T Nation

Long Quality Mass Goal to Get 200lbs

Hi Paul,

After being at 10-12% body fat at 180lbs for past 3-4 years, maintaining it with ease at about 2200kcal, I switched gears 6-8 weeks ago. I’m at around 2400 - 2600 gaining around 1lb per 10 days.

My question is, which route is best to a lean 200lbs. I’ve read a few different coaches recommend different things. My options were:

  1. Add 50-100g carbs every few months, so scale bumps up 1lb every 7-10 days. And just keep going until I reach my goal weight of 200lbs. (Up to 15%bf, realistically probably 18%. ).
  2. Do this in 6 week blocks, and when I get too soft at week 6-8 mark, or add too much weight per week, go back to 2200 kcal a day, or lower calories, for a 2 week “reset“. Also to get insulin sensitivity again. Then repeat this process for as long as takes to get 200lb goal.
  3. Just train and eat well, get to 200 and above, not worry about being soft or a little fat, worrying about fat loss phase later.

I am 31 and pretty much a skinny dude who has been sporty all my life. And am stuck at medium I guess! So willing to go for mass only for next few years. I know I’ll need to make that 200lb or above mark a new set point where my body is used to having that weight, hence my 3-4 year plan. I was above 200lbs about a decade ago! And haven’t got many years for this sort of goal metabolism and age-wise.

Any ideas or tips will help from you guys. Thanks.

Of all the ways I’ve heard people try to figure this out, the only tried and true way I’ve figured out how to do this is like so…

Figure out what you want to weigh relatively lean.

Add on 30-40 pounds to that figure.

Hold that number for about a year.

Spend about the next 6 months coming down slowly from that number while still trying to continue to push rep PR’s.


Thanks for the reply.
So to be 200lbs decently lean, I need to:
1: get to 230lbs.
2: Hold for a year.
3: Then spend 6 months dropping slowly.

Thanks for that Paul.

I’ll start on number 1 and progressively add calories, eat my way up to 230.
I know it’ll be a tough ride!
I have been following guidelines in your old blue collar mass article on your website. A aiming for a quality lb a week. And have added 6lbs these past 6 weeks. Thanks.

P.S I just read some posts from other threads on your forum and your replies - I thought I was very patient and see that as a key quality in a person, but you’ve take the notion of patience to another level!
Grateful for your work and knowledge.

Hi Paul.

Just quick update regarding my weight gaining goal I stated earlier.

Since Sept 19, I have gone from 79kg to 85kg in weight. Have lost the lean 10% body fat, more like 12-14%, but guess that’s part of the process. Haven’t been over 83kg for 7 years ish.

Do I just literally keep going to my target weight? Adding more calories / meals and disregard body composition, as I feel any more weight gain will likely go to fat!

I’ve been training over a decade so beginners gains are long gone. And this is why I considered a 2-3 week period of dropping carbs back down again to reset insulin sensitivity?

Does it just boil down to how bad I want to get to a certain weight, and not being able to ride two horses are once? At least, for a few years?