Athlete Strength & Weight Gain

John Durante Uncategorized

I have learned the hard way that answers to most questions are quite simple. In fact, the longer I coach, the more apparent this becomes…The magic pill and potion mentality seeps its way into all facets of the fitness field…And yes, this is evident in the strength and conditioning community…

Two big topics of interest for parents and athletes are: weight and strength gain. These “problems” can usually be solved by asking a few questions and reinforcing a couple essential concepts.

Strength Gain

Strength and nutrition go hand in hand. For the purpose of this post, we will address them separately. Here are the prerequisites you must meet before you press the panic button:

  1. Are you lifting at least twice per week?
  2. Are you training your lower half in each of those two training sessions?
  3. Are you prioritizing compound movements? In other words, do you just go into the gym to bench and do hammer curls?

Remember, if you have a “problem” that can be solved with action then, you do not have a problem…You cannot expect to get stronger or add size without lifting you body as a whole or doing it multiple times per week!

Weight Gain

If you are eating to gain weight and you are not gaining weight, you need to eat more! It is that simple…You cannot add strength and size from eating one meal a day and doing leg extensions twice a month. Track what you are eating and add in some calories to fill the holes. The two main strategies we use at the gym are:

  1. Add extra healthy cooking oil to your meals. This is a sneaky way to add a few hundred calories to your day.
  2. Take advantage of your post workout nutritional needs. We emphasize whole foods at the gym. But, some athletes may need some extra help in the form of liquid calories. Add a protein shake immediately after your workouts. That simple…

Remember, you cannot ask the supplement question if you have not been on a clean nutritional program for some time. That is like trying to fix your sinking ship with a band aid….it just does not work.


If you want to gain strength and size, you have to eat more and use compound movements in the weight room. Eating twice a day and going to Planet Fitness to use their 15 renditions of a chest press is not the answer…