Hardgainers Diet

by Jeff on November 10, 2010

Diet is especially important for hardgainers. There are different schools of though on this, but I believe that hardgainers need to eat a lot more in order gain muscle, the way they train should also be different. But before we get into the hardgainers diet, let’s go through a quick recap of one of my previous posts:

Who are the ‘Hardgainers’?

There are 3 somatotypes (this the fancy scientific word for body types).

  1. Ectomorphic – long thin muscles and limbs (the skinny guys)
  2. Mesomorphic – medium bones, solid torso (the average built guys)
  3. Endomorphic – wide waist and large bone structure (the heavier built guys)

This is illustrated in the diagram below:

Hardgainers are the ectomorphs. Everyone has a set amount of muscle cells. The number of cells don’t increase when you build muscle, only the size of these cells get bigger.  The reason why ectomorphs are usually called ‘hardgainers’ is because they naturally have less muscle mass and they have a higher metabolism. This makes it more difficult to put on muscle.

This hardgainers diet will be taking advantage of the hardgainer’s metabolism and a hormone to gain muscle fast. The hormone is HGH.

The Key To This Diet: HGH

HGH stands for Human Growth Hormone. This is the hormone that helps you burn fat and build muscle faster. Your body will produce more of this hormone when you eat and exercise in the right way.

One thing that you should stay away from is sugar. Sugar or eating a lot of carbs will result in an insulin spike in your body. When your body releases insulin, it inhibits the production of HGH. Eat a lot of meat, eggs and vegetables. Stay away from sugar.

Other Disadvantages of Elevated Insulin

Insulin is a storage hormone, it increases your fat cells’ ability to absorb excess calories as fat. Even with the hardgainer’s high metabolism, if this is not controlled properly, it will still lead to unnecessary fat gain.

Ultimately, you want is to cultivate insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is a good thing, it allows your body to react to a small amount of insulin. This allows your body to produce more HGH and avoid the fat gain. Here is how you can cultivate insulin sensitivity.

Cultivating Insulin Sensitivity

There are 2 areas that you can work on to increase insulin sensitivity:

  1. Exercise
  2. Diet

Intense resistance training (lifting weights) and intense cardio (HIIT) are forms of exercises that can increase your sensitivity.

Intermittent fasting lowers your insulin levels, increases insulin sensitivity, increases growth hormone production.

High fibre foods(vegetables) and omega-3 fatty acid(fish) are things that can also increase your sensitivity.

Combining all of these elements of the hardgainers workout will synergistically help your gains.

The Right Workout

Trying to build muscle as a hardgainer can be discouraging. You’re doing all this work, but there are no results to show for it. But as long as you follow the right workout method for your body type, you will but able to put on a lot of muscle.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out my article on Hardgainers Workout.

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