A fast metabolism can be a blessing and a curse. Eating more of the right foods is challenging. Volume and consistency are two of the most important variables, when it comes to gaining weight with a fast metabolism. And here, you thought volume and consistency just applied to your training program.
Someone who has a hard time gaining weight due to a fast metabolism, is often referred to as a hardgainer. A hardgainer is defined as someone who is trying to build more muscle but finds it extremely challenging to put on any weight or gains, regardless of the effort they may be attributing, due to their metabolic rate. The most common reasons why hardgainers have a difficult time achieving their goals, include not eating enough, lack of recovery time, fast metabolism, and not engaging in the right type of physical activity or bodybuilding program.
Often times, the issues that effect a true hardgainer may go deeper than just the required elements for building more muscle mass, such as nutrition protocol and training regimen. Those issues may be rooted in genetic predispositions and difficulties affecting muscles and muscle protein synthesis. Genetics of course and metabolism again, also play a huge role in metabolic rate.
How Metabolic Rate Influence Weight Gain
Your metabolic rate, or the rate at which you metabolize and convert food into energy, depends on several factors. Some people can eat a ton of calories and not gain a single pound. While others can’t even look at a milk shake without gaining weight.
Those with a slow metabolism, will need fewer calories to gain weight, whereas those with a fast metabolism, will require more calories and need to be in a caloric surplus (eat more calories than they expend through the day), to gain weight.
To know how much you need to eat, to gain weight, you'll need to know your total daily energy expenditure as well as your basal metabolic rate. You can calculate both those with our FREE calculators.
How To Gain Weight With A Fast Metabolism
1. Consume More Calories
All you need to do is eat more! And if it were that easy you wouldn’t be reading this article. However, consuming more calories, is not necessarily the same thing as eating more food. Although, yes you do also need to eat more food.
More calories will translate into more added energy and weight gain overtime. Making small incremental adjustments to your nutrition plan, will help make the biggest changes and gains, in order to build more muscle mass.
- Add Sauces And Spreads to Your Meals (I.e. BBQ, Mayo, Jam, Nutella, Peanut Butter, Syrup etc.)
- Drink More Juice or energy and calorically dense drinks
- Add carbohydrates and fats to your meals and shakes
- Add Proteinand Carb Shakes Between Meals
Implementing small changes to your diet, in addition to more volume, will increase your caloric intake and get you where you need to be faster.
2. Increase Meal Frequency
Yes, consuming more calories is related to increasing meal frequency. However, if you can eat more consistently throughout the day, you’ll train your body to adjust to the caloric increase and use it more efficiently. It can be very difficult to increase portion size a few times per day, to the point that helps you gain weight. Thus, if you can break up how much you eat, into more frequent meals, you’ll have an easier time adding more calories and increasing weight.
3. Track Your Food Intake
Part of the challenge is knowing exactly how much food you’re really eating. You might think you’re constantly eating a high volume of food, but until you track it, you won’t be entirely sure if you’re getting the quality calories you need to increase your weight with a fast metabolism. The best and most efficient way to gain weight and size, is to know your food intake. Use an app, like myfitnesspal, or hire a nutrition coach from The Swole Kitchen and use a customized approach to tracking your food intake.
Once you start tracking your food, a good way to measure your gains is by increasing your carb intake by 40g per week, until you start noticing a change. Once you start adding more weight, you’ve found a good threshold or carb goal to stick with to stack on more size.
Best practice also calls for using a food scale. Make sure you are using a food scale, to get a better understanding of the amount of food you’re eating. These numbers will be very useful, as you start to increase your food intake, and know exactly how much you need to eat, to increase your weight.
4. Be Consistent
If the goal is to build more muscle, then you have to be consistent especially when the work you put in can evaporate quickly with a fast-moving metabolism. Consistently eating at your recommended caloric goal, hitting your macros, supplementation, and following your training program, is the key to ultimately reaching your goals.
With the right supplements you’ll be able to incrementally increase your size and strength. Several studies haves shown that athletes who participate in resistance training programs, or high intensity functional training, combined good nutrition and proven muscle building supplements can substantially increase muscle mass, body weight, strength, and overall performance.
RELATED ARTICLE The Best Supplements To Build More Muscle Mass And Strength
That being said, supplements can be tricky. Most supplement brands will under dose the proven ingredients you need to improve your performance, by including proprietary blends. A proprietary blend, includes several ingredients, and does not list the amounts of each ingredient, but only a lump sum, therefore you don't really know how much of each ingredient you're consuming.
For example, if you’re using a pre-workout product and it only has 1-2g of Beta-Alanine or Citrulline Malate, you really need 3.2g and 5-6g in order to derive any real strength or performance benefit. When you're considering a supplement to purchase in order to help with your goals, pay attention to the label and make sure that it's proprietary blend free, made with proven ingredients, and has the correct clinical dose to ensure you get the results you want, like Swolverine.
6. Pick The Right Training Program
If you have a fast metabolism, you will need to put more effort into training, than the average person to gain weight. While heavy weight is necessary to stimulate muscle growth and increase size, volume is crucial in order to stack on more mass.
Gradually increasing work volume through a linear progression and periodization will help improve strength gains and add more size over time.
Bodybuilding is systematically designed to increase gains through periodization, ensuring progressive overload, performed with traditional split training isolating specific muscle groups, designated to certain days (i.e. back and biceps, chest and triceps, legs and shoulders). Like I said before, hardgainers need more volume. The specific training modality and program I would recommend is High-Intensity Functional Bodybuilding (HIFB).
HIFB incorporates this same type of training split, but with higher volume, increased intensity, shorter rest intervals, and added supersets with accelerated functional movements.
HIFB is performed at 80-90% intensity, 3-5 sets, 10-16 reps with .30-1-minute rest intervals. Fundamentally bodybuilding and HIFB are very similar, the only difference is the training objective. Instead of just aesthetics, we’re adding an aspect of athleticism and performance.
RECOMMENDED PROGRAM High Intensity Functional Bodybuilding VL II
7. If You Need A Gainer, Do It
Sometimes eating more food, and adding protein shakes just won’t cut it. If that’s the case, and you still are having a hard time gaining weight, invest in a mass gainer supplement, and or start adding in high caloric foods, just for the calories. When you have a fast metabolism, you need to eat highly dense caloric foods, sometimes to start seeing results. Adding a doughnut, poptarts, or other foods that pack a ton of carbohydrates and fat, will help with adding more weight.
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