Can Hard Gainers Gain Muscle With Natural Methods?
The short answer is yes if you follow a proper training and nutritional program.
How big is that then? For many individuals, it can be very big.
For those with a light bone frame a little less.
With some effort and heavy training, everyone can achieve surprising results. However, you probably will not get huge like bodybuilders who take steroids, which is not a bad thing.
Size is not all there is to define a nice physique, the illusion of a ripped and shredded physique looks just as good or even better than someone who has huge muscles with little muscle definition.
A natural bodybuilder will have built a musculature that is not only pleasing to the eye but also functional.
On the contrary, a drug-assisted bodybuilder, by growing his muscles beyond what mother-nature had intended, will actually see athletic performance reduced, except for the amount of weight that the person can lift.
Bodybuilding is not the only sport where steroids are used, but it is the one taking the biggest share of drug users in the sport.
In my view, steroid use is what caused bodybuilding in general to have its image tarnished for most people, and for a good reason.
Most men and women do not like the look of big bulky muscles
The average man or woman in the street does not like to associate him/herself to a drug-fuelled world populated with muscle freaks who look straight out of comic books.
Not to mention the medical and ethical issues of taking anabolic steroids in the first place.
So many people prefer to say they are just working out or do weight training to distance themselves from this bodybuilding image, even though they very legitimately strive to shape up and yes, get big the natural way.
Some people though are scared of getting too big.
While this is not much of a problem for the majority, some trainees may not have a desire to reach the heavyweight division for performance or cosmetic reasons.
Say these people also practice swimming or Thai Boxing, or other sports where stamina is a prerequisite as much as power.
Everyone has an ideal weight range beyond which an increase in strength, weight, muscles, and power would be more than offset by a decrease in stamina, making it not worth the pursuit.
Think about gymnasts, they have awesome physiques and terrific body weight to power ratio.
If they lifted weights they could possibly become even stronger, but also heavier and ultimately not perform as well.
This means they carry the LEAST amount of muscle they can get away with in order to be as light as possible: the net result is outstanding power to body weight ratio.
If you don’t have body weight or performance restrictions to deal with, then you can get as big and strong as nature allows you to.
You should also consider the health benefits of gaining muscle naturally, some of those include:
- Long term sustainable muscle so you maintain your gains
- Strong Bones
- Better flexibility and strength
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Reduced risk of major injury
- You don't have to worry about health issues associated from taking steroids
Other people, mainly women, who have a desire to muscle up, are even more afraid of becoming “too big” when in fact, women are not physiological capable of gaining muscle like men.
So, women should be encouraged to lift weights because they will benefit from strength training as much as men.
Women seem to think that after their workout they go to sleep and, bang, the next day they wake up like Dorian Yates.
This, of course, is a totally unfounded fear, since it takes time, effort and dedication to gain muscle.
Once you gain muscle and are satisfied with your gains you can step back and reduce the effort to simple maintenance work, once you have achieved a desired size and shape.
It's Hard to Gain Muscle Overnight
It is a bit like overweight people, they did not become overweight overnight because they had a slice of cake at a party the day before.
For most people, it takes months and years of indulgence, sedentary lifestyle and/or lack of exercise before they realized they may have a health issue.
Whatever you do to your body, for good or bad, it takes time before you see results.
Having said all this, it does not mean that it should take years and years to achieve maximum strength and size if you follow a realistic program for drug-free trainees, even if you are a hard gainer.
A proper weight training program for regular guys and gals should consist of few compound sets per body part performed in a full body workout with great intensity.
Rest, eat, sleep and repeat.
This way it should take 2 years at most to reach your full potential, and even after just 6 months or 1 year you should be well ahead and have transformed your physique impressively.
The idea that it should take longer than that is a misconception
You don't need to do 10 to 24 sets per body part and split routines, not only are they murderous for regular guys they are even worse for hard gainers and ectomorphs.
Hard gainers need to train smart, focus on heavy compound movements and get plenty of rest between training each muscle group.
Supplements can help some hard gainers.
Supplements are not for everyone but if you are finding that you are not getting enough quality nutrition with diet alone, you may want to bump things up with supplementation.
There are companies that sell bulking supplements made just for hard gainers, however, you should only use them after you are sure your training and nutrition are at optimum levels.
Gaining muscle is not impossible for hard gainers, this is a topic that has been rehashed time and time again.
All you have to do is take a look at some of the greatest bodybuilders in history, many of them had small bones and frames, however with a lot of dedication they were able to grow, sure, they did steroids when they became pros but they looked great long before that.