can you guys please suggest me a dieting plan or something to gain weight or to add some muscle around my body and face. I'm a 21 year old guy , very slim for my age and want to gain weight really fast without body building. Thanks in advance

  • 1
    So what have you tried and why do you think it didn't work? Do you work out? What's your diet? Please add such information, because else I'm not sure if we can help you
    – Ivo Flipse
    Aug 15 '12 at 9:06
  • no i dont work out ... i eat alot of food daily which caters shakes , milk , vegetables, meat etc daily and yet no results ...i just want to gain 5-10 kg of weight ...
    – Harry47
    Aug 15 '12 at 9:09
  • 1
    If eating food hasn't done it by now, it won't if you change your diet.
    – Robin Ashe
    Aug 15 '12 at 13:21
  • 5
    Your body won't change unless you give it a reason to. You have to exercise if you want to add muscle. Period. It's the way we are designed. Aug 15 '12 at 15:17
  • 4
    Why do you need to gain weight really fast? Are you against all weightlifting? Or just against bodybuilding?
    – user3085
    Aug 15 '12 at 15:38

Bottom line:

You can gain weight without exercise, but if you want that weight to be muscle you have to use them.

If you don't want to bodybuild I understand. The idea of lifting weights for purely aesthetic reasons doesn't really appeal to me. However, there are several activities you can do that are useful, fun, and accomplish the goal you want.

Gaining weight is the easy part. Just eat. As for activities, you have some options:

  • Bodyweight: primarily body weight strengthening, like convict conditioning. You will probably gain enough muscle to satisfy your immediate desires, and be quite challenging. For some exercises like muscle-ups or pistols, you may need to spend time in the weight room to build the base strength.
  • Crossfit: primarily conditioning work with heavy stuff. You will gain some muscle and generally be able to engage in any pick-up sport you want.
  • Olympic lifting: primarily power work. You will gain more muscle than with crossfit, but it will be compact.
  • Power lifting: primarily strength work. You will gain a lot of muscle, lift heavy things, and the muscle you gain will be useful.
  • Strong man: primarily strength work with unusual implements. All of this strength is usable strength, lifting things like Atlas stones, wheels of Apallon, weighted carries, tire flipping, etc.
  • Bodybuilding: primarily strength work for reps. You will gain a lot of muscle and size, but you won't be lifting as heavy as the other options.
  • Your own thing: Adjust your training the way you want for your goals, as long as there are some common components.

If you have absolutely no idea where to begin, but like challenge and variety, Crossfit may be a good starting place. There is a lot of difference in the way different "boxes" (name for Crossfit gyms) work, and there isn't enough consistency in the programming to push through strength plateaus. If you have a well run box you will become a good athlete, otherwise you can push yourself too hard very easily. The other downside is that a Crossfit box is very expensive--though very well furnished.

In general any program you do is balanced if it has the following components:

  • Strength -- you should be able to lift what you look like you can lift
  • Mobility -- you should be able to move freely
  • Hypertrophy -- when you want to look like you lift, but also to increase the energy available to your muscles
  • Conditioning -- you should be able to climb a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing

You won't be able to gain lean mass without putting in work to tell your body to build that lean mass. It's part of the general adaptation syndrome that governs our bodies. When you add stress that tells the body the strength it has is inadequate, it will respond by building more muscle. When you add stress that tells the body you need those muscles to endure heavy stuff for a long time, it builds the energy systems in the muscle--which adds to their size but not their strength. If you add no stress to your body, it will assume the amount of muscle available is enough.

The rest is up to you. Take this as a jump off point to look into these different activities to see if it appeals to you.

  • You seem to imply muscle can only be gained through lifting (in whatever capacity), disregarding sports. Perhaps you won't build much muscle on random sport X, but eg. rowing or rock-climbing is sure to put something on you.
    – VPeric
    Aug 15 '12 at 18:30
  • The bottom line is that you need to use the muscle in order to gain muscular mass. Rock-climbing, and potentially rowing would help. But even in preparing for these, most athletes at least do bodyweight exercises for strength. Aug 15 '12 at 19:09
  • @VPeric While he didn't explicitly mention sports, he didn't say it wouldn't work either. Any sport that meets the some or all of the criteria Berin mentioned (Strength/Mobility/Hypertrophy/Conditioning) would adequately fit in the "your own thing" category.
    – Moses
    Aug 15 '12 at 19:31
  • i have been playing football/soccer for around 7 years now but am not able to achieve what you have mentioned ... and also if i follow a workout plan , how much sleep should i have ... what to eat ... etc @BerinLoritsch
    – Harry47
    Aug 15 '12 at 23:46
  • @Harry47, A good place to start would be the "Starting Strength" book by Rippetoe an Dr. Kilgore. It has the basics of strength training with an efficient program, and covers much of what you are asking. Sleep as close to 8 hours a day as you can, keep eating until the scale moves. Aug 16 '12 at 0:20

If you just want to gain weight, eat more. You say you eat a lot, but with no results. That means you're not really eating a lot. Eat more. You'll put on fat.

If you want that weight gain to be muscle instead, follow Berin's advice in his answer.

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