gaining muscle and weight at the gym

A common goal for many people in the gym is to gain weight, build muscle, or both. Unfortunately, it isn’t always as simple as going to the gym and lifting weights several times a week. Nutrition and exercise both have to be on point to stimulate growth and recover after each training session. With that said, here are a few tips I like to share with my clients to help them on their journey to build muscle.

Bulking up using exercise and nutrition


Calories are your friend. Eating lots of fats and proteins will make it easier to consume more calories and will help to ensure the weight you gain will be as lean as possible.

High-calorie foods

(per 100g/ml)

  • Full-fat milk (66kcal, 3.8g protein)
  • Pork steak (259kcal, 26g protein)
  • Pasta (131kcal, 5g protein)
  • Eggs (155kcal, 13g protein)
  • Cheese (402kcal, 25g protein)
  • Beans (347kcal, 21g protein)
  • Potato (313kcal, 2.2g protein)


Strength training using compound exercises (using more than one muscle group) will play a big part in gaining lean mass. Training strength with sets of 3-5 reps will build the foundations and allow you to lift more weight, more weight means more training volume, more training volume means more muscle growth. To help increase volume further, do some exercises at 6-10 reps after the heavy stuff.

Compound exercises

  • Overead press (shoulders, triceps)
  • Bench press (chest, shoulders, triceps)
  • Deadlift (lats, traps, hamstrings, glutes)
  • Squat (quads, glutes, hamstrings, lats)
  • Push press (shoulders, triceps)
  • Lat pulldown/pull-up (lats, traps, rhomboids)
  • Underhand pulldown/chin-up (Lats, biceps)
  • Bent over row (lats, traps)
  • Leg press (quads, glutes, hamstrings)
  • Push-up (chest, shoulders, triceps)

If you’re interested in personal training at JD Gyms in Dundee or online fitness and nutrition coaching, book a consultation or contact me for general enquiries using the contact forms or social media links on my website.

About the author : Sam Henderson

I am a Dundee-based personal trainer who loves lifting weights and guiding people through their fitness journey. I'm an ameteur strength athlete and compete in the 74 kg class of the International Powerlifting Federation.

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