HARDEST HARD GAINER!

  • sarahtonin

    Posts: 9

    Apr 23, 2008 5:50 PM GMT
    When I moved to DC I hired an amazing trainer and worked with him for a year and he even said himself, "you're the hardest gainer I've ever seen." He told me to eat everything in sight. No matter what. Shovel food in. So that's what I do. To the tune of 4000-5000 calories a day. I don't eat desserts/junk food and don't drink soft drinks (diet or regular). I drink two "EAS Mass Factor Weight Gainer" shakes a day, one in the morning and one before bed, each a 1000 calories. I know I can't get big and cut at the same time. I accept that. But what is wrong? I seem to be saying the same. When I started working out he weighed me at 164 and now I'm at 173. Yes, that's good, but after four years shouldn't I have put on more than that? It got too expensive so I couldn't continue to go to the trainer, but still have all the knowledge he gave me, so I'm doing it by myself.

    I go to the gym 4 days per week always, some weeks 5 days, and do C/T on one day, B/B one day, and legs one day with creatine before the workouts, and also warm up with 8-10 minutes of moderate cardio each day. I had been doing 3 sets of 8 reps, but have in the last couple weeks, started trying to do even heavier weights for 6 reps.

    What is it that you guys did to get big. And how many calories did you take in? Is this the right theory? How are you all so ripped up and seemingly putting on all this muscle so easily. I know it's not "easy" but seriously, what can I do differently? How about supplements? Other than creatine and the weight gainer shakes, should I be doing Glutamine or HMB to prevent my body from cannibalizing itself? I'm not afraid/opposed to going to the gym and working my ass off, but it gets frustrating when I'm not seeing gains.

    Any advice from the family would be appreciated!
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Apr 23, 2008 9:41 PM GMT
    Not sure what your metabolic rate is, but as a fellow hard gainer, I'm not even allowed to say the word "cardio" out loud anymore. Check with your doctor and your trainer. If your metabolism is anything like mine (around hummingbird speed), you may have to eliminate anything that gets your heart rate/breathing rate up...
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    Apr 23, 2008 9:47 PM GMT
    Dear Lord, I hate your guts! icon_evil.gif


    j/k... but I would trade your problems for mine any day. If I so much as look at food, it flies directly onto my body. If I were to drink ONE of your gainer shakes a day, they'd have to widen the gym doors to get my fat ass on the treadmill.
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    Apr 23, 2008 9:48 PM GMT
    I have the opposite problem. I think I just put on fat reading about your calories rippedho!
    Unfortunately a lot of this is determined by genetics. All you can do in the gym and with diet is maximize when genetics can do for you. It sounds like you are doing everything right without looking exactly at your workout. Generally heavier weights and lower reps will improve you strength more than muscle gains. 8-12 is generally thought of as the best range for gains. Trying mixing it up week to week. You don't want to do the same routine week after week.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 23, 2008 10:31 PM GMT
    Sometimes you just have to eat mechanically, even when you're not hungry. When I was making more of an effort than I am now to gain weight, I'd make my own trail mix of cereal, dried fruits, and nuts, and keep a bag at my desk at all times. I tried substituting in higher density foods--carrots instead of cucumbers, for example, and I made a lot of raisin and banana bread at the time and used that for the PB&J sandwiches. If I wanted mac and cheese, I browned some ground beef and treated the mac n cheese as hamburger helper. I replaced water with fruit juice. I added more milk to my scrambled eggs, and tossed in some bacon as well. I trained myself to eat something every few hours, even if it was just a couple of cartons of yogurt, regardless of whether I was hungry. And I dropped the cardio down to only short bursts of interval training--sprints to get the heart rate up, but almost nothing in the way of endurance work.

    Eventually, the gains were no longer worth the effort and cost, but it did help me gain at least a small amount of mass. Even so, I'm your height and somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds lighter than you are. Think just how much worse it was when I was 20-25 pounds lighter than I am now. ;)
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    Apr 23, 2008 11:42 PM GMT
    jarhead5536 saidNot sure what your metabolic rate is, but as a fellow hard gainer, I'm not even allowed to say the word "cardio" out loud anymore.


    lol that's funny but I know what you mean, I can't do cardio either...not that I'm sad about that though. Sometimes I just feel like eating hamburgers and pizza all week long, but then I remember, I'ts about gaining muscle, not fat. You don't want to end up like the guy from the mcdonals documentary. icon_lol.gif
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    Apr 23, 2008 11:44 PM GMT
    I'm a hard gainer who has gained about 20 pounds in the last few months and I might try cutting your workouts down to 3x per week, 1 hour max. Overtraining is a very real hurdle that can stand in your way. As long as your workouts are intense enough, you don't need to be working out more than that. Give your body time to recover.
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    Apr 23, 2008 11:48 PM GMT
    innerathlete saidI'm a hard gainer who has gained about 20 pounds in the last few months.


