Healthy weight gain can at times drive you nuts especially when you do not achieve your goals.When you reach this point, it’s time to look for plan B.
Most people are under the impression that they need a highly complex training program with a lengthy list of supplements and an iron will in order to get in shape. That’s why people are spending so much money on personal trainers, gyms, creatine, protein shake, and services like’ Insanity Workout.’
Hard gainers – Who are they?
While trying to gain weight sometimes it tends to be challenging especially when you don’t see results. Most people don’t use proper scientific training and rarely work hard, so they never make any progress. These lazy trainees often use this term hardgainer to mask their lack of motivation.
Always remember one thing; you can’t consider yourself a hardgainer before you begin to work out. You must have trained regularly for at least 6 months without any results before you can call yourself a hardgainer.
Having said that, you can agree that there are a few real unfortunate souls who are truly hard gainers. These guys train month after month, eat extra calories and rarely see any muscular growth.
If you’re unfortunate, I can understand how frustrated and lonely you might feel. Why alone? It’s because for such souls there’s very little concern. Billions of dollars are spent all over the world on research to find out how to deal with the crisis of obesity, but very little is spent on helping hard-gainers.
Why hardgainers don’t gain weight.
So if you’re training well and your training is really consistent, why don’t you see any results? Ok, there are a couple of reasons.
- You are not giving your all.
- You don’t know how much calories you eat.
- You are doing too much cardio.
- You are unaware of the amount of Protein you eat.
You’re Not Giving it Your All.
The first and most probable cause here is that you don’t put enough time into your training. If you lift weights or do CV training, it’s not enough merely to go through the motions; you really have to force yourself and you have to work hard enough to feel the burn or the pump in your muscles and feel the sweat forming on your skin.
Exercising is best done for 20 minutes but those who want to sweat it out and add weight will try and work out for 1 to 2 hours every other day.
Strength training is great and it does build muscle, but it won’t work well for a hardgainer like yourself until you have built a Strong foundation of slow grinding STRENGTH. Most bodybuilders began their muscle building careers with good old-fashioned strength training. When they got big as hell they backed off the weight and concentrated on feel and the pump. This is largely because of injury prevention since at some stage it becomes risky to move more weight.
If you are a hardgainer of thin frame, then you should focus more on big lifts. Train more like a powerlifter or strength athlete than a bodybuilder. Stay good at benching, squatting, deadlifting, rowing and overhead pressing. Forget all the other auxiliary drills, grinding motions and devices.
The routine should look simple and you should practice those main lifts OFTEN. The best results I have ever had with hardgainer clients are when I made them lift three days a week and they concentrated on those core exercises with maybe some curls, calf raises, crunches and tricep press downs mixed in.
Since it takes some time for your muscles to heal after a workout, you should make sure to give it time to rest. It may take some time to gain the ideal weight you want if you are underweight so just be patient because the right nutrition diet and body building program will soon make you reach the goal weight.
You don’t know how much calories you eat.
So just why is a calorie surplus so important?
Well the first and most obvious explanation is that muscle building requires energy. You are asking your body to build new protein tissue in your diet and that means you’ll need to eat more to provide that energy.
The other explanation is that you’re trying to avoid muscle breakdown. It goes into a catabolic state when you’re low in energy and your body is pressured to burn fat.
The answer varies again and depends on various factors – such as whether you are more interested in a lean bulk (meaning you are adding muscle with very little body fat) or a ‘dirty bulk’ (meaning you are adding both muscle and fat).
A very clean bulk with something like 150-200 calories per day is achievable. A rather clean bulk is about 200-300. And you could go up to 400-450, if you want to dirty bulk.
However, higher than that and you are beginning to get into fat territory, will put a little pressure on your body. That can be unhealthy.
If you’re someone who’s very slim and you’re just starting out then you should go for a fairly dirty bulk with a 3-400 calorie surplus. You are probably in a spot right now, but you want to be a lot better. In the past you might have tried to bulk up and were disappointed. But at the same time, you are a noob which means that you have the ability to earn noob.
You are doing too much cardio.
Although cardio is completely perfect for you, if you do it in extreme amounts, then it will be physically and mentally harmful to you.
For optimum effectiveness and health, cardiovascular workouts are designed to balance three factors: frequency, intensity and length. You’ll also need to have a warm-up time before reaching your workout ‘s target intensity time and a cool-down period before your workout is over.
Some cardio exercises include:
- Rope jumping.
- Jump jack exercises.
- Squat jumps.
You will know that you have overdone your cardio with the following signs.
- Your joints hurt.
- Your easy days are becoming hard
- You are sore.
- You aren’t sleeping well at night.
- You are falling sick more frequent.
- You are constantly feeling energy drained.
If your target is weight loss then what is the value of the bench press? Or any of the other principles set by Joe Weider to trigger mass muscle growth? When you want to lose weight, then one of the easiest things you can do is Cardiovascular training.
The 2nd Edition of Physical Fitness Guidelines states that the average American adult would benefit greatly from 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensive physical activity a week. That is described as something like a brisk walk. You have to drive like you’ve got a mission and you’re a little rushed. Generally speaking, you can always speak in full sentences, but you may need to take more breaks in them.
You are unaware of the amount of Protein you eat.
