1/17/2010

Building Muscle for the Hardgainer

Author: Muscle Build

Hard gainers have it rough in the sport of bodybuilding. We find it terribly difficult to pack on the pounds like our mesomorphic friends. But building muscle, even for the hard gainer, is easy if you know how.

Think of your bodybuilding lifestyle as a barstool: It's got three legs. If one leg is missing or is longer or shorter than the other two, you've got problems. The same goes for muscle-building.

The three components of your regimen are your weight training routines, your meal plans (including proper supplementation), and your relaxation and recovery programs.

Shortchange any one of these three parts and you're in for little to zero gains. You may even lose weight if you're not careful.

In brief, I'll lay out the conceptual framework for the three prongs.

Exercise
You need to train infrequently, at most 3 times per week, with each body part getting no more than 2 workouts per week. This is how I do it: Legs and arms on day A, torso on day B. Each day is separated by at least one day and you alternate day A and day B. Something like this: Monday -- day A, Wednesday -- day B, Friday -- day A, then the following week you do Monday -- day B, Wednesday -- day A, Friday -- day B.

Continue alternating like this for up to 8 weeks. Let your body be your guide.

This may sound like an easy exercise plan. It's not!

It's designed to work hand-in-hand with your Rest and Recovery portion of the program. You see, most hard gainers follow conventional advice as espoused by professional bodybuilders, who are genetically gifted, may be taking steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, and whose sole job is to bodybuild.

Most of us aren't like professional bodybuilders in any way, shape, or form.

Reducing the workout frequency will give you the rest and recovery time necessary to explode your muscle growth. However, you must lift using High Intensity Training (HIT) techniques. Go heavy, do 6-10 reps for the upper body and 10-15 reps for your legs, with as much weight as possible (the last two reps should be killers). Use cheating, forced reps, and negatives to add even more intensity. Use super sets and pre-exhaust techniques to further up the ante.

Nutrition
You have to consume more calories than you expend. Follow a high protein, moderate to low carb diet. Don't worry about fat. Eat plenty of eggs (4-8 a day, I'm not kidding), dairy, and beef. Chicken and fish are also great sources of protein.

In fact, if you just concentrate on getting 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, using the food sources above, you'll be on the right track.

Supplement with high-quality protein powders, growth-hormone-inducing amino acids like arginine and ornithine, and dessicated liver tablets. Also ensure you're laying a sound nutritional foundation by ingesting a mega-pak or two per day of a vitamin/mineral supplement (you can buy them in 30-packs at GNC).

Eat frequently, up to eight times per day: Three "squares" with snacks in between. On workout days, take in 20-30 grams of protein before and after your weight training.

Rest and Relaxation
Get 8-10 hours of sleep every night and use a set schedule for going to sleep and waking up. Nothing is more important than this for this prong of your training program.

If you can do it, take naps after your workouts. You grow when you sleep. A 30-minute nap is better than nothing. On your off-days, try to do something that's relaxing, like reading, surfing the internet, or fishing. Something that sets your mind at ease. Many hard gainers who have success have found that meditation is helpful. Yoga works, too. It's NOT easy, but in a very strange way, it's grueling and relaxing at the same time.

There you have it. Three equal but different prongs for building muscle and gaining weight. Best of luck to you!

Don't forget to check out Muscle-Build.com and Hard Gainer's Manifesto for more helpful tips and training techniques for building muscle, gaining weight, and packing on the mass.

About the Author:

I've been bodybuilding since I was 12. I am a hardgainer. I found out the secret to building quality muscle. Let me share with you my findings.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Building Muscle for the Hardgainer