Top 10 Exercises To Gain Weight You Should Do

Top 10 Exercises To Gain Weight You Should Do

Gaining weight is not only about eating a lot. Because though it is called weight gain, you should not focus only on your weights. Your goal should be gaining muscle mass and strength. And it can be possible by following some best exercises to gain weight.


There are lots of exercises which leads to weight gain. Most of them are compound exercises. But there is also some isolation movement which helps to gain weight.


Doing the correct exercises is not enough. You should perform them in a proper form, proper set, volume, and intensity. Otherwise, you may not get better results.


Selection Of The Exercises To Gain Weight


You are a skinny guy and you are doing lots of crunches, biceps exercises or calf exercises, then you are probably not going to gain that much muscles as you can by doing strength-building exercises.


You should select the perfect strength-building exercises which will boost your muscle-building process. And compound exercises do this very well.


All compound movements need lots of strength and recruit much muscle fibers which eventually leads to muscle growth.


Along with the compound exercises, you should incorporate some isolation movement as well. Because the good shape of your body does also create an illusion of muscularity. And shape can be given by proper isolation movement.


Best Compound Exercises To Gain Weight


In any compound movement, you can lift much heavier than an isolation exercise. It also stimulates the maximum muscle groups to perform. So, it is also responsible to build a greater amount of muscles in your body.


There are lots of compound exercises and all of them helps to gain muscles, but I am going to share with you the best compound exercises in my opinion which build muscles very fast and effectively.



The deadlift is a great power movement to build strength, muscles and also for weight loss. Many muscle groups like core muscle, back, traps, quads, glutes, etc. get involved to perform this exercise.


It is mainly known as a back workout because it helps to build that Christmas tree shape in the lower back. It is a great exercise to gain weight.


How to Perform:


  • Stand shoulder-width apart and place your feet under the bar. The bar should be as close as possible with the shin bones.


  • Hinge your hips, lower yourself and grab the bar. Your hand should be closer with your legs.


  • Make your core tight and chest up. Retract your shoulder blades and tighten your core.


  • Now pull the bar and stand tall with an explosion. At the top squeeze your guts. Do not extend your back, just stand tall and squeeze your glutes.


  • Then you may slowly lower the bar if you can control the weight or you may drop the bar and repeat the movement again.


Sets & reps:

I prefer to do deadlift at the beginning of your workout. In the beginning, your muscles will be fresh and you can lift more. Do a proper warm-up session to prevent injury.

3 sets of 8-12 reps (beginners).

4-5 sets of 6-10 reps (intermediate).

4-5 sets of 5-8 reps (advance).


Bench Press:

The bench press is known as a chest builder exercise. The best exercise to build muscle mass on your chest. Besides that, it is a great compound movement for muscle building.


It needs lots of upper body strength to perform. This exercise will definitely give you a perfect shape and lots of muscle mass on your upper body.


How to Perform:


  • Lie down on a flat bench. Place your head just under the barbell.


  • Create a slight arch on your back, keep your chest up. Hold the bar a little bit wider than your shoulder-width.


  • Then unrack the bar and hold over your chest. Take a deep breath and hold. Now slowly lower the bar and touch the lower chest.


  • After that push the bar up. Seems like you are about to through the bar up. This will count as one rep.


Sets & reps:


Bench press should be performed at the beginning of your chest session, this is the conventional way. But according to me, you can do it at the first or a second.


After doing any upper chest workout, do it. You are going to feel a great pump.


3 sets of 8-12 reps (beginners).

4-5 sets of 6-12 reps (intermediate).

4-5 sets of 5-10 reps (advance).

Read Also: 10 Best Back Exercises-You should Include (Sample plan)


Overhead Press

The overhead press is a nice shoulder workout. And a great workout to put on muscle mass. Shoulders, triceps, traps, core, upper chest and lots of muscle groups get involved to perform this compound exercise. This one is a nice workout for that wider look.


How to Perform:


  • Stand tall with your legs shoulder-width apart. Make your spine straight and chest up.


  • Place the bar on your upper chest or clavicle bone and your hands just next to your shoulders.


  • Take a deep breath, tighten the core and press the bar up high. Don’t lock your elbows at the top.


  • Then slowly lower the bar on your upper chest and repeat the process.


