Friday, January 20, 2017


On the off chance that tall, lean or thin portray you, then you are an ectomorph {body type}. Also, ectomorphs are a common hardgainers and experience serious difficulties weight. 

Mesomorphs are actually strong and endomorphs are the greasy solid ones. {You can read the Body sorts preliminary here}. 

Since I was a genuine ectomorph and discovered it to a great degree hard to pick up bulk, I comprehend what it takes to pack on mass. 

In any case, before that a brisk recap: 

You are a hardgainer on the off chance that you: 

Are tall and thin, with limited shoulders/hips - hardgainers for the most part have great stature yet little mass 

Have low levels of bulk - huge bones, little muscle tummies, long ligaments 

Have low muscle to fat ratio ratios levels - bones like ribs, effectively unmistakable 

Can't put on weight regardless of the amount you eat and 

Are generally great at studies, independent, great at mental undertakings and even great at games like running 

In more straightforward words, you are thin with digestion system of a Mercedes and can't put on weight regardless of the possibility that you eat throughout the day. 

Related Article: How to Dump the Hardgainer Title 

Be that as it may, why are you a hardgainer? 

Is it Your blame? 

Qualities are the primary driver for Hardgainer issue! 

Being thin is not your blame alone. You can accuse your hereditary qualities, hormones, digestion system and environment for that. Despite the fact that hereditary qualities assume a major part, some natural elements assume a part as well. I have shrouded them in the Why Are You Thin article. 

Hyperplasia {increase in muscle fiber number} happens in early stages and poor sustenance, illnesses, and so on can influence muscle fiber number, consequently bulk in growing up. 

Aside from that, hardgainers may likewise have: 

Imperfect hormonal cosmetics {Low testosterone and Elevated amounts of T3 Thyroid hormone} 

Physical difficulties in building muscle as they have long ligaments and little muscle tummies 

Low practice limit 

Muscle strands worked for continuance exercises: henceforth e to transforms exceed expectations at games like running 

Low hunger, particularly for protein rich sustenances 

High Myostatin {hormone that chooses how much bulk you can have} levels 

As should be obvious the greater part of the elements are outside your ability to control. That is the reason there is a colloquialism, "the best thing in lifting weights is to choose the correct guardians". 

Also, that is outside your ability to control as well. So we should focus on things you can do, might we? 

Do the above truths discourage you. Try not to be! I simply needed to highlight a few difficulties you will confront along your voyage and convey genuine foe to your notice. Just on the off chance that you know why you are thin, you can defeat them and transform revile into gift. 

Does the above qualities depict you? At that point you are a regular hardgainer ectomorph and customary lifting weights techniques won't work for you. They are gone for officially huge expert weight lifters on steroids who need to get greater. 

What's more, such procedures will abandon you thin, powerless and disappointed without results and an opening in your pocket. 

Confide in me, that is not an awesome place to be! 

Its opportunity to discover what works for you. Its opportunity to find the best muscle pick up systems that are particularly gone for you - the common hardgainer! 

Are you game? I wager you are...

Genes are the main cause for Hardgainer problem!
Being skinny is not your fault alone. You can blame your genetics, hormones, metabolism and environment for that. Although genetics play a big role, some environmental factors play a role too. I have covered them in the Why Are You Skinny article.
Hyperplasia {increase in muscle fiber number} occurs in infancy and poor nutrition, diseases, etc can affect muscle fiber number, hence muscle mass in growing up.

Apart from that, hardgainers may also have:

Suboptimal hormonal makeup {Low testosterone and High levels of T3 Thyroid hormone}
Physical challenges in building muscle as they have long tendons and small muscle bellies
Low exercise threshold
Muscle fibers built for endurance activities: hence e to morphs excel at sports like running 
Low appetite, especially for protein rich foods
High Myostatin {hormone that decides how much muscle mass you can have} levels
As you can see most of the factors are beyond your control. That is why there is a saying, "the best thing in bodybuilding  is to select the right parents". 

