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Advice for hard gainers

southern2316

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I started training when I was 18 years old, 6'1 and 150 pounds. I never lifted weights in high school. I actually ran cross crountry and track. When I first started lifting, I was like all the other idiots at the gym and working out chest every single day almost and never training legs. I did learn over the years by reading books and taking in advice from experienced lifters. At 23 years old I got certified by NASM and around that time did my first cycle. I am now 26 and recently got certified by NSCA and about to graduate with a minor in exercise science. At 26, I weigh about 220, bench press 355, squat 505, and deadlift about 500(never maxed) from floor, O/H press 245. I have only been seriously lifting for strength for about a year.
Mistakes and advice:

1: Try your harderst to take in all your calories from food, don't rely to much on supplements. I grew so much more when cut back on supplements and at whole food.
2: I love to work out but you have to rest to grow. I use to train all the time. If you don't have monster genetics then try and rest more and see what happens. I recover slower than most people.
3: Book knowledge is great and so are certifications but advice from experienced gym lifters(with years/decades) is the best. I started training with professional strongmen on the weekends and I have never learned so much on how to gain weight. They actually helped me put on amost 10 pounds naturally.
4: Write down every thing you do in the gym, every single set and weight lifted. How the hell can you remember what you lifted on your last set two weeks ago. It has helped me with my strength too.
5:Always change you routines up. Don't get stuck in the same lifting routine and wonder why you only get stronger but now bigger.
6:Don't thing you know it all. Every day I learn something new. Even less experienced lifters have helped me. Take in all the advice and don'g be afraid to ask. I have a degree and two certifications but I still ask for advice from more experienced trainers and lifters.
 

chemicalwarrior

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Good post!

I started out similarly. But, I lifted in high-school, just didn't get anywhere. After high-school I quit lifting and dwindled to 140 lbs at 6'2". I think that I'd weigh around 150 and 16% bf without weight training. That 140 was just a low point. And I've made similar gains- though my squat and deadlift are a bit fucked these days due to knee injuries. I've added 75 lbs of actual muscle.

I agree with what you wrote. It's good advice. Something I'd add is to be patient with yourself and train smart to avoid unecessary injuries! The muscle are going to come from nutrition as much as training for us ectos!
 

J_Diggs

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Truth. I've experienced the same as a very hard gainer.

Mind devulging what tips the strongmen gave you to gain that 10lbs? :

3: Book knowledge is great and so are certifications but advice from experienced gym lifters(with years/decades) is the best. I started training with professional strongmen on the weekends and I have never learned so much on how to gain weight. They actually helped me put on amost 10 pounds naturally.
 

SL1CED

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Good post!

I started out similarly. But, I lifted in high-school, just didn't get anywhere. After high-school I quit lifting and dwindled to 140 lbs at 6'2". I think that I'd weigh around 150 and 16% bf without weight training. That 140 was just a low point. And I've made similar gains- though my squat and deadlift are a bit fucked these days due to knee injuries. I've added 75 lbs of actual muscle.

I agree with what you wrote. It's good advice. Something I'd add is to be patient with yourself and train smart to avoid unecessary injuries! The muscle are going to come from nutrition as much as training for us ectos!
Did that skinny-fat look with you stay though? I'm at a low body weight, high body fat, but I do train.

It's tough to bulk with stomach fat.

It's tough to cut with very low lean body mass.

It's just a very hard situation.
 

chemicalwarrior

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Sliced,

Yes, it is a hard situation! No, I don't have that skinny fat look anymore. I've used anabolics and various fat burning protocols etc. over the years to little by little add size and keep fat parred down. I don't like to put it that way, but it makes a difference. My main philosophy is to learn about proper training first (namely with plenty of rest/efficient training) and nutrition second, then come up with a "supplement" protocol that is somewhat healthy and long-term.

With all the gh peptides, sarms and other goodies on the market now, we don't have to bombard ourselves with steroids to achieve a "good" look. I use anabolics, but take time off.
 

