Are You A Hard Gainer?
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If you're a hard gainer, you know that it's extremely difficult put on weight and add muscle mass. I was a hard gainer until I figured out the keys that unlocked my potential. I was trying to follow the "normal" bodybuilding exercise routines and diet plans, only to find out after years of trial and error (all error) that those plans were written by gifted athletes for gifted athletes.
You must follow a different approach. We are generally ectomorphs and we need a completely different set of plans. We need to reduce our training frequency and the number of sets. We also don't need to perform multiple exercises per body part. Finally, we must follow a distinct nutrition plan. It is the reduced training and the rest it affords, along with the diet plan, that is the key to a hard gainer building muscle.
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I suggest a work-out routine that trains the torso one day and the arms and legs the other. Skip a day between work-outs. You'll end up training arms and legs 2 times and torso once in week one, but torso twice and arms and legs once in week 2.
This is what I found to work for me. It looks something like this:
- 3 sets of squats, 10-12 reps.
- Calf press, 2 sets, 15-20 reps.
- Tricep press, 2 sets, 8-10 reps.
- Barbell curl, 2 sets, 8-10 reps.
- 3 sets of bench presses, 8-10 reps.
- 3 sets of rows, 8-10 reps.
- 2 sets of shoulder presses, 8-10 reps.
Repeat Monday's work-out.
Repeat Wednesday's workout...
Basically, you train Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, alternating between torso and arm and leg training.
Nutrition plays a vital role for the hard gainer. You MUST eat at least 6 times per day. Eat your "normal" breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and add a meal replacement or weight gain supplement in between meals and after dinner right before bed.
I found Met-RX to be the ideal supplement for my weight gain. I put on 30 pounds of quality muscle in one year following this plan. Up to then, even with taking huge amounts of supplements, I could only gain about 5 pounds in a year.
But I was following a work-out plan that wasn't designed for me. What I failed to mention above is that I used a variety of "high intensity training (HIT)" techniques to really blast my muscles. Things like forced reps and negatives. These techniques, if followed under a "normal" 6 day a week split training routine, will absolutely kill all possible gains for the hard gainer, but limiting myself to only 3 work-outs per week was the key.
Eat plenty of protein. In fact, don't even worry about the rest. Just concentrate on eggs, milk, and beef, fish, and chicken. You certainly don't want to get fat, but if you're a hard gainer, you really don't have to worry about that! You'll also want to take in the right supplements to support muscle growth.
You NEVER want to be hungry! Hunger is a sure sign that it's already too late and your body has started to cannibalize itself by either using fat or muscle as an energy source. Let food be your energy source. Keep the protein levels in your bloodstream up.
Two last things: Don't do any cardio and don't do any ab work.
Using these methods, you can develop more muscle than you ever thought possible.
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