T Nation

Stuart McRobert

Has anybody tried Stuart McRobert’s Hardgainer approach to workingout. If so did you find it effective or is there to little volume to do any good. I was thinking of getting a couple of his books. Any help is appreciated.

Well, Jason, no one else answered, so even though I have
not used Stuart McRobert’s entire program I’ll try to
answer… I’ve read his books anyway and adopted some of
his ideas at some times.

He has an excellent point in wanting trainers to drop
isolation exercises and focus on the big compound
movements. In fact it was probably McRobert who got me
to, for several years, adopt a philosophy of “ONLY
squats, deadlifts, rows, presses, calf raises, and
leg curls,” which actually did quite well for me as
part of a powerlifting training cycle program. Most
trainers spend way too much time on silly little
exercises like rear delt flyes, side bends, etc. or
even biceps curls. BTW, I had no rear delts – couldn’t
find them with a search warrant – before switching to
the above philosophy despite a fair amount of isolation
rear delt work… now my rear delts are pretty damned good
strictly from rows and presses.

However I do not think his training cycle method is a
good one… that of keeping the weight basically the
same near the end of a cycle but adding fractional
weights, then dropping weights for the beginning of
the next cycle yet not adding reps.

The five sets of five program he likes to advocate
is a good protocol but not the only good one, and
if it’s the only one you use I believe you will be
limiting your gains.

Hardgainer, IMO, is a program which offers good
potential for improvement relative to the completely-
unthought-out-or-wrongly-thought-out way a lot of
guys who haven’t been gaining are training… doesn’t
mean it is THE program that will take them as far as they
can go as fast as possible. I don’t think it is and
would definitely recommend the programs of Poliquin and
King over Stuart McRobert’s. But if you want to focus
on the big exercises as McRobert recommends, that’s a
great thing for beginning and intermediate trainers
to do.