5 Hardgainer Mistakes You Must Fix To Gain Muscle

By Nader Qudimat / Feb 25, 2015

One of the worst ways to gain muscle for a skinny guy is by believing that he is a hardgainer. 

​It’s not something you should believe in.

Sure you can truly have a hard time putting on muscle, but it doesn’t make it any easier by stating your weaknesses.

You think a guy who wants to be the best soccer player is going to complain about how he has the worst genetics for running?

No. He’s going to do whatever it takes to achieve his dreams, and so should you.​

What You're Going To Learn In 10 Seconds:

1. Fear Of Standing Out

Do what it takes to get results even if it means performing exercises you’re not comfortable with.

2. Overtraining

Your muscles grow while you recover, not in the gym. So get in and get out, keep your workouts to approximately 45 minutes.

3. Expectations

We all have doubts, but you’ve got to crush them and prove yourself that you can achieve what you’re set out to achieve.

4. Poor Consistency

Most people fail because they don’t stick to their programs. Make it habit so you can ensure you stick to the program.

5. Missing Vision

Bodybuilding isn’t just physical exercise and diet, it’s mental as well. See what you want to achieve and take advantage of visualization before and during exercise.

Let's Get Started

By believing that you’re a hardgainer, you’re limiting yourself to just that, a hardgainer.

Stating the doubt that you can’t build muscle is one surefire way to fail.

It’s not that failing is bad, but setting yourself to fail to meet your prime goal of gaining muscle isn’t going to get you very far.

To be honest though, I was one hell of a hardgainer, I couldn’t put on muscle, and it was a massive struggle.

I did everything to make sure that I could gain muscle.

I even measured my wrists.

Checked if I was “genetically doomed” to stay skinny. I was noticeably skinny. And no one in my family was muscular, never met anyone related to me that was jacked.

I almost believed I was destined to be who I was. 

But that's the biggest mistake anyone could do, and it was definitely my biggest mistake. I got sick of listening to what everyone was telling me.

​Believing that I was a hardgainer was a limiting belief. And it’s yours as well.

​It stops us from gaining muscle.

FitFrek - Nader Hard Gainer

It’s not the ego that makes you slam weight on a barbell when you notice a cute chick, or the protein shakes that you drink after your workout.

​It begins and ends with your mindset.

You should, with all your heart, belief that you can gain muscle. If you’re driven by ego, and not by how you look, you’ll only be hurting yourself and limiting your gains.

You’ve got to start from step one and avoid trying to impress anyone except for yourself.

Fear Of Standing Out

There are a few exercises that I’ve written about but since they are not traditional exercises, people are shy to try them, because they may embarrass themselves.

​Even though they are proven to be superior to the traditional versions (pendlay rows) and the pull ups (the ultimate guide to pull ups), a compound upper body exercise, people do not take as much advantage of them as they should be.

Since these exercises are done by advanced lifters or aren’t really done at all, you might resist the exercises as they make you stand out.

​You’ll feel as though people are going to judge you.

​Or maybe you just don’t know how to do them or you know you can’t even do two pull ups without struggling.

Well, you’ve got to remember, why are you there in the first place?

“I am not concerned that you have fallen — I am concerned that you arise.” ― Abraham Lincoln​

You’re going to stand out no matter what. If you’re looking to build muscle, you will eventually stand out.

You might make ugly faces while you lift, or maybe you might even make a few grunts as you struggle through your reps.

​I’ll tell you from my own experience, if you don’t struggle or make an effort to do something challenging, you will never make any progress.

I’ve always wanted to be the best that I could be. Nothing was going to stop me, and everyone I know who wants to be the best, has the same mental drive.​

So if you want to gain muscle and stop being a hardgainer, you’re going to need to actually stop acting like a hardgainer. You’ll want to stand out.

Imagine every single workout adding up by the end of the year. Imagine how much your’e going to change if you stay committed to your goals.

That’s a whole lot of changing!

Overtraining

You’ve been told to work out until you can’t any more. Lift like you can’t lift another day. Sound like the kind of advice you’ve heard or even read in magazines?

​Arnold Schwarzenegger may be able to get away with 5 hours of training but you’re not Arnold.

Spending more time than you need at the gym, will result in no gains at all. Believe me, as a hardgainer, you’re most likely to have average recovery abilities.

​You only need 45 minutes in the gym. If you spend more time than that, you’re only doing more harm than good.

​Working out is causes a systemic effect that not only effects the muscles your stimulating, but your entire central nervous system.

​Get in, and get out.

You might impress your friends by spending a few hours at the gym, but you’ll never impress anyone at the beach with a body that says “I don’t lift and I’m not a hardgainer”.

Muscle grows while you recover, not while you workout!

This doesn’t mean you should…​

Motion Without Emotion

Crazy is good, you can make ugly faces. But not going so heavy and intense that you can’t stimulate muscles with correct form.

Use your muscles to lift the weights, not momentum. You’re building muscle, not JUST lifting weights.

If you’re just going through the motions of lifting weights, you’re going to either give up at one point and get bored, or just not build muscle as much as you should be.​

I’m not recommending that you should go start banging your head against the wall before you lift to amp yourself up.

No, no, don’t do that.

