T Nation

Gaining Weight Without Bulking!


Yes i'm a new member, however i visit this site on a regular basis...
Quick BIO:
I'm 5 11" and 150lbs..(wayy to skinny)... although most people think i'm about 165..
I started lifting weights consistently since 01/09 yep 6 mnths ago. However i have had gym binges for a couple yrs (chest and biceps took up 70 % of my work out time during that period)

Weight gain

Flat- 135x10,185x8,205x5,215x5,225 3x5
Incline DB- 45x10, 50x7, 60x5
machine fly- 2 drop sets starting from 145 ending on 70
20 pull ups (warmup)
DL 135x10,185x10,225x3,245x3(singles)
Chins(palms facing each other) 2x15, 2x10
Hammer strengh rows unilateral/ bentover BB rows 3x10 @ 135

Front Squat- smith machine 135x10, 185x10, then i do singles @ 245
Back Squat- 135x10, 185x10(ATG)..4x5 @ 225 (parallel)
superset of legs curls and leg extensions for 3 sets

i do standing calf raises btw each squat set...i start with really heavy weight HIT sets of 5 reps...trying to get all the way to my big toe...when i could no longer do it i go to light weight high reps, up to 25

Triceps- close grip decline bench press 3x10 @ 145
French press using machine 4 X10 @ 115
weighted dips 45lbs- i could do these forever i try to get 50 reps and it takes me 2 sets

Biceps- EZ B curls 90lbs 3x5 after warm up sets
preacher curls using machine 120 lbs 3x5 after warm up sets
Hammer curls using the rope

Push press 135lbs 3x5
Side Lateral rasises 20lbs(lol) i ramp up from 10-20lbs then i dropset (10,15,20,15,10)
Rear delts i use the cable crossover machine 35lbs

I only take whey protein with milk, NOTHING else and i wanna keep it that way, although i'm thinkin about muscle milk after my protein powder is done. I was able to gain 7lbs since Jan. Pure muslce(i think), bf stayed the same. I have read threads on here where guys are packing on 20-30lbs in 5 months and i'm gaining 1 lb a month.

I don't want to go on a bulk phase but i do want to gain 1lb a week rather than 1lb a month. I dont mind gaining fat although it doesnt seem like i can. I know the typical response "eat eat eat", but i need specific foods that will stick to my bones.

I wake up every morning and my stomach feels like i haven't eaten in 3 days. There is no difference whether i eat right b4 bed or a couple hrs prior. I get hungry during my workouts also although i have a protein shake about 20 minutes prior. I feel like i have a damn tape worm or something.

I heard alcohol slows down metabolism so maybe i should drink a beer b4 going to bed. Also are there any other exercises to stimulate growth as u can see i do compound movements and i also squat and DL.


on which days u working which muscles? also does not matter if ur bulking slow or all out in the end u need a calorie surplus to gain weight. Sounds like u eat like a teenage girl from what I can picture. Want to gain 20-30 lbs? Eat like a 180 muscular person and increase weight/reps over the next couple of months. we got lots of articles on which foods are the best. use the search function its a great tool.


I'll interpret your "I don't want to bulk" as meaning you don't want to engage in a gluttonous food orgy to make some notable strength gains. You are going to have to eat well above surplus to consistently gain muscle.

I would check out this article:


Also, just don't eat junk and consider something like cutting off all carbs in the evening like this article discusses in the diet section:



Agreed I find you can eat a lot more food without gainning nearly as much fat if you pick a time and cut the carbs out. For me its usually like 3pm but some people cut it out after lunch, it's a good tool


SUN:-chest, triceps, biceps
TUES:-legs and shoulders
THURS:-back, traps, triceps

i know from my weight it seems like i don't eat alot but i eat way more than guys that are bigger than me. I have friends who are about 195lbs and i eat twice as much as they do, and i push heavier weight. Right now i'm taking summer classes so my diet is kinda like this:

Typical Mons-Thurs.
wake up about 630 have a protein shake with chocolate milk. Go to class from 8-930am, when i get home i eat 3 pancakes and 4 scramble eggs with cheese with a bottle of water. i go to work from 10:30 to 4. I'm a cook so i'm constantly eating small portions at work, i never allow myself to get hungry. Most times i eat grill chicken tenders, chicken salad or bbq wings with either mac and cheese or bake potatoes. A steak every now and then when no ones looking. I then go to another class from 5-830 (brutal)..i think that's where my caloric intake takes a nose dive. We only get a 10 minute break so i only really consume water and small snakes. When i get home i cook chicken stir fry with rice and a bottle of water, then a protein shake after. Then i eat cereal right before bed.

