Gaining Muscle - Skinny Girl Needing Lean Gains

I’ve been training with a trainer for about 7 weeks and I have followed his plan perfectly. However, I am not gaining any weight. I am skinny but very defined muscularly. I need to add around 5-7 lbs of lean muscle to compete in my first bikini comp. Im 5’1" and around 97 lbs. How many calories should I be eating? I train for 60 min lifting 5 days a week and around 10 min on the stairmill 5 times a week to keep cardio light.

It’s hard to guess, which with the amount of detail we have guessing is what anyone on the internet would be doing. But if your intention is to gain weight, & you aren’t gaining weight, then the answer is you’re likely not eating enough. (assuming you are very lean already, if you’ve got some fat to lose that’s a different story) Ideally you’d add in calories slowly, while making sure you’re getting adequate protein.

I don’t compete in physique competitions, but I do compete in a weight class sport. I must say adding 5-7lbs of quality muscle is going to take a long time, especially for a woman. Much longer than seven weeks, more like 7 months optimistically. Now, I’m not saying you won’t add more mass than that, but if your talking stage muscle then it’s going to be a long, but rewarding road.

I am by no means an expert, but when my fiancee competed the idea was to add a little muscle in key places until a couple of months out, then focus on preserving that muscle while she cut as much fat as she could in the time frame she had.

Do you track macros? If so, what have you been doing thus far? Also, what’s your training like?

My training is 5 hard days of liftin, 3 legs days, 2 shoulders days, biceps, triceps, back and chest 1 a week. Super sets 4 sets of 10 reps. Macros = 140g carbs, 140g protein, and 33g fat on average

Since you are not gaining weight, obviously you are eating at maintenance. That has to change. If you’re willing to make an adjustment I would recommend this:
Calories 1790
Protein 116 g
Carbohydrates 244 g
Fat 38 g
Fiber roughly 22 g

I would give that a good two week trial run and make adjustments upward or downward as needed.

Would it be possible to post a picture? It is difficult to give good advice without seeing the body.

However, at your activity level I would definitely raise your calories.

You are currently eating 1417 calories. As a women you may have slower metabolism so a starting point of bodyweight x 14 would be a good place to start. Which puts you at 1358 I would bump that up to 1600-1700 calories daily.

I think you fat intake is way to low. Women typically do better on higher fat diets and do not need as much protein as men.

I would start at:

1600 calories
100 g protein
71 g fat
140 g carbs

This is 40% of calories from fat. I typically like to start people on a higher fat diet for a bout 2 weeks and adjust carb and fat ratios over time.

Another option -keep diet the same but load up on nutrition based pre/intra workout supps: perfect world get Plazma but if on a budget stuff like BCAAs, karbolyn, leucine, glutamine, citrulline malate etc.

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Awesome base. I would adjust macros to my suggestions and slowly adjust only if you feel it necessary i.e raising carbs but, as I mentioned in my experience women tend to do better on higher fat diets.

Ahh, the throw money away method.

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Thanks! I’ll give it a try

Buddy, you’re brand new to this site you’re not in a position to hand out questionable advice let alone get snarky

All the top coaches on this site recommend you get some kind of nutrition in-intra workout if possible

  1. What is questionable? I have been on this site for years. I can name past/long gone members if you would like but, what does that have to do with my recommendations?

  2. I like T-Nation and its products I myself use z-12 and fish oil religiously but, intra-workout supplements are not shown to have an advantage over whole food except on some studies on endurance athletes. Also, not all top coaches on here have recommended some kind of intra-wo nutrition unless by intra you also mean food hours before.

No, problem. Keep us updated.

Eat more food.

Regarding your photo: Excellent starting point!

How long have you been training overall, any other sport backgtound?

Wish you success!

Thanks :slight_smile: I was a swimmer my whole life through college and started running marathons when I was 19. I completed a full Ironman triathlon in 2011 and qualified for Boston marathon in 2014. Been running and lifting as a hobby ever since.


Thanks for the answer Nicole, photos show your dedication!


Add some football defensive back drills…


Just go to YouTube and type in ‘defensive back training drills’ you will developed all kinds of leg and hip muscle growth that the weight room does not touch.

Your legs and hips are for accelerating in various directions…

That is what defensive backs do better than anyone in terms of any direction at random.