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Get Big – Gain Weight – Build Muscle – Weight Training Rules For the Hard Gainer
When I first started working out I was absolutely desperate to get big, gain weight and build muscle.
I had been training for a while when the owner of the gym told me: ”when you cross me, you seem almost invisible”
It was as if I had been punched in the stomach. All the wind was taken from me. Getting bigger and building muscle was almost a matter of life and death for me!
I had busted my butt at this gym without much to show for my efforts and could do without the clever comments of my “wise” gym owner. The guy had been taking my money for about two years and the least he could do was encourage me or give me some advice.
I managed to stay focused on what I needed to do and was lucky enough to come across an article suggesting a different way to weight train for lean hardgainers.
What I read made sense to me so I thought I’d give it a try.
It worked. I started growing up. I got bigger, gained weight and started building muscle. I was about to turn my 126lb pencil neck frame.
It became clear that hardgainers, like myself, who were in danger of being blown away by a strong gust of wind, needed to adopt different training principles and train to a different set of rules.
I had to find out through a long process of trial and error. You have the opportunity to avoid this process and achieve your goals of gaining weight and building muscle in the shortest time possible.
All you have to do is follow a set of weight training rules for the hardgainer, so here you go…
Rule no. 1. Don’t spend too much time in the gym
Don’t waste your time and energy in the gym doing a lot of high-volume work consisting of a high number of sets and reps.
Your routine should be short and intense. Heavier weights for fewer sets and each done to the fullest. Don’t waste your time and energy pranking your friends or checking on girls.
You also have to remember that lifting and pushing weights is a high-calorie activity. As a skinny dude, you don’t have the calories to waste.
You have to go to the gym, do what you have to do, then walk away.
Rule no. 2. Focus on compound movements.
Don’t waste your time and energy on isolation movements.
I’ve seen too many hardgainers spend hours in the gym on movements like bench flies, lateral raises, concentration curls, triceps kickbacks, leg extensions, cable crossovers, etc.
Sure, these exercises can be a lot of fun to do, but one thing’s for sure, they’re not going to help you get big, gain weight, or build muscle.
Your routine should be based on compound movements that will stimulate your body and muscles to grow. These are movements that involve more than one joint action and therefore activate more than a single muscle group.
Movements like bench presses, power cleans, overhead presses, bent over rows, deadlifts, and squats.
These exercises, using free weights, are strenuous and require your full attention and concentration, but I guarantee you that if you stick to them, you’ll soon be saying “adios” to your lean, hard gainer frame.
Rule no. 3. Fill up on energy
You’ve been to the gym, do a short, intense workout based on compound movements.
Now you need to make sure you get enough rest and sleep. This means that you are not up all night partying with your friends or spending your free time from the gym doing other sports or activities like playing football, running, etc.
The work you do in the gym works to stimulate your muscles to grow. The real growth happens when you’re away from the gym, once you’ve recovered from your workouts.
To aid and speed up your recovery you will need plenty of rest and sleep.
This means not spending your free time from the gym doing other sports and activities like playing football, running, etc.
Plus, too many nights out partying with your friends will make you lose too much sleep. And one thing you need in abundance to get big, gain weight, and build muscle, is quality, restful sleep.
Rule no. 4. Get plenty of food
You are now resting and sleeping a lot, so you need to make sure you are eating enough quality food and nutrients to fuel your muscle growth.
You will have to eat much more and much better than the average person. Your diet should consist of plenty of complex carbohydrates, protein, a reasonable amount of fat especially the omega 3 and 6 variety, and fruits and vegetables.
Having plenty of food is not enough. It must be healthy food!
You should aim to eat every three hours or so. The idea is to keep your blood sugar and nutrient levels consistently high throughout the day. This means your muscles always have the fuel available. Lack of fuel will be disastrous as your body will enter a catabolic state. This means that your body cannibalizes muscle tissue for energy. The same muscle tissue you are so desperate to gain and can’t get enough of!
Rule no. 5. Don’t do too much cardio
Don’t let the trainer at your gym, or someone who knows all about mesomorph or endomorph fat, convince you that you have to do a lot of cardio to keep the fat away.
Hell, you’re a hard gainer, and if you’re anything like me or the rest of us skinny dudes, you couldn’t gain weight even if you tried.
You have a faster metabolism than Usain Bolt and your problem isn’t consuming calories, it’s storing them.
Too much cardio will lead to excessive calorie expenditure and short-circuit your goal of getting big, gaining weight and building muscle.
If you feel you need to do some cardio, I’d suggest no more than 15-20 minutes of low intensity per workout. I personally prefer to do my short cardio session along with stretches as part of my warm up before hitting the iron in the weight room.
The importance of proper warm-up should not be underestimated. Warmed up muscles work much more efficiently and also reduce the likelihood of injuries that could keep you out of the gym for weeks.
I’ve been weight training for over 20 years and can’t recall a bad injury ever keeping me out of the gym.
Rule no. 6. Train hard with good technique
It’s simple, really. To get big and build muscle you have to use heavy weights. Preferably free weights, not resistance machines.
However this should not be at the expense of good technique.
Of course, you have to train heavily, but it is equally important that you know how to perform the movements/exercises correctly, with good technique.
I’m sure you’ve seen the idiots in the gym loading the bar with ridiculous amounts of weight. So much weight on the bench that they can barely get the bar to mid-chest. So much weight on the bar, doing barbell curls, end up arching your back so much you think the back of your head might hit the gym floor.
To fully stimulate the exercised muscle, it must be subjected to a full range of motion. To increase muscle mass you need to use heavy weights while maintaining good technique and performing the full range of motion of the exercise.
To get big, gain weight, and build muscle, six weight training rules are critical for the lean hard gainer:
Don’t spend too much time in the gym, focus on compound movements, make sure you get plenty of rest and eat plenty, don’t do too much cardio, and use heavy weights with good technique.
If you can abide by these rules, your lean hard gainer frame will soon be a thing of the past as you begin to build a physique to envy, filled with slabs of tattered muscle.
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