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How to Set Up a Hardgainer Workout Plan

How to Set Up a Hardgainer Workout Plan

Setting up a hardgainer workout plan can be challenging. As an ectomorph, your body will naturally make it difficult to put on significant amounts of muscle. You have probably already put in extensive time at the gym but still can’t seem to put on any muscle mass. Well, follow these steps and you can create a hardgainer workout plan that will help you finally gain muscle mass.


Step 1: Decide How Many Sessions A Week

Many hardgainers think they don’t have to workout more than 2 sessions a week since they are more susceptible to overtraining. Well, let me just clear the air and tell you that is false. You can’t put on mass if you don’t get in the gym and stress your muscles to grow and get stronger. You can always incorporate light days, where you use slightly lower weights or perform less exercises per muscle group, in order to prevent yourself from over training. But, you should still be getting into the gym at least 4-5 sessions a week.

Recommended: Start with 3 sessions a week and increase to 4-5 sessions a week after 2-3 months.

Don't forget to stick to your schedule! Consistency is key!


Step 2: Decide On Your Workout Routine Split

The next thing you need to figure out is which muscle groups you want to work out on each of your days in the gym. So, if you decided on 3 sessions a week in Step 2 you would now decide which muscle groups will get worked out on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

Example: 3 sessions a week

  • Day 1: Chest/Triceps
  • Day 2: Back/Biceps
  • Day 3: Legs/Shoulders


Step 3: How Many Exercises per Muscle Group

After you know which muscle groups you will be working out during each day of the week, you need to decide on how many exercises per muscle group will be worked out each day. Most hardgainer workout routines will recommend you perform a minimum of 3 exercises per muscle group. You can always do more, but 3 is probably a good number to set as a minimum.


Step 4: What Exercise Will Be Performed

In the previous step you decided on how many exercises you would perform for each muscle group being targeted for that day. Now, you need to pick specific exercises that will be performed on that day. Check out the following articles for more help on choosing which workouts you should perform for each muscle group.

The flat bench press is a great compound chest exercise!


Step 5: Decide on Sets and Reps

Hardgainer workout routines should always try to maximize hypertrophy, the increase in size of specific cells in your muscle tissue, in order to make muscles look bigger. The optimal range for hypertrophy training is 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions. Start at the lower end of the range (3 sets of 8 reps) and work your way to the higher end (4 sets of 12 reps) as you get stronger. This will allow you to progressively increase the intensity of your workout.


Notice the increase in volume of each cell in hypertrophy.


Step 6: Create a Hardgainer Workout Plan

Now, you have all the components to make your own hardgainer workout routine. Take all of the information you decided on in the previous steps and put it all together. You should now be able to figure out the following for each day of the week you are in the gym.

So, for Day 1, 2, 3 etc you should know the following:

  • Which muscle groups will be worked out?
  • How many exercises will target each muscle group?
  • Which specific exercises will be performed?
  • How many sets of each exercise you will perform?
  • How many repetitions will be performed during each set?

Well, now you know how to make your own hardgainer workout routine. Whenever you want to switch up your workout, just go through these steps again and make a brand new hardgainer workout routine using different exercises, workout splits and set/rep ranges. This way you can keep confusing your muscles and stop yourself from getting bored in the gym.

Putting on size as a hardgainer is possible, you just have to make sure the dedication and consistency is there. Without those two elements, no hardgainer workout routine will help you get the physique you want. Just look at this guy below!

hardgainer transformation

Dedication and consistency are the key!


Think I forgot a step that should be considered when putting together a hardgainer workout routine? Please leave me a comment and let me know. I would love to discuss it!

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