How To Gain 10 Pounds In Just 30 Days?

Gaining 10 pounds in 30 days is a toughie, tough but not impossible. For a hardgainer, 10 pounds is something they can only fantasize about – well wake up because your fantasy is about to become reality.

Before you go giddy with excitement realize the truth, this will be hard and you’ll have to ensure you do everything right for the entire forty-three thousand two hundred minutes that comprise your thirty days of physical transformation.

Obviously the results you will see from the following recommendations will vary depending on factors such as training age, genetics, how hard you push yourself and how closely you follow the plan. Neither the less, come thirty days time you will be bigger and stronger.

How To Gain 10 Pounds In Just 30 DaysObviously the program is aimed at those who are ‘hardainers’ and no where near there genetic ceiling, so if you’re a genetic freak who already weighs two hundred and fifty pounds lean, don’t come complaining to me when you only gain a couple of pounds from the program.

A large amount of the weight gained will be fluid within the muscle (intracellular) as the program aims to maximally saturate the muscle with glycogen, creatine and all the other substrates that will pump your muscles up, but don’t fret there will be some ‘proper’ muscle gained as well. Anyway, 10 pounds of added volume gives the same impression whether its intracellular fluid or actual protein – in other words, they won’t notice the difference on the beach.

The next thirty days will feel like a roller coaster ride, especially when it comes to your training. Basically the next thirty days will be split into three phases:

    • Phase 1: Building a base
    • Phase 2: Serious (over) training
  •  
      Phase 3: Reaping the benefits

Phase one and three will aim to either optimize or derive the benefits of the training in phase two.

For simplicity sake, I have tried to lay everything out in a step by step approach for each day, eat when I say eat, sleep when I say sleep or don’t bother at all.

Phase 1: Building A Base

Days 1-3

Rise from bed whenever you naturally wake up, if you need an alarm you probably haven’t had enough sleep. Try to go to bed earlier if your schedule forces you up at a certain time so you start to wake naturally around that time.

Breakfast

The first meal of the day is vital and should contain twenty five percent of your days calories, any less and you’re going to play catch up all day long. This large dose of food will also be used more effectively due to the eight to ten hour fast.

To determine your daily (base) needs to use the chart provided (table below) and read off from your bodyweight to your daily activity level (light is office based work, medium is active and heavy is strenuous labor).

Body weight kg (lbs)LightModerateHeavy
60 (133)2383 kcals2701 kcals2860 kcals
65 (145)2496 kcals2828 kcals2995 kcals
70 (154)2782 kcals2956 kcals3130 kcals
75 (167)2902 kcals3083 kcals3265 kcals
80 (176)3022 kcals3211 kcals3400 kcals
85 (189)3142 kcals3338 kcals3535 kcals
90 (199)3262 kcals3466kcals3670 kcals
95 (210)3382 kcals3593 kcals3805 kcals
100 (220)3502 kcals3721 kcals3940 kcals

The exercise levels of days one to three has been included. During these three days, your energy expenditure and consumption should balance and your bodyweight should remain stable. If it changes during these days up or lower your calorie intake by a few hundred calories and use that as your base calories.

The nutrient ratios will be sixty percent carbohydrates, twenty percent protein and twenty percent fat (emphasizing omega 3’s and 6’s)

For the simplicity sake of this article, the examples will use a seventy kilogram (one hundred and fifty five-pound) individual with a medium activity level requiring 2956 calories a day. Obviously adjust to your own needs.

Breakfast will be a combination of carbohydrates and protein. An example would be:

      • (740kcals carbs; protein)
      • Oats 100g
      • Skimmed milk 500ml
      • 2 Slices of wholemeal toast
      • 4 scrambled egg whites
      • Fruit juice 250ml
      • Five grams creatine

Normally I feel creatine does not need loading but considering that there is only thirty days maximal saturation is required.

Pre-Workout Meal (3 hours later)

    • Three hours later another meal would be consumed. Considering this is a pre-workout meal a combination of fats and protein is consumed.

Example meal 2 (12% daily calories):

The reason fats and protein are consumed is in order to avoid a dip in energy levels related to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) that may occur from eating carbohydrates. Another reason is to avoid the slow of digestion of later meals if the majority of the day’s fats are eaten now.

