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Training/Diet Advice For Hard Gainers With Active Lifestyle

For a long time I overanalyzed my training and thought that it was the problem… but the truth is that I’m not gaining weight and the stagnation has nothing to do with my training. My maintenance caloric intake is around 3500 on its own given my lifestyle. I work part time at Starbucks and I live in New York City so I constantly take buses and walk everywhere. It makes it so difficult to gain some weight… I’ve been stuck at around 195 for a while now.

Besides eating more (which is what I’m trying to do), has anything worked for you guys in regards to training or making it easier to get in the calories? Would cutting down the amount of days I train help at all? I’m currently following a 5-day upper/lower. I don’t do cardio at all either. I’ve been making homemade gainers that pack a good 600-1000 calories.

5/3/1 for Hardgainers and Tacos! That’s what is working for me :grinning:

Eat more and loose the “hard gainer” mentality.

It has been said before, if you are not gaining, you are not eating enough.

Anecdotal evidence. My maintenance is 3100 calories. When I started walking to work (3.8 km one way) even with a 3500 calories diet, I lost 5kg in a month. And, as my wife puts it “your legs got skinny”.

Took me a month, but had to bump it to 4200 calories and added 1/2 cup if oatmeal to my pre walk protein shake.

You got to do what you got to do.


Essentially, you’re asking, “how do I eat more without eating more?”

You can’t.

Eat more. Add another shake during the day with an extra scoop of protein, an extra scoop of PB, and a tablespoon of olive oil.


I’ve been trying to eat lots of calorically dense foods such as PB, oats, red meat, nuts, etc.

It just sucks man. I bust my ass at the gym and at work (I have to work two jobs in order to afford this lifestyle) and yet I don’t see results because of my metabolism. Eating 4000 calories a day is no joke lol.

No, I stated that I know that what it takes is more food. What I was wondering is if there are any tips you guys can give to eating more affordably or easier… I know shakes help. What other caloric dense foods are out there that are on the cheaper end of the spectrum?

I can’t find it now, but in one of Poliguin’s articles he tells a story about hitting a plateau for a couple years. He talks to another guy and the guy tells him, " you eat TOO clean you twit" He ate 1-2 dozen donuts a day for months. Not exactly recommended food, but you get the jist. Maybe you are eating TOO clean . Just a thought. I have figured out if I start losing weight to stop at the bakery and then grab a half gallon of high protein chocolate milk and throw that down. Instant 1000 calories. And fyi… I hate the doughnuts at the local bakery.
Another thing I do is set the alarm on my phone so it goes off every 2 hours to remind me to eat a snack. Especially if I am at work. Good luck!

Why is it that people complicate things. Yes, it is hard, no, there are no tip, tricks and short cuts.

Eat more is just that. Eat more. 8 ounces instead of 6 ounces of meat. There, you are now eating more. Add 1/4 cup of rice. There, you are now eating more. Add an intelligent peri workout drink. There, more calories.

And, if it was easy, everyone would be big.

Can it be frustrating? Only if you are not prepared and organized.

I know GOMAD gets a bad rap, but it gets the job done.

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Drop to 4 days trainig per week upper/lower split. That will cut down on your energy expenditure and if done right is still plenty enough to grow muscle.

Obviously stick to good templates and compound lifts most of the time.

Alternateliquid and solid meals, it makes it easier on your stomach to get the food in. half and half onstead of milk, even heavy cream, they pack somewhere around 50 calories/ounce so shakes become more calorie dense.

Fattier cuts of meat are both more calorically dense and cheaper. Don’t get shit, but get less lean cuts of beef. Eat chicken thighs with the skin on, etc.

Buy rice and potatos in bulk. Cheaper and they last forever. Buy mixed nuts.

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GOMAD also helped me

helped me, too. Helped me feel like I was going to shit myself constantly.

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I would say enjoy it while it lasts lol

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Now I’m an extremely clean eater but what do you guys think of eating a Hungry Man XXL every once in a while. I eat a ton of whole foods and I know Hungry Man is void of any type of nutrition but the thing packs 50+ grams of protein with almost 1000 calories.

Keep your diet around 80% clean.

Apart from that, just eat.

How is it void of any type of nutrition if it still packs +50g of protein and 1000 calories?

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What exactly is “a while”? Two Weeks? Three Months?

Also, how tall are you and how lean/fat are you? If you have some definition, then there’s less reason to be “an extremely clean eater.” Go for the Hungry Man as needed, no worries. If you’re carrying some bodyfat (which I have a suspicion you’re not), then avoiding junk is a better idea.

Like Aragorn said, training 4 days a week is plenty, especially with “big” workouts like an upper/lower split. That’d be a simple and effective change.

Serious question: Do you get free drinks and can you drink during your shift? You could try knocking back 1 or 2 drinks with 500+ calories when you work. That’d help counteract all the walking around.

Agreed. But, to be clear, what exactly did you eat yesterday?

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