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Who USED to be a Hardgainer?

Cough up your dirty little secret! The days where you failed to put on muscle and attributed the slow gains to being a hardgainer.

Of course, you’ve now cured yourself of this horrible, horrible disease thanks to good nutrition + good, solid effort. But there was a time, when a lot of you were “hardgainers.”

Confess and discuss.

When I first started training about 2 1/2 years ago I thought I was a hardgainer. Everyone told me I was a hardgainer and that I was too skinny to be strong and add size. I didn’t have the “meat” on my frame to be a big guy. I’m still not a big guy, but im 50lbs heavier and leaner than I was. I consider myself strong for my size and believe I actually have better than average genetics for weightlifting. Since learning about training the right way (using the basic principles) and about proper nutrition my gains have been steady. Everyone who complains about being a hardgainer is selling themsleves short, I learned this through my short experience.

[quote]elusive wrote:
When I first started training about 2 1/2 years ago I thought I was a hardgainer. Everyone told me I was a hardgainer and that I was too skinny to be strong and add size. I didn’t have the “meat” on my frame to be a big guy. I’m still not a big guy, but im 50lbs heavier and leaner than I was. I consider myself strong for my size and believe I actually have better than average genetics for weightlifting. Since learning about training the right way (using the basic principles) and about proper nutrition my gains have been steady. Everyone who complains about being a hardgainer is selling themsleves short, I learned this through my short experience.[/quote]

Exactly. I’m no nutritional genius, and am a complete beginner at the whole bodybuilding thing but have realised that hearing terms like “hardgainer” without adequate research into bodybuilding, many people might actually be put off doing serious work, which is a shame.

I’m sure there are many on here with a similar story to ours; I suppose its human nature to look for a convenient excuse, or perhaps an adquate scapegoat when results aren’t immediate. To think that people quit early on in their training because they might brand themselves as hardgainers or genetically robbed, is sad.

Glad for your gains; I yesterday joined the 150lb club (started at 128)

Me. What I’ve found is that by the time you’re 25, the hardgainer disease mysteriously disappears when your metabolism slows a little bit but you’re still eating like a bastard.

It’s kind of like testicular cancer- the older you are, the less likely you are to have it.

Everyone starts somewhere. The people that work the hardest, for the longest periods of time are usually the largest. Its all about putting in the work. Keep trucking.

I was 120 when I graduated. I hated being skinny, but for some reason could never grasp the concept of “eat more = weigh more”. I know, shocking right.

Only recently have I even learned that. If only I had known better then…

No secrets though. All the information is here.

I’ve been lifting weights for a good 5 years and I’ve learned so much. I wish I had all the knowledge that I have now from the start.

I’ve been blessed with being able to grow right from the beginning :slight_smile:

(Started 6 months ago, gained 38lbs so far)

I was. My weight when I started was 207(at 6’7") I still think it’s a term for skinny people that don’t like to eat that much. I was a chronic under-eater, and still am, to an extent, but once that problem is corrected, the hardgainer thing usually goes away.

I wasn’t a “hardgainer” per say, just didn’t understand how much food it took to fuel my daily activities+workingout to grow. I have real weak genetics, I can’t change that never. everyone is skinny in my family. My little brother is around 6’1 135 lol.

ehhh i remember being 126 lbs @ 5"11 stepping into the gym at about 21(23 now). right now I’m creeping up on 190(still to damn small). Yet I think I just got over the beginner gains. So these next few years will be alot different in terms of how fast I add size.

I was a skinnyfat 150 lbs when I started and 2 1/2 years later of powerlifting I’m sitting at a solid 185 without any bodybuilding training, and I was moving up in weight at a slow pace (2 mile run time starts sucking with fast weight gain).

Food works wonders.

I’m def. a member of the hardgainer club. I stumbled across Stuart McRobert’s writings and the main website about 3 years after I started lifting in my early 20s. I was 160 pounds at 6-5, and had gained 0 in those three years. I actually spent well over a year trying to do all out sets of pullups once a week, etc. and greatly reduced my time in the gym. I was convinced I was worrying too much about isolation and not enough about compound movements and that I was going to the gym too often, due to hardgainer articles.

I didn’t stay on the hardgainer lifting program (because I liked going to the gym more than once a week), but I lifted throughout my 20s and didn’t gain anything and just dismissed it as my lot in life.

Then, I read some Berardi, saw a nutritionist, and found out that hey- you have to eat a lot if you have a hard time gaining weight.

I mean a lot, compared to what I was used to.

Anyway, I wasted about 5-8 years because that shit convinced me that I was body-typed into uber-skinnyness for life and that lfiting weights often would keep me there for sure.

