Gaining Muscle for the Hardgainer!
In order to gain muscle, especially for those ectomorphs
interested in taking up the sport of bodybuilding, the following
should be observed:
(1) Work hard in the gym, with heavy weights and intense
effort. Be consistent in your training, and ensure proper form in
all of your weight training movements. Incorporate the basic
compound movements, bench press, squat, and deadlift, into your
routines. These exercises are very demanding but result in the
greatest overall gains. Do to the extra amount of growth hormone
released during these movements you will gain muscle in more than
just the muscle groups focused on. Also include basic movements
such as standing barbell curls (for biceps), and military press (for shoulders).
(2) Eat a sufficient amount of protein (1 to 1.5 grams per
pound of body weight) to fill the demand for amino acids created by
(3) Try to eat six small meals per day, one every two to
three hours throughout the day. Try to keep calories directly from
fat between 15 - 25 percent of this intake. If you go much over
this amount, much of the weight you gain may be fat.
(4) Increasing overall caloric intake to a sufficient degree
to support the demands of intense exercise, but not so much as to
create an unwanted gain in body fat.
(5) Drink plenty of water. Water
is one of many misunderstood necessities of muscle growth. Try to
drink between three to four liters (1 gallon) per day. Be sure to
bring a water bottle to the gym as well, as your body loses a lot
more water during periods of intense exercise, and it is essential
to replenish these stores.
(6) Keeping your aerobic training to a healthy minimum, no
more than 30 minutes a day, 4 to 5 days a week. I would personally
recommend even less for those of you trying to get past the stage
of being skinny. I agree that your heart will thank you for any
aerobic activity performed, but remember not to overdo it to the
point that you are letting it hinder your muscle gains.
For the beginner, I would recommend the supplement regiment of
creatine and glutamine, as well, to gain weight, you may benefit
from supplementing with a weight gain powder. These high calorie
shakes will allow you to consume far more calories without the
discomfort of getting full too easily. A protein powder will
benefit you as well, especially if you find it difficult or
inconvenient to get the required amount of protein from your daily