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Author Topic: What about the "hardgainers"  (Read 11796 times)

Offline heimdallr

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What about the "hardgainers"
« on: July 25, 2008, 11:31:38 AM »
Hello all, new here!

Well I know most people in our society want to lose weight... but what about the ectomorphs? I've been skinny all my life... I workout and eat like a horse, but without much effect! In any case, the Paleolithic Diet makes a lot of sense to me, especially if you have an O blood-type. However I was wondering if there are any other "hardgainers" here or people who might have some incite about it. I traditionally eat a fair amount of rice (brown/basmati) as well as oatmeal...  but I've read that cutting out grains can "normalize" body-weight (lose for overweight & gain for underweight).

Offline Matt Emery

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2008, 06:14:54 AM »
In my opinion; power to weight ratio is a key component to exceptional fitness.  So, if you're skinny and strong, then you are superior to somebody who's big and strong (generally speaking).

If you're aiming to gain mass, i'd have to ask why?  Is it for a sport?  Is it to look buff?

Being large is a deficit in mother nature, as she tends to favour the powerful and agile, rather than the big and strong.
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Atlas

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2008, 04:51:16 PM »
i agree with matt,
 you can look as big and powerful as you want but if couldn't chase down your kill or climb up a tree you wouldn't have been around for that long.
Note: this is coming from a guy who has been tall and lean all his life.
Simply man

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2008, 06:33:09 PM »
I wouldn't say that being large and powerful is a deficit in nature for 2 simple but HUGE reasons.

The largest and most powerful of a species is almost ALWAYS going to be the one to MATE/BREED the most, if at all, and they are usually in charge. Look at wolves, caribou, mountain goats, elephants, lions, gorillas, hippos, bison, zebras, mustangs, any herd of cattle. The largest  also have the largest hunting grounds when it comes to solitary hunters like grizzly bears, tigers, owls, and even eagles.

Even our species subconsciously puts height and THE APPERANCE OF PHYSICAL POWER above nearly everything else when we 1st meet a male of our species. Many tribes of ancient man were famous for always being led by the biggest and baddest of the tribe. From the mongols to ancient Celts, there was no way that they would follow a "weakling". I have a feeling that even before that, it was the caveman who could best protect the tribe that was in charge, just like it is with almost every mammal species. When I served in the military, most of the guys who were looked at to lead were larger people. I was put in charge of the other trainees as soon as I showed up to EVERY military/combat school I had because of this. Granted I held on to the positions because of I had a good head on my shoulders.

I'll also say definitively that girls gravitate to the larger, stronger APPEARING guys in any crowd or group. Think about the big buff guy on the beach or the athletes in highschool that always got the cheerleaders... It's very rare that girls will go after a really scrawny guy.

Now, this is a generalization of course, and in no way a 100%. But...

With all that in mind, and truly believing that the ultimate goal here is to have a more enjoyable fulfilling life, I say: IF YOU WANT TO BEEF UP, THEN MORE POWER TO YOU!!!!! As long as you do it with a healthy mindset, don't sacrifice being cut for being large, and do it smart I can't see any reason to discourage you. Any info you need I'll be glad to help. (Hint: look at some of my fitness posts for what I mean)

Now granted, this is from a 6'4 265pnd heavyweight fighter and former military member, so my opinion is flavored from a drastically different life then your average 5'9 145pnd guy and obviously biased!
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline heimdallr

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2008, 12:10:53 AM »
Thanks for the responses...

Oh I'm not complaining about about being lean... I do like it. But I always get the "you need to put-on some weight" comments, and I am "technically" underweight according to the charts.

I've been eating the Paleolithic Diet for about 3-weeks now, and I haven't lost any weight, so I know I should be okay. I also know that whenever I would eat grains I would feel jittery afterwards; in anycase, my question conserned more the diet aspect and wheather any other "lean" people 'round here have been on it for a while.

Devin McAfee

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2008, 09:10:43 PM »
I am a hardgainer, I am 6'5" and have been skinny all of my life. I started weightlifting about 2 years ago but after the initial gain in the first 2 months I plateaued. I haven't began the Caveman diet, nor do I ever intend to. I have, however, implemented several aspects from the diet into my current diet. I no longer munch on chips and crackers but instead on berries and nuts.

I have 2 goals, to be healthy, and to have a strong, visually appealing body. Being a hardgainer, if I began the caveman diet, I would have to eat pounds and pounds of nuts and berries each day to reach my goal of having big arms, a big chest, rock hard abs, a bulging back and brick legs. I have implemented a few things from primal man, but I still go to the gym instead of the nearest forest, and I still drink my Whey Protein shakes instead of crushing a half pound of walnuts.

As BigKhanz said, having a big strong powerful body is very appealing, women gravitate towards the stronger (as long as your not so strong its disgusting, women hate a man who looks like he spends all of his free time in the gym).

