How to gain weight for football (and be healthy) – Garage Strength

How to gain weight for football (and be healthy)



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Can’t Gain Weight

A hard gainer is often a skinny-fat athlete or an athlete who is rail thin. These are athletes that will typically say they workout in the gym 4 to 6 days a week and claim to be eating tons and tons of food. They are also vocalizing that they aren’t that active outside of the weight room. 

So why are they hard gainers?

The Why

First, they typically are doing too many isolation exercises and not enough compound movements. They probably aren't eating enough and they probably aren’t taking supplements. The lack of eating and not taking supplements does not allow them to operate in a large enough caloric surplus. They also probably fear that something crazy will happen to their body, like losing their 4-pack or 6-pack, if they start eating enough food. They also don’t lift heavy enough, not pushing the load on the bar.    

Key Aesthetics Behind Getting Swole

The art of swoleness means we have to think about having big traps, big triceps, big forearms, and even big lats. That is when we start to see someone get yoked.

Ultimately, we have to do a ton of leg work.

1. Do Big Compound Movements

To get bigger people need to do big compound movements. Use the back squat, front squat, bench press, incline bench press, dips, deadlifts, and pull-ups to add mass, get swole, and gain that all desired lean muscle mass.

2. Once A Week...

It is important to once every week to work up to a 3 to 5 rep max in a compound movement to increase overall strength. In turn, the body will experience myofibrillar hypertrophy to get strong, strong. 

In addition, we want to at least once a week get a ton of drop set work done. I like the principle of the “80/60 drop”. This means that a person needs to do 80% of their max for 3 sets of 5 reps. That will then be followed up with a 60% of the max for 3 sets of 17 reps. This is a phenomenal way to gain a ton of mass.

3. Track Caloric Intake

It is paramount to track the calories being consumed. The more exact the number the better. Hard gainers are notorious for saying they are eating tons of food. Then when they are out with friends and start to overeat, they gag. 

Eat calorically dense food like raw milk, granola, nut butter, full-fat beef (for extra creatine), tons of ice cream, potatoes cooked in butter, and my personal favorite, oatmeal with melted dark chocolate. Guarantee your belly will be full and gaining mass won’t be that difficult. With any food recommendations, allergies may play a role and dietary lifestyles factor in as well.

4. Use Isolation Movements In Aesthetic Areas

Isolation movements like leg curls help develop that nice hamstring sweep. Doing back extensions with a dumbbell row is a great movement to blow up the lower back, hamstrings, and lats. Forearm roller until you can’t even grip the actual roller. And if you need to blow up those triceps, do miracle gro’s for 17 reps (it is not a dumbbell pullover). Drag curls or trap bar raises for sets of 30 reps do wonders as well. Sled work can be used to blow up the quads, which does great things for hard gainers.


We went over what a hard gainer is and why they are typically full of pooh-pooh. We also gave four great tips on how to get as swole as possible. Remember, do big compound movements, once a week build to a 3 to 5 rep max, and another time that week apply the “80/60 drop” rule to hammer a massive drop set, track caloric intake, and use isolation movements in aesthetic areas to get that shirtless body that attracts all the eyeballs out in public. 

Hit Harder 

on the Field

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Yo, It's Dane

Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!

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