And that is beyond your control too. So let's concentrate on things you can do, shall we?

Do the above facts depress you. Don't be! I just wanted to highlight some challenges you will face along your journey and bring real enemy to your notice. Only if you know why you are skinny, you can overcome them and turn curse into blessing.

Does the above characteristics describe you? Then you are a typical hardgainer ectomorph and conventional bodybuilding methods will not work for you. They are aimed at already big professional bodybuilders on steroids who want to get bigger.

And such strategies will leave you thin, weak and frustrated without results and a hole in your pocket.

Trust me, thats not a great place to be!

Its time to find what works for you. Its time to discover the best muscle gain strategies that are specifically aimed at you - the typical hardgainer!

Ready? I bet you are...

1. No.1 Hardgainer Muscle Building Secret:
Weight Training is The Best Weight Gain Strategy

Weight Training combined with nutritious foods is the best weight gain strategy as it creates healthy muscle mass.
What is the best strategy to gain weight fast?

Being a skinny hardgainer can be depressing. I should know. 
Most of us skinny guys will resort to anything to gain weight.

Eat like a horse? Check. 
Take supplements and weight gain powders? Check.
Steroids? no, not that far.
But sadly none of these work {except steroids but they come with boatload of side effects}.

Hardgainers can eat a ton of calories yet gain nothing. Blame it on our superfast metabolism.

At best these options make you chubby and at worst they make you fat, sick and anything but sexy and muscular!

So what is the best strategy?

The best way to gain weight is to gain muscle mass using resistance training exercises with free weights and eat nutrient and caloric rich foods that builds muscle.

There is nothing like lean, big muscles. Muscles give the sexy body you always dream of. Muscle is healthy, its a sign of fitness and your key to high energy body. And high energy people are very attractive. Ask any girl and she will tell you how contagious energy can be!

Your Training Options? 
Bodyweight training, kettlebell training or weight training with free weights like barbells and dumbbells.

All have their place in the muscle building toolbox but for fastest muscle gains I urge you to train with heavy barbells and dumbbells. I call them skeletal loading exercises for hardgainers.

You can use bodyweight exercises for beginner conditioning or while busy or travelling but for fastest results progressive resistance training with total body compound exercises should be your number one choice.

Thousands of hardgainers have build their dream muscular bodies using free weights and total body exercises. And now its your turn. 

So have you decided to give weight training a serious chance? Great, it time to plan your workout.

2. Hardgainer Workout Secret:
Create a 6 Month Hardgainer Workout Plan

Ok. You have decided to train with free weights. You can’t wait to pound those heavy dumbbells and barbells. Wait spartan!

Its time to answer a key question.

What is your goal? What does your dream body look like?

Are you looking to gain 20-25 lbs of solid muscle and completely change your physique or you are happy with a 5 pound weight gain?

I ask this because to change your physique dramatically you need a long term perspective. 

For a big turnaround I urge you to make a 6 month hardgainer workout plan and stick to it no matter what.

Why? For two reasons. 
Reason One: Because it takes that long.

We hardgainers have it real hard. Our bodies resists change. Our metabolism is too fast to hold on weight. We can shed calories in a jiffy but weight gain is a different story.

It is very difficult for us to see weekly changes, no matter what the magazine or supplement companies promise. Take it from a ex-skinnyguy. 

But 6 months! Don’t be discouraged. Work in 6 week mini cycles and make noticeable changes every 4-6 weeks. Its called the 6 week training effect. 

You will not change completely but a few such cycles and your friends will not recognise you…in a good way.

Physiologically speaking it will take 6 months for your muscles to completely replace their proteins and build bigger, rock hard muscles changing your looks completely. But it doesn't have to take 6 months to make noticeable difference. 6 weeks are enough.

So plan a 6 month program, create 4 cycles of 6 weeks each, ride the first 6 week wave, build muscle and ride the next. Stay focussed on your 6 week mini-goal and great things will happen.  