    I'm going to have to pack more vittles into your Simpsons lunchbox.
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    Apr 23, 2008 11:57 PM GMT
    The simple math says you have to be burning too many of those input calories on non-muscle building activities. Skip the cardio!

    Do you have a job that you take home with you? Do you live on a 5th floor walkup and use the stairs 8 times/day? Are you a stress monkey? A leg shaker? All these things are ways to burn calories that could explain the magical way they don't get stored anywhere on your body.

    I'd cut back to lifting only every other day. You should lift for an hour max, but during that hour you should bust your ass (i.e. occasional screaming and a little bit of pain). You should work out such that you can't even dream of going back to the gym the next day.
    (Edit: looks like inner beat me to this one -- so it must be good advice then icon_smile.gif

    How many hours/day do you sleep? You should get 8 hours minimum. If you can, work in 10 hours.

    And don't even joke about how everyone else puts on lean muscle "easily." It's an attitude that will get you nowhere. Sure, a few people have lucky genetics, and others take chemical shortcuts, but most of the rest spend a decade or more working on it slowly but surely, and are never ceased to be amazed at everyone who seems to think they can do the same in 2/3 years. If you're not in in for the long haul, don't bother.

    K
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    Apr 24, 2008 5:17 AM GMT
    Same thing here. icon_confused.gif Thanks for the advice on this thread. icon_biggrin.gif
  • sarahtonin

    Posts: 9

    Apr 24, 2008 3:14 PM GMT
    Thanks guys.

    I know some people don't wanna hear about us guys that can eat so much and not get fat. Sorry! It is as frustrating to us to gain, as it is to you to lose!

    I agree MSUBioNerd, got it. Definitely try to eat something every two hours. Difference is, I AM hungry every two hours, I don't have to worry about "even if I'm not hungry," I'm ALWAYS hungry, so much that my stomach cramps if I'm not eating! I will definitely take your advice and mix it up, love the idea of mac n' cheese with HB meat, yummm!

    ShaDoWhn got it right! I do feel like shoveling in high fat foods, but I feel so guilty. Plus once you eat McDonalds one day, that's all you want the rest of the week. I swear they put crack in that sh!t to make you want it more and more. Plus eating so many fatty foods makes your skin oily and broken out.

    Basically, everyone is saying the same thing, and I agree, it's all about the eating. IguanaSF is onto me. I AM a leg shaker, and I am constantly moving. I'm shaking my legs furiously as I write this. Whoops! Not sure what my RMR is, but I'm sure it's outrageous. I am most likely working out about 20 minutes too much each time I go so will cut it down and see how that works. I've got the intensity factor you mentioned covered. I definitely bust my ass while there. Sleep is a huge problem though. In the last week I've just discovered Ambien CR. I think this was/is a huge problem, because I have a terrible time sleeping, which I attribute to not seeing the results I want. We all know sleeping is when you're body is made. Even though I was "getting 8 hours" it was a very disruptive sleep. With the Ambien I think that is going to change. It works wonders.

    Thanks for all the posts guys. There are many hard gainers out there that can benefit from this info.
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    Apr 24, 2008 4:57 PM GMT
    Ah, I think you've figured it out!

    Ripped, I used to be a leg shaker with a rabbit's metabolism too. Of course, age slows everyone down, and so at some point your body will change on its own, but until then, it IS possible to slowly learn to calm down and slow your metabolic rate. This isn't anything that happens overnight either. It's a complete lifestyle and mental outlook change which also takes years.

    One thing that might work is yoga. Not a "stress puppy" or a "just HAVE to hit the flying ninja pose perfectly" kind of yoga, but a version that is all about relaxation and quieting your mind, and that at the end, everyone is lying on the floor in the dark, nearly asleep. That's something that might help too, and might even cost less than the Ambien icon_smile.gif

    Good luck in the shift from leg shaker to lazy boy!

    K
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    Apr 24, 2008 8:06 PM GMT
    Check out the book "Scrawny to Brawny". Some good tips for us hard gainers. Also, there is a work out on T-Nation called Westside for Skinny Bastards that is apparently good. I added 10 kilos in 3 months - first time I have been able to gain weight in years! The big difference has been switching up my workout every 4-6 weeks and using different set/rep/weight combos. I have also learned to give up on 'clean' eatting and just eat anything, even 'healthier' junk food like pizza - trying to eat 4000-5000 cals a day of clean food will cost you too much money and you'll get sick of constantly putting food to your mouth.
  • sarahtonin

    Posts: 9

    Apr 24, 2008 8:54 PM GMT
    Thanks nick. Will definitely try the T-Nation workout. Just printed it. I do get sick of constantly eating sometimes. You got that right!
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    May 01, 2008 12:49 AM GMT
    do the 3x a week...squat more...keep eating...but do some days with less calories...your metabolism adjusts...i wouldn't eat 1000 calories before bed...your body wont be resting it will digesting...

    squat 3x a week...a medium day, and light day, and a heavy day...

    get your sleep...

    relax more...

    stick to compund movements...

