These rules are far and away the most important principles for any hardgainer to follow when trying to put on muscle mass.

Lift heavy weights

I cannot stress this enough. When you are going to the gym you are essentially damaging your muscles. Muscles do not grow until you go home and eat and rest. Muscle fibers that are responsible for the most growth (type IIB muscle fibers) are stimulated by heavy weights. You should not be able to do many more than 4-8 repetitions before your muscles fail. By using lighter weights you are only making it more difficult on yourself.

Use free weights

Machines at the gym are becoming increasingly prominent, and as a result many people flock to them for their convenience. However, the gains from lifting free weights are greater because of their focus on multiple joints which target a range of muscle fibers, rather than isolating individual muscles.

Minimal rest between sets

Limit your rest to about 30 seconds between sets and 1-2 minutes between exercises to maximize your output.

Limit your workout routine to one hour

Studies have shown that testosterone levels peak after one hour and begin to decline rapidly after that. It is possible to over-train your muscles, which can actually lead to muscle mass loss.

Workout infrequently

This is one of the hardest concepts for people just starting a new workout program to wrap their heads around. Just because Johnny Muscles tells you he hits the gym five days per week does not mean you should too. If it is relatively easy for him to gain muscle, then the gibberish he spews at you is not pertinent anyway. Remember, it takes very little time to stimulate muscle growth. After you stimulate that growth you need to get out of the gym and rest so more muscle can be built!

Minimize aerobic activity

You need to be increase your caloric intake to build muscle and not burn those calories off. Try to limit your aerobic activity to less than twenty minutes for just a couple times per week if you are serious about gaining.

Eat more

For a rough calculation of how many calories/day you need to be consuming, take your body weight and multiply it by 20. Here is a more precise calculator, which takes into account weight gain, weight loss, body fat %, daily activity, number of days to achieve your goal, etc. You should be eating roughly 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 20% fat. You should eat about every three hours, or around six meals/day.

Use nutritional supplements

Look, nutritional supplements aren’t magic, but coupled with a good workout routine, they will make a difference. Nutritional supplements help you:

  • Gain weight faster
  • Increase your strength
  • Add more convenience
  • Decrease recovery time
  • Boost the immune system

Optimum Nutrition Serious MassBuy a 100% whey, mass/weight gaining protein powder. I honestly would have not have gained the weight I did without drinking mass gaining protein. Drink a protein shake in the morning and immediately after your workout to provide your body with the necessary nutrients for muscle synthesis. Purchase a meal replacement powder such as Myoplex for when you don’t have time to cook. You may also want to try creatine cycling for increased strength gains.

Incorporate the Big Five in your hardgainer workout routine

The squat, deadlift, shoulder press, row, and bench press should be staples of your workout program. Why? Because they are all proven mass building exercises that together work every major muscle in you body.

Stick with a workout routine

It takes time to see results. Stick to proven muscle building exercises and workout routines.

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See that guy to the left? Thats me, Xander. I created this website to share how I gained over 30 lbs by weight lifting, eating and using the right nutritional supplements. Here you will find honest supplement reviews, weight-gaining tips, workout routines, free PDFs and the best hardgainer workout programs on the internet.

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