Reason Two: Another reason why 6 month programs work is because they give you enough flexibility in case a few weeks are lost. 

If you follow a 90 day plan and lose 4 weeks due to college or work, the entire plan fails. But if you lose 3-4 weeks, you can get back to plan easily without worrying about restarting the whole thing again.

Click here to read more on how to create your 6 month workout plan and create 6 week mini-cycles of muscle growth.

3. Hardgainer Training and Exercise Secret:
Select Best Exercises That Target High Threshold Muscle Building Fibers

High threshold muscle building exercises are the best exercises for hardgainers.
When it comes to training you have two distinct disadvantages - long limbs and short muscles. These two factors limit muscle performance. Hence muscle expert Mike Mejia calls hard gainers "inefficiency experts". 

Also since you have a large number of type 1 low threshold endurance fibers and less type 2 high threshold power fibers, you might find heavy training difficult. 

At this point you might resort to isolation moves with machines as you can lift more weights. But for hardgainers, typical isolation exercises like biceps curls, leg press and triceps extensions do little to add mass.

They simply do not stimulate muscles enough to release anabolic hormones like total body, compound exercises can.

Most professional bodybuilders recommend isolation exercises but they are meant for big guys to get bigger in specific areas like arms or chest. But as a skinny guy you need overall muscle development not just bigger triceps or biceps.

So which are the best hardgainer muscle building exercises?

Multi-joint, compound moves with free weights like dumbbells and barbells work like magic for total muscular development.

Since they work on more joints simultaneous, they stimulate the largest muscle groups.

They release large amounts of anabolic hormones {all natural} like growth hormone, testosterone and insulin like growth factors {IGF-1} among others. These hormones increase protein synthesis in targeted muscles, making them bigger and stronger.

My results skyrocketed once I selected the best exercises and trained the hell out of them. 

That brings me to intensity. Hardgainers perform best with training intensities 65 to 85% of One rep max. I will help you calculate that later. But attempt to lift weights that fail you between the perfect muscle building rep range of 6 to 12 reps.

Your training goal should be similar.

Select the best hardgainer exercises and do heavy weights and high reps with them. Focus on using exercises that stimulate the largest amount of muscle mass possible.

Best moves? Deadlifts, squats, pulls, presses, pull-ups, dips and rows. 

Max them out. Work those reps and mass will follow.

Remember muscle success depends as much on stopping useless things as much as doing useful things. Enough of Frankenstein like isolation moves. No more pink dumbbells. Time to lift heavy. Lift heavy or go home as they say.

Remember you are not a collection of body parts but one whole organism. 

So ready to train with the best moves? Then here are the absolute best muscle building exercises of all time.

4. Hardgainer Diet and Meal Planning Secret:
Eat High Calorie, Nutrient Rich Foods at Right times with Right Meal Plans

"It is the quality of Nutrients, not the quantity that determines muscle growth".

Conventional bodybuilding methods suck. The same goes for conventional eating.

Hardgainers has two problems with eating:

1. Low Appetite: I was a big eater. But big eater of high carbohydrates foods like bread, rice, burgers and pizzas. But hardgainers like me simply do no have the appetite to eat large protein rich meals every 2-3 hours as suggested by pro bodybuilders. 

Advice like eat, eat and then eat some more sounds great but in reality is very difficult to manage especially in our busy lifestyles. and remember is quality nutrients that counts not just quantity. 

2. Superfast Metabolism: Hardgainers have mercedes like metabolism and can suck up calories in a jiffy without anything to show for on the weighing scale. Many a times I wondered where all those calories go away. Down the toilet drain I guess!

So what’s the solution: Eat caloric dense, nutrient rich foods to offset the appetite and metabolism problems and use supplements wisely to bump up calories.

Substitute foods low in calories with caloric and nutrient rich foods.

Here are few examples :

High calorie muscle building foods
Use figs and raisins as fruits - They pack more calories than their fresh fruit variants.

Eggs and butter - they got the best muscle building fats and calories.