SL1CED

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Sliced,

Yes, it is a hard situation! No, I don't have that skinny fat look anymore. I've used anabolics and various fat burning protocols etc. over the years to little by little add size and keep fat parred down. I don't like to put it that way, but it makes a difference. My main philosophy is to learn about proper training first (namely with plenty of rest/efficient training) and nutrition second, then come up with a "supplement" protocol that is somewhat healthy and long-term.

With all the gh peptides, sarms and other goodies on the market now, we don't have to bombard ourselves with steroids to achieve a "good" look. I use anabolics, but take time off.
I'll hold off the fancy stuff until training & nutrition is done. I am a day or two away from hiring Alex Azarian, so that's my "cheat". That's my way of jump-starting and getting ahead. I'll worry about steroids once I'm actually at a decent weight, and I can diet to bulk or cut by myself for some time.

If there weren't guru's available online, I would've probably resorted. I just want to make progress. This situation is a bitch to get out of. I'm hoping in my year with Alex we iron some stuff out. I really want to learn how to recomp for my body(I'm sure I can cause I look like a beginner--but eat like a BBer), bulk for my body, and cut for my body.

Only supplements I might take are Creatine & DAA besides ZMA/Vitamin D which I take just about year round.
 

Ashop

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I started training when I was 18 years old, 6'1 and 150 pounds. I never lifted weights in high school. I actually ran cross crountry and track. When I first started lifting, I was like all the other idiots at the gym and working out chest every single day almost and never training legs. I did learn over the years by reading books and taking in advice from experienced lifters. At 23 years old I got certified by NASM and around that time did my first cycle. I am now 26 and recently got certified by NSCA and about to graduate with a minor in exercise science. At 26, I weigh about 220, bench press 355, squat 505, and deadlift about 500(never maxed) from floor, O/H press 245. I have only been seriously lifting for strength for about a year.
Mistakes and advice:

1: Try your harderst to take in all your calories from food, don't rely to much on supplements. I grew so much more when cut back on supplements and at whole food.
2: I love to work out but you have to rest to grow. I use to train all the time. If you don't have monster genetics then try and rest more and see what happens. I recover slower than most people.
3: Book knowledge is great and so are certifications but advice from experienced gym lifters(with years/decades) is the best. I started training with professional strongmen on the weekends and I have never learned so much on how to gain weight. They actually helped me put on amost 10 pounds naturally.
4: Write down every thing you do in the gym, every single set and weight lifted. How the hell can you remember what you lifted on your last set two weeks ago. It has helped me with my strength too.
5:Always change you routines up. Don't get stuck in the same lifting routine and wonder why you only get stronger but now bigger.
6:Don't thing you know it all. Every day I learn something new. Even less experienced lifters have helped me. Take in all the advice and don'g be afraid to ask. I have a degree and two certifications but I still ask for advice from more experienced trainers and lifters.
Thats great advice for the new guys. Its even great for us vets to read just to remember the basics.
 

southern2316

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Truth. I've experienced the same as a very hard gainer.

Mind devulging what tips the strongmen gave you to gain that 10lbs? :

3: Book knowledge is great and so are certifications but advice from experienced gym lifters(with years/decades) is the best. I started training with professional strongmen on the weekends and I have never learned so much on how to gain weight. They actually helped me put on amost 10 pounds naturally.
The first thing I did was quit training like a bodybuilder and started training more with a strongman routine. I think completely chaning my routine shocked my entire body and helped put one weight.

I quit deadlifting and squating the same week. I now only deadlift one week and squat the next week. I still hit legs every week but I never squat and deadlift the same week.

I never rarely go higher than the 8 rep range. I stay in the rep range of 1 to 4 for mose excersise like deadlift, O/H press, and squats but it still varies.

I use to only drink maybe 1.5 to 2 gallons a week. One of the pros told me to drink milk as much as possible. He said I would put on some fat but as long as I am lifting heavy and hard that my BF will only go up a little. I now drink 3.5 gallons of 2% milk a week.

