Gaining muscle can be hard work even for the best of us, and if you are a hardgainer, it can seem like gaining muscle is pretty much impossible. There are a variety of things that will help you on your journey to achieving your ideal physique, and we would like to help you to get there.
Here at 1st Phorm, we have some rigid beliefs that we follow and some tried and tested methods and techniques that we’re now going to share with you.
First, remember that it is extremely important to consider what you’re eating and measure both your calorie intake and your calorie expenditure. To put it simply, if you are not gaining weight, you probably are not eating enough. There are a variety of supplements available to you that have been proven to help if weight gain is a struggle, and if they are used safely, then they will certainly make the process a whole lot easier. Second, we believe that you need to know that it is CRUCIAL to train hard and put your body under the correct amounts of stress and tension. Quite simply, if you do not put the effort in, then you will not EARN the results you are after. We realize that it may be somewhat of a cliche, but the saying, “No pain, no gain” really is true. Finally, one of the most common mistakes that hardgainers make is buying a pre-made mass gaining shake instead of making their own.
Eat for Maximum Muscle Growth
If muscle gain is your main goal, then it is important to approach meals with the same intensity that you approach your workouts. You should aim for six meals a day, so that works out to having a meal every 2-3 hours without fail. Getting into a routine and sticking to it will play a huge role in the results you earn. If you eat every day at 10 a.m. and then miss a meal one day, your body will begin to cannibalize your hard-earned muscle tissue. Now missing one meal every now and again will certainly not make or break your results … but if that one missed meal happens frequently, you will not reach your goals. That means that when you have your schedule established, the next thing to do is to work out exactly how many calories you should be consuming.
It is best to ignore the idea that the more you eat, the better the results. Instead, use a guideline such as eating 15 calories for every pound you weigh. For example, a 150-pound male would start on roughly 2,250 calories a day and then increase gradually every 2-4 weeks. The reason for doing this is that it is never a good idea to shock your body with drastic changes, such as huge differences in calorie intake or protein consumption. If your body goes from 150 grams of protein a day to 300 grams, then there is no way that it will all be metabolized. You will just end up wasting food. It is likely that you will not be able to maintain drastic increases for long periods of time anyway, as it can be incredibly tough on your body to maintain such a large diet when it is used to one that is a fraction of the size. The most important thing with calorie intake is to work in increments. Take it slow. You are much more likely to stick to it and will feel the benefits that this method of gaining yields.
Another important aspect when it comes to eating for maximum muscle growth is being mindful of what food you actually eat. Going for foods that are heavy in protein is the obvious first step. Chicken and lean beef are the main examples, but fish, eggs, tofu, and turkey are fantastic sources of protein as well. It is also important to choose the right carbs to go alongside your proteins. Oats are a fantastic choice when it comes to loading up on carbs, as are rice and pasta. However, certain foods suit certain people better, so make sure that you really take the time to get to know what suits your body before making your meal plan. Balancing the ratio of the protein, carbs, and fat that you eat is important, as failure to do so will result in your progress being hindered. A good starting point is to aim for 40% protein followed by 40% carbs and 20% fats.
Use this only as a guideline; it is important to remember that there are myriad other factors that could affect your weight gain. For example, things such as genetics, training intensity, and frequency will impact your results. The most important thing is to not give up. Experiment with your calorie intake, and work out what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to take extremely detailed notes outlining how many calories and carbs you are consuming, how much protein and fat you are consuming, etc. Being this strict with yourself is often the only way that you can truly be sure what is working for you and what is not.
Find Supplements to Support Your Growth
If adjusting your diet does not seem to be having the desired effect, then 1st Phorm has a huge range of supplements that will assist you on the road to reaching your goals. The correct use of supplements makes it much easier to get the nutrients that you need to build muscle and can even give you a successful way to enhance your training when combined with a good diet.
- Micro Factor. Micro Factor is a complete daily nutrient pack that provides your body with the full spectrum of nutrients needed for you to operate at peak efficiency. Micro Factor contains six different gluten-free supplements: Complete multivitamin, essential fatty acids, probiotics, antioxidants, fruits and vegetables, and coQ10. The convenient one-packet a day solution makes Micro Factor perfect for those with busy schedules who often forget to take the recommended amount of supplements.
- Full Mega. Full Mega is an Omega-3 fish oil supplement that provides concentrated EPA/DHA omega-3s. A few of the benefits of supplementing with Omega-3s is that it helps reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, as well as helps with reducing inflammation within the body, and increasing joint health. The benefits of Omega-3 are so varied that I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t include them as part of your supplement regime. It is a struggle to get sufficient amounts of Omega-3 from food alone, and that is why Full Mega is a perfect supplement for those who are interested in increasing their joint health, cognitive functions, and heart functions.
- Phormula-1. Phormula-1 is the No. 1 whey protein isolate available today that will give your body the amino acids it needs to kick-start the recovery process. Phormula-1 should be an integral part of any hardgainer’s workout. It is important to give your body the best materials post workout, as this not only promotes building high-quality muscle but also improves the rate at which the repair and growth will happen.