Red Meats more than white meats: They are caloric dense, creatinine gives muscle power and saturated fats boost testosterone. All are cool for muscle building.

Protein bars and shakes: greta tasting, caloric dense snacks to have at times when appetite is down or you are busy.

By selecting such foods and meal plans you can drastically increase your caloric intake and meet your daily caloric requirements.

I cover plenty more foods and meal plans in the Muscle building nutrition section.

5. Hardgainer Supplements Secret:
Use Proven Supplements to Recover and Grow Faster

Whey proteins, olive oil and multivitamins should be the first choice supplements for hardgainers
When gaining mass, supplements can be the biggest life saver.

Who has the time to eat 6 meals a day? None I know of. But yes, that’s what it takes to gain muscle mass. And in today’s busy life its next to impossible.

Enter proven muscle gain supplements for hardgainers.

Without enough high quality proteins and fats, I would have never gained even half of my 24 pounds of muscle in 15 weeks.

I made the best use of them at times when I could not get solid foods.

Before you run for the supplement store remember not all supplements work.

Few are great but most leave you with empty pocket and no muscles to show for.

My recommendations? The 3 best supplements for hardgainers are whey protein powder, essential oils like Udo’s choice/Olive oil and multivitamins. Add creatine and branch chain amino acids if your wallet allows, especially before/after workout.

But thats it. No more. No less.

I cover the best supplement tricks, places to buy and how to incorporate them into your muscle eating plan here.

Related article: The 80/20 rule for Muscle Building Supplement Selection.

6. Hardgainer Muscle Building Program Secret:
Use the Best Muscle Building Programs to Pack Mass like other skinny guys

Click here to read Vince Delmonte's transformation Story.
What is the shortest way to reach your goal? Model someone who has already reached your goal.

But make sure you have the right role model. They should have the same starting point as you. Pro bodybuilders are out!

If someone with similar genetics, circumstances and difficulties has crossed to the muscle success side, then learn from him. 
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead follow them.

This technique is called modelling.

If someone models the exact serve of Roger Federer, then he will get similar results. Ditto for Usain Bolt or even Maradona.

That’s the technique by elite sportsmen and it will work for you too.

But not all skinny-to-muscular guys have the style, the willingness or the time to teach you in ways you can follow.

I have found two such mentors. Vince Delmonte and Sean Nalewanyj. I wholeheartedly recommend them.

I have reviewed their programs here.

7. Hardgainer Motivation Secret:
Master the Twin Qualities of Consistency and Patience

Consistency + Patience = Muscle Success!
The above quote of Calvin Coolidge is the secret to muscle building, and life in general. Print it and paste near your workplace.

Just like you, I want my dream body in the next minute, before my next breathe. But that’s not how life works. Brain tracy says that life or your goal demands that you pay the price in full and in advance.

Rome wasn’t built in a  day and neither will be your body.

But if you follow the program consistently and patiently, you will be rewarded. Just like brick by brick, muscle fiber by fiber your body will grow to a new awe-aspiring muscular one.

Each step will take you more closer to your awe-aspiring physique.

Although it takes time to add muscle mass to skinny frames but the rewards are worth the wait. I promise that.

Be Consistent. Without consistency your results will be gone forever.

And be patient. Patience is the highest virtue. It will show in other areas of your life too. Remember bodybuilding is a great educator.

Master consistency and show the world that you have what it takes.

If you do that you will turn from hardgainer to easy gainer because your efforts will bring consistent muscle gains. And your dream body and dream life will be yours to live.

Summary and Action Plan Points

If muscle mass eludes you even after intense training and eating, then you are a hardgainer. You never see easy gainer mesomorphs complaining.

