Thought I’d buck the trend with this topic, you read it right I’m looking to gain some weight! Easy right, just eat more! Well I’ve lost a couple of kilos since I started training again at the end of September but have been eating a lot more.
OK, so I’m not super light, my profile says 67kg but am more like 66kg at the moment and am about 5’10". In the last few years at my peak fitness I am usually around 64kg. Next year, however, I would like to put on some weight as I’m going to start racing some flat crits and, from what I have read, having a higher ftp will be of more benefit than just watts/kg (I know with racing it’s all about tactics and race craft etc but I’m sure having a bigger ftp will also help!).
Obviously I don’t want this weight gain to come at a cost to fitness and I don’t want it to be just fat so any help with this would be great. Should I just add more protein to my diet, eat more frequently, eat more food with higher fat content. I don’t want to start eating junk food, or should I?
I am currently fueling myself on the bike with workouts over 1 hour but don’t tend to have a recovery shake as I’ll just make myself dinner after I have trained. Perhaps I should add in a recovery drink and then eat dinner a little later?
Any suggestions? Weight gain 4000!!!
An interesting topic for sure. I’m 5’11 and used to be 96kg, then discovered cycling 7yrs ago - got down to 62kg, but it wasn’t good, now much happier at 68kg - I eat what I want 3 times per day but no snack and seem to be able to hold steady if I am conservative on non exercise days
This article is very interesting - I fell into that trap for sure, and was probably doing myself harm
Yes, I saw this article this morning. I think I probably fell close to this about 5-6 years ago where I was restricting calorie intake to get down to what I thought would be a better climbing weight!
This is really interesting. I don’t have much personal experience as I’m currently just under 90kg at the moment.
As a thought experiment, if you already have a decent ftp and are looking for extra raw watts you will probably want to add muscle mass rather than simple weight.
A caloric excess, extra protein and strength training (deadlifts, squats, lunges etc) will probably help.
In all seriousness though, rather than looking to gain weight to increase FTP, look at the power demands of crit racing and look to increase your top end power. And work on bike handling skills. That’ll do you more good than gaining weight.
If I were in your shoes, I’d be looking at what races I can target that have climbs.
I 100% understand your plight. I’ve been light my entire life and have been trying gain weight but nothing worked.
I started with a trainer at my gym last year and put on 11 lbs (which was a miricle). I was 129 at 5’10” and went up to 140. Basically I lifted 3 days a week. Working my way up to 5x5 heavy lifts and then 5x3 heavier lifts. I didn’t do any special shakes except a recovery shake after working out because it’s just easier. For food, the thing that honestly helped me was replacing anything that was white bread, white rice, etc with Whole grain (whole wheat bagel, brown rice, whole wheat bread). It made a huge difference.
From there I ate just more of everything, but healthy meals. I was eating around 4000 calories a day.
I did this for about 6 months and ended up stopping because I just couldn’t maintain eating that many calories. And I just didn’t feel right. I dropped back to 132 and now I’m 135 and I usually hover between 132 and 135, and I feel good and eat a normal normal amount of food.
So I’ve given up on gaining weight. All my life it was all I wanted to do, and then I did it finally, and I felt awful. So I learned that my body has a natural weight and I just stick to it.
Not hopefully my tips help.
Always shied away from the gym and weights but perhaps it’s time to give it a go.
I have a similar body type. 5’10” and range from 140 to 148lbs. I have always been lean and found it hard to gain weight. The only thing that worked in the past was consistent weight training 4days a week and consistently eating more meals and calories than usual. About a year ago I was having GI issues and after some tests I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I think this along with increased training load from cycling dropped my weight down to 140lbs at times.
Now it is the off season and the weather is bad so my training has moved in doors. I am doing a small amount of weight lifting and now doing shorter more focused workouts on TR starting with Sweet Spot Base. I decided to gain the weight back that I lost because I want to grow my leg strength and I know I can and will lose weight during the spring. I think my legs are more of a limit than my cardio fitness on longer rides so the idea is to change that. I do well on climbs but get hurt on the flats so I’m targeting my weakness in that way.
