Every morning between 5 and 6am I wake up with my newborn. And every morning at the same hour, he chugs 4 to 5oz. of milk. A boy has to grow, right?!

Many times when feeding him, I play a college football podcast. (34 days until kickoff!) To start the show this morning the hosts talked about quarterbacks across the country gaining weight. A football player, like my son, has to grow! Three named QBs put on approximately 20lbs. over the course of only several months!

How can this be? How can a person put on 10, 15, or 20lbs. of muscle in only half a year?! Something fishy has to be going on, right? Wrong. It's not easy, but it can be done.

First and foremost: a new college football player is ripe for muscle gain. He is the type of person who has the appropriate hormones kicking on at the right time -- an 18-21 year old male with lots of testosterone.

Beyond that:
*Calories coming in *must* be more than calories going out. And if you want the weight gain to be more lean muscle than bulky fat, make healthy food choices. That excludes frequent fast-food stops and at-home foods high in saturated fat.
*Get your protein! Protein builds the body; carbohydrates and fats give it energy. So, if you're not consuming protein, you're not building the body right. A good rule of thumb for the active, weight-bearing lifter without bodily complication: 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. 
*Fuel up before and after workouts. No, there's not necessarily a magic window, but eating too far in advance and too far after a workout isn't a great idea. Take in solid nutrients pre- and post-workout. This will allow substances to quickly enter into your cells and begin the building and replenishing process.
*Compound Movements + Volume + Frequency = Results! Squat. Deadlift. Pull-up. Bench Press. Overhead Press. Clean. Dip. Bent-Over Row. Lunge. (Sorry Bicep Curl fans...) The large muscle groups *must* get hit. Now, use a heavy-ish weight for reps and sets. 60-85% 1RM, for example; 6-12 reps across for 3-6 sets. These are just ballpark figures -- specific alterations must be made for a particular individual. Now hit it hard for 4 days a week.

So there you have the blueprint. Sure, more intricate details are involved, but if you want to pack on muscle and increase weight, the above bullet points can be used as a guide.


Jason Harle