7 Secrets To Gain Weight And Build Muscle Fast For Hard Gainers
However, as you know, there is a downside to being a hard gainer: it’s hard to gain muscle. It’s hard to look good when you have your shirt off. It’s hard to live up to the images you see of “normal looking” guys.
You’re sick of being called “small” and you’d like to bulk up a little bit. If so, you’re reading the right report! In this report, I’m going to share 7 secrets to building muscle and gaining weight FAST.
If you just implemented these 7 secrets, you would inevitably gain weight at a rate of at least 1 pound a week, sometimes more.
For even more secrets, including how to gain more weight even faster, be sure to check out my newsletter!
Secret 1: Do compound exercises
The first thing you need to do to build muscle is exercise. Specifically, you need to lift heavy weights.
The idea behind weight training is simple: when you left heavy weights and stress your muscles, you create micro-tears cares in your muscle fibers. Assuming you have a good diet and rest properly, your body will spend the next few days preparing those muscles. When it repairs those muscles, it makes them stronger than they were before.
Gradually, after many weeks of doing this, your muscles will become significantly larger than they were before.
However, none of this happens if you aren’t stressing your muscles. That’s why going to the gym is so important.
Now it is possible to build muscle exclusively with bodyweight exercises – but it is much more difficult than it is by lifting weights.
So if you’re serious about building muscle, getting a gym membership is a good idea.
So what should you do at the gym? Well, you should primarily do what are called compound exercises. These are exercises that stress multiple muscle groups at the same time.
An example of a compound exercise is squats. You could call squats the king of compound exercises because they work so many musclegroups, including your legs, glutes, and lower back.
The other kind of weight training exercises you can do are isolation exercises. These only work one muscle group at a time. An example of this is a bicep curl, which only works out your biceps.
Isolation exercises have their place, but if you’re interested in gaining muscle mass, you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck with compound exercises.
Take a squat for example. When you do a squat, you hit a bunch of large muscle groups. In addition, you hit the muscle stabilizers that connect muscles together, which isolation exercises do not hit.
Because you’re hitting so many muscles at once, your body releases more growth hormones than it does with isolation exercises. That’s all VERY good news if you want to gain weight and build muscle.
With that in mind, here are the BEST exercises you can do at the gym in order to gain weight:
- Bench press
- Military press
- Compound row
These are all compound exercises that hit multiple large muscle groups. If you JUST did these five exercises, then you would set yourself up nicely to gain lots of muscle.
Secret 2: Work your legs to grow your upper body
When most people think of a “ripped” body, they think of nice pecs, bulging biceps and broad shoulders. Therefore, when most people start lifting weights, they jump straight to the bicep curls and chest machines.
We talked about in the last secret why compound exercises are superior to isolation exercises when it comes to building muscle and gaining weight. Well, the second secret is that if you want a sexy upper body – nice pecs, bulging biceps and broad shoulders – then you actually need to work out your legs.
There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. For one, your body naturally keeps a sense of proportion. You’ll rarely see somebody with huge pecs but skinny arms and a flat back.
That means if your lower body isn’t growing, then neither will your upper body.
Second, your largest muscles are in the lower half of your body. Your glutes, quads, hams and calves are major muscle groups. When you hit them hard, your body releases the most hormones. That’s great for building muscle everywhere.
It’s also one reason why when you do compound leg exercises, your sex drive will dramatically increase, which is a nice side benefit!
Anyways, the bottom line is that if you want to look great with your shirt off, then you also need to do the exercises that will help you look great with your pants off. No more chicken legs for you!
If you really want to hit your legs and supercharge your muscle building, then there are two exercises you should do once a week at the gym:
The king of all bodybuilding exercises that hit your thighs and butt. All you do is put a heavy barbell on your back, or hold dumbbells to the side and squat down and back up.
Another awesome bodybuilding exercise that also hits your thighs and butt. They’re simple to do: all you need to do is pick a barbell up from the ground, then set it back down.
With both deadlifts and squats, good form is ESSENTIAL. While they are VERY safe exercises if you use proper form, they can seriously mess you up if you’re sloppy with your form.
Whatever your muscle growth goals are – even if you just want to look goof with your shirt off – it’s essential to incorporate at least one of these two exercises into your weekly training routine.
Secret 3: Switch to HITT cardio
Gaining weight is a simple equation: consume more calories than you burn every day. As a hard-gainer, this means you need to eat A LOT of food, which we’ll talk about with the next secret.
Let’s talk about the other side of the equation: the number of calories you burn.
When it comes to your workouts, you need to minimize the amount of cardio you do.
30 minute jobs every day before you go to work will make it harder for you to gain weight, because you’re burning more calories and therefore will need to consume even more calories to compensate.
Now, does this mean that you shouldn’t do any cardio at all?
No, you can and should still do cardio. After all, cardio is essential if you want to be healthy. However, doing lengthy endurance-style cardio will be counter-productive, because you’ll burn too many calories.
So what’s the solution? HITT.
HITT stands for High Intensity Interval Training.
Jogging for 30 minutes, riding a bike a few miles and using the elliptical machine are examples of low intensity training, or “aerobic” exercise. They’re exhausting, but they work by getting you to pace yourself for an extended period of time.
High intensity training is very different. It involves short, intense bursts of energy broken up with periods of rest. Sprinting is an example.