Offline Matt Emery

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2008, 05:40:09 AM »
Oh I'm not complaining about about being lean... I do like it. But I always get the "you need to put-on some weight" comments, and I am "technically" underweight according to the charts.

Fair enough.  I guess that I avoided your question and went straight into the merits of your premise... sorry about that.

To put on weight (for clinical reasons) is a tough question actually... and I am probably not the best person to ask about it.  But as a layman's approach, I find it pretty easy to put on weight if I consume lots of Olive Oil and Tuna with some grains (non-fibrous carbs), and do workouts consisting of slow and strict chinups/pushups/squats/deadlifts or any other compound movement that elicits a hormonal response.

"Be true to your biology"

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2008, 06:07:03 AM »
There is an old saying with bodybuilders: You don't grow in the gym.

The gym is where you get stronger, but it is the kitchen and the bedroom where you get bigger.

These tips will help everyone regardless if they are trying to get beefed up or just more fit.

If you want to add some lean muscle mass you 1st need to up your protein intake to 2 grams per GOAL BODYWEIGHT and slightly increase your caloric intake with nuts, red meats olive oils and sweet-potatos(baked). You have to eat more then you burn to grow. Also time your meals for maximum anabolism. If you do it smart, you can use your body's production of insulin to make huge gains in muscle mass. Heres a easy down-and-dirty way: knowing that in times of stress the body produces cortisol, which causes your body to go into a catabolic state where it breaks down muscle tissue, and that insulin "neutralizes" cortisol (the opposite is also true) we can use this to our advantage. Simply figure out the biggest times of stress on the body and eat/or drink something sweet. Personally I drink a glass of orange juice whenever I feel stressed, wake up(which is one the most stress inducing things the body encounters), workout, or any other thing that causes physical or psychological stress. This will let you keep and increase the gains you are making.

Heavy lifting, lots of red meat, being around attractive women(even if it's simply looking at them), and sex all cause huge, natural spikes in the body's production of testosterone. These little things can make a huge difference if you want to grow or grow stronger

For the bedroom half of gaining muscle we will go witha simple caveman fix. The longer and deeper you sleep, the more HGH your body naturally produces. The key is long uninterrupted sleep. Since HGH production falls off sharpely starting in the 30's this is very important. To naturally help this process a large dose of grapeseed extract and red wine extract (or a glass of red wine) right before bed will cause the body to naturally produce more HGH and Testosterone.
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline Phanatic

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2008, 07:47:15 AM »
As you've noted, carbs (well, the insulin response it elicits) can be used sparingly and tactically for nutrition. I would however say that from what I've heard (from Ori Hofmekler) cortisol is actually necessary from hypertrophy. I'd also disagree that a skinny guy needs 2 grams per goal bodyweight, that's a pretty monstrous load on the body. I'd hope that if you ate much protein that you at least took a day for your body to detoxify and not eat quite that much.


Offline BigKhanz

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2008, 09:08:16 AM »
I generally take about 350-500 grams of protein a day. I have for the last several yrs with no ill effects. I eat tons of steaks, chicken, buffalo, eggs, game and whey protein and I've never had any ill effects. Think about the amount of protein a primal hunter would have eaten every day. If you are living mostly on meat and fats your diet would be 100's of grams of protein (meat) a day every day you could

Usually I suggest 1.5 grams per pound but when trying to gain mass, I tell people to up the amounts.

And cortisol is necessary for muscle growth in that it raise the level of amino acids in the blood. But it does this by inihibiting muscle uptake and greatly reducing protein synthiseis. Cortisol promotes catabolism by breaking down proteins. Cortisol also lowers bone formation, reduces the immune system by lowering the prolieferation of T-cells, raises your odds of cancer and it's a diuretic. Cortisol is needed for the flight-or-fight mechanism and helps the body achieve balance after a stressul situation. Problem is spike and chronic stress lead to large, constant amounts of cortisol and cause more damage to our bodies then anything else.
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline Phanatic

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2008, 05:55:34 PM »
Well done, it seems you know your biology. Perhaps the high protein "danger" is like the low fat hype, I'll need to read more.
Here's an idea for the hard gainers - what a lot of endurance athletes (people with biiiig calorie requirements) end up doing to meet their caloric needs is liquid calories. Perhaps you might try drinking whole milk and whey protein during the day? Milk is good in the sense that you can have it and the lactose sugars in it will have no effect on insulin (though the milk may have some, its got fast assimilating protein, and Insulin Like Growth-Factor 1 (yes, this hormone is the same in cows and humans), a powerful growth hormone that will help you build muscle.