​You want to be in control of your emotions, but you also want to channel your emotions out into your reps as you struggle through your sets.

It isn’t rocket science that you need to push past your comfort zone when you’re working out in order to make progress.​

​If you don’t struggle, you won’t get any bigger or stronger.

If you’ve ever seen Arnold, in the documentary of “Pumping iron”, you’ll remember the faces he makes when he’s lifting at his best.

Here’s a great example of a weird face he used to make:​

FitFrek - Arnold

Ahhnold!

Next time when you’re performing working sets, go ahead and make those faces. Find yourself a corner in the gym if you fear people will judge you.

A few minutes of making weird faces while you struggle through your workout is a lot less embarrassing than walking around shirtless without any muscles to show off!

Doubts

Limits are made to be broken; otherwise no one would stand out. Skinny guys aren’t doomed, and neither are you.

If I was doomed to be 100 pounds for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. In fact, I am glad that I started skinny because I am proud of achieving what everyone thought was impossible.

I believed in myself even when no one else did.

Everyone saw me as a skinny weak guy who had twigs for arms. I took advantage of those doubts and I embraced them.

I kept those doubts bottled up in me and used them when I needed them the most during my workouts so I could push myself even further.

I certainly felt good afterwards and I didn’t even remember what I was stressed or angry about after my workouts.

I took every workout like it was my last chance to redeem myself, as if every workout was going to slowly turn me into a new man.​

I never let a workout down when the opportunity turned up.

Keeping that belief that I could become something bigger and better kept me disciplined and committed.

Consistency

 That belief grew bigger and bigger. It never simmered down.

Most people don’t build muscle because they don’t stay consistent. They drop their program because they see no progress.

Nothing happens overnight.

Think about where you want to be a few months from now.

You’re going to wish you started sooner when you realize how much of the muscle building success is due to staying consistent.

Create a schedule and stick to it. Make it a habit to tie your shoes, put your headphones on and head to the gym.​

Remember that every workout counts. You can take a week off, or even two weeks off, just stay persistent.

FitFrek - Arnold

A great quote by Arnold! 

If you find yourself falling off your program and routine, find a friend who will help you stay committed for the first month.

Vision

Diet and exercise may be the answer to results, but without a vision, there is little to no success at all.

​You can work your ass off and hope your body will transform but you won’t get very far if you don’t see what you want.

​So it’s not only diet and physical exercise, but mental as well.

​You must see what you want and how you want to sculpt your body.

Many athletes use their mind to control their bodies, and Arnold was a big advocate of using the mind before the body.

​You’ve heard of the mind to muscle connection, it’s no myth. There are dozens of studies that prove that the body performs better when the mind is put to use.

​In fact, I used to mentally practice my workout the night before as I was falling asleep.

​By the time I would get to the gym, I would know exactly what I would do for the entire workout.

​Here’s how you can put this tip to action:

Visualize your workout way before it actually happens.

Mentally practice the exercises, especially before you perform them. Pretend you’re holding your weights in your hands, how would you perform it? Implement the form into your mind.

Repeat the great things that will happen as you stay consistent with your workouts. Watch YouTube videos or take a look at pictures of your favorite lifters​

Take Home Message:

And this is just the beginning.

Most people fail because they are not consistent with their programs, they drop out before they see results, and/or they just go through the motions without emotions expecting the best of the best.​

Not going to happen.

Believe me, you want this to be a lifestyle. You won’t get the body you want by sticking to a program for 90 days and quitting afterwards.

Bodybuilding isn’t a 90 day program.

Exercise keeps you mentally sharp, physically strong and big, and it keeps you on your toes.

I haven’t even mentioned the other hundreds of benefits that exercise brings.

Don’t worry about what program you start with. There is no “best” program regardless of what you read on the internet or in the magazines.​

Everyone is different and you can’t expect the same results just because you replicated someone who is bigger than you.

Don't buy​ into shortcuts.

I’m not going to promise you overnight success.

You just read the major mistakes hardgainers make and you should now know how to correct them should be your foundation of yourself.

Implement them as soon as you can.

This isn’t going anywhere, this advice is evergreen.

Meaning it’s not a trend or something that was discovered yesterday…So my question is for you…What are you waiting for?!​

Just One Last Thing:

Let me guide you. Ask questions. It’s free to ask questions.

Leave a comment, join the community by entering your email in the box below. Or some other ways to contact me:

Email: nader [at] fitfrek.com 

Facebook page: http://facebook.com/fitfrek

Feel free to say hello!

You’ve made it this far…don’t look back and keep on going!

Nader

References:

1. Possible mechanisms of central nervous system fatigue during exercise (Davis JM1, Bailey SP): http://www.researchgate.net/publication/14208554_Possible_mechanisms_of_central_nervous_system_fatigue_during_exercise

2. From mental to muscle power — gaining strength by using the mind: (Ranganathan VK1, Siemionow V, Liu JZ, Sahgal V, Yue GH.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9000155

3. The exercise effect on emotions: (Kirsten Weiry) http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx​

Forged by the iron and cold steel, Nader takes his knowledge and hulk smashes it into this puny site.

Being an ex-hardgainer, he has no choice but to keep training until he has surpassed in every way imaginable.

You can follow Nader on Twitter (@DieselFitt).

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