a man lifting a barbell


By Grant Caraway

Today we will be talking about how athletes can gain 20lbs this off season. When I was a junior in high school I weighed around 160lbs and was able to get to 180lbs (and I’m not the tallest guy either so I was pretty pleased) before my senior year. This may seem like a big gain to a lot of you, but there were so many things I wasn’t doing as a sophmore/junior that prevented me from gaining weight. And I’m sure, a lot of you are doing the same things. I hope this is able to help.

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So the biggest change I made was switching up my workouts. I was always under the impression that if I lifted heavy weight for 2-5 reps I would get bigger. Now, you will get stronger training heavy like this- and football players need to train like this- but you won’t see a gain in muscle mass. The best rep range to work in to build muscle mass is the 8-12 rep range. This is best for hypertroohy AKA muscle growth. Those 8-12 reps should be to failure as well. Now when you first start training like this, you will see a gain in size pretty quickly I feel- but then you will start to plateau. To make sure this doesn’t happen- you still need to train for strength and increase the weight constantly of your 1-4 rep max on an exercise. Let’s say it’s squats. 8-12 rep range to failure will get your legs bigger- but you still need to try to improve your max on squat so you can increase the weight you are doing for failure on your 8-12 rep sets. I hope this make sense, if you need further clarification please contact us on social media. But this was the biggest change I made to my lifting routine that helped me build size.

Now, with all of that lifting and constantly practicing for your position… your body gets worn down. You need to recover. The only way you are going to gain muscle is by recovering. So sleeping is important. Any type of massage gun, ice bath or recovery tool is important. But he biggest change I made diet wise to help with recovery was protein consumption. I was consuming 1G of protein per pound of desired body weight per day. So I wanted to get to 180lbs… so I consumed 180G per day of protein. Now this isn’t the hardest thing to do if you’re a big eater, which I am, but still I needed to supplement in different protein shakes and protein powders throughout the day to hit this goal. Protein repairs the micro tears in your body that you get from working out and putting strain on your muscle. This helps you get bigger, because those repairs make your muscles bigger- it’s small but small things add up. And it helps you recover so the next day you can get after your workout. If you are looking for a good protein powder that is very easy on your stomach, checkout the link below. This is one I recommend! ⬇️⬇️

Now lastly, I took tracking my calories seriously. This is simple if you invest a little bit of money into a calorie burn tracking tool. Whether that is a watch you wear or a tool you strap to your chest while working out. But you need to keep track of how many calories you’re burning daily. So, you can consume more than you burn. This is called a calorie surplus. If you are in a constant calorie surplus- you will gain weight. It’s simple. So this was another thing I did based around diet and exercise that helped me gain weight. These are all thing I feel every athlete can do if they set their mind to it. If you’re not doing any of these- you will see such a huge jump in your weight like I did.

First Down Training founder Coach Grant Caraway was a former high school and collegiate QB/WR And he currently train over 150 QBs & WRs in the Southern California area. Make sure you follow him on instagram at @firstdowntraining

This article originally published on firstdowntraining.com

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