    ...you should post your diet too...so people can see what you're eating...
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    May 03, 2008 2:59 PM GMT
    What do you mean by compound movements? Thanks!
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    May 03, 2008 3:27 PM GMT
    Em you know just because you're thin and you feel you can, you should still watch it because instead of giving yourself big ol' biceps you might end up giving yourself a big ol' heart attack.

    Some people are just not meant to be muscle bound. Some people its genetic. I'd say your one of them.

    And for godsakes don't listen to people who tell you to take drugs to fuck up your heart rate.. That's just stupid.

    At what cost dose this come?

    Sorry, but my dad had a massive heart attack and countless others and lives a very healthy lifestyle and it pisses me off to see healthy people put there hearts at risk for the sake of looking like a trashy A&F model.

    Be happy your not fat..
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    May 03, 2008 4:12 PM GMT
    same problem: hard gainer... try cutting coffee out of your diet - works wonders! My trainer in NYC said it was the most harmful to my super-metabolism when trying to gain weight.

    Also: eat a couple of bagels with peanut butter or almond butter (at Whole Foods) in the morning. best thing I ever did. Almond butter is actually the best as it has all the right kinds of fat you want! Natural food stores also carry this if you don't have a Whole Foods near you.

    Also talk to your trainer about the length of time you train. Everyone tells me to do an hour at max, but for me, it usually takes 2 hours of hard training to get results. Especially when I've plateau'd.

    before I travelled, I had gained some serious weight over the past year. heading back to the gym in my new town once I find a good one. Want to get back the 15 pounds I lost traveling!
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    May 04, 2008 5:23 PM GMT
    compound movements....squats...deadlifts...dips...overhead pressing...
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    Jul 02, 2008 5:01 AM GMT
    In lovely Washington DC you had an "amazing trainer" who asked you to "shovel food in". Don't know if that was amazing advice. I'm no expert but sounds a bit much.icon_surprised.gif
    Even "eating mechanically when youre not hungry". Thats hardcore.

    Why do you want to put on this extra weight/muscle to begin with? If you do things that are not natural, your body will pay the price- you might be damaging your liver with all the supplements and not know it today, but it might come up on a routine physical on Tuesday afernoon the eve of your 42nd birthday.

    Whatever you do, I hope you dont skip Cardio...your heart is more important than any image/ physique you aspire to be.

    Good luck.
  • Buddha

    Posts: 1767

    Jul 06, 2008 3:19 PM GMT
    It's kind of annoying losing weight by eating regularly. Whenever I'm out travelling I can't eat as much, and I've gotten used to losing weight when coming back.

    Since I haven't gotten to my "goalweight" I really can't say the advice I have is any good but, what the hell. I also go with the weight gainers, I use it as replacement for protein-shakes. The one I have has 100g protein, so 33 goes to the workout and the rest is heading to weight, or at least for the next 2 hours.

    Since my starting point I've gained 12 kg, and I think the bigger problem comes when I've gained, because I am hungry all the time, but get full really easily. There have been instances I've been eating a meal, gotten full, taken so much time eating the meal I've gotten hungry again. But from what I've heard the

    eating several smaller meals > eating 2-3 huge meals

    works.

    Then I think that you just increase the calories intake. Because when you ask for specifics, everyone will tell you different things. Eat eggs, eat spaghetti, eat nuts, eat bananas, take two eggs and put them in milk and put in some honey and boil it in the microwave (not kidding).
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    Jul 06, 2008 5:58 PM GMT
    I am in your same boat. i am 6'3 and have always been tall and lean. I was told by a lifter friend of mine to gain mass you need to take in as much protein as you way. meaning if you wieght 177 lbs then you need to take in 177gms of protien a day, however the body can only absorb 50 to 60 per serving so you have to figure out how to get is all in at different times throughout the day. I am also doing muscle milk and cell mass as well.
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    Jul 06, 2008 6:25 PM GMT
    I'm six feet and it took me a year to get from 134 to 150 lbs. I think the thing that helped me most was the Serious Mass. 1200 calories a serving and 50gm protein. I tried EVERYTHING and none of it worked except this. Man I'd kill to be 170 lbs!