I get the question at least two to three times a week. How do I put on weight fast? It’s usually asked with a sense of urgency that makes me feel sorry for the person asking…having sat in their shoes at one time (most likely in early high school if I can remember correctly), desperate to put not be the “skinny guy” any more.
As many of you are told when you head out to your local nutrition store (unfortunately stocked with people who know nothing about nutrition in most cases!), I was told that the ONLY way I’d be able to put on weight was to start pounding the powder…the weight gain powders.
I have to admit, I was actually excited when I brought home my first container of this stuff. It looked like I was getting ready to head to a construction site with a bucket of cement mix. Who knew it would wind up tasting like it also? I was excited to FINALLY be able to put my scrawny days of having no muscle behind me. The secret was in the mortar…I mean….powder!
Well, after taking it religiously for weeks and months, the only thing I noticed different about me was that I was losing the only thing that I really had going for me (my muscle definition) and it was doing nothing to build muscle. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I was supposed to put on pounds of new lean muscle. Fat chance. Lean muscle? No. Fat? Absolutely. That ended that experiment.
From that day forward I decided to find the real way to add muscle without the bulk and believe me, knowing what I do now, it’s easy to see WHY those 10lb tubs of powder are better used for lifting when you don’t have dumbbells nearby than they are for putting on weight. Their number one problem lies in what’s in this stuff! Have you ever really looked at the typical nutritional content in these things?!?
Let’s just say that you might find a healthier combination in a fast food restaurant than you would in these things…and that’s no exaggeration! Almost every one of the “weight gainers” has at least 200-300 grams of carbohydrates per serving! Now you know I’m not against carbs..not in the least bit, but I am against sugary carbs. Well, the sugar content in these powders is almost the entire 200-300 grams!! Can you believe that?
Just to put that in perspective that is around 6-7 coca-colas that you’re consuming every day if you take this stuff daily! If that’s not bad enough…most recommend you mix them with whole milk (just in case the fat in the powder wasn’t high enough to begin with!). Geez and I wonder why I was losing definition?!?
Not to mention, these things are supposed to help you build muscle. They are filled with nothing but empty calories. Even if there is some protein in there it’s like the “needle in the haystack” effect. Good luck trying to find it and really, with that much sugar drowning it out, not really sure you’re doing yourself any favors with that protein anyway. That’s like having a diet coke after eating fettucine alfredo for dinner!
So I guess you can see the direction I’m going here with my answer to this weekly question I get. I’m not a fan at all. The way to natural and pure lean muscle growth (without having to unhealthily bulk up first) is to eat…guess what…real food. Supplements definitely have their place.
In fact, the right ones will make your job of eating 6 times a day much much easier, and in the process, building pure muscle will become a cinch. The right supplements have 200-400 calories in them, not 2000-4000! So ditch those pails of pudge and use them to either feed a small army of twenty or to stand on when you need to change a lightbulb!
Stop being confused about what you need to do to put on pounds of healthy muscle without the fat. CLICK HERE to learn more about the AthLEAN-X Training System and how proper eating can accelerate the results of your workout program by up to 300%!
Jeff Cavaliere, MSPT, CSCS is a professional sports physical therapist and strength coach, and the creator of the ATHLEAN-X™ workout programs and Supplements.Read more about Jeff
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