Oh and Matt, your weekend lolly binges may even serve a biological purpose. By going easy on the carbs during the week, your insulin sensitivity will be high, so when you have carbs, insulin will shuttle nutrients and amino acids to the muscles. Just keep it to the weekend so your body doesn't adapt to the glucose metabolism  ;).

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2008, 06:21:33 PM »
The high protein danger is pure bull. Think how many bodybuilders, linebackers, powerlifters, and other strength athletes who would be dropping like flies if it was true.

With the biology stuff, I'm a certified sports nutritionist as well as a Master Level Trainer and Functional Strength Trainer. I had to learn all that stuff to better help those I train. One of these days I'll get my CrossFit certs, if I can ever get a spot at one of the seminars in my part of the country.
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline jorgesito

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2008, 08:21:23 AM »
BigKhanz, you posted some really cool information. Thanks for that  ;)

Offline bodhi9

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2008, 02:21:16 PM »
It seems to be a fine debate about body type preference, strong and skinny I think would be the preference. Although their is a fine line between those who want to be a healthy skinny and an emaciated skinny. If you are trying to gain weight, piling on the carbs and cutting out some cardio will certainly do the trick, and also a workout that is more intense and done faster can also assist in building mass

Offline BigKhanz

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2008, 01:12:27 AM »
Quote
If you are trying to gain weight, piling on the carbs and cutting out some cardio will certainly do the trick
Well, if the goal is to gain an extra layer of bodyfat, that would be a surefire way to do it.

FAT AND CARBS CANNOT BE TURNED INTO MUSCLEnot ever, under any circumstance, it's biologically impossible. Protein, exercise, and water are what you need to increase lean muscle. [

I see guys in the gym doing the whole "bulking faze" and I just shake my head, because they are just wasting their time, hard work, and health. A controlled gradule pace and diet/fitness plan will get the job done. If you train for STRENGTH&POWER your body will follow

Quote
It seems to be a fine debate about body type preference, strong and skinny I think would be the preference.
We are each entitled to our views and prefrences, but there is no way I would want to be "skinny" and it seems that the person who started this thread feels the same.

In that note, after seeing the replys here, lets start another thread with this debate at its core and save this thread for what it was intended, advice on becoming more muscular.
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...

Offline Matt Emery

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2008, 08:22:06 AM »
In that note, after seeing the replys here, lets start another thread with this debate at its core and save this thread for what it was intended, advice on becoming more muscular.

Agreed.
"Be true to your biology"

Offline DINKUS

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Re: What about the "hardgainers"
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2009, 08:07:19 AM »
I wouldn't say that being large and powerful is a deficit in nature for 2 simple but HUGE reasons.

The largest and most powerful of a species is almost ALWAYS going to be the one to MATE/BREED the most, if at all, and they are usually in charge. Look at wolves, caribou, mountain goats, elephants, lions, gorillas, hippos, bison, zebras, mustangs, any herd of cattle. The largest  also have the largest hunting grounds when it comes to solitary hunters like grizzly bears, tigers, owls, and even eagles.

Even our species subconsciously puts height and THE APPERANCE OF PHYSICAL POWER above nearly everything else when we 1st meet a male of our species. Many tribes of ancient man were famous for always being led by the biggest and baddest of the tribe. From the mongols to ancient Celts, there was no way that they would follow a "weakling". I have a feeling that even before that, it was the caveman who could best protect the tribe that was in charge, just like it is with almost every mammal species. When I served in the military, most of the guys who were looked at to lead were larger people. I was put in charge of the other trainees as soon as I showed up to EVERY military/combat school I had because of this. Granted I held on to the positions because of I had a good head on my shoulders.

I'll also say definitively that girls gravitate to the larger, stronger APPEARING guys in any crowd or group. Think about the big buff guy on the beach or the athletes in highschool that always got the cheerleaders... It's very rare that girls will go after a really scrawny guy.

Now, this is a generalization of course, and in no way a 100%. But...

With all that in mind, and truly believing that the ultimate goal here is to have a more enjoyable fulfilling life, I say: IF YOU WANT TO BEEF UP, THEN MORE POWER TO YOU!!!!! As long as you do it with a healthy mindset, don't sacrifice being cut for being large, and do it smart I can't see any reason to discourage you. Any info you need I'll be glad to help. (Hint: look at some of my fitness posts for what I mean)

Now granted, this is from a 6'4 265pnd heavyweight fighter and former military member, so my opinion is flavored from a drastically different life then your average 5'9 145pnd guy and obviously biased!
I know this topic is almost closed, but whenever I read how much women supposedly like big strong looking guys I have to comment. Unless your fat, or look like your starving, the most important factor in gaining the ladies interest is how good looking your face is combined with your personality. Tom cruise, George Cloony, Sean Penn, Al Pacino, matt maconaghy, none of these guys are even remotely large, and most of them are below average in terms of both height and size.