- Ignition. Ignition is a crucial part of any weightlifter’s post-workout supplement intake. The purpose of Ignition is to assist your body by starting the recovery process as soon as possible. After all, the sooner the recovery process is started, the sooner you will be ready to hit the weights again. Ignition works by spiking insulin and replenishing glycogen stores. This enables your body to create the perfect environment to synthesize protein and utilize your Phormula 1 as efficiently as possible. Leading to better and faster results from training.
- Level 1. Level 1 is a sustained assimilating protein shake. This means that it will break down over 2-3 hours and is perfect for a snake, meal replacement, before bed, or anytime you cannot eat whole foods. Since you will be eating more, having Level 1 once or twice a day is also a great way to increase your calories in between meals without having to eat another meal. You can drink individually or use it in a mass gaining shake or smoothie recipe!
- Creatine. At 1st Phorm, we have two creatine powders for you to choose from: Micronized Creatine Monohydrate and Alphacare HD.
- Micronized Creatine Monohydrate. Micronized Creatine Monohydrate has a ton of scientific backing that has helped to cement its place as one of the most proven safe and effective supplements. Micronized Creatine Monohydrate helps increase endurance and maximum output while training as well as aids in the repair process. Since it is micronized, it will have a faster uptake into the bloodstream but without the gassy, upset stomach issues that have often been associated with creatine use. If you’re looking to improve your performance in the gym, then Micronized Creatine Monohydrate is a great addition to your supplement routine.
- Alphacare HD. Alphacare HD is a stimulant free pre-workout. Designed to give your body a competitive edge by helping to increase endurance, strength, and preventing fatigue while participating in intense training to stimulate muscle growth.
Those supplements are a great starting point when looking at what supplements can help you reach your goals. Keep in mind though, there are other supplements that can fit more specific needs. Which can certainly help increase YOUR results. If you have any questions or want help figuring out what nutrition/supplement plan will be best for you … please never hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] or give us a call at 1-800-409-9732.
Understand the Importance of Training Hard
As stated earlier, you have to train hard enough and put your body under enough stress and tension to make it come back bigger and stronger. A good way to tell if you are working out hard enough is to wait for 24 hours after what you feel is an intense workout and see how you feel. When you exercise, you cause damage to your muscles. This is the only damage on a microscopic level, but damage nonetheless. As a result of this damage, your muscles should adapt to the stress, repair themselves, and thus grow stronger.
Basically, after 24 hours following an intensive workout, you should be feeling some moderate soreness… maybe a little fatigue … basically feel as though you worked out. This does NOT mean that the sorer you are the better and you should try to destroy your body every workout. The goal is to STIMULATE, not ANNIHILATE. Moreover, after you work on a particular group, remember to leave a day for those muscles to rest and rebuild while you focus on a different group.
Once you have been sticking to the same workout plan for a while and you no longer find yourself becoming tired or sore, the time has definitely come to change up your routine to some degree. A few examples would be if you have been training with heavier weight for fewer reps per set, it might be time to decrease the weight and add more reps. If you have been taking longer rest periods between sets, 2-3 minutes, it might be time to change to 1-2 minutes. If you are doing straight sets, it might be time to add in some supersets. Keep in mind that your body is constantly adapting in response to you working out, doing the same things repeatedly will not challenge your body enough for it to make a positive change. The good news is, you don’t have to change twenty-seven different things at once. Simply changing one variable like the examples listed above is a great start.
It is also a great idea to mix up the actual exercises you are doing. Take it from us. People who achieve peak physical fitness do not do so by sticking to one exercise regimen alone. The same set of leg presses and bicep curls will not only create imbalances in your muscle groups, but it will also be mind-numbingly boring! You should really take yourself out of your comfort zone. Whether that is mixing up exercises in the gym or shoot, even really mixing things up by adding some yoga or Pilates. In addition to relaxing your muscles, these exercises can also help balance your body’s strength and flexibility ratio. You should not rush yourself head-on into uncharted territory, but slowly start to challenge your body by introducing new aspects of exercise to your workout that you would not normally do.
Make Your Own Protein Shakes
Making your own protein shakes has a few benefits over the mixes that you can just buy. One key benefit to making your own protein shakes is that it allows you to finely tune the recipe until you find a blend that is perfect for you, your lifestyle and your goals!
The first step is to have a high-quality protein source like Level 1. If you use a cheaply made, low-quality protein source, your body will not be able to utilize it properly and therefore you will not receive the benefits of supplementing it with a protein powder. Ultimately, wasting your money.
The next step is to figure out what high-quality energy sources, carbs and fats, we are going to add to it! A few good options for carbohydrates include oats, grits, quinoa flakes, and fruit. A few good options for fats include peanut butter, almond butter, MCT oil, macadamia nut oil, and walnuts.
You might be asking … “How much of each do I use?” Well, that is going to be dependent on your nutrition plan and lifestyle! As you add ingredients to keep track of them and add them to your daily numbers.
1st Phorm’s Promise to You
If you follow the details laid out in this post, then you will begin to notice the difference in your body sooner rather than later. Here at 1st Phorm, we want all of our customers to be happy with their gains. That is why it is our promise to you that we will only provide the finest supplements available on the market today in addition to tips and advice from industry professionals and your fellow weightlifters. That is why we have a fully staffed team of NASM certified trainers that are here to answer questions and help you for FREE!