Looking to bulk up? If you’re a hardgainer, you might need a bit of help with that. You’d think that just eating a ton of food was enough to achieve this goal, but that’s not true.
There are a lot of things to have in mind when you’re a skinny guy in the world of bodybuilding. In reality, ectomorphs can have a very hard time building their desired body, and there are many common mistakes they tend to make along the road.
Yet, giving up is not an option, guys. Anyone can get bigger with a decent amount of dedication and hard work.
You can’t half-a*s your way to a ripped body, though. The first thing you have to do is make getting bigger and stronger a priority.
Your life should be organized around this goal if you’re truly serious about achieving it. It means you’ll have to eat when you don’t feel hungry, train when you’d rather chill with your friends and give up on late parties in order to get enough rest.
Real success demands sacrifice, so are you really up to it?
Good! Now that you’ve begun your journey to greatness, prime your mindset and check out the 5 most important mistakes that could prevent you from packing more mass – then avoid them at all costs. Muscle growth is just around the corner.
1. Not having a plan
First of all, you need to have a strategy. You can’t just walk into a gym, having no clue what to do and expect your gut to show you the way – this will only bring you frustration.
Not only that you must have a plan, you will also need to stick to it for a long period of time if you want to achieve anything.
Jumping from one thing to the next will only slow down your progress. So choose a program and stick to it.
Also, keep in mind that your strategy needs to be sustainable – bodybuilding is a lifestyle, not a temporary goal.
Take weight loss for example – if you starve yourself for a few months, you’ll lose a ton of weight for sure.
But could you maintain it? The same applies for bulking up. If you want to get huge and stay that way too, the changes you make in your diet and exercise routine must be sustainable.
Need some inspiration? Let’s go basic. Mastering the following exercises will guarantee you major strength and mass gains:
– Overhead Presses
– Pull-ups (weighted)
– Dips (weighted)
Bonus tip: forget what everyone else in the gym is doing.
You need a solid foundation before you start isolating exercises, so focus on working on major muscle groups first.
After you grow significantly bigger and stronger, you can introduce isolation exercises for further definition.
2. Being unrealistic
The second rule of this game is: don’t expect miracles to happen overnight. You will need a lot of patience, because your muscles can’t reach maximum growth in a month or two, no matter what you do.
Forget about all ads, tips and advice that tell you otherwise – they only want your money.
If you want to build muscle the natural way, the truth is that you can’t put on more than 1-2 pounds of muscle per month.
And that applies to optimal conditions, i.e. eating the right amount of food and having an adequate exercise plan.
3. Not eating enough
This is one of the main reasons why hardgainers struggle so hard with making progress.
You want to gain weight? Eat more. And more. And more. If you’re still not getting bigger, eat even more.
You’re probably wondering what’s the best diet to put some real meat on your bones?
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to bodybuilding nutrition.
You’ll have to take your time to find out what works best for you. But, there are the general rules:
– Don’t use shock tactics in terms of huge calorie increases. Instead, increase the intake of calories in a slower, controlled manner.
– Your diet should consist of 50% protein, 35-40% carbs and 10-15% fat.
– Get the most of your calories from real, wholesome high-quality food and use supplements only when necessary.
– Make an eating schedule and stick to it to make sure you don’t miss a meal.
4. Going too slow or going too fast
Your body adapts to the work you’re loading it with, so you need to constantly challenge it to work harder and rebuild stronger by introducing more repetitions or increasing the weight.
Your training isn’t supposed to become comfortable. Instead, it should be increasingly more difficult to stimulate muscle growth.
Keep pushing yourself to your limits, but do it in a safe way. Overzealousness can destroy you – if you try to do too much in hope for a faster progress, you’ll increase your risk of injury and this will cost you a lot.
Taking a month off the gym to recover from acute injury can bring you back where you’ve started, so learn to be patient and make your progress sustainable by slowly increasing the challenge and pushing yourself just a little bit more every time you pick up the bar.
5. Not allowing your body to recover
If you don’t allow your body enough time to rest and recover, it can not regenerate and rebuild.
It is during sleep that the growth hormone levels reach their peak, and the broken down muscles are able to heal and recover.
This makes resting a crucial component of getting bigger, so don’t underestimate it.
Without proper recovery, you’re also more likely to reach a performance plateau and increase your risk of injury and overtraining.
The point is: you will never achieve real growth without getting enough sleep – and we’re talking about eight hours of it every single night.
Remember: getting huge requires discipline and hard work. The five mistakes mentioned above have compromised the efforts of many guys before you, so make sure to take them into account.
Eat big, lift heavy, get enough sleep and don’t deviate from your plan until you’ve reached your goal.