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Is it Possible to Gain Weight with Walrus-Style Training?

Hi Jim / Guys,

With long term back problems, I have been using weighted vest Calisthenics / Walrus circuits, rather than conventional barbell and dumbell training, for many years. It has so many benefits for anyone with niggling back pains/ issues.

I have become much leaner than ever and have lost mostly body fat and bloatedness, even though this has never been the goal.

If anything, I need to gain weight and mass.

Without using something like BBB or Monolith, or a high volume of barbell lifts, has anyone got any idea how I could go about gaining quality mass while training exclusively with weighted vest Calisthenics?

Obviously the first thing I’ll do is look at eating more.

Do I need to venture into doing movements slower / “feeling the muscle” or “slow negative” reps style?

Or should I just focus on adding reps and vest weight very slowly over time as a progression?

Any ideas / thoughts / experiences will be helpful.


Your body will adapt to become more efficient at doing whatever it is you’re having it to. If you are doing a lot of bodyweight (even weight-vested) moves, your body will naturally become leaner and you will lose body fat, as you note. You are adapting to become more proficient and better equipped to do these moves. Typically, bodyweight (even weight-vested) has you doing more reps and you blur the line between maximizing strength and endurance.

To gain, without gaining back body fat, that is difficult no matter what your training style is. I would focus on more intense workouts that are lower volume, and rely less on circuits which make it veer more towards conditioning. Also, eat more like you suggest.

Appreciate the reply Antiquity.

Yea, much more clean, dense calories will be number one.

Thanks for the idea of low volume but more intense sets.

I could push the final set of the circuit to failure, almost equivalent to working up to a pr set. And focus on beating these “rep prs” as often as recovery allows - weekly / fortnight / monthly etc.