Everyone on the web it seems is obsessed with losing weight. It’s all some bloggers and fitness trainers seem to talk about which isn’t really much help when you’re a hard gainer.
For some people, losing weight isn’t the difficult part. Some people have spent their entire lives looking stick thin. For these hard gainers, the challenge is instead gaining weight and packing on muscle so that they can feel somewhat imposing and somewhat masculine.
So if you find yourself in this position, how do you go about packing on size?
More importantly, what mustn’t you do if you want your muscles to grow and your scales to buckle?
Here are some of the top bulking mistakes to try and avoid…
Training too Hard
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This might come as a surprise but it is actually possible to train too hard – especially if your goal is to add lots of muscle very quickly. The problem with all these ‘high intensity’ programs is that they burn huge numbers of calories and they break down muscle tissue at a rapid rate. If you’re trying to build muscle then you need to train just hard enough to stimulate the growth but not so hard that you completely annihilate the muscles.
Not Resting Enough
Likewise, if it’s muscle mass that you want to add, then you also need to rest hard. This is great news really – the key to getting big is to train less hard and then sleep lots.
But it makes sense when you think about it: muscle doesn’t grow when you’re training, it grows when you’re resting. Resting encourages the body to produce growth hormone, testosterone and other anabolic hormones that trigger muscle growth (hypertrophy) and it’s the main way we grow in size and strength. Make sure you prioritize your sleep and spend as much of the rest of your time as possible lounging around. Even try to avoid stress!
I call this ‘training like lion’. Eat, train, sleep and repeat!
Lifting Too Heavy
The way you train when bulking also needs to change. Your goal is not to increase strength but rather size and thus your key aim should be to flood the muscles with fluids. You do this by lifting lighter weights for longer so as to occlude blood and to encourage the build up of metabolites. You’re training for pump now!
Not Using Creatine
Want to instantly add inches to your muscle? Then start using creatine. Creatine is not only great for increasing your energy during lifts, it also encourages the muscles to retain more water. Simply supplementing with creatine then can see you add an inch of water to your physique within a week!
Not Eating Enough
And finally, by far the most common mistake, is not eating enough. Remember: your target intake for protein should be one gram of protein for every one pound of muscle mass at least. On top of that, you need to ensure you’re getting enough calories in your diet to support growth and to help you through long sessions. Just listen to any bulky celebrity and they’ll tell you they eat anything between 3-4,000 calories a day!