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Hard Gainers Can Build Muscle

The most common mistake of hard gainers is spending too much time in the gym and not enough time at home on the couch and in the kitchen. If you are a hard gainer, you know it by now. You train like crazy and never build muscle. You see a little gain and then it’s gone. You go back to the gym and train even harder and longer, thinking surely this will add some poundage to this bag of bones but it does not. It is a vicious cycle that never ends …until you end it.

Here’s how to do it right. Hard gainers MUST train less frequently and use heavy weights. Train no more than three times per week. Forget about dumbbells. Use compound movements with barbells. Work on the core strength of the body with  bench presses, dead lifts, squats, pull ups and crunches. Never get away from these exercises. Forget about isolating muscles – one handed exercises to tone… you first got to build something to tone.   Barbell curls will develop more core strength.

Use micronized creatine for more strength and endurance when training and to aid in recovery. Creatine used right is best friend to hard gainers. Read my article on, Creatine Works If You Know How To Work It.

Training sessions should last 45 – 60 minutes. You will be tempted to train longer and go to the gym more than 3 days a week, but don’t do it if you want to build muscle. Use heavy weight and low reps (5-8 reps and no more then 5 sets per exercise). Rest at least 4 minutes between sets so you will have more strength for the next set.  Alow 5 - 7 days rest for each muscle group. Training a muscle group any sooner puts to much stress on the system of  hard gainers when using heavy weights.  NEVER train to failure unless you want to fail at building muscle.  Ease off on the cardio.  Short intense cardio is best, once or twice per week will be enough. 

I have one thing to say about diet. Eat! Then Eat Some More. Eat when you are not hungry. Eat before and after training. Eat before bedtime. Eat in the middle of the night.  Eat at least 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily, such as lean beef, turkey, chicken, fish, egg whites and whey protein, for every pound of body weight.  Supplementing with amino acids is also a big plus for hard gainers. Read my aarticle on, Amino Acids for Building Muscle are King Daddy.  Eat plenty of complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes and pasta. Eat 80 grams of good fats daily, such as nuts, seeds, peanut butter and avocados. Include at least 35 grams of dietary fiber (raw vegetables) daily and drink plenty of pure water. If you are serious about gaining mass, strap on the feed bag. Try to eat 4000 calories per day. This will take planning and some effort.

Take digestive enzymes each time you eat. Most hard gainers need help with the digestive system. Hard gainers are thyroid body types. A common problem with thyroid body types is poor digestion.

Do not attempt to build muscle and burn fat at the same time. They are two different animals that play by two different sets of rules. It will not work for hard gainers.

By: Fred Fishburne,  ProHealth Nutrition, Inc.