T Nation

Hard Gainer Looking for Muscle



This is my first post so forgive me if it's in the wrong forum. I'm a hard-gainer looking to put on defined muscle mass. I've never really put much effort into my diet though, and it's really held me back on getting results.

My goals are:

  1. Add muscle;
  2. Reduce BF; (I don't know what mine's currently at, but I'm 6'3" and 195 lbs.)
  3. Get defined abs.

I've attached my meal plan that I've been on for the past couple of weeks. It doesn't "feel" like I'm eating a lot, but what I'm most concerned about is whether this diet is impeding my efforts to reduce my body fat.

Any thoughts for improvements would be very much appreciated.


edit: also, I'm not sure if the above numbers are right for carbs and saturated fat. Wasn't sure what to include/exclude based on the nutritional information provided on the packages. I'm also drinking 1-2 litres of water on top of all of the drinks listed.


Whether your primary goal right now is gaining muscle or reducing bf% is going to have a lot to do with the answer to this question. You gave your height and weight but without knowing your body comp it's difficult to say what course of action you should take.


At 6'3" 195, I think you're goals should stop at #1 for awhile if you honestly want to put on serious mass.

I mean, don't over stress body fat at your size. If you really want to put on a serious amount of muscle, worry about eating for that for awhile, like a year. Then worry about BF. (But also don't be a dumbass and allow yourself to gain 65lbs of fat in the next 6 months because you're eating icecream & candy bars and working out like a 80 year old woman.)


what are you using to track those calories? Why is it only listing saturated fat, not all fat?

3700 cals sounds like it's probably a significant surplus for your size (unless you're very active). The diet also has lots of protein. So that combined with working hard in the gym should lead to good muscle gains.

However, this is directly contradictory to trying to have defined abs, because abz are ALL ABOUT low body fat percentage, which means a caloric deficit, which means no bulking...

generally the only way to cut and bulk ('culk') is to either a) be a beginner on training and diet, or b) be willing to put up with VERY SLOW progress in both areas (and cut calories to more of a maintenance level). Hell, I'm nearly your size, and a rank beginner myself, and I think over the last few months I've managed to cut fat, but probably not built up much if any muscle.


i want dem chiseled 8 pack abs toooooooo, so ppl can think im ripped


Well, I think it depends on exactly HOW visible he wants his abs to be, you know? I mean, are his abs visible now and he wants them super-cut? Does he have a gut and would be happy with moderate definition (at least while trying to gain weight)? Etc. Regardless of how much I'm eating I can still see my abs... just not as much.


Looking back on my post, it makes sense I should approach my three goals as progression over a long-term plan. Thanks :slightly_smiling:

Pretty much. I'm not embarrassed to admit I want to look good.

My abs are not visible. I've never had defined abs, so I've made it a goal to get them. I wouldn't say I have a gut, but just being able to see them while I put on muscle would be nice.

Accepting that I cannot do all three of my goals at once, really my question is more diet focused. Will it support or impede my goals of gaining muscle and where could it be improved?



You're going to want to check those numbers. There is no way one pound of ground beef has only 30g of protein. If it is truly lean, it will have probably triple that.


Numbers are messed up. Find a way to get the right numbers.

Most of you carbs are coming from tortillas?

30% of your protein is coming from shakes. How about some real food.

Where is the fat? You scareda fat? Fat is good.

You can only build abs when you are building muscle. To build muscle, you must add muscle and fat to your body. If you want to see abs, how about you start now for next June, add muscle and fat until February 28, then diet the fat off until the end of May. You will have muscles AND abs, and the Canadian wenches really like this.

To gain, set up your daily calorie intake about 500-750 over maintenance, use a 34/33/33 p/c/f calorie ratio, cut your daily shakes to one plus pwo, but also eat soon after pwo, and your body will respond.

To diet, use a 55/20/25 p/c/f and reduce calories to about maintance and add 20 minutes per day cardio. The cardio creates a calorie deficit and you will lose fat.


This is gold. Thank you.


If the package says "carb", then count it. If it says "fat" then count it. At the simple level, ignore distinctions between types of fat and types of carbs.