My method is a combination of the training mentioned above and the application of what I have learned about which foods work for my body. I start with a huge breakfast meal that most people would consider for lunch or dinner. This is usually a full plate with rice and meat or eggs and sometimes with a gluten free waffle, pancake, or cereal. Then I add a smoothie with blueberries, raspberries, avocado, blackberry, banana, spinach, chia seeds, flax meal, and honey for extra calories. I pack a slightly smaller lunch to work consisting of leftovers that my wife cooked and some fruit and water. If I am doing a workout that day, I try to have a second smaller lunch around 3pm. Dinner is usually my smallest meal and I try not to eat within two hours of bed time because it disturbs sleep. I also drink recovery shakes right after rides and pack a meal to a ride that is more than 30 minutes from home. So far I’ve gained about 4lbs in 4 weeks and I feel strong. I plan to cut back if I get to 150 lbs as that would be my heaviest since I did a lot of weight training.
If you want to gain muscle mass, look at what power lifters and body builders do. They lift two or three times a day and eat all day… They are basically force feeding all day long at times. If you can apply this concept with healthy food and quality workouts, you will get strong. It does take time though. You can probably gain less than one lb of muscle mass per week. So at least 8 weeks to gain 6 lbs of muscle if you are meticulous.
If you want to gain weight and find it difficult to do so I can guarantee you will put on weight if you purchase some Extreme Gainer Blend from My protein, alongside your normal eating consume a full portion shake as soon as you wake and another before you go to bed.
I had a friend with the same issue, he was very slim and found it impossible to consume enough calories in real food in order to gain any weight. I got him on this stuff and within 8 weeks he had gained 20 lbs, I wont lie he basically put on a load of fat but he succeeded in his goal of gaining weight.
Funny how this has been resurrected after almost 2 years!
So, in the end I didn’t bother trying to gain any weight, and just focused on building ftp. I wasn’t great at the local crits the following year but I put this down to my age. It seemed the young guns were willing to take risks that endangered other riders and it just put me off. I think I entered about 5 or 6 races in total and gained 1 point!
Following this I went back to training for what I love doing; holidaying somewhere mountainous and tackling long climbs. Two weeks in the French Alps last year, although Covid19 scuppered my plans this year!!!
As for my weight, I spent 2020 at 66kg up until about 6 weeks ago. Since then I’ve spent very little time cycling, sometimes going almost 2 weeks without riding. However, strangely enough I’ve lost 3kg in this time! Probably a lot of muscle as well as fat!
Hello Lebowskii ! I´ve been in the same situation. To make it short- go to the gym and lift heavy weights, sets about 5-10 reps. 1- Chest and legs one day, and 2-shoulders and back the second day… Go 4 times a week in high tempo- 45 mins will do it. Inklude the basic movements. Benchpress, squats,deadlift and militarypress !!! And take a look at this book ! Helped me totally !! https://cutt.ly/DgYOk6w
I need to rebuild my weight properly too.
FWIW I’m 5ft 9 in (175cm) and 2 month off my 45 birthday.
Many moons ago I left high school at 73kg, didn’t really do much in the way of exercise though.
I then took Pancreatitis and fell to 57kg in the space of a few months.
I moved out and started to enjoy life and hit 66.7kg, at the time I only really cycled for transport.
I started to cycle a bit more seriously in 2006 and my weight was a pretty stable 65kg until last year. I felt about my best till 2018 when I dramatically lost energy. My weight marginally went up. Losing weight dramatically is a sign of what it was, I never saw it in 15 years
Bowel/colon cancer and through the operation I lost 3kg in a few hours. Despite chemo I rebuilt my self upto 62kg and felt the best I have ever felt.
Through lockdown and stress this year plummeted to 54kg in July. My docs/scans/blood test have reassured me it isn’t a re-occurrence.
Ive built my self back up to 58.9kg but I don’t think I’ve done it too sustainably and I think a couple more kg of muscle would help me
Protein powders and exercise. That way the weight you will gain will be healthy and not just fat.
I have two answers to this question, both based on direct personal experience.
Long term consistent and regular progressive and periodised resistance exercise with a relatively high protein intake (pro rated for your size and weight). I did this for circa 30+ years from age 13 and in my best shape was about 235lbs at 15% bodyfat.
Have a serious injury, quit weight training, feel sorry for yourself and then spend circa 14 months doing pretty much nothing other than eating. Balloon up to 268lbs at circa 33% bodyfat.
Option #02 was by far the quicker and more effective weight gain approach, but clearly the least attractive prospect for all the very obvious reasons.
Then I bought a bike …
After that it’s all a blur
Yep, liquid calories are an easy way to pack weight on without realising it in general, and an excellent way for people who find it hard to eat enough.