Eat! Eat! Eat!
Not eating enough is the most common mistake made by all so-called hard gainers. You probably think you’re a hard gainer, but if you’re taking in enough calories you WILL grow. I know what you’re going to say here: “I eat loads.” Well guess what… you don’t. If you’re not growing, it means you’re not eating enough – it’s as simple as that. You can be the hardest worker in the gym but if you’re not fuelling your body with all extra calories it needs, you won’t grow.
Now we have that covered, where should you start? First of all, add carbs in around your workouts where they’re going to be utilised. Start by adding them in during your workout from highly branched cyclic dextrin. As you’re a hard gainer, try adding in 50g first along with your EAAs and creatine, which you should already be taking. Monitor your weight – if the scale starts going up, happy days, if not, then add more carbs in during your workout. Once your weight stabilises then add more carbs to your post-workout meal. Keep adding carbs in around your workouts and work backwards from there. You will get to a point where eating all this food is uncomfortable, but hey, the comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing grows there.
For some meal ideas check out my previous article, “3 Meals for Mass”: http://monstersupplements.com/resource/2015/01/3-meals-for-mass/
Train hard and heavy
We have all heard the saying “Train insane or remain the same”. Well this is true, you must be pushing yourself every session to get stronger and stronger, which in turn with correct nutrition will enable you to get bigger and bigger. There are various training protocols out there, of which DC training is my favourite and is proven to work time and time again. This is my current protocol advised by my coach Jordan Peters, and it has enabled me to actually get stronger in a calorie deficient diet, which is crazy. Basically, it’s a low volume, higher frequency approach, taking all working sets to complete failure but fewer overall sets per session, hitting each muscle group twice per week. Hardly any cables or isolation exercises are used; it’s mainly hard, heavy compound movements.
You’re annihilating your body through these gruelling workouts and eating all this food. Your body needs time to rest and recover. Make sure you’re sleeping at least 8 hours a night, as this is when the growing happens. We don’t grow in the gym – it’s what you do out of the gym that matters just as much as in the gym.
This applies to both your food and training and generally how you’re feeling. You must keep track of your macros to enable you to decide where you’re going to add or take away food, what kinds of food you’re eating, your body’s response to certain food etc.
You also need to keep a logbook of your training. If you’re not getting stronger, chances are you’re not growing. Use the logbook to keep track of weight and reps you have previously done, then try to beat it in the next session.
Supplements are a must when it comes to training and achieving your goals, regardless what they are. As staples I use EAAs, creatine, cyclic dextrin and whey protein year round. When I’m trying to gain a bit more size I invest in a mass gainer supplement and have this between meals or in place of meals, depending on my calorie needs. One shake can be up to 800 calories and one or two of those a day plus your meals will certainly get you growing. Plus, they taste awesome.
My favourite is MHP Up Your Mass http://monstersupplements.com/mhp-up-your-mass.html