First of all I would like to point out that I am no nutritionist. Now that we have got that out of the way you can go on reading what I have to say about gaining weight and getting big as complete garbage or you can give it a try. As graduate in Human Performance from THE Weber State University, I did have the opportunity to take 4 semesters of nutrition which include perspectives and findings base on health and also athletic performance. In the last 4.5 years I have since had the opportunity to learn outside of the University setting through readings, research and even experimentation on myself and other athletes that I have worked with. The information I will share below will be based on that knowledge and those experiences. Take it for what it is.
Now, to business. If you want to get big the first thing you must do is get involved in a consistent strength program. Now while I am not here to bash on high school strength coaches or rag on your school's "football" class strength training, I can tell you that my athletes bring me in recorded workouts they do in school, and they are not going to get big and strong merely doing those workouts. (The only reason the information is even recorded is because I ask them to in order to know if our programming will cause any basis for over training.) The first thing I run into with athletes looking to come in for strength training is that they don't know how to move, when I say move I mean, squat, lunge, press, ect. Most of the athletes that come in to Apex have already been doing "strength" training at school, so I would love to assume they will come with some understanding for what needs to be accomplished, typically that is not the case. Again in my attempt to defend coaches at the high school level, most of them are teachers and coach because they love it, or played in the past ect. so their knowledge of true strength and conditioning comes from merely experience and not education. I can say that even as a graduate in the study of human movement much of what I've learned has come from experience, however it is all foundationally based on my understanding of the human body and its adaptions both with the seen and the unseen (physiologically). My point.....get coached up, follow a program that demands you lift heavy, consistently with flawless technique, oh and did I mention you must be consistent?
Next point is potentially the most fun part about gaining weight and getting big, FOOD. You need to eat, and eat a lot, then probably eat some more and well you should be doing this consistently. I preach to my athletes to eat 5x day, this should include a minimum of 3 large meals and 2 moderate to medium size snacks, neither of which should include your post workout fuel. The goal is for you to consume as much REAL WHOLE food as possible:
Proteins: Chicken, turkey, tuna, eggs, steak, beef etc....(MEAT!) and also your choice of protein powder. (cottage cheese can also be thrown in here)
Carbohydrate: Fruits, Vegetables, breads, pastas, rice, cereals(not fruit pebbles either) (The more fruits and veggies the better, your body will process food closest to its natural state much easier than processed foods. If you want to be lean, limit breads, pastas and cereals consider even cutting them out, but let's be clear if you want to get big and strong being lean needs to leave your mindset.)
Fats: nuts, seeds, oils, dressings....includes (peanutbutter, almond butter, etc. eat a lot of these ,its a great way to get tons of extra calories.)
*Each meal and snack should have each one of these 3 macronutrients in them, the more balanced the better. If interested, I strongly suggest reading up on "The Zone Diet"-Dr.Barry Sears.....it will change the way you look at food and performance.
MILK: This gets its own category because the fact remains that if you can drink lots of milk without it effecting your stomach, you need to be. Milk to me is Vitamin D milk, the rest of it is like sugar water. So go out and by a gallon of Vitamin D milk and drink 2 glasses with every meal. Milk is a very well rounded food, which has elements of each of the 3 macronutrients, so even milk by itself can be something used for a post workout recovery drink. When I was in college we called chocolate milk a poor mans protein. In which it is, and can be just as valuable, many of my athletes are on budgets and can't go out and by 65$ bags of protein every month, so I say.....stay with chocolate milk at your house and chug about 3 glasses after each training session and have a glass or two with each major meal.....weight gainer at its finest.
Junk: This is a category that I try to avoid, every now and again I'll eat some junk just because well....it is delicious! But for the most part I want all of my calories, even if they are comming in large amounts, to come from REAL WHOLE foods. To my high school and Jr. High athletes much of the time junk food is what you will be eating with friends at the movies, on the way to school, on the way home etc. Many coaches will you that calories are calories, I will have to disagree here. While I'm not here to discourage the eating of candy, hot pockets, cheese fries, lucky charms, fruity pebbles, donuts, cakes, ice cream (my mouth is watering as I type this), I do feel that these calories aren't ideal....for anyone. BUT IF THEY ARE NECESSARY FOR GETTING WHAT GOALS YOU HAVE, AND THEY ARE TO GET BIG AND STRONG.....BY ALL MEANS, INDULGE MY FRIENDS.
Food is obviously a large part of getting big, but the component that is most overlooked is REST. Athletes don't realize that training is only 1/3 of the process to getting better, stronger, bigger. The other 2/3 are made of nutrition and rest/sleep. At the Jr. High and High school level it isn't as overlooked, but sleep is huge! I've trained college athletes who think they are totally fine with staying up late (doing nothing of which is productive) and only getting 5-6 hours of sleep each night and trying to train hard every day. It just isn't logical, you must as a training athlete fight for a minimum of 8 hours of sleep and if you are really about your business it will be accompanied by a 30-60min nap during the day. You also can't train each and every day, you must allow recovery days in your routine and program and in fact REST. I see a lot of young athletes that are extremely competitive and driven and want nothing more than to get better and fast, so badly that all they want to do is train. This is a mistake even I can make when it comes to myself as an athlete, I am extremely driven and love to work, so I must force myself to rest and relax at times when I'd rather train. It is just as important to know when to rest as it is what you do when you train, or what you eat. If you are being coached, hopefully this is something you don't really need to worry about because your coach or trainer should be responsible for scheduling and programming the workouts so you are not over training.
Daily Routine Example :
Breakfast: (7:00 AM)
2 Glasses of milk (or 1 scoop of protein powder)
2-3 eggs ( I like to have boiled eggs prepared ahead of time, that way you can just grab them.)
1 bowl of oatmeal or a Banana
A bunch or peanutbutter
Snack 1: (10:00 AM)
2 cheese sticks/3 ounces of turkey
1 whole Apple
a cup of almonds
Lunch: (12:00 PM)
4-5 ounces of chicken/turkey
pasta or rice add in some veggies if ya can
peanutbutter or almonds
(Don't forget your milk)
Snack2: (3:00 PM)
2 ounces of steak
2 cups of grapes
1 cup cashews
Post workout: Protein mix or 3 glasses milk (within 20 minutes of finishing workout)
Dinner 7:00 PM:
4-5 ounces of chicken
thrown into some spaghetti
(Don't forget your milk)
*Night time snack (3) 9:30 PM : Immediately before bed, have another snack or ideally have a protein shake with lots of peanutbutter or almond butter/cashewbutter.....helps slow the digestion and will allow you to process the protein throughout the night. (Or....do more milk.)
*Another option which is not for the faint of heart is....."GOMAD" OR Gallon Of MIlk A Day!! You can train hard, rest when you are supposed, drink a gallon of milk each day and eat however you normally do.....you will gain weight.....FACT. But again, it isn't for the faint of heart....I tried this a few years back and only lasted like 4-5 days, it's a lot of milk....I did gain like 7 lb. however.