Yesterday I got a request from a reader called Redpill Toolate to write a post on hard gainers and that's what I am going to do.
I am a hard gainer. I weighted 68 kg / 149 lbs in high school at the sexy height of 183 cm / 6'1. Between 14 years of age and 18 years of age I was also a skateboarder. My schedule looked like this: morning - school - the - skate park - home...repeat. I was not eating much. My parents were giving me BGN 2.0 / (1.5 dollars) for school and since I was out for the majority of the day I was not really eating much besides a few waffles. At home in the evening I would usually have a normal meal. So, I was probably eating around 1500 calories top a day. On top of that I was skating for a few hours every day and usually more on the week-ends. So, there is no surprise here why I was so skinny. But it's not that simple.
When I was 17 years old I started reading about training - mainly stuff from Pavel Tsatsouline. However I was not able to eat as needed because I did not have a job. Once I got my first official job I went on insane bulk eating 3500 calories a day (yes, 3500 calories is a lot despite what Rippetoe monkeys tell you). I gained 50 pounds, no problem, in three months. Of course a lot of the weight was pure fat. Probably 20 pounds of that were actual muscle which is actually a lot but not when you are underweight. But why am I writing all this ? It's quite simple - I just want to present you my experience with the motto: "There is no such thing as hard gainers, just under eaters".
While obviously anybody can gain weight with enough food this does not mean that the hard gainer phenomenon does not exist - it does. Some people (like me) are just meant to be skinny. I know it sounds different from what you have read on bodybuilding.com but let me explain.
Usually all hard gainers share the following characteristics:
- Thin, long bones;
Snoop Dogg is good example:
Note: you don't have to be tall to be a hard gainer but the classic hard gainer is usually on the taller side. However I've seen plenty of short guys sharing the usual hard gainer characteristics.
- Long tendons ;
Long tendons are a problem for muscle building because when there is more tendon and less muscle in the first place the potential for growth is smaller. You can't grow something you don't have in the first place. However long tendons are very rarely seen in muscle groups such as the chest, glutes, traps...etc because it's simply not "practical" from a bio mechanic stand point. Our bodies are smart....
Long tendons in hard gainers are usually seen in arms, hamstrings, calves and possibly lats.
Note: Professional bodybuilding is full of people with short tendons since when you are on heavy drugs you grow no matter what. Just look at female bodybuilders if you don't believe drugs can put muscle on anybody.
For more on this please read the following posts:
- Genetics, hormones...
Another very important factor are simply genetics. Some are just not build for that muscle shit the very same way some people's voice is just no very pleasant to listen to. They can work on their pitch all they want....it ain't gonna make them another Michael Jackson.
Hard gainers truly exist despite the "how bad do you want it" guys say. Eating more is not going to fix it. You will get fat with little muscle to show for. Unfortunately I cannot offer you a solution that will transform you from a hard gainer into muscle machine. I know a lot of you are looking for that secret magic formula that suddenly blows everything out of the water and you finally get that muscle growth you have been working so hard for. You will never found it. Well, maybe you will if you start using steroids. A lot of hard gainers out there are reading about different reps and schemes but in the end of the day it does not matter.
On many occasions people have contacted me and said that they never grew with low reps but once they started doing high reps they were "growing like a weed." At the same time a lot of people claim the opposite - heavy weight...motherfucker. The truth is that it does not matter that much as long as you get some decent volume. That's it.
Note: Always look on the bright side - you are not predisposed to gain fat. I am actually writing this at Mc Donalds. But don't I usually buy tea and come for the free Wi-Fi and the hot girl working at the cafe bar.
So, to summarize everything in one sentence:
"An ugly girl cannot become the femme fatale but she can avoid to be dirty and fat."
If you have more questions comment or post a message on the FORUM