To all the skinny hardgainers that are now big, what worked for you!

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    To all the skinny hardgainers that are now big, what worked for you!


    I started at about 132lbs and 5'10'' tall. I've put a fair amount of weight but when I look back I wish I had a journal so I could really see what was working for me. Now i'm not sure and I still blunder my way from one routine to the next wondering of this will be the on that really works for me.

    If you started out a skinny little s**t like me but have had great success what would you account it to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kruzedgar View Post
    I started at about 132lbs and 5'10'' tall. I've put a fair amount of weight but when I look back I wish I had a journal so I could really see what was working for me. Now i'm not sure and I still blunder my way from one routine to the next wondering of this will be the on that really works for me.

    If you started out a skinny little s**t like me but have had great success what would you account it to?
    Disclaimer: The information below is in the context of my first bulk in college, and doesn't reflect my current activities as my body type has completely fu**ing changed since then and now I have to eat perfectly to make muscle gains/fat losses.

    I started ~140 at 6'2". My first bulk in college took two years and I gained 70 pounds while staying under 9% bodyfat. My metabolism was out of control, and I had almost no size gains at all (strength gains came as a result of stronger mind-muscle connections) until i did a few things.

    Eat. I was taking in on average 5,000+ calories a day, and still sitting at the same weight. I didn't know about maintenance calories or calculators that could show me about how much it would take to gain, I just stuffed as much chicken, tuna, salmon, lean beef, turkey, rice, brocolli, and sweet potatoes as I could into my belly. All day. I ate every 2 hours, regardless of my hunger level. Nowadays, I listen much more closely to my hunger levels, but i still get protein in me every 2-2.5 hours.

    Lift heavy, intensely, perfectly, and on a progression. I stayed in the 10-12 target rep range, but I would add a bit of weight to where i could only do 8 or so. I would push that until I was able to rep my target range, and increase the weight again. You are too small to have an ego about the weight you are lifting, so don't think a second about starting small in order to meet and push your rep goals.

    The BEST thing I ever did, was to focus on form at first, and am still reaping the benefits today as I bulk for only the second time in my life. I read books, watched videos, asked the trainers at my gym, everything I could to make sure my form was perfect. That baseline is the most important part of actual lifting you can do. Once you have your form down, you have to increase the intensity. Intensity and load are the key to gains, so read up in the exercise science and training forums here about drop sets, super sets, forced and partial reps, negative reps, etc. There are tons of ways to increase your set intensity, just learn when, how, and how often.

    Don't supplement. I didn't touch a thing other than whey isolates and amino acids (only in my second year did I learn about amino acids). When you are first starting out, your body will most likely adapt extremely quickly. You only stunt your future potential by supplementing during your newbie gains. No NO boosters, no fat burners, nothing until you are months and months into your routine and have experienced gains on your own. When you do finally add supplements (creatines, nutrient partitioners, vasodilators, endurance, fatburners etc) to your diet, add them slowly one at a time so that you can test their affects on you in a more controlled manner. You need to know which ones your body responds to or not, which ones affect you adversely, and which you just didn't like. Add a supplement to your diet only when you determine a need for it. Don't just throw a bunch of herbs/chemicals into your body because someone tells you it'll make you huge or such. Do it to enhance your diet, which is the key part of overcoming the hurdle of being a hardgainer.

    Be glad you are a hardgainer.
    It probably means you don't have to worry about gaining fat weight for a while, and it forces you to do things right in order to progress.
    I lost 15 pounds of that muscle over a 6 year period, and after realizing how much of a fatass I was becoming started working out again about 3 months ago. But I learned a lot by being a hardgainer. I couldnt just lift heavy things and get bigger like my dad (strange, our genetics were completely opposite), and had to research to do it right. I'm glad for that.
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    i started out graduating HS at 5'9" and 127 lbs. gaining was always a nightmare - i always thought i was eating, but not eating properly - my breakfast had too little protein (2 cups of milk in cereal is not enough), and i didn't snack in between meals enough. also, even though i was benching, i wasn't doing squats and deadlifts - the two greatest mass gainers. my routine included going through the motions, with no actual plan other than to feel a burn somewhere - not to beat them to exhaustion, with proven mass gaining exercises. focus, eating right, and upping my protein intake got me to 175 lbs. i finally ran a cycle at 175 since i know i've added 40% to my mass naturally, and wouldn't feel like a dumbass running one.

    fyi - greatest mass builders - always incorporate at least one or two per body part worked - 4 sets of 10.

    back - pull ups
    back - deadlifts
    chest - bench
    shoulders - military press
    triceps - dips (weighted if needed)
    triceps - close grip bench
    biceps - barbell curls
    biceps - chin ups (weighted if needed)
    legs - squats
    legs - the sled (a.k.a. leg extension
    •   
       

