T Nation

Gaining Weight



I have a question, I'm 18 years old, 6'2", 158lbs. What would be the healthiest, safest, natural way to gain weight without consuming triple cheeseburgers day after day...My parents seem to think McDonalds is the answer.



Look under the 'Authors' tab on the left and click on "Dr. John Berardi". Read his articles; especially Massive Eating 1 & 2 and the reloaded versions.

The best way to gain weight is to eat big + lift big + sleep big. Also, if you search here (especially under the Supplements and Nutrition forum) you'll find a ton of recommendations for what to eat on a bulking diet.


Yeah, I'm going to check out those articles right now. But theres one problem, I really dont have access to a weight room with tons of machines etc, the only thing I have is two 10 pound and one 15 pound dumbbells and BodyLastics resistance bands with 15 - 18 pound weight resistance being the heaviest out of the four bands that it comes with. So I'm quite limited, somebody recommended Death by Bodyweight, but can I really gain any muscle from lifting my own bodyweight?


First of all, yes you definitly can gain tons of muscle just by lifting your bodyweight. Check out the olympic gymnasts, they are ridiculously ripped and devloped while eating to keep their size down. As for food to help you get big, eggs, milk and red meat have been proven over the years to be very effective. If you are just worried about getting bigger pretty much anything with protein will work. Pound down a few bean and beef burritos every day. The biggest thing is to eat, eat and keep eating.


Read Berardi's Tailor Made Nutrition Part I, and follow the advice he gives in there. It's a three part series, but just focus on Part I for right now. For lifting, I'm not sure about your training history, or what your goals are, but something like Dan John's One Lift a Day could work very nicely. Also be sure to throw in some GPP or HIIT a few times a week to keep conditioning up and to help insure that it's quality pounds your packing on, not fat. You're only 18, you'll get to where you want to be, just remember to be patient.


John Berardi gives great advice. You can read up on Dan John for workouts that don't require that much equipment


Yes, there are some great exercises you can do without weights. One leg squats, you could try this with the back foot on a chair our couch behind you.

You could also slowly build up a weight set. Nothing needs to be done overnight.

Oh and McDonalds is great for bulking if you want the bulk to be in your waist.


He's 18, 6'2" and 158.

Dude, go to Mcdonald's and order triple cheeseburgers till you can't stand it anymore.

Chicken sammies at any fast food. I like the Carls JR Chicken Santa Fe. I need to watch what I eat at my age, but a few months of eating anything you can WILL help at 18. See what happens. I'd bet if you lifted hard, you could do 20-25 lbs in 4-5 months.

I am not Pro fast food, but I will say at his age and as a beginner, he'll need some cholesterol and fat to start on the bulking train. Eat Clean for the most part, but it should not go all to the waist.


search for Vrooms beginners thread, the "bulking tips for newbies" and anything by John Berardi.

If all you have is a few dumbbells, you're going to have to work with that. Definitly do death by bodyweight.

Aside from that, youre skinny as hell. Try to eat clean, but if all you can get your hands on are mcdonalds triple cheeseburgers. Get your damn hands on them.

Just remember when bulking, quantity is the main factor. If you cant get in 4000 clean calories, take in 4000 clean and cheat calories.

Good luck.


Okay, I'm definately going to try some of the recommendations you all have given me. I have one quick question, is there an exercise I can do with a dumbbell for the love handles?



6'2", 158lbs and you have love handles? Please.


I probably didn't phrase that right, I meant to say the muscle in that section of the body. The side muscles, sorry my anatomy of the body isn't that great. OBLIQUE!! Thats it, what kind of weight lifting technique can I do with a dumbbell to build muscle in the internal and external obliques?



Yeah, you can do DB Side Bends or Saxon Side Bends.


1 pull-ups and chin-ups!!! No weight needed, other than your bodyweight. You'll start getting a back and start getting arms. Read Berardi's stuff.


Sorry for bugging you guys so much, but I have another question that has always been nagging at me for the longest time.

When I lift weights or resistance bands, I never have a set number of repetitions that I follow, what I do is I just keep performing the lift until I physically cannot lift the weight anymore. I always felt that having repetitions were useless, lets say for example you do 20 leg curls, following those 20 reps are absoutely worth nothing if you feel no burn or strain after performing all those reps, am I right or am I dead wrong?


Check out:


This is Dr. John Berardi's website for people like you.


Absolute failer= bad. Learning how to strain and work around failer = good. Take the time while you are young to learn how to lift correctly, once you get your form down good things will come, and sleep. And keep asking questions on t-mag. OTOH, you do need to eat a ton of protien, and good carbs (oats,veggies ect.) and drink milk. That's enough rambaling for me today.

Good luck