Do you wear jeans all year round to cover up those chicken legs? Do you want to have that classic X shape, but right now you look more like a pencil? Hey, I get it; being a hardgainer sucks.
It seems like no matter how much you’re in that gym, you’re just not seeing the size you want (if any at all). Let’s take a look at the 5 most common reasons someone may suffer from hardgainer-itis and what you can do to finally fix it.
1 You’re isolating too much
Yes, I know you want big arms, but having Pop-Eye-sized arms when the rest of your body is small looks weird – and it’s unhealthy. When you’re a beginner, a hardgainer, or a beginning hardgainer, you need to start at the foundation with compound exercises – not isolation exercises.
Compound exercises demand a lot from the greatest number of muscle fibers. Exercises such as the squat target your legs, glutes, hip flexors, and abs – That’s a lot of work for one movement. Studies show the multi-joint exercises produce more size and muscle thickness.
Learn the best compound exercises in the industry: squats, deadlifts, bench press, and clean and press. Make them the focus of your workouts for the next couple months.
2 You’re not eating enough
Usually, a hardgainer is armed with one vicious metabolism. These are the same guys that can eat an entire chocolate cake and not have a pound of fat to show for it. As a hardgainer, you’re going to have to upgrade your nutrition game, much more so than the average person.
Getting bigger requires the right training (see above) and an equally ambitious nutrition program. How many calories do you think you’ll need to eat to see size? 1,500? 2,000? Good guess, but realistically, it’s looking more like 3,000 to 3,500 calories per day. Studies show that pairing a comprehensive resistance training program with an abundant caloric intake is a surefire way to bulk up.
Use an online calorie calculator to determine exactly how many calories you need. Once you have that number, use an app like MyFitnessPal to log your meals and track your calories. Treat this like a job. Make sure you are adamant about meeting your caloric goal each and every day.
3 You need more protein
Continuing with the point above, one macronutrient you must focus on when trying to gain size is protein. Why? Protein contains the very building blocks of muscle tissue. It assists in the recovery and repair of muscle tissue. It triggers protein synthesis and supports growth hormone release. Basically, protein is the perfect recipe to see size gains.
Studies show that for size, protein is a must. One study suggests consuming between two and three grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day is ideal for mass gains. For example, if you are a particularly stubborn hardgainer and you weigh 68 kilograms, you’ll want to consume between 136 and 204 grams of protein every day (with an emphasis on the latter).
Again, use a calorie tracker to make sure you’re consuming your daily recommended intake of muscle-building protein.
4 You’re not using the correct supplements
Let’s be real: The core of your bulking results are going to come from a tough ass training program and a high-calorie meal plan. With that said, supplements can help you achieve your size status a hell of a lot faster.
Supplements have come a long way since their inception back in the 50s and 60s. What started out as protein and creatine turned into a multi-billion-dollar industry where there truly is a supplement for everything, especially getting bigger. With all these options in supplements, it’s easy to get lost and pick the one with the fancy label, not the proven results.
One of the most important supplements you can use for size is whey protein. This will help you hit your target protein intake that I mentioned above. You’ll want to use whey protein before and after a workout as well as just before bed. Outside of protein, a high-quality bulking stack will be key.
We offer an all-natural bulking stack that comes with several supplements that contain scientifically-proven ingredients. For example, our supplement, D-Bal, contains DHEA, which has been shown to boost free testosterone levels and increase muscle mass. You’ll also get DecaDuro, a supplement that contains Tribulus Terrestris, a natural way to increase nitric oxide levels, vein-bulging pumps, testosterone, and muscle mass.
5 You skip on sleep
Finally, if you’re skipping on shuteye, you’re losing out on size. Sleep is when your body gets to work to repair the damaged muscle tissue from your workouts. It’s also the time when your body releases the greatest amount of growth hormones, which are essential for size gains. Studies show that when you don’t sleep enough, you put yourself at risk of over-training, injury, and weight gain.
How much sleep should you get every night? Experts suggest that between seven to nine hours every night is key. If you had a particularly tough day between your workout, your job, and school, strive for 10 hours.
Are you a hardgainer?
Are you struggling to pack on size? Remember, you need two things for results: patience and consistency. The struggles of a hardgainer are real – and really annoying. Follow the tips above and apply them every day. No skipping and no taking a month off. Slowly but surely, you’ll break out of your hardgainer status.
Were you once a hardgainer? Were you able to overcome it? How much muscle were you able to gain? More importantly, how did you do it? Let us know in the comments below!