Hardgainer Muscle Building
by Pete Arroyo
Not getting the gains you want from your current muscle building program? But you say you train six days a week, eat everything in sight, and do ten exercises per body part. Well, of course you are not progressing... You're a hard gainer son! The classic case of the hard gainer is probably better yet re-termed as an impatient, over-worker, under eater. Making gains in muscular bodyweight and strength is the same as it has been for the last million years; lift progressively heavier objects and take in more calories than you burn. The simple moniker of Train, Eat, Rest, and repeat is the order of the day. In most cases the hard-gainer is not in their position for a lack of work ethic but rather in understanding. Ask any competitive level bodybuilder, power lifter, or strength athlete about how long it has taken them to get to where they are at; and the first thing they will speak of is the YEARS of dedicated effort. The second thing they will tell you is the importance of paying your dues with the basics.

In fancier terms employ multi-joint drills in which you can use the heaviest loads possible for the given number of repetitions.

The following program is something for all those hard-gainers looking for the edge during the genesis of their quest for muscle. The meat and potatoes of this program is the heavy cycling of the "Big Six" strength and bulk drills that have been staples in the programs of most every iron game legend from Grimek to Anderson to Schwarzenegger to Coan. The additional drills serve as accessory work aimed at performing higher reps to stimulate additional growth by concentrating attention to a particular muscle group.

Day 1: Legs (push day)

1) Back Squat: 2sets for 5 reps with enough weight that spares a rep or two on the last set. Then do a back-off set at 75% of your best set for 10 reps.

2) Step Back Lunge (in place, weight on front or back of shoulders): 2-3 sets for 8 reps on each leg

3) Situp (holding weight behind the head): 3 sets of 10 reps

Day 2: Upper Body (Pull Day)

1) Bent-Over Row: 2sets for 5 reps with enough weight that spares a rep or two on the last set. Then do a back-off set at 75% of your best set for 10 reps.

2) Underhand grip Pullup: 2-3 sets of 6-8 reps

3) Barbell Curl: 3 sets of 8 reps aiming bar to forehead.

Day 3: Legs (Pull day)

1) Deadlift (conventional style): 2sets for 5 reps with enough weight that spares a rep or two on the last set. Then do a back-off set at 75% of your best set for 10 reps.

2) Good Morning (bar on back as in squat using wide stance): 3 sets of 8.

3) Hip Bridge (lie of floor or across a bench and set bar on lap): 3 sets of 10

Day 4: Upper body (Push day)

1) Push Press: 2sets for 5 reps with enough weight that spares a rep or two on the last set. Then do a back-off set at 75% of your best set for 10 reps.

2) Dips: 3 sets of 8.

3) Close grip/ elbows out throat press: 3 sets of 8.

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