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    Good stuff guys but what i'm really looking for is what routine/frequency worked best for you. For a while I trained 3times every 2 weeks as suggested in Brawn but I found it hard to be motivated training with such long breaks inbetween. At the moment i'm pretty much training mon,wed,fri. But then I look and see people on here making great progress traing mon,tue,wed,thur,fri!!!??
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    Quote Originally Posted by kruzedgar View Post
    Good stuff guys but what i'm really looking for is what routine/frequency worked best for you. For a while I trained 3times every 2 weeks as suggested in Brawn but I found it hard to be motivated training with such long breaks inbetween. At the moment i'm pretty much training mon,wed,fri. But then I look and see people on here making great progress traing mon,tue,wed,thur,fri!!!??
    I started with the stronglifts 5x5 beginners training program, I worked out 2x per week (workout A then 2-3 days after did workout B). I did that until I got my squat to around 250 then branched out into some more iso exercises. But building a solid core with compound exercises is key. The program I mentioned uses

    Squats
    Deadlifts
    Barbell Row
    Overhead Press
    Weighted Pull/Chin ups
    Weighted Dips

    You only workout about 30 minutes each training day and only 2x per week starting. It may not seem like enough but trust me, you will be so sore 2x a week will seem like a lot.

    The key is eat... I dont care how you train. If your diet is not on you will NOT gain weight. 1st calculate your BMR, then your maintenance calories so you know what you need to eat. Log your food intake for about a week to see where you need to improve... you will be SURPRISED that you arent eating nearly enough.

    No one is destined to be small. I was your exact size, 5-10, 132-135 range and got up to a lean 200. I have now found my ideal/preferred weight is ~170 but through diet I can really choose my size.
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    hrm.... a complete M-F program... since i'm an ecto and tried everything, i will post my M-F workout - they're all supersets, since i think i've experienced the most gains from it, there's at least one compound move for each body part, as well as isolation. supersets work by replacing your break with a different exercise. also cardio is the devil for us ecto's. maybe swimming if you're up for it would be ok. anyways, here goes:


    M - back / legs

    deadlift 225 4x10
    DB lunges 30 lbs 4x10
    pullups +10 lbs 3x10
    hack squats 180lbs 1x10, 230 lbs 2x10
    1 arm bent over rows 70lbs 1x10, 75 lbs 2x8
    leg extentions 360 lbs
    t bar row 115 lbs 1x10, 125 lbs 1x10, 135 lbs 1x9
    back exention machine 150 lbs 3x10
    upright rows 95 lbs 3x10
    squats 205 lbs 3x10

    T - chest / shoulders

    bench 225x7, 225x7, 245x7, 245x6
    military press 135x8, 135x8, 155x7, 155x7
    incline bench 185x8, 185x7, 185x7
    front delt machine 180x8 (started twitching in left shoulder, did DB raises)
    front delt dumbell raises 35x8, 35x7, 35x7
    butterfly machine, 230x10, 230x10, guy with O2 tank took my machine...
    seated DB shrugs 55x10, 55x10, 65x10
    arnold press DB 45x8, 50x7, 50x6

    W - bi's / tri's

    dips +25 lbs, 3x10
    chins +25 lbs 3x8
    reverse grip preacher curls 45 lbs 3x8 (still working up from the injury)
    close grip bench 225 lbs 3x10
    preacher curls 95 lbs 3x10
    reverse grip tricep pulldowns 90 lbs 3x10
    hammer curls 30's 2x10, 35's 1x8

    Th - legs / back

    deadlift 225 4x10
    DB lunges 30 lbs 4x10
    pullups +10 lbs 3x10
    hack squats 180lbs 1x10, 230 lbs 2x10
    1 arm bent over rows 70lbs 1x10, 75 lbs 2x8
    leg extentions 360 lbs
    t bar row 115 lbs 1x10, 125 lbs 1x10, 135 lbs 1x9
    back exention machine 150 lbs 3x10
    upright rows 95 lbs 3x10
    squats 205 lbs 3x10

    F - chest / shoulders

    bench 225x7, 225x7, 245x7, 245x6
    military press 135x8, 135x8, 155x7, 155x7
    incline bench 185x8, 185x7, 185x7
    front delt machine 180x8 (started twitching in left shoulder, did DB raises)
    front delt dumbell raises 35x8, 35x7, 35x7
    butterfly machine, 230x10, 230x10, guy with O2 tank took my machine...
    seated DB shrugs 55x10, 55x10, 65x10
    Side DB delt raises 25x10, 30x10, 35x8

    anyways, hope this helps you - also, you have to work yourself up to this - don't try doing legs/back or chest/shoulders twice a week until you get a feel for supersets - they tend to beat you down rather quick. also, arms grow in relation to how often they are worked. i figured since all upper body workouts use your arms, i'd only specifically train them once a week.
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    usf's program is nasty - i did a version of that for awhile - used to do legs/back, chest/shoulders, bi's/tri's, and my Monday and Friday workout was

    squats 5x10
    deadlifts 5x10
    pull ups 5x10
    dips 5x10
    bench 5x10
    clean and press 5x10

    took me about 35 min and beat the snot out of me.
  

  
 

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