Sets & reps:


You can do it any time between your workouts. I don’t recommend doing overhead press at the last. If you do it first, then do a proper warm-up.


3 sets of 8-12 reps (beginners).

4-5 sets of 6-10 reps (intermediate and advanced).




Pull-up is one of the great bodyweight exercises. This a powerful exercise to build strength on your back and put on muscles on your back.


You can target the upper, lower or inner back by changing the placement of your hand. This one is great for developing the “v” shape.


How to Perform:


  • First, hang yourself with a bar. Grab the bar a little bit wider than your shoulder-width.


  • Retract your scapula and do your chest up.


  • Now take a breath and pull the bar. imagine to closer your elbows with the lats.


  • Pause at the top when your head crosses the bar.


  • Then slowly lower yourself. repeat the whole process again.


Sets & reps:


Pull up is the great warm-up exercise and can be a great finisher workout. It is also wonderful to increases intensity.


That means you can do pull-ups in as a superset or giant set. For example; do bent-over rows for the upper back and include pull-ups as supper set.


2-3 sets as many as possible (beginners).

3-4 sets of 8-12 reps (intermediate and advanced). Use weights to hit the rep range, if needed.




Dips can be performed to target both the chest and the triceps. There is a slight difference between the forms to target the chest or the triceps. But both are important to develop the muscle size. You may add weights to increase the intensity.


How to Perform


  • Grab a parallel dip bar and hold yourself at the top by locking the elbows.


  • Make your chest up and slowly lower yourself and when your crosses the elbows, stop and push up. This will target the triceps most.


  • Now when you lean forward a little bit, make your glute up and then do the whole process you can feel the activation on your chest.


Sets & reps:


Dips are also alike pull-ups. You can do it as warm-up include to increase intensity or do it in the beginning.


3 sets of 8-12 reps (beginners).

4-5 sets of 6-10 reps (intermediate and advanced). Use weights if needed to hit the rep range.




The squat is one of my favorite exercises to gain weight. This one increases your level of intensity so high. It is a great mass builder workout for legs.


If your legs look like “chicken leg”, then in your leg day you should start your workout with squat when your quads muscles are fresh.


How to Perform:


  • Place the bar on your rear deltoids and unrack the bar. take a stance with shoulder-width apart.


  • Make your chest up, take a deep breath, core tight and the spine should be straight.


  • Then slowly lower yourself until your quads are parallel to the ground. Don’t go too deep.


  • Then explode up and stand tall. Squeeze your butts at the top. This is your one rep.


Sets & reps:


Doing squats, in the beginning, is the conventional method. I also recommend doing squats in the beginning.


But as you become advanced you can do it in the last. To increase intensity. Although it is very technical but very effective. You can feel the greater pump with a low amount of weights.


3 sets of 8-12 reps (beginners)

4-5 sets of 6-10 reps (intermediate).

4-5 sets of 5-8 reps (advance).


Leg press


The leg press is another great leg workout to build the quads muscle faster. This one is performed in a restricted form on the machine.


In this workout, you are mainly going to target the quads which are the primary muscle, hamstring, and glute. This one my favorite because you can easily build a strong muscle-mind connection, which eventually boosts the muscle growth.


How to Perform:


  • Lie down on the bench and place your shoulder-width apart. Your feet should be flat with the platform machine.


  • Now lower the safety bar holding the platform. Don’t lock your knees.


  • Inhale and hold, then slowly lower the bar until it bent 90 degrees. Then push the platform with your heels to the starting position.


  • Repeat the whole process.


Sets & reps


3 sets of 8-12 reps (beginners).

4-5 sets of 6-10 reps (intermediate and advanced).


Best Isolation Exercises To Gain Weight


Though for muscle build heavy compound exercise is great. But some isolation exercises are also important to stimulate some specific muscle groups.


The reason I love to add some isolation movement to gain weight is, it will help you to create an illusion of bigger looks like broad shoulders, big quads, etc.


Leg Extension


This one is also a great quads builder and my favorite. Leg extension workout specifically targets the quads muscles. It helps to put on a massive amount of mass on your thighs.


And the best part is you can build a strong mind-muscle connection with this exercise which will eventually stimulate your muscle growth.


How to Perform:


  • Sit on a leg extension machine and place your feet under the pad. Make your feet pointed forward.


