Weight gain pills are being marketed as the easy solution for many who want to quickly gain muscle weight. They claim to be able to:
- Add muscle and body mass fast
- Increase your appetite for higher calorie intake
- Slows body metabolism for better nutrition absorption
One brand even went on to claim that:
“Without exercise but with good nutrition and enough rest [Weight Gain Product X] can help you gain 5-15 pounds per month depending on your current weight and build.”
5 to 15 pounds in 4 weeks! Sounds like a genie just granted our wildest dreams, BUT…
Do weight gain pills really work?
Do weight gain pills really “do what it says on the tin” – help you gain weight, put on muscle, or even build bigger muscles faster?
Do you even “really need them to reach your full muscle growth potential” as the marketers and bodybuilding magazines are leading us to believe?
In this article I’d like to share my own experiences, results and opinion about weight gain pills, and hopefully at the end of this article you would have gleamed some insight that will help you decide whether or not you want to give weight gain pills a shot.
But first, a little disclaimer: I am basing my judgment and conclusions here on my own experiences, so take my findings with a grain of salt because frankly I am biased. When I evaluate what works and what doesn’t, I don’t just believe what others say right away – I use my common sense and I do my own experiment. I am not a nutritionist, dietitian, doctor or pharmaceutical genius, but hey I’m the only expert in the world when it comes to what works for my body, so if my body tells me something I don’t mess about – I listen. For your own sake, you might want to do the same.
Let me start by telling you straight up what I think. I admit that I am skeptical about ingesting any artificial “enhancers”, pharmaceuticals, drugs or any synthetic materials that are meant to “benefit” me physically in some way. Why?
Well, first off, let’s face it. Advertising is all about selling selling selling – and sometimes it’s done in an unethical, manipulative fashion. Many Salespeople and Marketers are specifically trained to getting us to buy (and sometimes regardless of whether or not their claims actually have any merit) whatever it is they’re peddling. They know exactly how to play with our emotions, blow up our perceived pains, then present their products as the answer to our problems.
They give us hope, saying their product can help us get what we’ve always wanted but never got. They say exactly the things we want to hear – “Take this pill… and your appetite and hormones go apeshit and wham! You’ve got huge muscles!”
Ok, so maybe not exactly those words, but it’s pretty close. Sometimes they don’t actually saywhat these weight gain pills WILL do, but they make exaggerations and “suggest” miraculous results.
Truth is, whatever your problem is, any marketer will have “the solution” (even if they don’t, really).
What’s in Weigh Gain Pills Anyway? And How Does it “Work”? (If It Actually Does)
A number of other bodybuilder bloggers had mentioned that weight gain pills are nothing more than repackaged multivitamins. Hhhmmm is it true? So I had a look at the ingredients of weight gain pills and then compared it to the ingredients of weight gain supplements. Take a look for yourself:
Hhhhmmm… yes they do look similar. The weight gain pill have the usual antioxidants and minerals – the difference is the added whey protein and soy protein isolate. The multivitamin has a few of the amino acids though. So it seems that the assertion that many weight gain pills are simply hyped up multi-vitamins marketed in a different way (so that pharmaceutical companies can charge more for them) is true. You gotta admit – that’s one neat li’l trick!
Weight gain pills are supposed to work by increasing your appetite, thus helping you consume more calories, which are very much needed to attain the muscle-building calorie surplus you’re after. And therein really lies the solution: just eat more. If you’re still not gaining weight, it simply means you’re not eating enough. I know it’s frustrating and can be sickening eating all the time, but believe me it’s that simple.
Use Your Grey Matter. Think for Yourself.
Don’t just buy something or believe something right away just because a so called expert or a bodybuilding magazine wrote a review. Remember that bodybuilding magazines get their profits from advertising fees. And who are their biggest clients? Who are the ones practically keeping them on the payroll? You guessed it – supplement companies!
Actually many bodybuilding magazines nowadays are owned by supplement companies.
It’s true – some magazines are created primarily to be used as a channel to sell their supplement line. So beware of the advice they are feeding you. Should you decide to buy supplements, be careful. Make sure you’re getting the right information and that you base your decision based on facts, not on hocus pocus.
Listen to Your Body!
I’d say the best thing to do is to do your own little experiment. Why not take this advice from Vince DelMonte, author of No Nonsense Muscle Building:
Eliminate all supplement intake (including protein powder, multi vitamin and creatine) for the first month to prove to yourself that you can make tremendous muscle
gains with training, nutrition and sleep alone. THEN…start introducing supplements gradually and monitor the effect.
On top of that, do not use any supplements until you have gained at least 10 pounds of good quality weight from just whole food. Food is far more anabolic than
supplements. This will be a powerful learning experience.
Weight Gain Pills VS. Nature
I personally believe that you’re better off focusing your efforts on eating high-quality, wholesome, nutritionally-balanced food. If you do, then the need for supplementation will be minimal, if not unnecessary. So concentrate on having nutrient-dense, wholesome meals 6x a day and you wouldn’t need to take any multivitamins or magical weight gain potions.
If you still insist on taking supplements or pills, remember that supplements are not the end all and be all. They are there simply to help you, but you will still need a good diet and do a training regime suited to your individual needs.
If you are not gaining muscle mass, don’t look at supplements as the answer. Instead, educate yourself, track your progress, eat well, eat enough, and ensure you’re getting adequate rest. Measure your gains and track the changes in your body to figure out what needs tweaking. If you get all of these core components right then you will start to gain muscle mass. But be patient and stick to it. Your genes, your bodybuilding technique, and the intensity of your effort will determine how much muscle you’ll gain and how fast you’ll see results.
Weight gain pills and supplements may help to some extent, but don’t rely on them entirely. I suggest you get your foundations right FIRST by eating right, training right, and getting adequate rest. Once you have attained a considerable level of muscle gain or improvement naturally, then you may want to look at supplements to give you an added boost.
The problem is that it’s very difficult nowadays to get your hands on a reliable, trustworthy review of supplements. I was so disillusioned that I did my own research to find the best protein supplements that worked for me.
If you are to choose a muscle building program, you’re a lot better off finding teachers who can show you a way how to build muscle weight without telling you to buy loads of supplements. To read my reviews of effective muscle building programs and resources that will give you everything you need to know about how to gain muscle weight – naturally, inexpensively and without the hype nor the bull, check out my Muscle Building Reviews Page.