!
Ok. Not as simple as it sounds. I don’t thoroughly enjoy eating. Not once have I felt the urge to post a picture of my food on social media. I’m just not a foodie, so when I am trying to gain muscle, I have to make a conscious decision to eat more.
Provided that you are training hard using compound strength exercises 2-4x/week, then your biggest priority for gaining muscle is to load up on good quality food!
I worked with a client, with this very issue (skinny guy wants more muscle) and we came up with 11 Strategies to Eat More for Muscle Growth. I have listed 5 of the 11 below.
Here are 5 of the ‘EAT MORE’ strategies we came up with together:
These recommendations are for people who don’t have an easy time adding muscle to their frame, and really just need to eat more. 1. Eat More Spaghetti (or whatever your favorite healthy meal is): He loves spaghetti, so we talked about adding it into his diet more frequently. It’s easier to eat foods you like. There isn’t anything magical about spaghetti, but having food you like is a HUGE part of adhering to any nutrition plan. If you enjoy it, you’ll stick with it. 2. Always use the largest plates and bowls in the house: You tend to eat more if you eat from a larger plate. As an aside, the inverse is also true (small plate=less food) and is one of the recommendations we make for people looking to throttle their food intake. 3. Add a pre-bed meal: The standard breakfast, lunch, dinner routine just doesn’t cut it sometimes. Rather than gorge yourself at each of the three meals, add a 4th (or 5th) to space out your food, and increase your intake. 4. Eat fast: Get as much food in you as you can, before your body tells you it’s full. It takes a lot of willpower to keep eating when you are full. It’s your goal to get as much food in as possible before your body tells you to stop! 5. Drink a gallon of milk a day (or try): It’s an old school bodybuilder trick, but the only time I have had success adding mass to my frame was when I was going through about 16L of milk each week, in addition to my normal meals. No that’s not a typo. Every week I would go through 4 jugs of milk by myself. If you tolerate dairy well, milk is a great source of both calories and protein. Given that it is a liquid, this makes it easy for people like me who don’t thoroughly enjoy eating.
More Strategies for Gaining Muscle:
It’s all about finding ways to eat more (quality) food. This post is long enough as it is, but our list contained 6 more items. If you want the full list, you can download it by clicking the button below and letting me know which email address to send it to. Download: 11 Strategies to Eat More for Muscle Growth I’d love to hear below in the comments what works for you guys when it comes to putting more food in your belly!