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Weight Gain

Things You Should Know: Vol. 1

If you noticed, there’s a “Vol. 1” next to the title of this post. That’s because I’ll be using this title a lot. Pretty much any time I have something on my mind. I figured I’d build on this week’s earlier post on peanut butter by posting this. I wrote it a while back and I think it’ll be a good post to head into the weekend with.

Anyone who was ever graced with my presence during the most recent Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Playoffs run knows that I think Dougie Hamilton (for those of you who don’t know, the 20-year old Bruins rookie defensemen and Seventh Player Award recipient) has tremendous potential as an NHL player. Here’s the problem though; he needs to get bigger and stronger. Much bigger. And much stronger.

Dougie Hamilton

Zdeno Chara, the Bruins 7-year captain, is widely known as the largest player in the NHL and is only 4 inches taller than Dougie Hamilton, but outweighs him by 56 lbs according to the Bruins website. That amounts to almost 15 lbs per inch of height. This doesn’t even take into account the fact that Dougie’s weight may or may not be a bit inflated. (Or, at the very least, he was weighed at the end of the day. After four liters of Diet Pepsi, a couple of soft pretzels from the Garden, and maybe an entire pizza. Or two.)

Bottom line: if we assume that Chara and Hamilton’s body fat percentages are relatively similar and stable, Hamiton has a bit of growing to do.

After fooling around with the Harris-Benedict equation, I came to the conclusion that, to gain weight, Dougie Hamilton would probably need at least 4,000 calories each day. He may even need close to 4,200. There are hundreds of articles and books written about and dedicated to the concept of gaining weight. Lift heavy and frequently. Use compound exercises. Eat one metric shit-ton of food each day. Take these magic powders and pills.

Half of each GNC store is dedicated to tiny bottles with ingredient labels that you can’t read, assuring you that you’ll look like Ronnie Coleman or Mark Wahlberg in four weeks.

In just 4 weeks!

Here is something you should know: one of the best things that you can consume in your quest to gain weight is an old childhood staple. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A college friend of mine and I were discussing weightlifting blah blah testosterone blah blah females one day when he told me about this little weight gain gem. In his attempt to gain weight for high school football, he consumed something like 4-6 PB&Js each day. He would take them to school and eat one every 2-3 hours, on top of regularly scheduled meals.

I was skeptical at first, but I couldn’t necessarily refute his claim. Let’s look at the nutrition aspect. The average PB&J is created with two slices of bread, something like a tablespoon or two of peanut butter, and a tablespoon or two of jelly. If we can assume that the average slice of bread is around 100 calories (there’s a wide variety, I know, but let’s use this number to keep it simple), a tablespoon of peanut butter is about 100 calories, and a tablespoon of jelly is about 50 calories, we can conclude that your average PB&J is about 350 calories. That doesn’t sound like much, but three-a-day will add up to over 1000 calories pretty quickly. Make it two tablespoons of peanut butter and you’re surpassing 1,300.

It’s peanut butter jelly time. Again.

We all know that getting anywhere north of 3,000 calories with vegetables and lean meat can get difficult, especially for a busy person. Make sure you get your proteins, fats, and vegetables, but don’t be afraid to give PB&Js a try if the going gets tough. But stop reaching for the mass gainers at your local Vitamin Shoppe. You’re only buying fancy, expensive sugar.

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