A lot of self-described “hard-gainers” think that it’s impossible for them to gain any mass because of their fast metabolism.
These guys usually have an ectomorph body that features a tall, lanky structure and less muscle mass compared with their stockier counterparts.
Whether you are a skinny guy with fast metabolism or a stocky guy with lots of mass the formula for building muscle is the same.
Progressively overload the muscles with heavy weights and consume the right nutrients to repair the muscles so they can rebuild bigger and stronger than before.
Where hard-gainers usually mess up is with the nutrition.
Skinny guys are skinny for a reaon – they have very high metabolism. In other words, their bodies burn tons of calories each day.
While this is great for staying lean it means you will have to work a bit harder to build mass.
Essentially if you fall into this category you will need to eat more nutrients until you are consuming a calorie surplus.
That way, even after your metabolism runs wild you will still have left over nutrients to rebuild your muscles.
Check out our guide below for a step by step process to finally losing that stick-figure physique.
1 – Up the Calories.
As mentioned, in order to build mass you will need to increase your daily calorie inake by 500 above maintenace.
Now, determining your actual maintenance calorie level takes a bit of work and will require some adjustments over time.
There are many free online calculators you can use that should get you started
. Once you find out your maintenance calorie level simply add 500 to it and aim to consume that many calories each day.
Split this up over 5-8 meals. If this number seems high aim to have a few shakes each day as this is an easy way to cram in calories.
You will have an easier time consuming liquid calories than you will consuming solid foods
. Simply throw in some peanut or almond butter, oats and whey protein and you will be well on your way.
2 – More Carbs.
If you have a fast metabolism chances are your body doesn’t react poorly to carbs.
You will want to make sure roughly 50% of your daily calories are coming from carbs.
To figure out how many carbs that is, simply take your daily calorie figure and multiply it by 0.50.
Then, divide that figure by 4 (the number of calories in a gram of carbohydrates) and you will know roughly how many carbs you should be consuming.
In terms of sources, aim for oats, sweet potato, brown rice and whole grain pasta.
Again, if you are having a hard time with this simply throw those oats into your smoothie.
3 – Eat Healthy Fats.
Beleive it or not, dietary fat is essential for building mass particularly for hard gainers.
First of all, a gram of fat contains more than double the calories of a gram of protein or carbs – meaning you will have an easier time hitting your daily calorie target.
Second, healthy fats help regulate hormone levels and actually boost testosterone levles in particularly.
Unlike what you might have heard, healthy fats are very good for you – just avoid the trans fats!
4 – Lift Heavy.
For some reason skinny guys seem to like to go to the gym and lift light weights for high reps or worse – just train abs and do cardio.
If you are a hard gainer the last thing you need is more cardio or endurance training
. You need to lift HEAVY weights in the hypertrophy range!
That means 8-12 reps of compound exercises like the squat, deadlift, bench press, row and overhead press.
Isolation exercises can be added in afterwards, but they shouldn’t be the focus of your workout.
Aim to go to the gym 3-5 times per week depending on your recovery ability and schedule.
Always give each muscle group 48 hours to recover before training it again.
Finally, make sure that over time the weight you are lifting is going up.
If you bench press the same weight now as you did 6 months ago chances are your pecs and arms didnt get any bigger.
5 – Increase your Testosterone Levels.
We mentioned earlier how important it is to boost your testosterone levels.
If you are a skinny guy with no muscle mass chances are your testosterone levels might be a bit low.
Make sure you are going to the gym regularly (and actually lifting weights, not just doing tons of cardio), eating lots of protein and healthy fats
Finally, if you really want to take your testosterone levels to the next level try taking a testosterone boosting supplement.
These products are convenient and powerful – you can expect a noticeable difference in your muscle mass, energy levels and strength within weeks.
They aren’t cheap but it’s well worth the cost if it means faster gains!
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