Reading the headline you either smile, because your are fighting desperately to lose weight. Or you are one of those guys – like me – who know the daily struggle to gain weight. I assume you are one of the latter. Please continue to read and hopefully I can unveil the secret how to gain weight finally.
Most people know how to gain weight. They hate it actually. While gaining weight is easy for most people, it can be really, really hard for some. Those people, those who do not know how to gain weight, are usually called ectomorphs or hardgainers. And it can be really frustrating if you want to gain weight, but you can’t.
Many people get fat really easy and have no problem gaining weight at all. When those people work out hard, they easily grow muscle. Not much else they need to do. They can solely focus on their workout.
Ectomorphs/hardgainers cannot gain weight so easily. They seemingly eat whatever they want without gaining weight at all. And of course, they do not grow muscle, no matter how hard and how long they work out. And on top of it all they need to listen to well meant advices such as “just eat some more”. If it were that easy…
The theory of growing muscle is easy actually. If you want to grow muscle you need to stimulate your muscles. The most common way to do this is to lift heavy weights. If you create a surplus of calories and consume some protein, your muscles will grow.
They key point here is that if you work out to grow muscle, you must eat more calories than you spend. Eat enough protein and your muscles will grow. But don’t forget: you need that calorie surplus to gain. You must eat more calories than you spend. That is the one most important factor when it comes ot gain weight (and muscle for that matter): no calorie surplus, no gains. It’s that simple.
Don’t worry about gaining fat and not looking ripped at the beginning. First learn how to gain, gain a lot and then you can consider the definition. First things first.
So What’s the Problem?
Well, most hardgainers do not know about this simple rule. They just mimic what they see in the gyms and that is lifting heavy weights! So they focus on their workout, try to optimize their workout plans, start doing complicated split programs and lift weights that are actually far too heavy for them. They focus fully on workout, but not on nutrition. After a few months they are completely frustrated, because despite their efforts in the gym, they did not gain much weight. They might look a bit more defined now, and they might have grown a bit stronger, but they are still skinny. No weight gain at all.
If you then ask them “did you eat enough?”, they for sure will answer “Yes, yes, I have eaten sooo much.” However, in most cases that’s simply not true. Most hardgainers only THINK that they eat enough. But in reality they don’t. That is because they simply don’t how much calories they need and, even worse, they don’t track how much they eat. They just don’t know how much is “enough”.
So How to Grow, Finally?
In engineering you say “You can improve only that what you can measure”. That is exactly the approach all hardgainers must take if they want to grow muscle. They need to understand how many calories they need and they must measure how many calories they consume. If there is a gap between the two values, they won’t gain.
- First step: Understand how much calories you need to gain weight. Define your daily calorie goals.
- Second step: Track how much you eat and compare it to your calorie goals. Eat every day until your calorie goal was reached. Every single day.
If you do this on a daily basis, you WILL gain weight. And if you then work out hard, you WILL grow muscle. That’s the whole secret. You can reduce it to the following formula:
CalorieSurplus + HardWorkout
If you should wonder why you need to make such an effort, then take a honest look back. Ask yourself how many times you have tried to bulk up and how many times you have failed. Don’t be fooled by the fastgainers. As said in the beginning, THEY don’t need to care about their calorie surplus. Eating enough comes naturally to them. But not to you. YOU need to do more.
You can easily calculate the calories you need using tools in the internet. But please don’t forget, those calculators only give you the base amount of calories you need. Extra calories to gain weight and for your workout are not yet included, you must add them on top!
You can track how much you eat by creating your own Excel sheets. Log every meal you eat and I bet you will be surprised how little you eat compare to what you actually should eat.
Hardgainers who have an iPhone can also use the HardgainerApp (http://www.hardgainerapp.com) It’s a convenient way to know how much you need to eat in order to gain weight and compare it to how much you actually eat. A set of statistics show you how your are doing and you get can easily understand if you eat enough or not.