The people you encounter at the gym are usually trying to do one of two things: bulk up or cut weight.
Cut = When people say they are “cutting,” it means they are making an effort to burn more calories than they consume, intending to shed body fat. They do this by increasing calorie expenditure through exercise, decreasing the number of calories consumed, or a combination of the two.
Bulk = When someone is “bulking,” they want to build muscle and put on body weight by consuming more calories than they can burn. An important factor in gaining muscle and not just fat is resistance training or lifting weights.
Are you looking to gain weight? Preferably in the form of rock hard, lean muscle mass? Then you want to bulk. Before you start doubling your portions and indulging in late-night snacking, you might want to consider a weight gainer. Weight gainer supplements could be the key to packing on pounds with minimal body fat accumulation; hence, the perfect bulk.
What is a Weight Gainer?
Weight gainers are specifically formulated protein powders. They are higher in carbohydrates and calories than a typical protein powder. Weight gainer protein powders are generally low in fats and sugars to decrease your chance of putting on excessive body fat while you increase your calorie consumption.
Specific nutrient breakdowns will vary widely from brand to brand, so it’s important to do your research and find the weight gainer that is best suited for your specific needs. Some weight gainers include the addition of creatine, BCAAs, or other beneficial supplements. Depending on your current supplement stack, you may or may not need these additions. There is no one-size-fits-all, and some trial and error may be necessary here. Don’t be afraid to try multiple brands and formulas.
Why Use a Weight Gainer?
Weight gainer protein powders have tons of benefits, but as someone who wants to build muscle mass, the most important reasons to use a weight gainer are:
- Weight gainers make it easier to meet calorie requirements. When we dive into how to successfully gain muscle, you will see that it requires a lot of extra calories. Eating is time-consuming, and it takes a lot of effort, especially when you’re not feeling hungry. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “don’t drink your calories,” you might understand that it can be easy to consume a lot of extra calories in your beverages without noticing. With weight gainers, we use drinking calories to our advantage.
- Weight gainers have a specially formulated ratio of fats to carbs to protein. This formula helps you to stay leaner while adding bodyweight, as opposed to filling up on empty calories or not considering macros while bulking.
- As we mentioned before, some weight gainers combine supplements that make it easier to hit goals. Added creatine helps you work harder in the gym and add muscle mass. BCAAs help to prevent muscle breakdown and fatigue and encourage new muscle synthesis. Combining these added sports supplements in a weight gainer can help you save your money and reach your goals more easily.
How to Use Weight Gainers to Gain Muscle Mass
Using a weight gainer can be as easy as mixing up a protein shake and drinking. However, with a little bit of time and effort, you can be sure to maximize your muscle gain, and minimize your body fat accumulation.
- The first step is to figure out your baseline calorie consumption. Track calories and macronutrients to figure out how much you typically consume. Starting with a baseline helps you to calculate a modest increase, so you don’t upset your digestive tract by consuming too much, too fast. Old-fashioned pen and paper is a good way to do this, but there are also apps, like My Fitness Pal, that makes tracking your food effortless. Especially if you don’t have time to look at labels, My Fitness Pal has an extensive library of foods with specific nutrient breakdowns.
- Next, modestly increase your calorie consumption. Keep in mind that your body can only produce about 227 grams of muscle per week. Consuming too many additional calories will just lead to body fat gain. Start with anywhere from 250-500 extra calories per day. Use trial and error to find your sweet spot. Pay attention to how your body is feeling, along with how your physique is changing.
- Pick your weight gainer protein powder and adjust your servings to fit your calorie needs. The optimal times to drink your weight gainer protein powder are when your body is most apt to absorb nutrients, like first thing in the morning or immediately following a workout.
- Take your weight gainer protein powder at the same time every day. The routine helps your body adjust to additional calories while helping you to build a habit. Weight gainers and protein powders only work if you remember to take them.
- It’s crucial to maintain your calorie consumption through your diet when you add a weight gainer to your daily regimen. Adding calories through a protein powder but then decreasing your consumption of food will not increase your overall calorie consumption. Maintaining a calorie surplus is crucial to gaining weight, and when you’re not feeling hungry, this might take some conscious effort. For this reason, tracking calories as you bulk up is very helpful.
- Stick to your workout routine. Maximum muscle synthesis doesn’t happen without progressive overload, so if you want to gain muscle and not just fat, you need to lift and lift heavy. Continually pushing your muscles is the key. Luckily, added carbs and calories from your weight gainer may help you feel stronger during your workouts.
- Just as important as lifting, proper rest is imperative to new muscle growth. Your body cannot create new muscle if you do not give it ample time to recover. Take one to two days of rest a week, and think of it as part of your training plan.
Tips and tricks:
- For added flavour, calories, and protein, mix your weight gainer protein powder with milk or soymilk. Be mindful of added sugar when using a liquid other than water to mix your protein powder.