I never eat until I am extremely full. I will eat medium to large meals so I can eat more often. I train on saturdays for strongman events for 4 hours in 100 degree heat sometimes. After I train I drink nonfat chocolate within 10 minutes after training then eat about every 2 hours and take a nap.

I cut out drinking because alcohol will slow your recovering up to 48 hours. I don't stay out late at night and I take naps during the day when possible even if its for 15 minutes.

I never train more than two days in a row.
 

J_Diggs

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Thanks Southern. Avoiding overtraining is definitely a key here.

And I am an absolute milk fiend. My wife and I go through 5 gal organic skim/week. I've been saying for years it would be so much cheaper if I just invested in my very own small-bred Jersey dairy cow and bottle my own! My son is only 2 and he's already taping a gallon on top of what we ingest.

$5/gal x 6 = $30/wk x 52 = $1,560/yr

The price of a Jersey small-breed ready for milking is ~$1,800

Avg small-breed Jersey produces 1-1.5 gallons per milking. Whereas a standard-size milk cow in peak production makes 6-10 gallons of milk per day AND takes in ~100lbs of food/day.
 

warrenpeace

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Milk is not for everyone. That's a lot of sugar for guys who put weight on easily, but since this is a "hard gainer" thread I imagine it fits. Still, there's got to be better options with better macro ratios before resorting to that much milk.
 

J_Diggs

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Milk is not for everyone. That's a lot of sugar for guys who put weight on easily, but since this is a "hard gainer" thread I imagine it fits. Still, there's got to be better options with better macro ratios before resorting to that much milk.
I agree milk definitely isn't for everyone, but the sugar in milk is a bit unique compared to other sugars out there.

Glucose is the most abundant on earth, it raises insulin levels and large doses at a time can lead to a lot of problems like diabetes or fat accumulation.

Fructose is found in fruits and combined with Glucose makes Sucrose (table sugar). Fructose has a low effect on insulin (good) but is metabolized by the liver and turned into triglycerides (bad) which can lead to heart disease. The fructose in fruits however is in a much lower quantity than in high fructose corn syrup.

Lactose is the milk sugar and is broken down by an enzyme called Lactase. Milk sugar is only found in milk and no where else. Its the only carbohydrate source to come from animals.

I don't know how Lactose effects insulin levels compared to other sugars out there so it's hard to tell exactly how much is too much.
 

southern2316

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Milk is not for everyone. That's a lot of sugar for guys who put weight on easily, but since this is a "hard gainer" thread I imagine it fits. Still, there's got to be better options with better macro ratios before resorting to that much milk.
True not for everyone....there are better options but milk is so convenient for the average person. I have a small appettie so milk helps me sneak in extra calories. I have to force myself to eat if I want to put on weight a lot of the times.

Try waking up in the middle of the night and drinking a shake or cooking some food. I have a friend that eats tuna fish sandwich at 2 in the morning. I just stick with the shakes though
 

chemicalwarrior

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I'll hold off the fancy stuff until training & nutrition is done. I am a day or two away from hiring Alex Azarian, so that's my "cheat". That's my way of jump-starting and getting ahead. I'll worry about steroids once I'm actually at a decent weight, and I can diet to bulk or cut by myself for some time.

If there weren't guru's available online, I would've probably resorted. I just want to make progress. This situation is a bitch to get out of. I'm hoping in my year with Alex we iron some stuff out. I really want to learn how to recomp for my body(I'm sure I can cause I look like a beginner--but eat like a BBer), bulk for my body, and cut for my body.

Only supplements I might take are Creatine & DAA besides ZMA/Vitamin D which I take just about year round.
That's a very good plan! Alex is a great source of info and guidance from everything I've seen. And, for sure you should wait till you have a decent "base" built up before considering steroids. I'd gained about 50 lbs (not all muscle, but a lot of muscle) before trying a very small cycle.
 

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