I was labled a hard gainer. I weighed 120lbs at 5’7". I went through a few phases as a hard gainer. I started with the eat everything that isn’t nailed down approach which worked realy well at first. I gained a good 20 lbs on that approach to gaining weight. I pretty much ate 4500 calories a day of complete crap. I had PBJs, Chocolate milk, Milk Shakes, Ice Cream, Burgers, Pork steaks… you get the picture.

Suprisingly with all the crap food my body responded pretty well to the extra calories. I gained a lot of muscle and verry little fat but my gains stopped and I was feeling bloated and crappy all the time. so I proceded to step 2.

Step 2 was realy just a lul in nutrition. I decided I would be 140 and I better just deal with it. I ate the same foods as the previous step but just less of them oddly enough i still gained a little weight.

Finaly I realized that if I want to make any real gains I need to focus on nutrition and not just blindly shove food in my mouth. I started eating fruit and veg with every meal. I planed my meals for the week. I made sure to get 1.5-2g of protien per lb of body weight and I gained another 30 or so lbs on that diet. I’m at 164 right now and I can see 170 on the horizon. I’m also probably more lean now than when I was just eating everything.

I am determined to get to 170 then I’ll probably evaluate how I feel and most likely go for 180. and from there who knows.

If I can gain weight anyone can gain weight. It’s not easy but it’s certainly attainable.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Me. What I’ve found is that by the time you’re 25, the hardgainer disease mysteriously disappears when your metabolism slows a little bit but you’re still eating like a bastard.

It’s kind of like testicular cancer- the older you are, the less likely you are to have it. [/quote]

I agree 100%. I used to NEVER be able to gain weight, but as I get older and learn more Im steadily hitting a higher weight each year.

I’d still consider myself a hardgainer, but for different reasons. Gaining weight is no longer a problem, gaining muscle is the tough part now.

I think the most important thing for any “hardgainer” that simply cant gain weight or muscle, is to focus on increasing your strength in the main lifts. And to find lifts that you can safely train hard in as you age. There will be a time when your metabolism slows and gaining weight will become easier. At that point you’ll be much better off if you can squat BWx2 for reps and do Pullpus with BWx1.5 for reps, than if youve only been doing machines and are as weak as you look.

There arent as many hardgainers as there are uneducated lifters not doing anything right and thinking they are hardgainers.

I was a hardgainer but if i had done everything right from the get go i would have grown much faster.

I think there are those that just do the right stuff naturally,those that just have freaky genetics and everyone else.

i can close grip 245x6

rackpull 545x5 from below the knee

i pulled 425x7 off the floor with no straps DOH a couple months ago

but i still consider myself a hardgainer

right now my numbers are going up a lot faster than my size. ive been putting up the pounds week after week but no weight on the frame, sucks.

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
i can close grip 245x6

rackpull 545x5 from below the knee

i pulled 425x7 off the floor with no straps DOH a couple months ago

but i still consider myself a hardgainer

right now my numbers are going up a lot faster than my size. ive been putting up the pounds week after week but no weight on the frame, sucks.[/quote]

Good #s

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
i can close grip 245x6

rackpull 545x5 from below the knee

i pulled 425x7 off the floor with no straps DOH a couple months ago

but i still consider myself a hardgainer

right now my numbers are going up a lot faster than my size. ive been putting up the pounds week after week but no weight on the frame, sucks.[/quote]

Try to make a big change…rep range, volume, or find a way to get a ridiculous amount of cals. in. Every time I stall I go extreme on one of those and I pull right through.

I’m not a hardgainer. I’m only here to gloat.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Me. What I’ve found is that by the time you’re 25, the hardgainer disease mysteriously disappears when your metabolism slows a little bit but you’re still eating like a bastard.

It’s kind of like testicular cancer- the older you are, the less likely you are to have it. [/quote]

Absolutely brilliant! -lol. I think whoever coined the term ‘hardgainer’ should be shot. It’s a negative self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s your all situation excuse. “Well, I’m not gaining because I’m a hardgainer”, “This didn’t work, because I’m a hardgainer”, “you’re putting on muscle because you’re obviously not a hardgainer”…

Sure, it’s be totally stupid to argue that there isn’t some sort of spectrum of recovery ability, or even muscular growth potential, BUT the claim that you’re predisposed to not be able to make gains is just ludicrous. I always tell people I’ve trained that while you can never know what your final potential may be, everyone can make SOME progress.

(And yes, I thought I was a hardgainer too… until I stopped running 15 miles every week, then I suddenly made some gains… weird coincidence)

S