gaining weight???


White Belt
Oct 16, 2005
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I was curious. Does anyone know how many more calories you need per day to gain one pound? and once you get to your ideal weight do you have to keep those calories or can you go back to what you were doing? may be a dumb question but curious.
good of our many scientists should be here shortly to answer your question.
I once read an article on exactly this, how many calories constitute one pound of body mass, and it came with recipes for shakes containing one pound worth of calories. That was long ago, however.
'The following is from an old newsletter I received from Ryan Lee. Hope this helps!!!!!!!:

Dear Joey,

Here are we receive so many
emails about nutrition, I thought it would be a
good idea to post a recent discussion in our
members-only forum about sports nutrition,
weight gain and young athletes.

I've posted the entire thread, unedited
for your reading pleasure.

Ryan Lee

We have several athletes that need weight gain.
The high calorie food diets we have them on
are very hard for them to consume that much
food. Does anyone know which weight gain
supplement would be best for us to recomend
to athletes as young as 12 thru. age 22 yrs.

TNT - i have a similar scenario, w/ a very under
weight athlete - and i am going to implement an
idea that larry jusdanis uses w/his football players

i am giving this athlete a sheet which has
blocks for monday through sunday, 6 blocks
each day

each block must be filled w/ a meal..they
eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and inbetween
each meal, there is snack 1, 2 and 3 = a total
of 6 blocks

end of the week they must hand in the sheet
w/all the blocks filled

i am not big on any weight gain products,
as many are high sugar, empty calorie money

snacks such as PBnJ sandwiches, trail mix,
extra milk through the day can sure
they avoid cardio and encourage rest so they
can grow..

of course, i am not nutritionist, but i emphasize
constantly post workout nutrition - kids that
train w/me bring a meal w/them or a protein
shake so they can ingest good after they train

--educating our athletes and giving them the
sheet to fill out can make them more
responsible for better eating habits

hope i helped a bit!

zach makes excellant points!!! post workout
nutrition being a priority for my pt clients or
athletes. but its a fact if your trying to bring
weight up, and whole food isnt a viable option,
you have to supp. with manufactured foods.
i work pretty closely with a supp store owner
to make sure my clients are getting the best
stuff avail if thats a road they choose to go...a
good "gainer" that has a very low sugar
content is cytogainer...its not real food, but
if they use it as a supplement to their real food
it can be an invalueable tool--but keep in mind,
gainers are much more expensive than straight
protein supplements.

like zach, im no nutritionist, but i feel its
important to learn as much of this stuff as we
can, as most clients just wont seek nuitrition
advice from RD's or nutritionists. keep it simple
and safe...

by the way, PB&J's, trailmix(cheap from costco),
boiled egges, whole milk, almonds, bagels...
are all excellant way to have portable whole
food snacks with you all day long.

I am all for the weight gain within reason, but
let's watch how much and how fast with a
developing athlete (especially during puberty).
Also, I would probably not counsel a developing
child to "avoid" cardio, maybe just limit it.

Let's all remember that the body of a child is not
relatively static like that of an adult, and that
one of the keys to dealing with this population
is taking a holistic approach. Approaching
weight gain in a developing teen as a singular
goal may not be such a good idea. Anyone
else want to weigh in on this? Chris Scarborough?

im just guessing, but maybe zach meant
avoid, "aerobics." which as a generality is a

yes, my apologies - a lot of kids still espouse
to distance running or "cardio" as part of their

- if a kid wants to gain weight, i like the ideas
you posted brian - eggs, milk, trail mix - not that
they are being force fed - but, they will begin
eating regularly, like an athlete should - and
young athletes who are normally quite active -
wont need to worry about gaining fat -
esepcially if they are on a solid strength training

that being said - kids are kids - i am not one
to harp on them w/do this and do that demands
- i do educate them though, and i always ask
them what they are gonna do when they get
home - they always answer, post workout
meal - so they are getting in the groove and
applying a very important part of the total

giving them a list of foods that they should
choose from also helps..their main meals
are with solid foods, and the snacks include
the trail mix, bagel w/cheese, PBnJ - extra
milk during the day

and, a solid strength training program will
surely help improve weight gain - obviously
due to the increase of muscle

that being said, chris scarborough has
a set of audio interviews on his site
where nutrition is discussed for young
athletes, it's awesome, if you don't have
them, they are definitely awesome,,i listen to
them repeatdely b/c i train young athletes!

excellant, excellant points...with kids its all about
good habit forming. continually reinforcing the
things you want them to do, and little by little,
they will make better choices, then even better
choices, the better still choices... keep it, zach!

I also recommend Products by Beverly's
International. They have a product by the
name of Muscle Providor (Protein Supplememnt)
which I combine with the Athlete's Smoothies
Book Ryan provides. It's a way to get my
younger Athlete's to supplememnt a couple of
meals daily with taste they enjoy.

I feel that there's this image out there about
weight gain that sends the wrong message to
today's athlete. The typical "he needs another
good 10 pounds on him and he'd be great" is
nothing more than a stupid suggestion in my

Is there some golden rule out there that
says if Athlete X gains 10 pounds or more
that they will automatically be a better
athlete? I haven't seen it, read about it, or
seen it in practice by anyone I know in S&C
circles. I feel there's much more to athletic
potential in evaluating performance numbers
and workout results, than there is in looking
at a weight scale for success.

