Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hard Gainers - Get Your Priorities Straight

Why did I say all of those nasty things in my previous entry, knowing that some of you will either have accepted your status as "hard gainers" or are taking stock of your small bones, short muscles and miserable results in the gym? Was it simply to be cruel? No! Not at all. I am a hard gainer myself. I said those things to wake you up to your situation and now we'll work on getting you to stop fruitlessly following the lead of those who are much more gifted for weight training than you. If you recognize your plight you can finally start to do something about it.

Hard gainers must accept that they cannot train as brutally as more gifted people. They cannot tolerate as many sets and/or exercises, and they absolutely must not waste their precious recovery resources on silly, inappropriate exercises. Hard gainers must, more than anybody else, focus on simply getting stronger for reps on a few basic movements that recruit the major muscles of the body. Squats, deadlifts, bench or incline presses, rows, overhead presses, pullups, and dips - gaining strength on these exercises is the only thing that matters for hard gainers. Hard gainers achieve that by training these exercises practically exclusively, briefly and for no more than three total hours in the gym each week. The diet must contain plenty of hearty foods - protein, carbohydrates and fats (and natural cholesterol for testosterone production) and each night should see at least eight hours of restful sleep. No, this is not what you see prescribed by drug-built bodybuilders in the supplement catalogues (aka "bodybuilding" magazines), but this is the only route to success for the drug-free hard gainer. Hard gainers MUST IGNORE everything else if they wish to succeed.

If you are a hard gainer look at it this way, do you think you will ever have a massive chest and powerful arms if you can barely bench press your own body weight? No, you will not. Likewise, do you think you will ever build a big bench press by doing silly flyes with 30 pound dumbbells? No, you will not. Likewise, think you'll get a big back if you can barely chin yourself? If so, you need to wake up. Think you'll have big, powerful legs if you're too lazy to squat? Think leg extensions with a few plates will do it for you? If so, I'm sorry, you're going to be very disappointed.

Let me be clear, if you can barely bench press your own body weight, your legs wobble if you try to squat much more than that and you can't chin yourself more than a few jerky times, then you might be able to have a lean athletic "looking" body, but you will never be what people consider "big" and strong". There isn't a strong man alive who is that weak, there isn't a big man alive who isn't that strong, and there isn't a strong man alive who got that way by lifting little dumbbells or using silly machines. If you think otherwise then you have your head up your ass and you need to pull it out.

Hard gainers wake up. Some people simply are not gifted for building muscle and strength. Those people have the deck stacked against them from the start and they have to take special measures in order to get anywhere - not follow the bullshit written by the drug-addicts in the muscle comics.

If you are a hard gainer and want to build a respectable physique (or strength) then get your priorities straight - get strong for reps on squats, deadlifts, bench or incline presses, rows, overhead presses, pullups, and dips.

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