This allows carbs eaten later to enter the system quicker and restore glycogen (muscles stored sugars) quicker, as well as avoiding heightened satiety when digestion is slowed. Considering that you are trying to gain weight you need to be able to eat enough calories without feeling full.

Base Training Session (1 1/2 hours later)

Warm-up

    •  five minutes light cardio

Pushups

    •  25-100 reps

Bodyweight squats

    •  25-100 reps

Crunches

    •  25-100 reps
    • Sprints 20 meter sprint, 20 meter jog back X 10

Back extensions

    •  with scapula retraction 25-100 reps

Perform the exercises back to back with no rest until all are completed. Rest for ninety seconds and repeat. Perform three circuits of the base training on day one, four on day two and five circuits on day three.

Post Workout (Meal 3; 25% daily calories)

Post-workout nutrition should be absorbed as quickly as possible; therefore an isotonic solution is required (six percent carbs). For this example, the above drink would need to be 2250ml (two and a quarter liters). This equates to 150ml per ten grams carbs.

Meal 5 (3 hours later)

    Meal 5 (12% calories):

    • 50g (when dried) Rice
    • 80g Steak
    • Mixed vegetables

Light Cardio (2 hours later)

20-30 minutes light cardio (light but breathless level). This should be the whole body (i.e. swimming, rowing, etc).

Both the base training and cardio should aid in developing the support networks throughout the muscle (namely blood vessel density and energy systems). This will help you tolerate the workloads in phase two.

Post Cardio

    Meal 6 (12.5% calories):

    • 50g carbs
    • 30g whey
    • 5g creatine

Meal 7 (3 hours later)

    • Meal 7 (12%):

      • 100g Cottage cheese
      • 40g Mixed beans
      • 25g almonds

The combination of fiber, slow-digesting proteins and fat will ensure the nutrients digest slowly and provide a constant trickle throughout the night. Some individuals propose waking during the night in order to have another feed but the disruption in sleep counteracts any benefits of the food.

Rest DayDay 4

    • No training and the same distribution of meals throughout the day as days one to three. Swap the liquid feeds on meals six and four for whole-food substitutes.

Whole food substitutes:

      • Carbs – Sweet potato, rice, wholemeal grain products.
      • Protein – Chicken, fish, red meat etc.

Also include some form of vegetables to increase the fiber and therefore slow the rate of digestion.

Phase 2: Serious OverTraining

This is the make or break section. Hard training, hard eating and the correct mental fortitude is a must. Phase two is split into four training cycles. (termed microcycles)

The calories consumed in this phase will be one hundred and twenty-five percent of phase one levels (3695kcals for our 70kg example individual). This will be achieved by consuming more around and during the workout period. All other meals stay the same as the amounts in phase one.

Day 5 (training day): Start Of Microcycle 1

Breakfast

    Example:

    • (740kcals carbs; protein)
    • Oats 100g
    • Skimmed milk 500ml
    • 2 Slices of wholemeal toast
    • 4 Scrambled egg whites
    • Fruit juice 250ml

3 hours later

    Example:

    • 40g almonds
    • Four fish oil capsules
    • 30g whey protein

Pre-Workout (1 1/2 hours later)

    Example:

    • 40g carbs
    • 30g whey

Training Session (upper body 1)

    • 5-minute warm-up

Standing Military Press

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×10-12, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set 10X, sets 2-4 312, sets 5 444
      • Load: set 1 – 95% 3RM (rep max), sets 2-4 – 12 RM, set 5 – 50% of set 1
      • Rest: 1 minute

Pullups/Lat Pulldown (alternated set by set with standing military press)

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×10-12, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set 10X, sets 2-4 312, sets 5 444
      • Load: set 1 – 95% 3RM (rep max), sets 2-4 – 12 RM, set 5 – 50% of set 1
      • Rest: 1 minute

Lateral Raises

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: 12 rep max
      • Rest: 1 minute

Decline Pullovers (alternated set to set with lateral raises)

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: 12 rep max
      • Rest: 1 minute

* Tempo – (eccentric, midpoint isometric and concentric speed in seconds), an example would be the military press performed with a two-second lift, a single second pause at the top and three seconds to lower back down. Stretching of the worked areas (holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds)

Ice treatment (hold ice pack to worked muscles for ten minutes)

During the workout consume a 3% carbohydrate solution

      • 1.5 liters water
      • 45g glucose
      • 3-5g (branched-chain amino acids) BCAA

Post Workout

    • Example:

      • 150g carbs (glucose, dextrose or maltodextrin)
      • 30g whey
      • 5g creatine

This feed will have to be a hypertonic drink due to the sheer volume of carbs consumed. As such consume an 8-10% solution (around 100ml for every ten grams of carbs).