Resistance or Weight Training is the best strategy for lean muscle gain which is best weight gain strategy
Plan a killer 6 month muscle gain plan but work in 6 week cycles.
Select high threshold muscle building exercises and perform them with heavy weights and high reps.
Consume high calorie, high nutrient foods and quality supplements to overcome appetite and convenience problems and meet your daily caloric intake.
NEVER GIVE UP. Remain patient and consistent and results will make you proud.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Actually, one late review inspected the well known view about men who are veggie lovers and vegans, and reached the conclusion that the overall population views meat eaters "more manly". Numerous men likewise report feeling all the more masculine when eating meat, and some stick to meat-based meats in dread of not being marked female by other individuals… 

With regards to genuine proof, many reviews have demonstrated that men who change from meat-based to plant-based eating methodologies/sustenances do for sure observe a drop in their serum T-levels. Also, a few different reviews have related veggie lover men with having lower testosterone levels than meat-eaters have (think about, study, consider, examine, contemplate, ponder, examine, think about, study). In any case, it should be brought up that few reviews have indicated veggie lover men to have about indistinguishable, and now and again much higher (6%) testosterone levels than folks who eat "typical" Western eating regimens that incorporate a lot of meat. 

The general agreement of the examination notwithstanding, recommends that plant-based weight control plans could prompt to some degree bring down free and aggregate testosterone levels and higher SHBG in respect to omnivores.BUT, this doesn’t mean that you could not thrive with plant-based diets while sporting high testosterone levels. In fact, I would make an argument for the fact that carefully crafted plant-based diet could easily be superior to the normal Western diet in terms of testosterone production, overall health, and masculinity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       They are fairly high in antioxidants, they supply good number of essential vitamins and minerals through the diet, they contain plenty of carbohydrates (which are very important for testosterone production), and people eating vegan diets are often far leaner than people who follow the typical Western diet.
However, with the good, there’s also some bad.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Veggie lover diets have a tendency to be low in general dietary fat substance (which in itself is awful for testosterone), and the fat that is in the vegetarian abstain from food, regularly originates from polyunsaturated unsaturated fats (PUFAs), which have been examined for their testosterone and thyroid stifling impacts. 

Veggie lover slims down additionally have a tendency to be high in numerous sustenances that may adversely change sex hormones and thyroid hormone generation, for example, phytoestrogenic and goitrogenic mixes like soy, flaxseeds, and handled grains. Their general fiber admission is likewise much higher than on a meat-based eating regimen, and high-fiber diets have been for some degree rebuked for their impact on expanding SHBG levels and making testosterone less accessible for the receptors. 

What's more, despite the fact that a veggie lover eat less supplies wide assortment of critical micronutrients, it additionally frequently misses the mark in a portion of the key supplements for testosterone union, for example, the fat-dissolvable vitamins A (retinoid sort), K2, and D. While additionally inadequate with regards to some key mixes found in meats like creatine, carnitine, and taurine.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       So really, one can’t say that vegan diets would be bad for testosterone production just because they are plant-based. The effect your nutrition has on testosterone production has everything to do with proper intake of the right types and ratios of macronutrients and getting all of the key micronutrients in, not so much about whether you do eat animals, or plants, or both.

With that being said, the typical plant-based diet with it’s high amount of PUFAs and fiber, low intake of calories, low intake of cholesterol, and too low amount of some key micronutrients and amino acids, can easily hurt your testosterone levels. It’s pretty easy to fix though…

…Below are four ways to turn the average piss-poor vegan diet into a testosterone powerhouse.

1. Simply Eat More
how vegan diets affect testosterone levels in menOne of the main reasons why any kind of diet can reduce testosterone levels, is if you don’t eat enough.

And this easily happens on a vegan diet, since plant-based foods tend to be much lower on calories than animal-based foods.

If you don’t supply your body with enough calories – in proper ratios of carbs, protein, and fat – the body will start conserving energy for the more vital bodily processes…

…Unfortunately, in times of famine, one of the first ones to slow down are the reproductive and endocrine systems, and with this, testosterone production often significantly declines.

