T Nation

Weight Gain

hey how do you guys in the combat form gain weight? lol
basically what nutrition and traing are you doing to gain weight?

squats and milk

why do you want to gain weight?

because i want to be bigger,stronger, look better

You will find a lot of people in MMA think you should compete in the lowest weight class possible for your frame. I don’t personally agree, but you need some sort of periodisation to gain weight while retaining and gaining new skills. I believe Xen had a post about MMA periodisation, but I will tell you what I do.

Doing a mini off season for 8-10 weeks where you train skills once or twice a week and train athletic attributes for the rest of the time while eating a caloric surplus works for me. Then deload and work on your skills 4-5 times a week for 8-10 weeks while maintaining your strength.

Rinse and repeat.

Gaining weight is easy. Just eat more

For the 3 big/main meals:
I divide my plate into 3rds.

2/3 goes to veggies

1/3 goes to meat. Preferably cow.

I drink 1 gallon of milk over 2-3 days

Mass Building breakfast shake:
1 cup Milk
Big Glob of Cottage Cheese
Big Glob of Peanut Butter
2 scoops Metabolic Drive Milk Chocolate Protien Powder
1 - 2 handfuls of ice cubes

Extra Stuff that can be added:
1 - 2 squares of 85% Cacao chocolate
Milled Flaxseeds
1/2 - 1 cup of oatmeal

For my 2 or 3 snacks:
My own trail mix - measured out in a 6oz Dixie cup:
From Target you can buy mixed nuts containing Brazil & Hazel nuts, Almonds, Cashews, and Pecans
Then I add in M&Ms and whatever dried fruit I feel like

A few slices of cheese

A couple squares of chocolate - minimum of 65% Cacao

In MMA your weight class has a lot to do with your height, body type, thickness of your bones etc.

I’m 5’10 and while I could compete at 170 my bone structure is pretty small, I’m just more suitable at 155… Hell I could pull off 145 (I’ve had Muay Thai fights at 148).

Meanwhile someone like Thiago Alves is 170 walking around at 210. And my boy AJ is (seemingly) a massive 170 fighter, but while it doesn’t seem like it, he really IS better suited for 170 because of of his bone structure. At 185 he’d be at quite a strength deficit considering that he goes into training camp at around 190-195.

Now that we ran through all that bullshit…

If you REALLY want to gain weight for MMA. You have to realize that it is completely different than gaining weight for aesthetic purposes.

If you gain weight you want to do it without losing your skillset, and you want to do it without losing your relative strength. And preferably you’ll want to improve it if you’re actually putting on weight.

Your training should already be designed around improving your relative strength, power, and power-endurance.

Theoretically (ok not really a theory because I’ve done it), all you should need to do is ingest more calories than you’re already burning and you’ll add muscle in the area’s that you need it to be added.

You’re already working those muscles and attempting to improve them without gaining weight. The reason you’re NOT gaining weight is because you’re burning way too many calories already putting in 14-28 hours a week in the gym.

In this manner you can put on muscle slowly, properly, and without sacrificing your most important athletic attributes along with combat training time. Keep in mind, this is (frankly) slow as fuck.

If you need to put on that muscle in a short period of time then you can drop some hours of conditioning and substitute it with time spent lifting.

Though watch out how that affects your neural fatigue- jumping in too fast will burn you out if you’re not used to lifting heavy.

And realize that you will:

1- lose time you should have been spending training your technique.
2- sacrifice your energy systems. your conditioning will go to shit, though you can maintain it (a bit) it won’t be the same. but this can be regained rather quickly. considering that you’re keeping your work capacity up (if not improving it).

As far as lifting I’d do something like

High Box Squats 10x3; rack pull
RDl; unilateral (various rep schemes for both)
abwork (HEAVY)

Incline bench; weighted chin up 10x3
bent row; incline db press (3x8 or 5x10)
shrugs (sets x 15-20reps)

energy systems day-
BEAR complex
tabata thrusters
some other kind of circuit

You should already be taking in 1.5-2.0 grams of protein per day. So that’s not where you’ll be adding calories. You can add in more in your carbs and fat. This will vary according to when you have them. I recommend you check out some John Berardi articles to get the specifics on that.

I’ll say this again… Your weight gain is going to be performance based. Your pecs will probably not get plumped up. You’ll just look like a bigger version than you’re current self. Really I would only recommend this if you’re already happy with your body. Ie, your bodyfat is low, you’re at your fighting weight, and you’re ‘o-k’ with your strength levels.