We all know that one person who can't seem to gain weight no matter how hard he or she tries. While this is good from a weight loss standpoint, it can be a huge problem if your goal is to put on quality mass.

Ectomorphs or "hard-gainers" tend to undereat, may be extremely active, and usually ovestimate their caloric intake. If you display similar habits, be sure to try these tips and tricks to help you put on mass effectively:

Find Your Maintenance TDEE

Your maintenance TDEE calories is the number of calories you should be eating in order to maintain your current weight.

An easy way to find your maintenance calories is to take your bodyweight and multiply it by 15 - 17.

For a week, weigh yourself every morning on an empty stomach and take down the number on the scale. If your weight starts to decrease, simply increase your calories by 50 - 100 calories. If your weight increases, decrease calories by 50 - 100. Keep doing this until your weight stabilizes. You now know your maintenance calories.

From there, add anywhere between 200-500 calories. These additional calories will help fuel your workouts, promote recovery, and help you grow. More is not better though, so make sure you're not gaining more than 2-3 lbs. per month.

Higher-Fat, Lower-Fiber Meals

One gram of protein or carbohydrate provides 4 calories, while one gram of fat provides 9 calories.

Those who don't have much of an appetite may benefit from consuming higher-calorie foods. This means potentially eating high-fat foods or simple carbohydrates that won't make you feel too full. To some, this may sound as if it's going against the grain, but it's important to get those calories in especially if you're extremely active.

Healthy fats such as avocados, whole eggs, nuts and legumes, olive oil, and fatty fish are calorie-dense options packed with essential nutrients that will help you eat above maintenance calories. Simple carbohydrates are also quickly digested, so they don't sit in your stomach for long, leaving room for more food.

Remind Yourself to Eat

For those who are always on the go, it's very common to forget to eat especially during busy days. This may result in cramming calories later on in the day to catch up, and resorting to fast food out of convenience.

Sometimes, a reminder is all we need in order to have healthy and balanced meals. Almost everyone owns a smartphone these days, and there are numerous apps that can remind you to accomplish certain tasks within the day. Make sure to include "Eat your meals!" in your daily calendar.

Purchase a Weight Gainer Supplement

One of the best supplements you can use to help you gain weight is a mass gainer. The average mass gainer has a whopping 500 calories per serving and is usually a combination of protein and carbohydrates. They're perfect for those who have difficulty eating more than three main meals a day since they're so calorie-dense. A mass gainer is quick and easy to prepare, too. All you need is a shaker and you're good to go. It's a great way to get in another meal when you're too fussed to cook.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is important for rest, recuperation and growth. Instead of watching television, being online on social media platforms, or watching Youtube videos until the wee hours of the morning, hit the sack instead.

Use the Compound Movements during Training

Squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and overhead presses are compound movements that will put on size to your lanky frame in no time! These 4 exercises target all of the major muscle groups, which means that there is potential for total body development even without extensive accessory/isolation work.

The next time you go to the gym, take a quick glance around and try to observe what exercises the smaller, lankier guys are performing. Chances are they're on the machines, working smaller muscle groups with isolation movements. Isolation movements have their place in any training program, but research shows that compound movements are far superior when it comes to putting on muscle.


With all these tips and tricks, you still need to make a conscious effort to add quality size to your frame. It will take a good amount of discipline and adjustment to your lifestyle to achieve your goals, but always remember that it will be worth it in the end.