- Use a blender or blender bottle to mix your weight gainer protein powder A blender can be especially useful, as weight gainers are typically thicker than your average protein powder.
- Drink your weight gainer immediately after mixing. Many protein powders clump or separate when they are left sitting in a bottle. For the best results, not to mention taste and texture, mix and drink immediately.
The Best Weight Gainers
Here are Supplement Superstore’s highest-rated weight gainer protein powders.
ANS Performance N-Mass - N-Mass is an extreme mass gainer protein powder. It combines clean ingredients, including:
- Whey and casein protein, for both fast and slow-digesting protein
- Complex carbohydrates, with no added sugar
- Heart-healthy saturated fats
- Appelin to increase appetite and support digestion
- Creatine for better workouts
- Digestive enzyme complex for additional digestive support
One serving of N-Mass contains:
- 650 calories
- 5 grams of fat
- 125 grams of carbohydrates
- 27 grams of protein
ANS Performance N-Mass is available in two sizes and four flavours: chocolate, vanilla, cookies and cream, and peanut butter.
Perfect Sports Hulk - Hulk is a clean, all-in-one, mass gainer protein powder. Its formula includes:
- High quality, purified, fast and slow releasing protein blends for optimal muscle growth, in a lactose-free formula
- Amino complex for muscle growth and repair support
- Complex, gluten-free carbohydrates
- Added serving of fruits and vegetables per four scoops
- Healthy fats and CLA
- Only two grams of sugar
In one serving, Hulk has:
- 1030 calories
- 10 grams of fat
- 175 grams of carbohydrates
- 60 grams of protein
Perfect Sports Hulk is available in two sizes and two flavours: chocolate and vanilla.
Mammoth Mass - In this revolutionary weight gainer protein powder, you get:
- Whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, micellar casein, and calcium caseinate for a superior protein blend
- Complex carbs from superfoods like quinoa, sweet potatoes, and oat bran
- BCAA and EAA complex for muscle recovery and building
- Award-winning taste with less added sugar
In one serving, Mammoth Mass has:
- 625 calories
- 5 grams of fat
- 115 grams of carbohydrates
- 30 grams of protein
Mammoth Mass comes in two sizes and six award-winning flavours: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, banana, cookies and cream, and chocolate peanut butter.
Allmax QuickMass - Allmax QuickMass is easy, clean bulking, delivered. It has:
- 60% less sugar in the newest formula
- Multiple complex sources of carbohydrates from sweet potatoes, oats, and quinoa
- Whole protein sources without extra amino acids
- Healthy saturated fats from coconut oil
- No artificial dyes
One serving of QuickMass contains:
- 1010 calories
- 8 grams of fat
- 175 grams of carbohydrates
- 60 grams of protein
QuickMass is available in a twelve-pound bag in four flavours: chocolate, vanilla, cookies and cream, and chocolate peanut butter.
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass - Serious Mass has high-quality ingredients for a high-calorie protein powder. It includes:
- A proven, quality blend of protein powder
- Whole, complex carbs with zero added sugar
- Added creatine for better performance
- Added glutamine and glutamic acid for protein synthesis support
- Twenty-five added vitamins and minerals
In one serving, you get:
- 1250 calories
- 5 grams of fat
- 252 grams of carbohydrates
- 50 grams of protein
Serious Mass comes in a twelve-pound bag and is available in these flavours: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, banana, and chocolate peanut butter.
Supplement Stack to Optimize Weight Gain
For optimal results in gaining lean muscle mass and improving overall health, check out this stack from Supplement Superstore’s trusted products.
Morning - Start your day off on the right foot with a dose of greens plus essential amino acids, and a multivitamin. Add a pre and probiotic if you do not have added probiotics in your choice of weight gainer.
Pre-Workout - Use a pre-workout to get the best workout possible.
Mammoth Pump - a formula designed to energize and pump your muscles up before a workout. Pump contains creatine, so if your weight gainer already has creatine you may not need more
Beyond Yourself PreSet - for an option without creatine, PreSet gives you the energy and the pump
Post-Workout - Take your chosen weight gainer from our list above.
Night - Make the most out of your nightly rest with a sleep-aid with added growth hormone, and slow-releasing casein protein.
The Best Exercises for Gaining Muscle
Just like with losing weight, dieting and supplements are only part of the equation. You won’t get your desired results without putting in work at the gym. For optimal results, perform compound exercises and progressively overload your muscles.
For many, this may mean getting back to the basics:
- Bench Press
- Military Press
- Barbell Rows
You can perform progressive overload in several different ways:
- Increase weight during each exercise
- Increase volume by performing more reps
- Increasing frequency by working out more often
- Increasing time under tension by slowing down your movements, especially the eccentric movement
- Increase range of motion by squatting lower or deadlifting deeper
At Supplement Superstore, we’re passionate about giving you the tools to achieve your goals. Whether you want to get cut or gain massive amounts of muscle, we’re here to provide you with advice and product recommendations. You put in the work, and we’ll help you with the rest.