By: Austin Perry
Building Mass for Hard Gainers
There’s a consistent theme that occurs with many ectomorphic body types which includes gaining weight. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced lifter with years of hard work in the gym, this can be a big issue when it comes to bodybuilding and fitness in general and here’s why:
Size is Important
I can’t stress this enough, adding size is crucial in sculpting your physique long term as you need a bigger frame with more muscle and mass in general to properly shred down without ending up looking like a twig. Now, this doesn’t mean go out and eat whatever you want, whenever you want whilst working out. This means eating clean but being in a surplus and properly timing meals to help build additional size and muscle. Here’s where things can get exhausting. You’re eating 7 meals per day and properly timing higher carb meals but you find yourself force feeding 80% of the time. If you’re a hard gainer, this is going to be a common thing and I will tell you, it is not fun by any means but it is extremely important to stay in a surplus and continue eating according to plan. Focus on the bigger goal and use this as motivation to keep you on the correct path.
Listen To Your Body
If there’s any advice to take away from this information, it’s to listen to your body and how it responds. This is the best way to figure out if there are any issues or if you can capitalize on certain foods within your diet for example. Being in a caloric surplus can have its advantages and disadvantages but you should always study the way your body is reacting to specific things such as cortisol and carbohydrates. Stress can negatively impact your body and hinder progress as you start to notice cortisol elevation which makes your body composition feel softer in a way. Stress is unavoidable but you can take certain vitamins and natural ingredients to help your cortisol levels get back to a healthy amount so you can continue to build lean mass without feeling like a fluff ball. What’s very interesting and fun is messing around with carbohydrate sources as your body may respond better to, let’s just say cereal over oatmeal. If this helps you build mass in a proper way then by all means, continue using this for a pre or post source. It can also be much more enjoyable over something such as cream of rice. Taking these into account is highly beneficial as you really want to work with your body the whole time and take the proper steps by studying yourself and your progress.
Embrace The Suck
If you’re like me and stay relatively lean as an ectomorph, then you’re not used to the full-on bulking stages which includes a puffy face and less vascularity. Let’s be honest, you’re going to have to dive head first into gaining weight and it’s not going to look pretty. HOWEVER, building this additional size makes it all worth it in the end right before cutting season as you start to realize shredding from 165lbs would look terrible compared to cutting from 225lbs and looking incredible. My word of advice is this, don’t focus on your abs or vascularity. Your goal is to gain size and strength so it’s necessary to go in with a focused mindset of getting a little more chunky than you’re used to.
Allow Free Meals
Also known as “Cheat Meals”, the free meal is great for those who follow strict diet plans as it allows them to shock the body in a sense and kick starts the metabolism while also allowing for a mental break from the diet. Cheat meals are also great for those looking to bulk as they allow you to add in the additional calories. Word of advice, do not over do this and keep it to one cheat meal in place of 2 regular meals once per weekend and if you’re still having trouble gaining weight, add in an additional high carb meal such as a burrito from Chipotle post-workout once during the week. Structuring a great diet plan and adding these free meals will help the process and guides you faster into gaining the weight you need.
You’re probably going to hear this from just about everyone but it really comes down to this, just keep eating. Sure, it may not be fun eating that much in a day but with specific goals being created for yourself, it is highly necessary. So, what do you do if you feel like you can’t eat anymore, stretched for time or are on a tight budget and can’t afford to spend that much on food per week?
There are many ways to be creative and work around these issues such as using a weight gainer. For example, by using a mass gainer, you can increase your daily caloric surplus in a liquid form making things much more easy and convenient. Nutrex Research Mass Infusion is cost effective and contains clean sources for carbohydrates which will help you with your nutritional and macronutrient goals. With Mass Infusion, you can also control the serving size to help you hit specific macro goals and it also contains BCAAs for advanced muscle recovery. So, while food is still the ultimate benefit, you can help your progress whenever you are in a time crunch, low on your budget or just straight up can’t put the fork to your mouth.
Now that your diet is laid out and you’re ready to add in the weights, shoot for overall strength when training. Put those extra carbs and calories to good use and start setting some PR’s whenever you can but train smart as well. Focus on lacking body parts and try to build them up while your food is high. Training for volume is great to add in one week out then rotate every other. It’s important to capitalize on your daily food intake and add some serious strength and size to your frame. Build out a program that specifically benefits your bulk and really take a hold of it without looking back.
You’re not going to put on a crazy amount of size overnight, however, taking these steps into account will help you over time and staying consistent to eating more than you are used to will benefit you in the long run.
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