A Blessing and a Curse
On the one hand you are blessed – You have never been able to gain weight, fat is simply not an issue. People tell you are lucky, that they wish they had a metabolism like yours.
On the other hand you are cursed – You can’t gain weight no matter what you try, coat hanger, chicken legs and twig features are the regular nicknames and you can’t fill a t-shirt unless it’s your sister’s.
Being skinny isn’t even necessarily healthy. It’s true that heart disease and other life threatening illness are often linked to obesity but just avoiding being fat will not keep you in shape on the inside, you can still be slim and seriously unwell. Fortunately being healthy is a handy side effect of the sort of diet and exercise regime you need to grow muscle……bonus!!
Just adding muscle and getting bigger isn’t the sole aim of all of this though, it’s about how it will make you feel. A guy with a good well muscled physique breeds confidence, he feels secure about his physical presence, his looks and his attraction to the opposite (or same) sex. Being a skinny hard gainer doesn’t mean this isn’t available to you…… it just requires some solid hard work and a smart approach to exercise and nutrition.
If you would like to take your top off and be proud, not lose your arms in a shirt and actually get a butt of some sorts then this article will set you off in the right direction
I’m a Hard Gainer Too
I am 26 years old, stand a proud 1.84m tall, weigh 83 kilos and have 6.5% body fat, that isn’t much by the way, enough for a visible 6-pack anyway. In saying this I don’t mean to boast or show off, just to demonstrate that it is possible to drastically change your body for the better…….if done in the right way.
I didn’t always look like this is the point I am trying to get at. When I was 19 I had skinny arms and legs, no butt, a flat but undefined stomach and a slouchy posture. I wanted to do something about it but wasn’t sure what was the best route so I bought some dumbbells, started to eat what I thought was a bit healthier and expected great things……..they didn’t really happen. I continued reading health magazines and researching on the internet and got a bit more clued up, joined a gym and started to notice some small results. It continued like this for a number of years slowly educating myself and making little gains. After a lot of time and money invested, eventually through meeting the right people and getting the right advise about nutrition and exercise I found the best combination to gain lean muscle fast and maintain it.
You don’t need to spend years researching and experimenting to get the results I did. You can have it all a lot faster than you think if follow the right advice and do things right from the get go. The 5 tips I am going to share with you below are just the start of the knowledge you need that will take you from being a scrawny hard gainer to a nicely muscled guy who will always stay lean and defined because of his rapid metabolism.
Building Muscle for the Hard Gainer – Top 6 Tips
1) Little and Often
Eating relatively small amounts of food on a regular basis is a great way to speed up your metabolism, the last thing we wanted right? True, but it is also the best way to get your body to absorb the protein and carbs that help to build you muscles. Get the right things in you at the right time and you’ll soon be adding cm to you biceps.
2) Go Hard or Go Home
You don’t have to spend hours at a time in the gym – so when you are there…..make it count!! 45 – 60 mins of intense lifting to failure is enough to tear your muscle fibres (not as drastic as it sounds) and get them re-growing bigger and stronger. Learn the difference between really working to failure and just stopping when it hurts a bit. Then train to that intensity all the time, every time and you will well on your way to the hallowed M size t-shirts!
3) Know Your Carbs
There a certain types of carbohydrates that release their energy into your system fast ie rice. There are others that release their energy slowly ie. beans and pulses. When you eat the different types of carbs will determine whether you put muscle on or not and also decide if it’s ripped up lean muscle or muscle with a bit of fat. Try eating high energy, quick release carbs in the two meals directly after training for some nice results.
4) Take it Easy
Resting your muscles and giving them to chance to recover from the slamming you just gave them in the gym is paramount to their growth. As I mentioned earlier when we are lifting to failure we actually put small tears in the muscle fibres which then grow back stronger. If we don’t rest those muscles then they will never re-generate properly and growth won’t be achieved. Give your muscles a break and try splitting your routine or training every two days.
5) Power of Protein
Our muscles are actually made up of protein so it makes sense that protein is absolutely key to building muscle, so important in-fact that it needs to be included in each and every meal you eat. Good places to find it in are meat, fish, eggs, milk and of course protein supplement! Take your body weight, multiply it by 3 to get the total amount of grams of protein you need in a day and then divide it by the amount of meals you need to eat ie. 6 and you have the quantity of protein you need each time you eat. Sound complicated…….it can be at first and you may need some help!
6) Yes Coach!
Using a coach or mentor with all the right knowledge, advise and experience who can educate and guide you is best way to achieve anything. Muscle growth is no different. A good Personal Trainer will support you step by step – selecting the right exercises, teaching you the right techniques and telling you the right foods to eat. Using a PT is the only way to fast track your results and educate yourself in the art of building and maintaining lean muscle.
Apply some or all of these tips to your training and diet and you will be getting on track to achieving that nicely muscled body you thought was always out of reach. For a full comprehensive guide to building muscle for the hard gainer check out our forth coming E-Book – “THE HARD YARDS” – Building Muscle for the Hard Gainer”