So your an ectomorph, skinny, lanky and everything you eat is instantly burnt off by your over-bearing metabolism. Getting big with this body type can be difficult but it is not important, training and nutrition must be harmonious to see the great results you really want. Follow these hardgainer muscle building tips:
Unless you want to feel full constantly then a high-volume low-calorie diet is probably a bad idea and you won’t ever reach your required calorie intake.
It is best to focus on eating calorie dense foods, to get the lean muscle mass, a hardgainer will require 20 calories per pound of bodyweight, getting the calories through things like egg whites, cooked oatmeal etc. will make you struggle. things like steak, whole eggs, dried fruit and raw oatmeal are much more calorie dense.
Hardgainers suffer with not having the same recovery abilities that other gym goers do, not enough sleep can seriously effect your performance in the gym, aim for 8-9 hours every night if you can, going to the gym without recovery can actually have negative effects.
Solid calories will always fill you up much more than liquid calories can which means you can make it easier to reach your daily targets.
As well as your pre- and post-workout shakes, aim to drink an additional one each day, include as many calorie dense ingredients as you can: ground flaxseed, raw or ground oatmeal, milk powder, greek yogurt, cottage cheese etc.
If you still have a hard time hitting your goals then try a weight gainer.
Do away with all the isolation exercises you think are helping you, doing all those tricep extensions won’t get you massive arms in a hurry.
Instead of curls and extensions, focus on things like shoulder and chest presses as well as the incline press. These sorts of lifts will target large muscle groups as well as the smaller arm muscles. Less volume is usually better for a hard gainer, aim for heavy weight goals and compound moves for maximum muscle mass.
It is usual advice for hardgainers to give up cardio but if done correctly then there is a place for cardio, it is never a good idea to ignore the most important muscle in your body, your heart. You want to get bigger and still stay healthy.
Keep cardio at a medium to low intensity 20-30 mins at a time, two to three times a week. The cardio will help boost recovery time, keep your heart healthy and improve nutrient delivery.
As you are lifting heavy your rep range should be low, the 6 to 10 range is ideal. As you are cutting out isolation exercises there is no need to do 10 or 15 reps on tricep extensions.
Longer rests when lifting heavy mean more strength when performing the set which will lead to more reps, strength and higher weight, aim for 2 to 3 minutes between each set.
Trying to force yourself into another set before your body is ready means less performance and less optimal results.
Just because you are a hard gainer does not mean you should be scared of healthy fats,. Healthy fats are loaded with calories and muscle builders. Both carbs and good fats need to be included in your hard gainer diet plan.
After a good workout, your body is in prime muscle-building recovery mode, so give your body the right carbs and nutrients it needs, this will help recovery faster and give the body back the glycogen it needs.
Post workout carbs should be simple: dextrose, maltodextrin, waxy maize or vitargo. You should never skip post workout carbs as with them you will get fuller muscles, faster recovery time and increased strength.
Getting great muscles takes time regardless of body type. Patience, consistency and hard work are what make all the difference. If you get stuck after a few months, eat more and train heavier, never give up, increase calorie intake, training intensity and gains.
Hardgainer muscle building doesn’t have to be impossible, just make sure you follow the few basic tips above and see a huge improvement.
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