High-protein foods are very critical for muscle development, but carbohydrates and fats are also key energy sources.
Did you know that most studies show that a lifter needs approximately 150 grams of protein per day, or one gram per pound of bodyweight, to gain muscle at an optimal rate? Yes, that’s true . If you do not have an idea what your protein intake is, it’s now time to find out.
We all know that when it comes to losing or gaining weight, diet determines results more than anything else.
And when it comes to gaining weight, you’ve undoubtedly heard that you have to eat, eat and eat.
Well, there’s some level of truth in that cliche. If you’ve always had trouble gaining weight, you’re probably going to have to eat more food than you’re used to.
Serious muscle builders treat their diet in an almost scientific manner similar to an equation. So should hard gainers! Then what is the most successful and clinically validated way to create more muscles?
Following the strict rules for improving the body in the most absolute quick way takes a lot of discipline. So if you’re very concerned, then that’s what it takes to get the fastest results.
Here are three dietary tips for serious hardgainers.
- 40% Carbohydrates, 20% Fats, 40% Proteins – The 40:20:40 rule has been tested again and again to be the optimal balance of nutrients for losing fat and gaining muscle.
- Eat in 2.5 Hour Intervals – Don’t just binge. Don’t eat big meals. Big meals cause the blood sugar levels to spike up in your body and then drop. It also allows the digestive system to build up food which is harmful to muscle development.
- Cycle Your Caloric Intake -To prevent the body from sticking to a certain amount of caloric intake, increase the caloric intake regularly. Start mixing calorie low days with calorie high days. If you try to add weight and muscle mass, you can bring in higher calorie days, while doing the reverse if you want to lose weight.
You will ask yourself: How many calories? How much protein? What types of foods are best? Let’s answer some of this questions.
- How many calories? To summarize this issue, for you to gain weight in a healthy way, you need to eat more calories. A normal person consuming 2000 calories is capable of gaining a reasonable amount of weight. For genuine hardgainers who don’t procrastinate consuming 4000-5000 calories are can actually bring positive results.
- How much protein? Proteins are building blocks of life because they make up critical portions of our cells that are essential for growth and repair. Research shows that minimum requirements are around 0.8g/kg body weight, while serious athletes may need as much as 1.4g/g. Protein supplements can help boost intake.
- What types of foods are best? Some of my go-to bulking foods that will help you get in your calories include:- Eggs, Red meat, beans, rice, chicken,whole milk etc Most of these foods are calorie dense. Include a variety of nuts & seed, fruits and vegetables i.e peanuts, cashew nuts, macadamia, chia seeds, bananas, avocados,dates among others.
5 Hard gainers Hacks to gaining weight.
1. Pump up on protein shakes.
Have a protein shake after workout. That’s right, hardgainers should have a protein shake right after your workout in addition to a carb drink during the workout. Post-workout food performs recovery magic and helps you to pay off your hard work in the gym. Adding some carbs (berries, sugar, almond milk, powder) to your shake is a way to sneak into some extra calories and make your shake perfectly powerful and delicious.
2. Eat frequently.
You need to eat more often, every 2-3 hours making approximately 6 meals daily. Since your rate of metabolism is so high, you need to fuel your engine constantly. If you want to get bigger, it’s your responsibility to eat. That might mean that even if you are not hungry, you need to feed. Not everyone knows this, but it’s not an easy job to gain weight as an ectomorph. You need to stay focused and be committed to the intake of quality calories.
3. Capitalize on Carbs.
Much of your caloric intake should come from carbohydrates. The greatest thing about carbohydrates is that we can eat loads and loads of them without getting full. Use that to your advantage by consuming a generous serving of carbohydrates at every meal. Starchy, unprocessed, whole grain will help you feel and look your best (consider foods like yams, cassava, sweet potatoes over white bread, whole grains over frosted flakes.) During your workout, drink simple carbs (you will feel energized and have to give more, especially towards the end of a grueling workout). But HEADS-UP: don’t get used to drinking simple carbs throughout the day. Keep your carbs unprocessed, starchy, and whole to look and feel your best outside your workout window (from the start of your workout until about an hour later).
4. Watch the scale.
Push your intake of calories until you start to gain weight. You want someone trying to lose weight to do the exact opposite. Add roughly 500 calories to your diet and see if your weight begins to rise. If not, aim to reduce the workout of non-resistance exercise (any exercise dependent on cardio). Any weight gain yet? Add an additional 500-1000 calories to your diet. Repeat until the scale begins moving.
5. Don’t pile on junk.
Don’t let ectomorphia be an excuse to eat junk. Fruits and vegetables are still very important. Vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients are essential for you to grow and be healthy in these foods. Protein is also very essential. Like all other good eaters, you should make sure you eat protein with every meal. That means eggs for breakfast, mid-morning nuts with a smoothie(which are mostly fat, but contain protein), chicken for lunch, a post workout protein shake and steak for dinner. Mmmmm. Just because you can manage to eat junk without adding weight doesn’t mean you ought to. Always remember to make healthy food decisions for a healthy body.
The 5 hardgainers hacks above are outstanding when it comes to Healthy weight gain. All it requires is persistence, patience and proper training. In terms of foods, they should be highly nutritious and dense in calories. Ensure that your workout are muscle building e.g lifting weights and using resistance bands or machine .
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