View Full Version : Some Questions on Weight Gain

Kevin Perry
07-20-2007, 03:15 PM
So i've been implementing IF for the past several months with great success using Crossfit and MMA as training platforms. I started working a night shift last year which lasts 10 hours and makes fitness and eating difficult. So far i've been able to maintain a very lean and very fit body but now I would like to add some weight. I currently weigh 125lbs at about 9% body fat. I eat mostly paleo and fast from 2 a.m. to 5 p.m. breaking fast after training which is around 5:30 p.m. and eat until 1:40 a.m.

Work is from 8pm to 6:40 am in an assembly line so snacks during break are next to impossible which makes it difficult to get calories up.

I would like some constructive criticism on a new plan im thinking of tinkering with. I would like to add 10 - 15 pounds over the next 3 - 6 months through a paleo diet with M.E. Blackbox training 2 -3 times a week. Before IF I could never get enough food during the day which made energy very low and since implementing it I can actually eat more.

Being a college student and working full time getting proper foods is also difficult but I stay on paleo probably 85- 90% of the time, I don't drink soda's only water, tea, occassionally lemonade, and frappucinos ( not the best I know but sometimes I can't help it). As for food sources, I only eat lean meats and veggies, some fruit and nuts (pretty much crossfit diet in 100 words). I try to stay off heavy starches, pasta, breads, rarely eat fruits, almost never eat fast food, never eat candy, etc. I do take supplements i.e. multivitamins, fish oil, and muscle milk. I want to add green tea.

Right now im trianing 5 - 6 times a week. 2 days of the week are BJJ, 2 days are ME Black box focusing on big lifts ( deadlift, push press, shoulder press, weighted dips and pullups, squats, etc.) and two days are crossfit metcon workouts.

Im thinking if I dropped metcon and limited BJJ to once or twice a week and did ME Blackbox 2 -3 times a week and increasing caloric intake on feeding hours I may beable to increae muscle mass and weight gain quicker. Would this be possible without any series negative effects?

Im thinking of this for one example:

1. Sun - Fri: Fast from 2 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Training: M, W, F 4 - 5 p.m. M.E. Blackbox
Sat BJJ 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
T, Th, Sun: Rest

Break fast each day from about 5:00 - 2:00 a.m.

Im trying to develope other models that might work but it is always difficult on a night shift schedule. I won't be working there for more than 12 - 16 weeks from now but I think If I can keep in top shape on this current schedule and keep hitting new pr's than I can work in the right calories and and add weight on a new schedule.

I do welcome any contructive criticism. Another question: I drink about 1 cup of frappucino per day. I would say that is the most fattening thing I even take in durring the week. Seeing as this is taken in during the feeding window are their really any i'll effects if I kept this up... it's unfortunate I know but I gotta a little addiction to the stuff.

A lot of questions and info I know but it's sometimes hard to piece everything together right the first time. Hopefully you guys can help me out a bit.

Forgot to add ths in: im 5'5'' 125 lbs, about 9% bf ( hav'nt had it checked in a while)

- Kevin

Chris Forbis
07-20-2007, 04:24 PM
If you want to gain weight you need to:
1) Significantly increase your calorie intake. I went from 2500 a day to 5000 a day. Eventually I was able to scale this back to 4000 a day and still add mass. Be prepared to have your BF increase (mine went from 10 to 13-14%).
2) Limit activity. I lifted twice a week and sprinted once. That's it. Get your metcon back after you've gained the weight.

You may have to jettison IF to some degree in order to accommodate the increase in calories. If unable to IF every day, throw it in once or twice a week.

If you're going to eat starchy/simple carbs, eat them post-workout or coming off a decent length fast.

An excellent calorie bomb is a can of coconut milk + whey protein powder. I used 3 scoops and it worked out to about 1100 calories (70g of protein).

Thats my advice. I went from 175 to 196 in 12 weeks (6'4").

Kevin Perry
07-21-2007, 04:48 AM
I figured I may have to skip a day or two of IF. Im trying to base it entirely around IF but there are some days where I become very hungry so maybe taking one or two days in the week and eating throughout the day may not be bad while adding in IF on all other days.

Well a little bit of research can go a long way.

While If has done wonders for me I think I would greatly benefit from adding muscle mass on a program and then shifting back towards maintaining that with IF. I think im going to tweak with an alternate day fast training 2 - 3 times a week lifting only major lifts that supports strength building and mass and just eating eating eating.

Paleo mostly. I think fasting on off days and eating either throughout the day or 3 big meals during training days could do wonders.

Chris, thanks for the input. I think i'll look into coconut milk, can that be added to muscle milk powder?

Daniel Myers
07-21-2007, 06:51 AM
I went from 160 to 185 in about a year, doing it in two jumps of 15 pounds with a 5 pound backoff in between. Here's some thoughts:

First, pick a real numerical goal weight, and weigh yourself frequently to assess your progress. If you do martial arts, you could make this your new target weight class.

Second, it's mostly about calories in vs. calories out. Yeah, there's some other stuff, but like Chris said, you have to eat enough to make things happen. Personally, I wouldn't obsess about IF or paleo while you're gaining. Including some calorie dense foods in your diet and eating throughout the day just makes it easier to get the calories you need. If you can digest it, drink a glass of milk with every meal.

