Posts Tagged ‘putting on weight’

Alright in the first part of this post I talked a little bit about putting on quality lean body mass rather than simply putting on weight. Unfortunately when most people look to put on size they don’t go about it the right way and will add primarily bodyfat instead on lean mass. This does nothing to increase your speed and athleticism and actually compromises both.

So to ensure every pound you add lends to more horsepower and more on-ice potential we want to follow the following rules.

1. Establish a Baseline

I’m always amazed at the number of young athletes who come to me saying they want to put on weight. And I’ll tell them need to increase their caloric intake. Their standard answer? ‘I’m already eating all of the time.’

Actually they aren’t. And they need to realize that if they are simply maintaining weight they will need to increase the amount they are eating.

How much more? Well first I need to them to journal what they are already eating. This shows me what, how much and when they are eating. From there we can make tweaks to improve the limiting factor of time, quality or dose.

2. Increase the Energy Density

The easiest way to eat more calories is to increase the energy density of our meals. Very few athletes count calories and most will eat based on portion size.

With that being said here are 2 ways to increase the energy density of your meals.

a. Increase the Fat Content

Fat has 9 calories per gram as opposed to carbs and protein which each have approximately 4 calories per gram. So you’ll get twice the calories for every gram of fat in the diet. Make sure when you increase your fat intake it is a balanced mix of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats.

b. Decrease the Water in Your Meals

Ever wonder why many weight loss diets are based around soups? It’s because when they’re made with water you can consume a large volume of soup but still have a low calorie meal.

Adding water to a meal increases the volume but adds zero calories. So you can fill your stomach without taking in lots of calories.

Think of eating foods that have been dried to remove the water content, e.g. trail mix, to increase the energy content.

3. Drink More of Your Calories

When working with someone on a weight loss goal we want to ensure the only thing they drink is water. This is because it’s too easy to add lots of extra calories to the nutritional plan when you are drinking full fat dairy, juices and smoothies.

If your goal is to put on lean mass then by all means make sure to drink as many of your calories as required.

4. Never Miss a Meal

It’s surprising the number of hockey players I’ll see who want to put on mass but skip breakfast. It doesn’t make sense.

They’ll eat their last meal the day prior at 6 pm and then not eat again until late morning or possibly noon.

Sure there  may be some late night snacking and a large lunch but they will go the majority (over 12 hours) of the day without eating. And then they’ll wonder why they can’t put on a pound. You need to be diligent and consistent with your efforts.

5. Add 250 calories to the Post Workout Drink

If after applying steps #1-4 for a couple of weeks and nothing has changed regarding your weight look to add 250 calories to your post-workout shake. This might mean adding a piece of fruit and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to your shake. Or maybe it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Whatever you chose is up to you. Just make sure it’s protein paired with carbohydrate and it’s 250 calories more than what you’d been doing previously.


Hockey is a game of speed, mobility and fitness. If you’re going to increase your mass you need to be certain it won’t affect any of these traits. Look to add the best quality calories to  up your weight and track your intake with as much detail as possible. This way you’ll know what worked for you and how well it worked.