T Nation

Help Gaining Weight

Hello all. I’ve been reading over many articles and comments, and decided that this would be a good place for help/advice. Any helpful comments/suggestions are welcome and will be taken seriously.

My situation:
I’m 19 years old, sophomore in college. I’m 6’0 but I’m barely pushing 140 lbs. I eat roughly 4-6 times a day, I work out usually 4 days a week. I’m the weight room “monitor”, what else am I going to do for 2 hours? Anyways, my real problem is that I’m hypoglycemic. I burn fat and metabolise food at an incredibly high rate, i.e., no matter how much i eat, i can’t gain weight. I have found after going through different cycles of trying different foods - that I can’t gain no matter what I eat. I am currently drinking whey protein shakes, and taking creatine capsules. I have been doing this for several months - havn’t gained a pound - if anything, im slightly more cut, but it’s barely noticable. I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to what would be something good to step up to, and where I could find it. Thanks for your time.

-The little guy on campus

Hi, there, rOwdy17. Welcome to T-Nation!!! I see it’s your first post.

A couple of questions for you. I see you’re doing some good stuff, but how many grams of protein per day are you getting? Do you track what you’re eating, when you’re eating and how much you’re eating so that you can calculate how many calories you’re getting per day?

Would you be willing to post an example of what you’re eating each day with as much detail as possible?

Get us a little more info, and I’m sure we’ll be able to help you out a bit.

Agree with TT here get that info. up and we can all give a lot more help.

Also I CANNOT beleive that you cant gain weight no matter what. While I have never had this problem, if you make it your JOB/mission to consume mass quantities you can and will gain. For an example do a search of JB’s stuff. I cant remeber the exact article, but what he went through eating wise to gain weight was friggin amazing.

Anyhow just a little suggestion for you while you are getting that info. together.

Ltr, oh and welcome to T-Nation,

check out this thread:


Buy this “old” book: “Keys to progress” by John Mc Callum.
The author recommends:
At each of your 4-6 meals drink a big cup of milk.
Squat,Squat and Squat ! Try the 20 reps Squat
4 times/week is too much, use 3 times/week (for example Monday,Wednesday,Friday): you build mass in the recovery days.
Only compound exercises, for example:
Romanian deadlift
Bench presses
Barbell rows
Front squat
Military presses

Add some abs,calves,grip work. Time for each workout: 40 - 60 minutes. No more !
For sets and reps read the articles by Chad Waterbury in section “authors”
Hope that helps !

Assuming you’re training is dialled-in (compound movements, heavy weights, sufficient frequency etc) one of the most important things, as quoted from John Berardi’s 10 Tips article is this:

Lesson #3: Skinny Guys, If You Want To Get Big, You’d Better Eat Big!

This lesson is one I learned the hard way, being a former skinny guy. Of course, it’s not necessarily applicable to everyone out there trying to gain muscle mass, but if you’re a classic ectomorph, lean and lanky, the story below is the most important you’ll ever hear.

Once upon a time, there was a scrawny kid named John. After two years of training, at 5’8", scrawny John had only managed to hit an embarrassing 150 pounds at 10% body fat. With a goal of bench pressing his body weight, scrawny John toiled away for two years without reaching this achievement. Cursing the gods, believing he was doing “everything in his power” to gain muscle mass, scrawny John was about ready to give up and take up an endurance sport or something.

But just before exchanging his weight lifting belt for some cycling tights, he had an epiphany! A friend of scrawny John’s went away to a football training camp for a month and came back 15 pounds heavier. Begging for the secrets produced nothing. The friend told scrawny John that there weren’t any. Simply, he and the other guys at camp were taught to eat five or six big meals per day. Angry, scrawny John told him that he already did that.

But when scrawny John realized that he’d need to eat breakfast meals that consist of 12 whole eggs, four packets of plain instant oatmeal, and four slices of rye toast; lunches that consisted of three whole grain bagels, a pound of lean beef, and a huge salad; and dinners that consisted of a full pound of pasta, a few cups of broccoli, and a half pound of lean ground beef, he understood where he was going wrong. And not only did he adopt these breakfast, lunch, and dinner strategies, he began eating five whole grain bagels slathered with natural peanut butter and drinking a couple of liters of protein drink throughout the rest of the day.

Sound absurd? Well, not only does it sound absurd, it looked absurd. But, after two more years, scrawny John wasn’t so scrawny any longer.

As you can imagine, scrawny John was me. Utilizing these feeding techniques, I went from a 5’8" 150 pound guy (at 10% body fat) aspiring to bench press my own body weight, to a 210 pound guy (at 12% body fat) bench pressing 315 for multiple reps.

If you think you’ve “tried everything,” think again. You’ve gotta eat big to get big.


Thanks and great post that is the exact example I was referecing above. I didnt have it saved though.

Really shows the STRUGGLLE/BATTLE some Must endure to add wieght. But it can be done.

Thanks again,

I was 6’4" 140lbs as a junior in HighSchool. I graduated HighSchool at the same weight …140lbs.

I have been up to 234Lbs with the same waist size as present (38" pants and 2XL shirts). Currently at 217Lbs.

I have hypoglycemia. I found I must avoid all foods that are high GI (glycemic index). This means no sugar, no white bread, no white potatoes, etc… If I eat cottage cheese between meals I do not have the hypoglycemic problem (I eat about 21 containers of cottage cheese a week).

I am also lactose intolerant. I found milk products (Lactaid products) that have lactase enzyme (this digestes the milk sugar lactose). I found I gained weight when I ate 2nds on every meal and I drank one gal of milk a day and ate whole containers of cottage cheese between meals.

It is very important that you take a post workout drink right after the last set. We are talking minutes or better seconds here. Surge is the best. I would drink a pwo drink before driving to the gym, at the gym right after finishing and at home right after driving from the gym. I ate the cottage cheese, drank the milk and ate my meals. I also ate the cottage cheese right before going to sleep. If you can afford to buy Grow! then it may work in place of cottage cheese. I always drank a full glass of water with every meal and with every cottage cheese container and after drinking lots of milk. I also took a multivitamin with minerals.

I used a good lifting program with the weights increasing each week (similar to Bryan Haycock suggested program). The total protein I ate a day was about two times my body weight. By the end of the program I was doing sets of 5 or less, I was at a new max in all lifts, my muscles were hard and I had gained about one lb per week.