  • Now breath in and extend your legs using your quadriceps. Then breath out and slowly lower the legs.


  • Your knees should not move during the movement.


Sets & reps:


3 sets of 12-15 resp (beginners).

4 sets of 10-12 reps (intermediate and advanced).


Dumbbell Chest Fly


The dumbbell chest fly is a great isolation exercise for chest muscle. It increases the thickness of chest muscle (pectoralis major). For building a bigger and wide chest I highly recommend performing this exercise.


How to Perform:


  • Lie down on a flat bench and raise the dumbbells with the help of your thighs. Place the dumbbells over your shoulders with the palms of your hands facing each other. Keep a slight bend in your elbows.


  • Make your chest up, a little arch in your back and retract your scapula.


  • Now take a deep breath and slowly flare the dumbbells out and stop at your shoulder level.


  • Then return your arms at the top as it was before. Make sure you remain that bend on your elbows throughout the whole repetition.


Sets & reps:


3 sets of 12-15 reps (beginners).

3-4 sets of 10-15 reps (intermediate and advanced).


One-arm Cable Side Laterals


Cable side laterals will give you’re the wide shoulder and the “outer cap” on your shoulders. It is a nice workout for skinny people who want to gain weight and looking for a wide look.


How to Perform:


  • Grab the handle attached to the rope with one hand and with another hand grab the handle or bar of the machine and slightly bend your torso towards the working side of the shoulders.


  • Make your chest up and neutral your spine. Make your core tight.


  • Now inhale and pull the handle across your body at your shoulder height and then slowly in a controlled way lower the cable.


  • Create a slight arch in your elbows and only the shoulder joint will move. No other joints like the elbow, wrists should not be moved.


Sets & reps:


3-4 reps of 12-15 reps (beginners).

4-5 sets of 1012 reps (intermediate and advanced).


Tips To Gain Weight


Gaining weight doesn’t say always the truth. You should gain muscle weight rather than fat. And to grow muscles, doing exercises is not enough. Only doing exercises to gain weight can’t help you.  There are some other factors which boost up your muscle growth.


Consume More Calories


No matter what exercises you perform and how you perform, you need to focus on your diet part. Because have a weak diet plan can slow down or doesn’t affect your muscle building.


If you want to grow your muscle mass, you need to consume more than your maintenance calories (BMR). Then gradually increase your calorie intake in every four to five weeks.


Remember eating lots of food without tracking them properly can lead to dirty bulking, which is not healthy at all.


Carbohydrate Intake


Eating more than your maintenance calorie is not enough. You need a proper macro split for muscle building. There is nothing complicated.


As you are trying to build muscle carbohydrate is very important to give energy to your muscle. Don’t compromise with your carbs intake. I recommend you have at least 45%-60% carbs every day.


If your carbs intake is low then your muscle will start starving and it may cause muscle loss.


On the other hand, high carbs intake fills up your glycogen tank, which will help you to lift heavy on the gym.


Protein Intake


Carbohydrate will give your muscle energy but to build muscle you need enough protein.


Protein is the building block of muscle because muscle mass is made up of amino acids. [study}


If you don’t consume enough protein, then your muscle doesn’t grow no matter how much you exercise.


According to me, 25%-35% complete protein is enough for muscle building. But the amount may vary on how much muscle mass you carry.


Proper Sleep


Sleeping is one of the secret reasons for not growing muscles. And now in these busy days, people always compromise with their sleeping time. Which eventually effects on their health.


Studies have shown that proper sleep can reduce the stress level and prevent hormone imbalance.


And the most important thing is sleeping not enough can reduce the testosterone and insulin-like growth factor 1, these hormones directly affect your muscle growth.


So, if you want to live healthily and want to grain your weight then don’t compromise with your sleeping time.




A healthy approach to gain weight is to gain muscle mass. But to gain muscle you may gain fat as well, but it should not gain that much.


Remember gaining weight is not overnight, especially if you are looking to gain muscle. So, keep patience and work hard towards your goal.


You should follow a proper diet and workout plan and should be consistent with that plan for a better result. Follow these exercises to gain weight. You should focus on other exercises as well.


The sets and reps that I have provided are to give you a general idea about sets and reps to build muscles. This may vary from individual to individual. Choose sets and reps according to your weak and strong muscle groups.








Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *