Advise for a Hard Gainer

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    Mar 31, 2008 12:47 AM GMT
    Hello Everyone,

    I am currently working on building Muscle, but it seems to take sometime for me. I looked it up and I am what is known as a "hard gainer." I eat a lot and try to push those heavy weights, but I'm still getting whimpy results. Any suggestions?
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    Mar 31, 2008 3:29 AM GMT
    Post your routine and please include exercises with sets and reps for each.

    Can you also include the number of days you workout and what muscle grps you work together.

    one more thing...post your typical weekly diet including any supplements you are taking
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    Mar 31, 2008 5:48 AM GMT
    You know, I'm not nearly as big as I'd like to be, and I'm working on it, but god knows I'm in the best shape I've ever been in now.

    I was skin and bones for most of my life, even though I thought I ate heaps and went to the gym regularly.

    What I think finally started putting some muscle on was a 30-minute full-body workout recommended by Men's Health Magazine here in Australia. It was only 3 days a week, maybe 4, but it came with a whole lot of seemingly good reasoning.

    By working out your whole body with large muscle group exercises, you would stimulate the largest release of human growth hormone which is what you need in order to get bigger. But you also need enough protein in your diet - and it's not really heaps, something like 1.5g for every kg of your body weight, reasonable quantities of good carbohydrates, and plenty of sleep. The rest days after each workout were part of the secret because the growth occurs during rest periods.

    Now, I'd prefer to get this sort of information from a muscle-hunk who'd built up from skin and bones, and I suspect you would too, but take my advice as you will, but it has worked well for me - if only you knew how skinny I was to start with. Now i'm on the RJ muscle building program and I like it.
  • Hunkymonkey

    Posts: 215

    Apr 01, 2008 5:03 PM GMT
    These 2 thoughts come to mind. If you are only 20, and, judging by your picture, you are quite lean, then your metabolism is in still in high gear and likely to continue that way for a while. So I think you are most likely really underestimating your calorie intake. Lots of food does not necessarily equate to lots of calories. And for you, calories are the key. Moreover, genetics plays a huge role. Naturally skinny guys have a really hard time of it. The muscle-type you have is not pre-disposed to easy or rapid growth, so in addition to proper nutrition, proper and consistent training and, especially, lots of patience are required.
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    Apr 04, 2008 4:24 PM GMT
    I suggest you start writing down what you eat to eastimate your caloric intake. I thought I ate a lot until I started my food diary. Also, estimate you daily needs (see this article, http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do?article=body_146mass ) you may be amazed how many calories one needs in order to grow. One of the most important things is proper pre/during and postworkout nutrition (one example is here: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpost.php?p=11356062&postcount=3088 ). Also, for a hardgainer it is important not to overtrain - 3-4 times a week 45-60 min. Check out t-nation.com or bodybyilding.com - these two websites have a lot of useful information.

    As a hardgainer myself, I've had a hard time putting on muscle, it's a slow process but you're young and I'm sure if you have the will you're going to succeed.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Apr 04, 2008 10:31 PM GMT
    I couldn't gain any wait untill I was 26-27. Relax, at least now they have better shakes-try a morning pre and post work-out one. It may take time but you will gain. Def continue to eat at least 4-6 meals a day. Good Luck-icon_smile.gif

    Mike3
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    Apr 04, 2008 11:19 PM GMT
    Every time I see "hard gainer" it grabs my attention. I'm the same way.

    I used to work out a lot many years back. But, after a while I got frustrated and gave up. Every bit of muscle that I had built up eventually disappeared...as did any of the tone I did get from long distance running. If I had kept better track of what I was doing and eating the situation may have been different.

    Massimouno is probably right about the calorie intake. When I kept track I was shocked at how much I really wasn't consuming. Eating a lot throughout the day still doesn't mean that you eat enough.

    I decided on a workout program that would work me really hard, help me create good habits and see results...no matter how big or small. I write everything down when I work out. Dates, reps, weights, how difficult, if I increased or decreased my weight mid set, how I felt that day. Protein shake after every workout. I eat 6 times a day and eat clean. It'll get even better over time.

    I ended up with 5 extra pounds and went from about 12% body fat to 5.5% body fat in 2 months. Not a lot of weight gain. But, factor in the fat loss and I'm pretty excited about it. And it makes me want to keep going!
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    Apr 06, 2008 12:54 AM GMT
    I am definitely a hard gainer and I've always said that, compared to other guys, it takes twice the effort to get half the results.

    I'm not saying that to be discouraging in any way. Actually, it's meant as an incentive -- to keep going even when results seem slow in coming.

    Just know that as you eventually see major changes -- and you will, if you stick with it -- that you've accomplished something really tremendous.

    It's great to have started out scrawny and then have people compliment you on your build, muscles, etc, look to you to pick up heavy stuff, squeeze your ceps, and all that. Sure makes it worth the time and effort!
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    Apr 07, 2008 10:49 PM GMT
    I think you have to eat more...eat 500 clean calories more a day and see what happens. for me at least, eating is alot harder than working out..you really have to force yourself to eat. I literally have to see an inpiring video when i eat, it's just not natural. Water is also important, consume a gallon a day.

    My bf is a hard gainer, 6'1" 170 lbs. Got him up to 185lbs in roughly 2 years. Its mostly eating, 70%.
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    Apr 14, 2008 8:29 PM GMT
    apochromatic saidI think you have to eat more...eat 500 clean calories more a day and see what happens. for me at least, eating is alot harder than working out..you really have to force yourself to eat. I literally have to see an inpiring video when i eat, it's just not natural. Water is also important, consume a gallon a day.

    My bf is a hard gainer, 6'1" 170 lbs. Got him up to 185lbs in roughly 2 years. Its mostly eating, 70%.


    I couldn't agree more with apochromatic. I'm a hard gainer as well, was barely 130 Lbs when I started lifting. Diet was the hardest, yet most important part of the 40 Lbs I've put on since then.

    One tip I would give you is this.. I started out by eating six meals a day, no matter how small, just to get myself accustomed to eating that often. Even if it's a 200-300 cal meal. Then start slowly cranking up how much you eat in each meal. I try to consume a total of 4500-5000 cals a day. Don't push yourself too fast, it's going to be a gradual process of getting your body used to eating so much. You will find that soon enough, you'll get light headed if you go more than 3 hours without eating.
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    Apr 14, 2008 8:36 PM GMT
    Hard gainers hards schmainers there ar no such things but there are hard eaters and hard learners.

    Whilst watching your diet is always the key to any body change making sure your training matches your intake requirements is also key.

    So if upping your calorie intake is hard for you, and it seems to allude you so far so why believe that would change, then you need to cut back on your training and burn less calories.

    makeumyne has it spot on. More intensity by virtue of the loads you lift and the way you lift to efficiently conserve calories is the key.

    Its all about the balance of energy in v demands placed

    Upping the calories by a random figure of 500 will not answer your question if you dont know what demands you are placing on your body
  • kinetic

    Posts: 1125

    Apr 14, 2008 8:50 PM GMT
    LittleDudeWithMuscles saidI am definitely a hard gainer and I've always said that, compared to other guys, it takes twice the effort to get half the results.


    TESTIFY!!!
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    Apr 15, 2008 10:13 PM GMT
    bfg1 saidHard gainers hards schmainers there ar no such things but there are hard eaters and hard learners.

    Whilst watching your diet is always the key to any body change making sure your training matches your intake requirements is also key.

    So if upping your calorie intake is hard for you, and it seems to allude you so far so why believe that would change, then you need to cut back on your training and burn less calories.

    makeumyne has it spot on. More intensity by virtue of the loads you lift and the way you lift to efficiently conserve calories is the key.

    Its all about the balance of energy in v demands placed

    Upping the calories by a random figure of 500 will not answer your question if you dont know what demands you are placing on your body


    You gotta eat big to be big! Training less to match a low daily intake is basically just giving up and confining yourself. Do yourself a favor and go to bodybuilding.com and check out the RMR and BMR calculators, they will show you how much you need to take in to achieve a certain weight, given your bf, age, gender, amount of activity, etc.