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Help with Healthy Weight Gain please.


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Let me start off by saying; I created my account only two (2) days ago, and have already learned an incredible amount of information through the past posts and discussions. This website is great and it seems as though everyone is willing to help each other out – which is great  :)

I will eventually be applying for the Steward Trade. Currently I am trying to prepare myself for the whole application process. I have confidence that it will go smoothly – however, I am slightly worried about the fitness portion. The requirements seem attainable; however I am quite the light weight and need to put on some muscle mass. I’m 23 years old; I stand at 5’3” and a measly 88 lbs. which is an improvement from about a month ago which is when I really decided to pursue this dream I have of joining the CF as a Steward. Yes, I understand that is underweight for my age and height. My doctor is not alarmed nor too worried. I have been on the light end of the scale ever since I was little girl.

For me, sit ups are a breeze, push-ups – I am working on… still a bit of a sergeant struggles because I need to increase my upper body strength big time, and I need to pick up running again. I really want to be up to par for what I will endure in Quebec for the 13 weeks of BMQ… I fear I will not succeed. So, with that being said; I am striving to put on some healthy weight. I wanted to see if anyone on this board has some experience in this area? Putting on a good amount of healthy weight (lean muscle mass). If so, please share. I would really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

Welcome! Glad to see you're trying to solve something rather than complain about it!

There are many easy ways to increase your strength and muscularity.

Firstly, get yourself on a good, stable diet. Lots of carbs and proteins are central to healthy weight gain.
Secondly, a gym membership is helpful. At BMQ, from my understanding, you will be engaging in various fitness exercises that stress the legs, the core and the upper-body (squats, sit-ups and push-ups).

Some good exercises for novice gymgoers are:

Legs - air squats, wall-sit, dumbbell squats, bar squats, light leg press, hamstring kickbacks (if you have the equipment), lunges

Core - sit-ups, leg lifts, running (many variations of sit-ups)

Upper-body - modified push-ups, light dumbbell press, fly's, tricep pull-downs, bicep curls, shoulder press, lat pull-downs

Of course cardio is also crucial, but in order to gain weight, you must have a stable intake and surplus of calories (protein, carbs, healthy fats).

If I were you and I wanted to make stable gains, I would focus on one area a day. For instance:

Monday - legs
Tuesday- light cardio
Wednesday - core
Thursday - light cardio
Friday - upper-body

www.bodybuilding.com can explain it in detail and show you the exercises and how to do them :). Hope I helped
a bit!
I have the opposite problem, unfortunately.  But a book I read makes a lot of sense, and would for you too, I bet.

"The New Rules of Lifting for Women" by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove.


Good routines, focus on building muscle, sensible diet plan (lots of protein, not a low-cal diet, even for those of us that need to drop pounds).

Good luck!
@ Eye In The Sky - I know  :-[ I'm horrible… I double posted (I apologize!!!!!!!!) I didn’t know if the question was better suited elsewhere. It won’t happen again!

@ exgunnertdo – Thanks for the tip about the book. Who knows, maybe if I read it and follow it I actually will end up “Lifting Like a Man, Looking Like a Goddess”!

@ FutureSailor – Firstly, thanks starting on a positive note in regards to the fact I am trying to help myself instead of simply complaining. I want this so bad, probably more than the average person would imagine. I know a handful of women out there who want to be a skinny Minnie – but I want to get big and strong. It’s actually not easy to come across information such as the information you supplied me with. So again, thank you.

To all three (3) of you who replied; thanks for taking the time to read and respond. Have a great day, talk soon!

I have been working on building lean muscle for more than a year now. Apart from my fitness routine, my diet is the most influential factor in my efforts to gain. Once you have established a workout routine that works for your fitness level and schedule, I have found that making sure that you are eating more food than you burn is key to gaining. I try to eat four to five medium sized meals a day, making sure to get lots of lean natural proteins, carbs, fruits, and unsaturated fats. At 6'2'',188 lbs with 6 gym and 4 cardio workouts a week, I have found that 4000 calories a day is the ballpark amount I need to make steady, lean weight gains. This will, of course, be different for you. Getting to know yourself by getting some time in the gym under your belt will help you optimize your training and diet.

Feel free to ask about any specific parts of my workout routine.
At 88lbs you could have a kit load-out weighing as much as you  :nod:

I've never had issues with weight being 6'4" and 220lbs but eating more, and working out more has been a long standing method of weight gain. 
Supplements are great just try and keep fairly natural things like whey proteins, amino acids, vitamins,  No need for things like the FreaksihRipGain 9000 Deluxe the guy at GNC may try and sell you, its just going to waste money.
As stated above breaking meals down and eating 4-5 smaller meals helps keep your metabolism going so you can eat more.  Keep it healthy your body will thank you.  Once I cleaned up my diet, broke meals down to 5 a day, and started working out I had far more energy then I ever had before

@ jparkin – congrats on your effort and dedication to your fitness regime. A year worth of training and healthy eating must have done wonders. I thank you for your time to reply to my post. I will have to find my caloric need. Personally I will NOT eat junk; I am a bit of a health food junkie to be honest. So I guess for me – it is more so increasing the amount of healthy food I am eating to reach my caloric needs. This of course and the addition of some weight training. I hope to be as successful as you sound to be! Thanks again for the help. Have a great day!

@ Tollis – wow, you sound like you’re built like a machine! I’m slightly vertically challenged… not getting any taller that’s for sure (I’m fun-sized!) But as for my weight; I definitely want to get bigger. I will take your advice (thank you for contributing by the way). As I mentioned above in the reply to @ jparkin, I will be increasing my calories the healthy way. I have purchased a Whey Protein (Promasil) and with the addition of this, more calories, and some weight training I hope to see progress soon! Thank you again, have yourself a great day!
I had been ignoring this thread but now that I have read it I feel I can contribute.

When I tried to join the military way back, I weighed around 100lbs and we have the body mass index (BMI) standard.  I was actually too small to get in.  My metabolism was too high and I tried to bulk up over the holiday season so I would be accepted.  I couldn't bulk up even with protein shakes but eventually persevered enough that the doc looked the other way and let me in.  I did my basic and survived with no issues.

Later that year I decided I wanted to persue a career in the regular forces.  I joined in the only trade that was open at the time: Armour.  You know, tanks and stuff.  I weighed about 110 lbs by that time and was able to complete the basic training (again!) and my armour and tank course after that.

Size doesn't matter, it's the will to succeed that does.  If you're keen on running, I recommend an app or something (runkeeper/nike plus) that will give you a time or speed to challenge.

Bonne chance.
@ Bzzliteyr – I am glad that you decided to read and reply. Great story  :) and congrats for keeping at it until you got in, and then continuing along and getting into the Armour trade. You are very correct in that a will to succeed is necessary. I do believe that a positive attitude will lead to positive results (mixed with hard effort and determination of course).
I know I can do this! It’s just a matter how quickly I can increase my strength and weight (the healthy way). When I do reach my goal and I’ve applied and officially have become the Steward I know I will be!; I’ll have you and the others who contributed to this post to thank!
Again, you time to read and reply is greatly appreciated.
Thanks and have a great day.