It’s hard to achieve a sculpted, muscular physique if you can’t gain weight. You need to pack on the muscles to develop a muscular frame. And you can’t do that if you’re naturally lanky or rail-thin. So what do you do? How does a hard gainer like you develop more muscles and get results? Consider these tips:
Go For Calorie Dense Diet
Hard gainers won’t benefit from healthy, low-calorie foods like veggies, oats or fruits. Sure, you can eat them, but these food items won’t help you grow more muscles.
To pack on the pounds, you want to increase consumption of high calorie but healthy foods. This means, loading up on dried fruits, red meat, raw oatmeal and pureed vegetables. Eat more protein-rich foods like soy products and dairy. The key is to increase your weight but not becoming obese. You just want to gain more muscles so you have something to work on.
Getting More Sleep
Unfortunately, hard gainers do not have fast recovery abilities. So if you’re not sleeping well, it’s going to affect your workout. You won’t make any impact on your progress if you keep sleeping at 3 in the morning. You want to get a full 8 hour of sleep (or more if you can!).
As you sleep, the body will start repairing itself. New muscles will grow, new cells are generated. You want all these things to happen so when you wake up the next day, your body is working at its best.
Drink Protein Shakes
If you are struggling with your lankiness, you want to eat foods that will guarantee weight gain. The beauty of protein shake is it packs calories and protein. Hard gainers need these two to increase muscle mass. You have to drink at least one protein shake per day. We recommend protein shakes made with natural nut butters, coconut oil and loaded with raw oats or yogurt. You can also add cottage or ricotta cheese, flax seeds or milk powder. All these ingredients are loaded with calories and protein.
Focus on Whole Body Workout
You might be tempted to target specific muscle groups but don’t. Hard gainers should focus on developing the whole body, not just a small area. This means no ten sets of pecs or biceps workout. Shift your focus from targeting larger muscles groups along with smaller arm muscles. Less volume is better if you are a hard gainer. Focus on compound movements first for maximum results. We recommend a lot of bench presses, incline press and shoulder press to start.
Cardio seems like it’s defeating the purpose of gaining mass, but it doesn’t. So don’t eliminate cardio from your routine just yet. Cardio works the heart. It’s the most important muscle in your body. If you’re growing your muscles, you want to keep moving. Keep the cardio low or moderate in intensity. Do bits of cardio for 20 to 30 minutes per week. This keeps the heart healthy and improves nutrient delivery to muscle cells.
Lifting Weights in Low Rep
You want to keep your rep range low when lifting heavy weights. Don’t waste half of your session on the triceps alone. You want to work other muscle groups too. We recommend lifting big, heavy weights at 6 to 10 reps.