I could care less if the kid gained 10 or 15
pounds, if he ain't performing well, those 10
pounds are worthless to him. This 'bigger is
better' mindset is what causes all these kids
to seek supplements to 'get an edge'
somehow, plus these kids also look to Muscle
& Fiction bodybuilding magazines for what
they think are sports performance programs
(because MLB player Joe Athlete has his
killer bicep workout in it). I think we need
to stop worrying about scale weight and
bench press numbers and more about
the performance, recovery, and rest
that today's excessively active athlete
needs. (Female ACL injuries are just one
cause of today's excess of activity for
athletes, IMO)

If it sounds like I'm 'going off' here,
I apolgize, but I put up with questions each
day from HS kids who ask me about
protein powders and creatine and other
stuff, and these kids play 15 games of
basketball tournaments in 4 days, and I'm
expected to help them perform well when
their coaches force them into all this activity
they don't need. Just gets to be frustrating.
Rick Karboviak

i would also ask, why do they need to
gain weight? is it just weight that your trying
to increase or is that just a general way of
saying they need to get much stronger. how is
their weight to strength ratio now?

Here is my take on the matter...there's scientific
jargon or great periodization plans here. I will
speak from personal experience and professional
experience. Athletes that want to gain weight
forget that it takes..drumroll please.....TIME!

I love checking out nutrition plans and
exercise programs that promise 10 pounds in
5 weeks. So many factors go into gaining
weight...just as the goal is losing weight.
Nutrition plays a big part and careful planning
of the exericse program. And finally...time.
Just be patient and the size will come!

good point rick - in my case, i have a kid
who is very below the lowest weight class --
even though he won a state championship
last year, it was in the kids states (where they
wrestle against same age - weight class),
so he was able to wrestle kids his weight,
entering high school, no matter how good he is,
he needs to add quality muscle - which, comes
along w/ a quality nutrition regime -

here are some of my examples - last year,
2 kids in the area entered high school
weighing 87 - 90 lbs,,the lowest weight class
is 103 lbs, so they were approx 15 lbs below
the weight class

both of these kids were NATIONAL champs,
best in the country for their age and
weight (in the 80 and 85 lb classes the
previous yr) - they did well as freshman,
but, due to the difference in size w/the
other kids, they did not make it past the first
round of the region - what happens is
sometimes, when weight is a factor, the stronger,
lesser skilled athlete came out on top - so it
was a tough freshman yr for them

good news, both of those kids have gained
quality muscle and are now maturing
physically - and will be in the 103 and 112
weight class as solid as can be

it's part of our job to educate the parents
as well - b/c some parents are over
zealous and want their kid gaining a ton
of weight in a short time, often an
unattainable goal - like 20 lbs over the

sometimes a kid is underwieght due to
their poor nutrition habits, fast food
every day, cereal for breakfast or
some other high sugar empty calorie
food - once nutrition is fixed their muscle
starts coming quickly and their
performance improves as well

i'm excited right now,,i have this kid
who is starting to eat properly (was eating
fast food every day) and he is strength
training w/me 2x week, i'll keep every
one posted on his progress - his work
outs last 30 minutes, followed by
some sled dragging - very basis exercises!

once again, regarding weight gain - if an
athlete eats clean and trains properly,
he'll put on quality muscle rather easily,
esepcially once the good eating habits kick in...

check out joe defranco's web site, he has
an article called west side for skinny's a good one!

i know everything i said you guys all
know - but, just chiming in!
--zach :)

I like this particular post because it fits
in nicely with many of the situations I
deal with on a daily basis. From my
experience, young people who want/need
to put on weight fall into three distinct
categories: 1) Want to look bigger and
more "cut". These are sometimes kids
who are good athletes, but want to
look good at the beach as well. They
are the hardest to convince that added
muscle doesn't necessarilly equal
added performance. Nothing wrong with
looking, as long as performance isn't

2) Want to gain weight because they
think it will help them in their performance.
They usually need more information
about both playing smarter and not
harder and increasing the technical aspects
of their chosen sport. By working on
mechanics and technique, many times
they find that added weight is not so necessary.

3) Want to add weight because the coach
or Dad wants them to. These are the
toughest to work with because they have
an outside influence doing the thinking for them.

In all of these situations, some need
added weight/strength gains and some do not.
You must consider the maturation process
individual by individual. Some kids grow
slower and progress physically more
slowly and therefore add weight/strength
less quickly than their genetically gifted
counterparts. I have a D1 baseball player
(shortstop, freshman to college this year)
who has weighed 175 for 2 years. He
turned 18 about 6 months ago and has
just now begun to add weight. His
strength has increased, his performance
improved and now his body has decided
to catch up. Go figure. Each kid is different
and must be addressed as such.

I hope you enjoyed this special post.

Ryan Lee
This is kind of vague, and there isn't a "one size fits all" answer. If a 105pound woman ate 5000 calories, she'd gain weight. If an NFL lineman ate 5000 calories, he probably wouldn't notice a difference. Everyone's metabolisms are different.
3,500 calories.

Yes, it depends on your size and metabolism that constitute your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) as well as your level of activity, but once you have determined how many calories you required daily to sustain your current weight, every 3,500 calories above or below that will equal one pound.

Of course, you have to spread this amount out. If you deprived yourself this many in one day, your metabolism would slow to accomodate the dramatic shift in intake; if you take in 500 calories a day over what you need to sustain your weight, you will gain a pound a week. How much is fat and how much is muscle depends on the nutritional value of the food you consume, the quality and intensity of your workout routine, the amount of rest and sleep you get, and genetics.