5 Secrets Of Gaining Lean Mass

More often than not the goal is to lose unwanted weight, but believe it or not, there are situations where we need to gain weight. Think about a young athlete who needs to gain weight to get better at a certain sport. Even a hospitalized person who has been bed ridden and experienced some atrophy, will most likely want to gain weight back. It’s not always easy, but don’t get frustrated. Make sure you’re using these 5 secrets of gaining lean mass.

I have gotten quite a few questions about this subject, because most of the topics that you see in the health industry are about weight loss. Gaining weight is easy, but gaining healthy lean weight is the tricky part. My younger brother struggled to gain weight, but I helped him implement these 5 things into his life, and he went from 180 lbs to 215 lbs in slightly over a year.

1 – Lift Like The Hulk

You’re not going to get bigger lifting weights that look like Q-tips for 1000 reps. Use the heaviest weights that you can handle for 6-10 repetitions on every set. There’s no reason to do more than 10 repetitions if you’re trying to put on some serious mass.

If you’re going to go heavy, you also have to be safe. Know when you’re doing something wrong, and decrease the weight if you have to. There’s always another day to improve.

Legs and back have the biggest muscles in the body, so guess what……They have the most room for growth. When I was in college I started at 230 lbs my freshman year. My senior year I was running up and down the court at a lean 260 lbs. A lot of that increased weight was in my legs.

If you’re going to gain weight, the bottom line is you have to take the weights serious and go hard a minimum of 3 days per week.

Lift Heavy

2 – Feed The Furnace

The formula is simple…..You have to eat more calories than you get rid of everyday. Focus mainly on protein and carbs. Your body can’t build muscle without those two things.

Once my teammate in college asked me how to get as big as me. I told him he has to eat! The next time I saw him he had a box of a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. I wanted to slap it out of his hands!

Yes, you need to eat a lot. And yes, you need to take in a bunch of calories. But that doesn’t mean those calories should come from Big Macs, Donuts, or 56 Pizza Rolls.

Get your calories in through eating a lot spread throughout the day. If you’re serious about gaining mass you should be eating about every 2 hours. This is an example of what your day might look like:

  • Breakfast: 4 eggs, 1 pouch of oatmeal, water
  • Snack: Sliced apple with 1 tbsp. of peanut butter
  • Lunch: Fillet of Salmon, broccoli, Sweet potatoes
  • Snack: Meal replacement protein shake
  • Dinner: 2 chicken breasts, asparagus spears, whole wheat pasta
  • Snack: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat toast with a glass of milk

Stuff Your Face

3 – Cardio

You’re not going to lose any of that precious weight if you run a little bit. Cardio will get the blood circulating to your appendages. That blood carries lots of nutrients that will help you recover and build more muscle.

Don’t get me wrong, if you attempt to train for a marathon by running miles on end, it will be tough to keep on weight. Running sprints for 15 minutes on 3 or 4 days out of the week is probably more ideal.


4 – Take Supplements

Yes it’s possible to gain muscle and mass without supplements. They are just more of an insurance policy that make sure you’re getting all the macronutrients and calories that you need.

If you’re going to spend money on supplements, your priorities should be a good protein. Look for one that’s high in protein and low in sugar.

Creatine is a good supplement that fills out your muscle cells and might keep your muscles from fatiguing as easily. Make sure you drink a lot of water with this supplement.

Amino acids can come in pill or powder form. I like the powder form better because you can just mix it into water and drink it during a workout or throughout the day.

Use Supps

5 – Patience Is A Virtue

You’re not going to gain weight overnight. And if you are, chances are it’s not the weight that you’re looking for. If you’re doing everything right, you can build about half a pound of muscle per week. Inevitably some fat will come along for the ride.


Gaining weight with lean muscle is a tough thing to do. Especially if you’re super busy and have a high metabolism. If you’re having trouble, don’t get frustrated. Be patient and make sure you’re doing these 5 secrets of gaining lean mass. If you found this article helpful, please share it on facebook. You’ll probably also be interested in 8 Tricks to Naturally Increase Testosterone.

Adam Pegg About Adam Pegg

Adam is an athlete with a serious passion for fitness and health. He played basketball at University of Delaware and Stetson. His degree is in health science and he's a certified personal trainer who loves helping people reach their goals.