Hi folks! I hope you’ve had an incredible week. Let’s dive into this week’s #AskYuri question, shall we?
Today’s question comes from Graham, one of our followers. Here’s what he wants to know: “Yuri, you only focus on weight loss. I want to gain weight.”
As you might have noticed, I’m not exactly the Incredible Hulk over here. I’m strong and fit, but I’m not the first person you think of when the word “ripped” is tossed out.
If you want to pack on 10, 20, or even 30 pounds of muscle, there are other people out there who can help you reach those goals. My focus is on helping you develop lean muscle and lose weight.
That said, I can give you some insight into gaining weight: it’s a lot harder than you think. In fact, I believe it’s actually more difficult to gain weight—not fat, but muscle—than it is to lose weight. This is because there’s a lot of work that goes into gaining weight, and it all comes down to two major tasks: you have to eat all of the time, and you have to train in a way that’s really going to kill your muscles—you have to shred them down, get those nutrients back in, and rebuild them.
Let’s say your daily caloric intake averages 2500 calories. If you want to gain weight, you’re going to have to amp that up to anywhere between 3000 and 4000 calories so your body has a surplus of calories it can store and use to build new tissue.
I also have to emphasize this: you just can’t eat any old thing; you have to eat highly nutritious food so you’re not harming yourself. Furthermore, because this food is of better quality (and therefore less calorie-dense) you have to eat even more of it than you would if you were just eating fast food.
It might sound great, but you have to be prepared for eating to become a chore.
Muscle Building Workouts
What’s more, you really have to train properly. Your regimen won’t look anything like the weight loss programs I put together, but instead will be based on techniques typically used by body builders; they’re the members of your new tribe.
In the exercises I prescribe, I emphasize lower repetitions and heavier weight, with a considerable amount of recovery between exercises. This promotes weight loss and lean muscle. You want to take the opposite approach: high reps that really exhaust your muscles, with very little rest in between—minimal recovery. You have to break your body all the way down to build it up again.
It really becomes a full-time job. I have a lot of good friends in that body-building space, and it’s a lot of work. I don’t mean to deter you from any of that, Graham, but I just want to give you a little reality check. Yes, I focus on weight loss and burning fat because that’s my passion and my specialty, but if you want to gain weight, this simple advice will set you off in the right direction.
I hope this provides some clarity to Graham and anyone else who’s looking to get ripped.
Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.