You don't have to drop all conditioning workouts, but do limit their number and intensity. BJJ once or twice a week should keep you in shape without burning up too many precious calories. Other workouts should revolve around squats, pulls off the ground, and bench and overhead pressing. Don't be afraid to get some volume in there. My second round of gains was done mostly with 8 sets of 2, all done with the same heavy weight.

Finally, at your current height and weight, you can definitely gain 20 pounds. Don't worry about any short term fat gain -- you're super lean as it is, and the visual impact of the new muscle will more than make up for it.

Mike ODonnell
07-21-2007, 06:58 AM
Good advice above...I keep it simple, if you want to gain weight you need to:
- workout less
- eat more (like 4000+ calories)

if you are not gaining lbs then you need to modify one or both of the above....Make sure you get about 1-1.5g of protein/lean lb bodyweight...but other than that Yes it is that simple. No such thing as a hardgainer...just someone who is not doing the above correctly for their metabolism.

If you are wanting to be in the best conditioning and gain lbs...then good luck getting 8000 calories down a day. Use weight gain as a temp thing....you can always get endurance back or restart IF....not to say you can not use IF to gain weight, but it is going to be alot of calories in a short window.

Kevin Perry
07-21-2007, 07:05 AM
Thanks for the replies. Thats pretty much what im going to do. Eat more, workout less. Once my goal is reached I will focus back on IF, CF, and general fitness.

Allen Yeh
07-21-2007, 07:14 AM
Check out this article by Ross Enamait:


Chris Forbis
07-21-2007, 08:33 AM
While If has done wonders for me I think I would greatly benefit from adding muscle mass on a program and then shifting back towards maintaining that with IF. I think im going to tweak with an alternate day fast training 2 - 3 times a week lifting only major lifts that supports strength building and mass and just eating eating eating.

Paleo mostly. I think fasting on off days and eating either throughout the day or 3 big meals during training days could do wonders.

Chris, thanks for the input. I think i'll look into coconut milk, can that be added to muscle milk powder?

What you outlined is actually what I've pretty much shifted to this summer. MWF I don't eat but 1 meal in the evening, get 1200-1700 calories in. Other days, when I do some training, I get 3500 or so through much of the day. Haven't been dropping (or gaining) weight with it, but I do tend to drink too much alcohol in the summer, which screws up observations...

The coconut milk should work with any protein-type powder.

Kevin Perry
07-21-2007, 01:12 PM
Is there any specific order I should lift in? I downloaded that journal on the mass gain template but it confuses me a bit. I think just lifting 2 or 3 times a week with major lifts would do the trick anyways. Is it ok to train the same lift more than once per week if there is enough rest days inbetween?

I have an idea of what to work with but im not certain on exactly how many lifts per day would be ideal for best results. Since I participate in BJJ at least once a week I was thinking something like this might work:

M: 1. Back Squat
2. Front Squat
3. Weighted Dips
4. Weighted Pullups

W: 1. Deadlift
2. Push Press

F: BJJ 1.5 hours or rest depending on work hours

Seems empty but my brain is not working and im still collecting a list of all major or fullbody lifts I can use but so far im building something along those lines. Chances are because of work I won't always get to do BJJ every week.

Mike ODonnell
07-22-2007, 12:21 PM
a good quote from Lyle McDonald

A fat loss diet needs to meet certain requirements to be correctly set up in my mind, that includes below maintenance calorie levels, protein intake and essential fatty acid intake. Beyond that, issues of how many carbs, or how much dietary fat, meal frequency and timing all depend on the circumstances.

The same goes for mass building, the diet needs to supply sufficient calories and protein for mass gains but the composition beyond that depends on an individual's training volume and genetics (some people seem to respond better to higher carbs, others to lower).

Kevin Perry
07-22-2007, 04:07 PM
Well thanks for everyones help, I did alot of research and im going to work on the Bill Starr 5x5 training program for mass gain ( something i've been interested in doing for a while). I see everyone has a journal on here and i may be interested in keeping one for motivation.

I looked into coconut milk and picked some up from walmart as I wasn'nt sure where else to look. I was surprised of the fat calories in there. Do most of you just mix half a can with some scoops of whey?

I also figured my caloric excess needs and broke down my meals in 3x per day to try and slow down metabolism. I have a mass gainer protein powder and most of my meals always have steamed veggies so im not too concerned with taking in too much unwanted foods. This shouldnt be too hard and im actually very excited to go up in weight again and hopefully results start to show quickly when I begin this program tomorrow.

John Alston
07-24-2007, 12:21 PM
Half a can, a can and a half... either way. It's a mass gain plan you're on, right? Have a couple cans with your whey!

Kevin Perry
07-24-2007, 12:41 PM
I can start a log right? Do I need any mod permission?

Robb Wolf
07-24-2007, 05:08 PM
Nope! Just make us proud!

John Alston
07-26-2007, 07:14 AM
Start you're eating right everyday and track it in the breakfast log. It's public. Make your mark. Rate your food everyday. It's the secret method to getting hyooooooge!