Typical Fri-Sun
similar diet except no class so during that time i normally make grill chicken, tuna or ground beef tacos with with rice and potatoes. Or curry chicken(thats a favorite)
I consume 2 protein shakes on days i don't work out and 4 on days i do.

When i say i don't want to bulk i simply mean i don't want to gain 50 lbs then cut 20lbs i just don't think that's healthy. I just want to gain weight at a steady pace, till i get to my target of 175lbs, I just thought in 6 mnths i would have gained more than 7lbs. I know i'm not doing something right i just cant figure it out. My strength has definitely increased. I was struggling with 135lbs squats on the smith machine and now i can squat 225 raw for 10 reps. Same thing with bench press, i was struggling to get 5 reps @ 135lbs now i could bench press 235lbs for 5 reps. The scale just don't seem to be moving!


At 5'11 and 150 lbs, do you really think you need to worry about gaining 50lbs too much? Because you don't! It's going to take a concerted effort on your part to get fat, IMO. Eat more!


Man that diet looks like it couldn't be more than 2,550 cals, tops. And for breakfast you have a single protein shake? With nothing to eat at all for another 3 hours...? You're not even getting your carbs at the most important times.
And protein shakes are NOT a substitute for food. 4 shakes on workout days when you're diet isn't dialed in...?

Do yourself a favour and browse through the mass gaining diets on that are on here.
Good strength gains but if mass is the goal then diet is the key.


debraD wrote:
At 5'11 and 150 lbs, do you really think you need to worry about gaining 50lbs too much?

Nope, thats not what i'm saying. I used 50lbs as a random figure. I'm just saying i'd rather build up to a solid 50 lb gain than bulking 70lbs and cutting 20lbs to end up with that same 50lb gain. When you burn more calories walking to your car than most people do running a mile i dont think "eat more" will cut it. I need to slow down my metabolism. But i've read a few articles on here that i will give a shot.


Load up on chop meat (burgers) chicken breast and london broil (steak - lean and cheap variety). Add a gas grill and eat at least a half pound of 1 of the 3 every 3 or 4 hours. Eat as much salad or veggies as you want with your meat. Try a proven routine.


I don't understand what your saying. If one gained 70 lbs and about 80% of that was muscle that's a huge fucking gain in muscle mass especially if you started out small and lean. Look load up on as much protein and carbs until 6-7 pm then just get lots of good fats, protein and veggies towards the end of the day. Get your simple carbs after workouts. don't hesistate to take in a lot. Shoot somedays after workouts I'll take in about 200 grams of carbs easy. Add that to what I ate through out the day and it adds up.

Also you say bulk and cut? Why not bulk for the long term and adjust carbs and cardio later on to change your body compisition if you gained a bit of fat. To actually "cut" is to extreme for most people who don't have a clue what they're doing. Don't run in circles here. Either commit, bulk up and fine a sweet spot where you're eating just enough for noticable gains and minimal fat gains.

eat like you mean it, do some low intensity cardio a couple mornings. cut carbs off in the evening. Eat at least 1.5 or 2 grams protein X BW a day. add some good fats here or there. How hard is this?


if you eat like you say you do and you still weigh 150lb at 5'11", I really wouldnt be that concerned with fat gain as clearly your body doesnt store it.

having said that it is unlikely that you can put on 50lb without gaining any fat. Start sticking on size and as long as you eat well fat gains will be minimal. Anyway you'll be far healthier than 90% of the worlds population even if you stick on a bit of fat and have to lose it after.