One 7-year study compared men who restricted their calories (1350–2415 kcal/day) and ate very “clean” against sedentary subjects, who ate a normal Western diet with higher caloric intake (2145-3537 kcal/day). Due to their restrictive caloric intake, the group of men that ate lower amounts of calories had 31% lower testosterone levels, despite the fact that they maintained a “clean diet” and practiced running on a regular basis.

2. Stop Eating so Much PUFAs
why vegans have lower testosterone levelsPolyunsaturated fatty-acids (PUFAs) are often hailed as the “healthy fats”.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

These types of fats contain long chains of unstable carbon-carbon bonds which are prone to damage when they get in contact with heat, light, or oxygen (two of these being plentiful in the body). When the fatty-acids are oxidized, they become “rancid” and breakdown into harmful free radicals, which then start affecting your health. This process is called “lipid peroxidation“.

In studies of nutrient-hormone interactions, the strongest testosterone lowering type of macronutrients are in fact; PUFAs.

While saturated fats and monounsaturated kind constantly show promise as testosterone boosting agents, PUFAs have the opposite effect, and should therefore be minimized on a high testosterone diet.

Unfortunately, plant-based diets are loaded with PUFAs, and this is likely the primary reason why most studies see drops in testosterone when switching to vegan diets. This Finnish study for example, saw that when men dropped their overall fat intake from 40% to 25%, while also increasing the relative amount of PUFA over saturated fat, their testosterone and DHT levels quickly dropped by a modest ~15%.

To counteract high PUFA, vitamin E and antioxidants will help to some extent in preventing the lipid peroxidation, as does eating more saturated fat to “dilute” the PUFA, but the best option is just to switch away from all sources of PUFAs (seed oils, vegetable oils, soy, and evetything made with those) and replace them with more stable saturated and monounsaturated fats (coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil).

3. Make Sure You Get Enough Fat-Soluble Vitamins
vegetarian diet testosterone levelsOne reason why many people avoid vegan diets is that they believe this would make them deficient in essential nutrients.

To counter-effect this, many vegans will rush to the site claiming that you can get everything you ever need from plant-based foods, and that in fact, plants are more dense in micronutrients than animal produce would be.

They’re both somewhat wrong.

On a plant-based diet, you certainly will get plenty of micronutrients, especially if you eat leafy greens. BUT in most cases you will also be getting very little of the fat-soluble (active) forms of the vitamins A, K2, D, and E (and being deficient in these is horrible for testosterone production).

Whereas people who eat the basic Western diet, will likely get somewhat sufficient amounts of these, but lack on the other micronutrients more dense in plants.

The best solution would of course be to eat a balanced diet that incorporates foods from both worlds, but if you’re set on the fact that you will not eat any animal produce, and thus skip the meat, eggs, liver, and milk (which are the primary sources for these fat-soluble vitamins)…

…Your best option would be to supplement daily with the following;

Active retinoic form of vitamin A (2000-5000IU)
Vitamin E in mixed tocopherols (500-2000mg)
Vitamin K2/D3 liquid (5-10 drops)
You should be taking all of these with some dietary fat for absorption (coconut oil being the best option for vegans), or you can also apply them topically to the skin if you have them as liquid supplements and want to take them without any dietary fat/meal.

4. You Don’t Need so Much Grains and Fiber
grains and fiber can lower testosteroneSure I don’t want to lower myself to the level of health-nut mommy-bloggers by claiming that grains and fiber would kill us…

…(You know, these people who have read the “Wheat Belly” book and are now converted to grain-o-fobia).

But I do think that an optimal testosterone boosting diet isn’t one completely filled with processed grain and fiber.

You see, there’s some evidence suggesting that higher intake of gluten rich grains contributes to elevated prolactin levels (study, study) and increased prolactin leads to suppression in the production of dopamine and androgens. Whereas high fiber diets have been linked to lowered free-testosterone levels and increased binding protein (SHBG) which renders free-testosterone molecules “inactive” (study, study).

This goes for both plant-based and meat-based diets, but more so for the vegan crowd since the typical food choices on a plant-based diet are rich in grains and fiber.