How Does a Hardgainer Bulk Up, Gain Weight and Get Bigger?

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question-icon-newOver the course of the last 12 months I have been working hard to gain weight and increase my body mass. My current weight is 150 pounds and my height is 5’10”. My physique is very lean and I would like to bulk up, gain weight and get bigger. What are some of the key factors that will help me pack on muscle mass?

answer-icon-newFor many people, losing weight is actually much easier than gaining weight, especially lean body weight. This is true especially when it comes to hardgainers who have a very difficult time putting on size. Here are some basic rules which will help you understand the core principles for building muscle mass, bulking up and getting huge!

Rule #1: Basic Compound Exercises
What are compound exercises? They are exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time and are generally performed using a barbell. These movements are known as compound exercises and multi-joint movements. Examples include squats, deadlifts, military press, bench press and bent over rows. It’s critical to follow a program that revolves around these key exercises to maximize the release of important muscle building hormones in order to stimulate growth.

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Rule #2: Progression
Go into any gym around the world and look at the regulars who workout there. Take note of the amount of weight they are lifting during their workouts. After a year of two, go back to the gym and take another look at them and see how much they are lifting. The individuals who have gained significant muscle mass are the ones using heavier weights while the ones who are still the same size are typically using the same amount of weight for all their exercises.

Muscles grow when you work them outside their comfort zone. After many months of working out with the same amount of weight, your muscles will simply adapt and they won’t feel the need to grow any bigger because they are more than happy staying the same size. Because of this fact, its extremely important to continuously increase the amount of weight lifted every week. Do this by increasing the poundage by small increments of 2.5 to 5 pounds. You don’t have to throw an additional 100 pounds onto the bench press and think you will miraculously gain incredible strength. It doesn’t work like that. You need to add a tiny amount of weight each week and allow your muscles to slowly adapt and get stronger to the new, heavier amount of weight.

Rule #3: Stay In a Caloric Surplus
You stay in a calorie surplus when you eat more than your body’s requirements. For example, if you burn 2,500 calories per day, then make sure to consume at least 3,000 calories per day in order to give your body some extra resources to supply your muscles with excess calories to spur growth.

This is a very important rule and it’s one of the main reasons why most people who you see in gym simply do not gain any significant amount of muscle mass over a certain period of time. They are not eating enough to stimulate growth! Make sure to overload your muscles with tons of nutrient dense fuel to enable your body to grow!

Rule #4: Provide Your Body With Building Blocks (Protein)
Make sure that protein rich foods are an important part of your diet. Experts recommend at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body mass. Since your current weight is 150 pounds, you want to eat at least 150 grams of protein every day. Divide this number into 5-6 meals throughout the day which will come out to about 25-30 grams of protein at every meal. Focus on lean sources of protein like egg whites, chicken breast, lean steak, turkey breast and fish for your main sources of protein.

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Rule #5: Do Not Avoid Fat
Lots of people avoid including fat in their diet because they think it will make them fat. This is simply not true. Fat is actually a very important part of a muscle building diet. Proper fat intake ensures optimum testosterone production which is the most important element in adding lean muscle to your physique. Fat also provides a convenient way to easily add more calories to your diet. Focus on eating healthy fats like avocados, nuts, olive oil, flaxseeds, coconut oil, all natural peanut butter and salmon.

Rule #6: Rest, Rest and More Rest
Your body does not grow when you’re in the gym. While you’re working out, you are breaking down your muscles by causing micro-tears in them. These torn muscles are then repaired after you leave the gym while you rest and sleep. This is true provided you consume enough protein and overall calories to support the muscle growth. The amount you rest is as important as the amount you train when your goal is to gain weight and increase body mass.

So it all comes down to focusing on a few main areas when you really want to pack on muscle mass and gain weight. The 2 most important factors are:

  1. Eat more food and increase calories.
  2. Lift heavy with basic compound exercises.

You should be eating at least 500 calories a day over your BMR (basal metabolic rate) and your food should consist of clean, healthy items. Here is a good article on basic nutrition to help you choose the right foods to include in your diet:

For choosing the right compound muscle building exercises, here is a great article to review. Make sure to include these multi-joint movements to stimulate growth and help you pack on serious size:

By following the 6 rules outlined above, you will have the knowledge and information to implement the right things in order to help you maximize your body and initiate muscle growth so you can finally start packing on size and get huge!

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