Pro Secrets | Hardgains

November 03, 2015


“The bigger they eat, the harder they fail.” This is often the hard truth of a hardgainer. Maybe you’ve tried everything from dirty bulking. i.e., the pizza, cheeseburger, and cheesecake diet to whatever your monthly 100 page glossy volumes of your favorite fitness mag recommends… and to no avail you’ve become either skinny fat or just plain tired out… So, if you’ve tried “everything”, is it time to give up completely and accuse anyone larger of you of either having superb genes or being a human pin cushion? This week our coaches and pro’s got together to discuss the horror of the hardgainer. If you’re ready to pack on some sweet MASS on your skeleton, don’t miss these top 5 lessons.


  • “Though the school of thought typically guns towards nutrition as the key, everyone has different needs and though someone may have a hard time gaining muscle, that doesn’t mean they have a hard time gaining overall weight. Training quality, efficiency and recovery are often overlooked when most times they are the true missing link to quality mass.” – Rob Saeva | CPT and Owner of No Coast Strength and Conditioning

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  • “The use of healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, and nut oils are a great way to boost caloric intake. Every gram of fat equals an additional 9 calories.” – Mike Rea | NPC Bodybuilder

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  • “Using a ridiculous amount of weight for small body parts is unnecessary and could induce injury. Instead, save the heavy hitters for the big 3 (legs, chest and back) and use more moderate loads to stimulate the smaller muscle groups as well as multiple different angles.” Victor Egonu | Pro Natural Bodybuilder

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  • “The paradox of hard gainers is that they are typically the ones that make ‘gaining the hardest’ but fail to manage a proper diet and make use of recovery measures and their training approach is usually void of compound lifts. As often said, no training plan can overcome a neglectful diet and equally fails to make use of recovery measures. Within strict training, the lack of compound lifts, in particular the Squat, is the greatest problem. Long before the internet, I introduced a structured approach where athletes Squat daily and thankfully now in 2015 others are starting to take notice. By performing Squats daily there is a type of ‘super compensatory’ effect of the total body responding to work demands. Individuals should incorporate sub-maximal Squats of many forms including walking lunges on a daily basis to assist with work threshold, recovery and, of course, general muscular development. Remember not to become a specialist in one type of Squat but expand your list, i.e. Jefferson, Front, Hack, Overhead, Bulgarian, as well as ensure that the proper technique is maintained at all times.” – John Davies | Founder of Renegade Training

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  • “Interestingly enough, meal prep is often thought of during the cutting phase of our preps when in all reality, gaining mass is the key to building the foundation for the cutting phase. With the proper meals, nutrition & planning, you will build plenty of mass during your bulk phase to help set up for a cut phase you’ll be thanking us for!” – Dustin Carwile | Professional Wrestler and NPC Physique Competitor

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If you’re a hard gainer, and have any questions let us or our athletes know how we can help be heard on our social media accounts. This winter #BeUltimate.




TEAM USPlabs Anthony Thomas


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.


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