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How to Gain Weight with a Fast Metabolism: Hardgainer Myths

How to Gain Weight with a Fast Metabolism: Hardgainer Myths

Hardgainer Myth #1: Can’t Gain Weight

This is a very commonly heard statement from hardgainers. When I get asked how to gain weight with a fast metabolism, I’ll usually tell people that they just need to eat more food. Invariably, they’ll tell me how they must already eat “like, probably 5000 calories a day, man.” This is simply not true–everyone can gain weight if they eat enough calories. If you don’t know exactly how many calories you’ve been eating, you are probably way off. People are notoriously bad at estimating how much they eat, so I suggest recording everything and making sure you are eating at least 20 calories per pound of body weight. The vast majority of people will gain weight at this value, but if for some reason you still aren’t (you are an athlete that burns a lot of calories each day), just keep increasing 300-500 calories until you are.


Hardgainer Myth #2: Bad Genetics

Many people complain that they just can’t put on any muscle size because their genetics make it impossible. Before I really got into fitness, I was one of these genetically un-gifted people who thought this way. In reality, if you are eating enough along with an appropriate weight-lifting regimen, you will put on weight, and some of that weight will be muscle. While your genetics might prevent you from winning a Mr. Olympia title, they are certainly not going to prevent you from adding 20 pounds of muscle.


Hardgainer Myth #3: Train Infrequently to Prevent Overtraining

Hardgainers are often told that it is easy for them to overtrain their muscles, which prevents growth. They often take this advice to mean that they should only be working out a couple times a week. This is almost certainly not enough to spur muscle growth adequately.


Hardgainer Myth #4: Train Frequently to Force Growth

On the flip side, some hardgainers that don’t see progress assume that the solution is to just train more. This can be just as detrimental to progress as not training enough. Unless you are a pro bodybuilder on steroids there is no way your body can handle heavy two-a-days and training the same muscle group 3-4 times per week. Optimally, you will train a muscle group as soon as it has recovered fully. This time period varies, but for most people using a split that hits each muscle twice a week is ideal.


Hardgainer Myth #5: Eat Whatever the Hell You Want as Long as You Eat a Lot

This is another common answer to the question of how to gain weight with a fast metabolism. It is also quite possibly the worst advice to follow. You will certainly put on weight using this method, but the vast majority of it will be fat and you will have to work twice as hard later to get rid of it. Everyone has seen that guy in the gym who looks really fat but heads straight for the bench press and grunts out a few sets at 300. Don’t be that guy. Muscle takes a long time to put on and eating bad food or way too much food will not accelerate this process so just be patient.

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