Scholarly Articles On How To Lose Weight And Gain Muscle The Hardgainer Workout – How to Gain Muscle Without Supplements

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The Hardgainer Workout – How to Gain Muscle Without Supplements

Whether you’re looking to gain 10, 20, or more pounds of muscle, here are the training strategies that have helped many pro athletes from the NFL, NHL, MLB gain large amounts of muscle WITHOUT drugs or supplements.

By following this advice, you can too!

First, we’ll see why the best exercises for gaining muscle weight are compound movements that force you to move serious weight.

Next we will look at a sample week program that implements these movements in a systematic way.

Finally, we will touch on proper nutrition for gaining muscle.

How to gain muscle – The best exercises

Ever seen a bodybuilder do set after set of concentration curls and then try this approach yourself?

Why didn’t you get those ‘guns’ the gym rat had? Well, isolation exercises are great for maximizing muscle gain ONCE you have a solid foundation of strength and basic muscle mass. But before you have that foundation, these exercises are NOT the best way to spend your time in the gym.

And how do you make that first strength and big gains?

Combined exercises are the solution (combined with enough calories and protein, of course).

Doing heavy deadlifts, squats, military press, weighted pullups/rows, bench press/weighted pushups are all EXCELLENT examples of compound exercises that pack on muscle mass and functional strength.

Doing these exercises causes a ‘neuroendocrine’ response – basically your body improves and increases the brain/muscle connection while also releasing ample amounts of testosterone. Together, these two factors serve to increase strength and muscle size.

To stay safe, make sure you get proper instruction on the key form elements of these exercises (youtube has several excellent videos detailing these exercises).

A Sample Beginner Routine

Before each workout, warm up with about 10 minutes of calisthenics – jumping jacks, easy pushups, pullups, bodyweight squats, etc. to get your blood pumping and muscles activated.

Before each exercise, do a few sets that build up your ‘working weight’ – a weight that you can lift between 4 and 8 times with good form for 4 sets.

Day 1

  • heat up
  • Deadlift – 4 sets of between 4-8 reps
  • Military press (Dumbbells ok) – 4 sets 4-8 reps
  • Weighted (or unweighted if necessary) – Pullups 4 sets 4-8 reps

Rest for a few days. Remember, DO NOT overdo it! Your muscles grow while you REPEAT, not while you work!

Day 2

  • heat up
  • Squat – 4 sets of between 4-8 reps
  • Incline Bench Press (dumbbells ok) – 4 sets of 4-8
  • Weighted (or unweighted if necessary) rows (hang from a bar at waist height, put your feet on an object at waist height, use a plate on your stomach if you have to) – 4 sets, 4-8 reps

Rest for a few more days, then resume the workout from day 1. Try this for a few months and see how you do.

Every 5 weeks or so, back up the intensity of the workout, lifting less weight. And then take a week off from training every few months to let your body regenerate, coming back stronger than ever.

A Few Details

Don’t go to failure on every set – end the set with one rep left ‘in the tank’. This will help prevent excessive muscle soreness after workout, allowing you to train more often and avoid overtraining and burnout.

For this hardgainer workout, each day includes a full leg/total body exercise (squat and deadlift) to release testosterone and improve brain/muscle connectivity/innervation, and then a push movement followed by a pull movement.

As you can see, it is best to combine an overhead pushing movement (overhead press) with a complementary overhead pulling movement (pullups), or a more horizontal pushing movement (incline press) with a more horizontal pull (row) . This will help prevent any muscle imbalances that may result from, say, focusing too much on one particular movement, such as the bench press.

Spend no more than 45 minutes on each workout, workout no more than 3-4 times a week. Remember – your body grows while recovering, NOT while working out.

How to gain muscle – Nutrition

Oh yes, you will also have to eat a lot. Eat throughout the day so that your muscles have a constant supply of the raw materials needed to make more muscles.

One famous powerlifting coach would force his students to drink at least one gallon of milk EVERY DAY to ensure they were eating enough.

Keeping a diet journal will help you dial in your nutrition and see exactly where you are.

The packing…

Now you have a good idea about the best workouts to build muscle. Now get out there and get busy!

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