the fitness journal
Am I a hard gainer?
Am I a hard gainer?
You know who you are... you find building muscle a challenge and think it could be your genetics at fault.
Is hard gainer a real thing? What does it take to build muscle
- Training stimulus
- Adequate protein intake and calories
- Sufficient anabolic hormone
Training stimulus – in order to get the most out of your training you need to train with purpose and intensity. The key here is not to overcook it - Building muscle doesn't require marathon sessions, excessive volume will reduce your capacity to recover and gain strength and size. As a "hard gainer" you should be aiming for the minimum amount of work to deliver a training response. This is so you are not wasting any of your precious calories coming in on wasted gym time.
Cut the duration of your sessions in favour for higher frequency. Aim to work muscle groups twice per week but keep session duration to 45minutes of focused work.
If you are a you may have a higher percentage of slow twitch fibres. Don't let this deter you, it may add some extra challenges, but overcoming challenges is half the fun. Work through all rep ranges during a session to boost your weaknesses and train to your strengths. Start in 3-6 rep range with big compound movements, then move into slightly higher rep ranges of 7-12 for the exercises in the middle of the session. Follow this by finishing with some higher rep movements of 12-25 reps to finish.
Calories and protein – if you are not in a calorie surplus you won't add muscle.
Make sure you are hitting enough protein each day and make sure you are absorbing it. Digestive enzymes and probiotics are a great addition to your diet to ensure you are taking on the protein you are eating. They will boost digestion and results.
Eat Carbs, as a hard gainer you should be eating your carbs. Make sure you are including complex carbs like, rice, potato and oats to fuel your body to achieve your goals and replenish carbs after training.
Improve sleep, reduce stress and go easy on the caffeine. Keep cortisol in check with these simple tricks for managing cortisol.
Reduce meal frequency in favour of eating less often, this will improve insulin sensitive and help boost your muscle building ability. Aim for 3-4 meals per day, this may take some getting used to but is worth it in the long run for results and convenience is worth it.
Testosterone boosting for more muscle
This is an important muscle building hormone that can be supported with some time in the sunshine (15-20mins), more sleep, being a winner and lifting heavy weights.
You can also add some herbs and supps to the mix to boost your levels.
Look into these
Cinnamon, Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Selenium and L-Carnitine
After reading this you may see there is no easy or hard to gaining muscle, its all about coming at it the right angle for you. Train to your goals with methods that suit your body type and abilities and the results will fall into place (with hard work and dedication)
Try my custom plan to get the very best results, you will learn you aren't necessarily a hard gainer and that you might have just been using the wrong methods