You can also do HITT with biking, the elliptical machine and so forth by going as hard as you possibly can for small bursts of time, followed by periods of rest.
HITT workouts are perfect when you’re trying to build muscle. For proof, just look at the typical marathon runner versus the typical sprinter. Most marathon runners are tall and thin. Most sprinters are jacked.
That said, limit cardio to 2-3 days a week while you’re building muscle. You’ll need to amp it up later, when you’re in your cutting phase.
Secret 4: It’s all about calories
The single most important thing that will determine whether or not you will gain weight is the number of calories that you consume. If you aren’t eating enough calories, then nothing else you do matters – especially if you’re a hard gainer.
If you want to gain serious amounts of weight fast, you need to be prepared to eat a lot. You might think you eat a lot right now, but you probably don’t. As an experiment, track the number of calories you for the next three days.
If you’re like most people, then you eat around 2000 calories a day. For hard gainers, this is enough to BARELY maintain your current weight.
If you want to gain mass as a hard gainer, then you need to eat a minimum of 2500 calories a day. For many, that numbers closer to 3000 calories a day or more.
That’s not as easy as it sounds. Believe me, it’s hard to eat 500-1000 more calories than you currently do. There will be times where you feel full but you need to force yourself to eat anyway.
That also means spending more time preparing food for yourself. Many bodybuilders find it easier to eat all of these calories if they eat six meals a day instead of the traditional three meals a day.
In addition, it’s also helpful to pick one day, Sunday for example, where you spend a few hours preparing meals for the entire week. Put them all in containers, store them in your fridge and then, when it’s time to eat during the week, all you need to do is take the food out and fire up the microwave.
Now, what about the quality of food? Doesn’t matter what type of food you eat?
If you’re a serious hard gainer who has a really difficult time gaining weight, then the short answer is no. Now, does this mean that you should spend three years stuffing your face with super unhealthy food? Of course not. That’s unhealthy.
However, if you’re just trying to gain some weight fast and for a few weeks you have to eat some unhealthy food to get the calories you need, then that is totally fine.
Secret 5: Eat lots of protein
While the quantity of calories are more important than the quality of calories, there is one type of macro-nutrient you need to get plenty of if you’re trying to bulk: protein.
Protein contains the building blocks that your body needs to build muscle. Denying your body protein is like telling a group of builders to create a castle out of straw – it’s not going to work!
As a general rule, you want to eat one gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight. There’s a more precise formula that you’ll learn about in my newsletter, but this is a good rule of thumb to start with.
Some great sources of protein include:
Other sources of protein like tofu, nuts and pork are fine, but the ones above are the best when it comes to gaining weight and building muscle.
Because protein is so time-consuming to prepare, this is where supplementation can help. Investing in some whey protein or even a high-quality weight gainer can make it much easier to get the calories AND protein you need every day.
Secret 6: Sleep 8 hours a night
One of the most common mistakes I see bodybuilders make is that they focus only on diet and exercise. Diet and exercise are important, but they are not all you need in order to gain weight and build muscle.
There’s a third leg on this stool: recovery.
After all, you don’t actually build muscle at the gym. You build muscle outside of the gym assuming you stress your muscles with challenging exercises and are giving it the raw materials with a good diet.
It’s the time you spend lying around where the actual muscle building happens.
There are all sorts of ways to improve your recovery time, and I share some of the secrets in my newsletter. But the single biggest thing you can do is sleep for eight hours a night.
So much good stuff happens to you when you’re sleeping. That’s when your body does most of the critical repair work on your muscles, and replenishes critical hormones like testosterone that are important for building muscle.
People who are sleep deprived also tend to have FAR less energy, which makes it difficult to do things like go to the gym which you need to do if you want to build muscle.
That’s why it is so, so important to get adequate sleep. For most adults, that means 7 to 9 hours a night. Ideally, it should happen in a quiet, dark room so that the quality of your sleep is really high. You probably already know this is good for you, so think of building muscle and gaining weight as the excuse you been waiting for to start getting direct together when it comes to sleep!
Secret 7: Limit your workouts to 3-5 times a week
Most people believe that they need to the gym more often. They think that the more you go to the gym, the better.
Now, if you’re somebody who never goes to the gym, this is great advice, because you do need to go to the gym more. However, that doesn’t mean that you should go to the gym as much as possible.
As you know, when you lift weights, you’re actually tearing down muscle. You actually build muscle when you’re not working out. If you were at the gym everyday just tearing up your muscles and never giving them the opportunity to rebuild, then you’re not going to gain any muscle.
In fact, you’ll actually lose muscle and risk injury.
That’s why there’s an optimal amount of time to spend at the gym every week. Ideally, you want to go to the gym enough times to hit all of your major muscle groups no more than 1-2 times each week.
That means you’re torn them down and giving them the opportunity to rebuild, which for your major muscle groups requiresaround seven days.
In addition, when you do go to the gym, you shouldn’t spend more than an hour working out. After an hour, you’re no longer doing yourself any good.
Honestly, you can get a good enough work out with just 20-40 minutes at the gym.
When you hit this sweet spot of short, intense workouts 3 to 5 times a week, then you’ll build muscle fast without risk of overtraining and injury. Of course, you’ll also need to also apply the other six secrets to get the best results.