There's been some really good advice on here, and I'm sure you're finding it useful.
I'm about 6ft and have a naturally skinny frame. When I train and am preparing for a fight my weight goes up to about 13 stone, however I've just returned from Thailand where training 8 hours a day in 40 degree heat has taken it's toll, and I'm now a lot lighter and am back on the regime to get back up to weight before my next fight.
My weight goes up and down depending on where I'm training (climates), how hard I'm training etc. My weight goes down pretty much overnight if I don't eat loads, and I know a lot of fighters who are the same, especially those training in Thailand.
My advice to you is eat OFTEN. This is the key to gaining weight. It's a large part calorie intake AS WELL as when you eat, which a lot of people don't understand. Eat breakfast, eat at about 10:30, again at 12:30, 14:30, 18:00 and before you go to bed. Break it up between big meals with nuts, fruit etc.
By eating often (I eat about 6 meals a day to put mass on) you're keeping your bodys metabolism working, meaning that it's working at it's most efficient. Your body needs to be using everything you're giving it to build muscle, so it's really important that you keep your vitamins and BCAA's (branch chain amino acids) up. I know loads of people who try to put weight on by eating stuff that's highly calorific, but has no decent energy or nutrients and doesn't get them results. Eating 4 pizzas a day won't get you where you want to be!
If you're gonna be training then it takes a lot of effort and burns a lot of energy! It therefore almost makes it harder to gain weight when you're training, because your body is using up what you're giving it so efficiently. On training days it's super important that you're eating often, to give you a steady release of energy throughout the day. As soon as you're finished training then eat something, and remember to eat a little while before. In Thailand I eat about 6,000 calories a day, and still find it hard to put on mass, because my body's using so much energy.
As well as that I also us Anabolic Mass II. I've tried loads of supplements and find the Anabolic Mass to be good for me, however people seem to vary greatly when using supplements. I know people who've got some really good results with other supplements, it's just trial and error I guess. Don't try it too much tho, it's quite expensive!
I wasn't really too into supplements (I'd never needed them training in England) until it became necessary due to the amount of weight we were all losing in Thailand. I personally use the aforementioned Anabolic Mass and BCAA capsules, although I'm not too keen on taking hundreds of pills - it's not good for your liver and kidneys. I also use electrolytes which are really good for replacing fluid and salt lost whilst training, and I occasionally take vitamins. That's pretty much it. When I'm training to fight I see a lot of people with tonnes and tonnes of supplements, but the truth is if you work hard, eat more calories than you burn and eat the RIGHT kinds of foods you WILL put weight on!
In terms of keeping your speed etc.... Training in Muay Thai and BJJ when you have a skinny frame is a GOOD way to start. You're effectively a blank canvas. As long as your diet's good and you're keeping healthy your body will tailor itself to the sport. You often see fighters with huge biceps etc, where they've spent hours in a gym. People think that huge arms = huge power, but it's not true. Bruce Lee was known for becoming "Westernised" because of this. People who train in his original art of Wing Chun are known for having quite saggy biceps, as they believe that biceps hinder your punching ability. Apparently his original trainers saw his biceps and were very disappointed that he'd sacrificed his skill for astethics. Often people who train in Muay Thai (especially my Thai Trainer friends) have relatively small biceps but have huge triceps.
This is because they don't train in the gym - they train by fighting. And if you train by fighting then your body will adapt to the strength and power it needs to fight, not to push weights. People often get huge in the gym and are capable of bench pressing a guy who's 20 stone, but what's the point if you're only fighting guys who weigh 12 stone?! All the power over and above what's required is surplus, and is not worth having if it will slow you down, if that makes sense? I see that a lot with fighters - it's not something which people think of, but you can get too big and heavy. Perfect example is Rich "No Love" Clementi. When he fights he gets the exact weight of the person he's fighting and trains accordingly, slamming and pushing bags of the exact weight of the person he'll be fighting. He's a very skilled fighter, and knows that bulking up too much is sometimes worse than not bulking up enough!
So don't worry! If you train in any martial art or physical sport then your body will adapt accordingly, naturally, with no amazing equipment or weights. If you punch and kick a bag you WILL get better, you WILL get stronger and your body will build the strength it needs to do what you want it to.
Hope this is helpful and not too long!
Last edited by MGMMA : 09-25-2010 at 04:44 AM.