Meal 5 (3 hours later)

    Meal 5:

    • Rice
    • Steak/chicken
    • Mixed vegetables

20 Minutes Sleep (post-meal 5)

Base Training (2 hours later, 1 circuit)

    • Warm-up five minutes light cardio
    • Push-ups 25-100 reps
    • Bodyweight squats 25-100 reps
    • Crunches 25-100 reps
    • Sprints 20-meter sprint, 20-meter jog back X10
    • Back extensions with scapula retraction 25-100 reps

The base training should not be a maximal session rather it is just to flush the muscles with blood and nutrients and to make the muscle more receptive to the consumed extra calories rather than it being stored as fat.

PostBase Training

    Example:

    • 80g carbs
    • 30g whey
    • liter fluids

Meal 7 (3 hours later)

    Meal 7:

    • Cottage cheese
    • Mixed beans
    • Nuts

Day 6

Everything the same as training day (day 5) except for the weight training session.

Training Session For Day 6 (lower body 1)

    • 5-minute warm-up

Back Squats

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×10-12, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set 10X, sets 2-4 312, sets 5 444
      • Load: 1 – 95% 3RM (rep max), sets 2-4 – 12 RM, set 5 – 50% of set 1
      • Rest: 1 minute

Romanian Deadlifts (alternated set by set with back squats)

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×10-12, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, sets 5 – 444
      • Load: 12 rep max
      • Rest: 1 minute

Calf Raises

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: 1 – 95% 3RM (rep max), sets 2-4 – 12 RM, set 5 – 50% of set 1
      • Rest: 1 minute

Leg Extensions (alternated set to set with calf raises)

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: 12 rep max
      • Rest: 1 minute

Stretching of the worked areas (holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds)
Ice treatment (hold ice pack to worked muscles for ten minutes)

Day 7

Rest Day

    • Meal plans should follow day five but substitute the liquid feeds for whole food alternatives and combine the pre and during workout feeds with meals 5 and protein allotment.

A whole-body massage is advised to increase blood flow and workout tight muscles

Same schedule as training day (day five) except the weight training.

Day 8

Training Session For Day 8 (upper body 2)

5-minute warm-up

Wide-Grip Dips (do press-ups if not strong enough on latter sets)

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×10-12, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, sets 5 – 444
      • Load: 1 – 95% 3RM (rep max), sets 2-4 – 12 RM, set 5 – 50% of set 1
      • Rest: 1 minute

45 Degree Bent Over Rows (alternated set by set with dips)

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×10-12, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, set 5 – 444
      • Load: 1 – 95% 3RM (rep max), sets 2-4 – 12 RM, set 5 – 50% of set 1
      • Rest: 1 minute

Dumbbell Fly

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: 12 rep max
      • Rest: 1 minute

Bent Over Laterals (alternated set to set with flyes)

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: 12 rep max
      • Rest: 1 minute

Stretching of the worked areas (holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds)
Ice treatment (hold ice pack to worked muscles for ten minutes)

Day 9

Same schedule as training days. Except for weights session.

Training Session For Day 9 (upper body 2)

    • 5 minute warm-up

Bent Legged Deadlifts

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×10-12, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, sets 5 – 444
      • Load: 1 – 95% 3RM (rep max), sets 2-4 – 12 RM, set 5 – 50% of set 1
      • Rest: 1 minute

Front Squats (alternated set by set with deadlifts)

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×10-12, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, set 5 – 444
      • Load: 1 – 95% 3RM (rep max), sets 2-4 – 12 RM, set 5 – 50% of set 1
      • Rest: 1 minute

Leg Curl

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: 12 rep max
      • Rest: 1 minute

Seated Calf Raises (alternated set by set with leg curl)

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: 12 rep max
      • Rest: 1 minute

Stretching of the worked areas (holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds)
Ice treatment (hold ice pack to worked muscles for ten minutes)

Day 10

Rest Day

    Same as day 7.

Day 11: Start Of Microcycle 2

Same as training day schedule (day 5). Except for weights session.

Training Session For Day 11 (upper body 1)

    • 5-minute warm-up

Standing Military Press

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×8-10, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, sets 5 – 444
      • Load: Day 5’s weight plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Pullups/Lat Pulldown (alternated set by set with standing military press)

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×8-10, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, sets 5 – 444
      • Load: Day 5’s weight plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Lateral Raises

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: Day 5’s weight plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Decline Pullovers (alternated set to set with lateral raises)

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: Day 5’s weight plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Stretching of the worked areas (holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds)
Ice treatment (hold ice pack to worked muscles for ten minutes)

Day 12

Training Session For Day 12 (lower body 1)

    • 5-minute warm-up

Back Squats

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×8-10, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, sets 5 – 444
      • Load: Day 6 load plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Romanian Deadlifts (alternated set by set with back squats)

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×8-10, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, sets 5 – 444
      • Load: Day 6 load plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Calf Raises

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: Day 6 load plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Leg Extensions (alternated set to set with calf raises)

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: Day 6 load plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Stretching of the worked areas (holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds)
Ice treatment (hold ice pack to worked muscles for ten minutes)

Day 13

Rest Day

    Same as day 7.

Day 14

Same schedule as training day (day five) except weights session.

Training Session For Day 14 (upper body 2)

    • 5-minute warm-up

Wide-Grip Dips (do press-ups if not strong enough on latter sets)

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×8-10, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, sets 5 – 444
      • Load: Day 8 load plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

45 Degree Bent Over Rows (alternated set by set with dips)

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×8-10, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, set 5 – 444
      • Load: Day 8 load plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Dumbell Fly

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: day eight load plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Bent Over Laterals (alternated set to set with flyes)

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: Day 8 load plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Stretching of the worked areas (holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds)
Ice treatment (hold ice pack to worked muscles for ten minutes)

Day 15

Same schedule as training day (day five) except weights session.

Training Session For Day 15 (upper body 2)

    • 5-minute warm-up

Bent Legged Deadlifts

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×8-10, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, sets 5 – 444
      • Load: Day 9 load plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Front Squats (alternated set by set with deadlifts)

      • Sets x reps: 1×3, 3×8-10, 1×20
      • *Tempo: first set – 10X, sets 2-4 – 312, set 5 – 444
      • Load: Day 9 load plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Leg Curl

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: Day 9 load plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Seated Calf Raises (alternated set by set with leg curl)

      • Sets x reps: 2-3×8-12
      • Tempo: 312
      • Load: Day 9 load plus 5%
      • Rest: 1 minute

Stretching of the worked areas (holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds)
Ice treatment (hold ice pack to worked muscles for ten minutes)

Day 16

Rest Day

    Same as day 7.

Conclusion For The Half Way Point

Follow the program listed above and in part two you will receive the concluding section to your physical transformation. At points, this will be hard going and occasionally you will be drained from the sheer volume of work performed, but stick with it as this forms the basis for your transformation and will pay dividends within the third phase.

To help you stick with the program I have compiled a shortlist of helpful hints:

  •  If eating the amounts of food is a problem buy oversized plates and bowls so the amount doesn’t look as big. It may sound stupid but visual cues can alter satiety.
  •  More often than not eating is the major downfall of not gaining mass. Don’t eat until you are satisfied; eat the recommended amount – no more no less.
  • Once again if you feel full quickly, change the taste of the food. Your brain will eat more of a different taste than of a single one which you have already become full on – this is called sensory-specific satiety. For example, if you have only eaten half the rice allotment try and swap to a sweet-tasting carb source, you will be much more likely to finish the amount needed.
  • Set an alarm on your watch for when its time to eat – no excuses.
  • In a worst-case scenario swap some of the whole food meals for a liquid meal, it won’t be optimal, but it will be a thousand times better than missing out on vital nutrients and energy.
  • Upon waking each morning, make a mental checklist of everything you need to do. Always think ahead so nothing can interfere with your training and nutrition and do what’s necessary.
  • Workaround problems. If you have to work during the days move training or meals to fit in, never miss anything out.
  • When things become hard to stop and ask yourself how much you want this if you truly do want it nothing will get in your way.
  • Remember one month of pure dedication will reap massive (pun intended) rewards.
  • Everything in life is a choice – choose the right options to reach your goals. Nothing happens by chance.
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