Hardgainer Training Rules to Beat Skinny Genetics
A hardgainer training routine is one that is makes the most of every set, every rep and even every rest period too because as a hardgainer your skinny genetics to make it more difficult to build muscle than those who are predisposed to it.
This does not mean you should think of yourself as a hardgainer though as this can be a mental trap that many guys fall into that sucks away their determination and resolve because they think gaining a lot of muscle is just not possible past a certain point. Instead just remember you are training in the correct way for your body type and a hardgainer training routine becomes a label only and the “hard” will be dropped from your vocabulary.
There are a few basic rules that hardgainer training is based around:
- Rule 1: You must to do compound exercises not isolation exercises
- Rule 2: You must exercise with intensity
- Rule 3: You must lift heavy challenging weights
- Rule 4: You must do a total body workouts
- Rule 5: You must avoid over training
Lets cover these briefly to see why they will help you overcome your genetic disposition to be skinny and instead promote muscle growth.
Compound exercises are ones where you must use more than one joint movement. So a military press would be considered compound while a preacher curl would be considered an isolation exercise. The reason compound exercises are so good is that unlike isolation exercises they work more than just one muscles group. The main muscles you are targeting will be worked but surrounding muscles will aid the lift and others will be activated to stabilize your body too.
This means more muscle get a workout in each lift making it more efficient and enables you to lift heavier weights which will stress your muscles more creating more opportunity for growth. Another benefit that is often overlooked is that when you use such a large range of muscles all at the same time your body realizes you are doing something extremely strenuous and starts to create growth hormones and also increases your testosterone levels to help. This is important not during the workout stage but when you rest and your body uses these hormones to enable the creation or more muscle fibers.
This is a funny word for many and you will hear ti bandied about a lot but used in different contexts. The real meaning of intensity is a simple equation of how much work you are doing in a period of time with work being comprised of how much weight you are lifting for the most part with a weight lifting training routine. There are a number of benefits to training at a high intensity as a hardgainer such as:
- Increasing your heart rate which brings more blood to your muscles
- Improves anaerobic metabolism which builds strength, power and triggers more muscle mass growth
- Lowers workout time and places more pressure on muscles which is needed to trigger more muscle building
- Stimulates Growth Hormone and Testosterone production
As you can see the benefits to muscle growth for hardgainer training is significant when you workout at a high intensity.
Directly related to intensity is the need to lift heavier weights. Some people make the mistake of thinking that lifting moderate or light weights but going at it full throttle to raise intensity will do. This is false as no matter how FAST you exercise if you are not placing serious resistance against your muscles tyou will not spark the muscle growth you need for the body to build muscle. This is because muscle get torn slightly when you lift heavy which then get repaired later. On top of that repair your body generates new muscle tissue increasing mass and strength.
So, you need to make sure you are lifting close to your maximum weight to get the most benefit from an intense workout. A good breakdown of this for each compound exercise you do might be:
- 2 x warm up sets of 10-12 reps before failure
- 1 x all out set of a max of 5-8 reps before failure
After this you should have given those muscles the reason to grow while boosting the hormones you need to do it i a shorter space of time!
Total Body Workout
Another way to improve hardgainer training efficiency and stop ‘double handling’ is to concentrate on doing a total body workout each time you hit the gym. Those guys that turn up to just focus on their arms on one day, their chest the next, back the day after and so on are punishing muscles that have already been given the reason to grow in the first 15 minutes!
By exercising each part of your body (with compound exercises of course) just once during the workout you build a bigger body all over and get all of the benefits of the previous rules. You will be bigger, more proportionate and will spend less time in the gym and more time growing and living your life this way.
With all these rules you will be able to construct a good hardgainer training routine at the gym for any given day, but there is a word of warning. Training at such a high intensity places a lot of pressure on the body which needs to rest to recover. Thinking you can do more exercise too quickly following on from a previous gym session is a recipe for injury and exhaustion and also prevents you building the most muscle!
The reason for this is that rest and recovery as well as diet & nutrition are vital parts of muscle building as the body need the fuel and the time to repair and grow muscles. If you start training too soon you will simply be working on muscles that are still growing and will waste time and energy that could be used elsewhere.
Hey Guys, James McLain here,
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Vince was once a hard gainer. A skinny runt who thought he could never gain the physique he craved but found out the secrets of skinny bodybuilding and went from 149 pounds to 190 pounds of rock solid muscle in less than 6 months!
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