8 Hardgainer Muscle Building Tips
Being a hardgainer means that building muscle is a bit more difficult compared to someone who’s not a hard-gainer.
Having said that, if you’re an ectomorph hard-gainer, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to build an impressive muscular physique by following an intelligently designed weight training and nutrition program.
Most hardgainers who struggle to gain muscle weight are either not eating the correct foods, not eating enough calories to support muscle growth, training too much and too often, or simply not training with enough intensity to stimulate new muscle growth (or even worse, all of the above!)
In this article, I'll give you 8 tips that will help you defeat your hardgainer genes so that you can start packing on more muscle mass, increasing your strength and start gaining some quality weight quickly and effectively.
8 Muscle Building Tips For The Hardgainer
1) Eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight every day. Taking in enough protein on a daily basis is essential for new muscle growth as it will help you gain weight by speeding up workout recovery, thus increasing your muscle size by repairing damaged muscle tissue in-between workouts.
2) Create a calorie surplus by eating at least 18 calories per pound of your bodyweight each and every day. This will ensure that your muscles have everything they need in order to grow bigger and stronger.
This will also ensure that you’ll have enough energy and endurance to make it through intense weight training workouts.
3) Limit your cardio training to no more than 3 days per week. If you're performing high intensity cardio in the gym or you're playing sports that are intense and burn lots of calories, then your muscle gains will most likely be poor because your body will not have enough energy to support intense weight training workouts.
For maximum muscle growth, keep the intensity of your cardio sessions low and keep the sessions short. Most importantly, eliminate any and all other intense physical activity outside of the gym.
4) Eat at least 2 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight every day. Carbohydrates are an essential part of the muscle building process because they spare amino acids in the body and supply you with the energy that’s needed for all out weight training.
Get the majority of your carbohydrates from slow digesting sources and limit your consumption of simple carbohydrates.
5) Eat at least 0.5 to 0.7 grams of fat per pound of bodyweight every day. Dietary fat supplies your body with the much needed calories required for new muscle growth as well as training recovery.
Stay away from eating too many bad fats and focus on eating plenty of omega-3 healthy fats. Omega-3 fats have numerous health benefits such as elevating testosterone levels and lowering bad cholesterol.
Also, don’t be afraid to eat saturated fat as studies have shown that saturated fat plays a direct role in supporting high testosterone levels.
Just don’t go overboard and consume an enormous amount of saturated fat. (About 35 to 50 grams per day is enough to support high testosterone levels.)
6) Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. In order to gain weight and increase your muscle mass, you'll have to give your body and your muscles plenty of rest time in-between workouts.
Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night so that you can recover optimally from your workouts and to have enough energy for each training session.
7) Do bench presses, squats and deadlifts. These exercises are the “big 3” compound movements and they are proven to stimulate maximum muscle growth when they're done properly and on a consistent basis.
To gain weight and muscle fast, you should perform these "big 3" compound movements every single week.
8) Avoid isolation exercises. Isolation exercises such as dumbbell flyes, dumbbell side raises and cable curls are far less effective at breaking down muscle fibers compared to squats, bench presses and deadlifts.
Isolation exercises are only meant to be done once you've already packed on some solid muscle size and strength over the course of a year or two of consistent weight training.
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