Thứ Năm, 30 tháng 7, 2015



Building muscle is not an equal opportunity endeavor. Not everyone gains muscle at the same rate and not everybody has the talent to create the same level of development. Your individual genetics have a lot to do with how your body will respond to training.

Some people, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, started packing on pounds of solid muscle from the very beginning of their training career. Arnold touched his first weight at age 15, and was able to gain a half inch on his arms every couple of months.

Others who have become top level professional bodybuilders, like Frank Zane and Larry Scott, were the opposite to Arnold. They had to fight and scratch for every ounce of muscle that they gained. Larry Scott, in fact, had the opposite shape to what you’d expect for bodybuilding - wide hips, narrow shoulder blades and skinny legs. Yet, he was able to build a physique that saw him crowned as the first ever Mr Olympia. His example, and that of countless others, reveals that bodybuilding is like the race between the hare and the tortoise. Ultimately, determination and endurance over a long period of time can win out over a quick start and sprint for the finish line.

Just as some people are naturally fast runners, or naturally good athletes, some people are naturally predisposed to building muscle. The following basic genetic factors come into play here:

· Testosterone levels - testosterone is the most important muscle building hormone in your body. Our genetics determine our natural levels.

· Muscle fiber distribution - people with a higher percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers are going to have grater muscle building potential. That’s because fast twitch fibers are more prone to hypertrophy.

· Muscular shape - for the most part, there is very little you can do to influence the shape of an individual muscle. Muscles can become bigger or smaller, but their actual shape in mostly predetermined by genetics.

· Recovery ability - some of us are able to tolerate more exercise than others. These people naturally have an advantage because they are able to successfully train and recover more often than others.

· Myostatin levels - the myostatin gene codes to limit the amount of muscle mass you can build. This gene will be more or less active depending on the individual.

The problem for hard gainers is that they don’t get the immediate success, the positive feedback, that helps so much to keep a person motivated. In the long run, however, the satisfaction is that much greater, knowing that you have worked you ass for every ounce of muscle on your frame.

The real question for hard gainers, who are limited by their genetic potential, is so what?

Whatever you’ve been dealt with in the genetics department is what it is and can’t be changed. All you can do is to make the very best of what you have and become the best YOU that you can possibly be. Whether you are able to gain muscle at an above average rate, at an average rate or at a below average rate is something that is set in stone and can’t be changed. From a practical standpoint, it is absolutely irrelevant to your program.

It may not be possible to develop more rapidly than your biology will allow, but it is possible to develop more slowly than it will allow. Often this is because you do not truly believe that rapid gains are possible, and as a result, are not training as hard as you need to. Unless your goal is to become a world class bodybuilder - which is heavily dependent upon genetics - you CAN build an impressive, muscular body. By learning how to train hard, eat right and stay mentally zoned in, you will be able to pack real, solid mass onto your frame and double - even triple - your strength level, while getting lean and shredded.


Muscle doesn’t grow in the gym. In fact, your workouts are tearing your muscle down, quite literally. It is only when they are rested and fed, that they are able to bounce back to become bigger and stronger.

Most hard-gainers get into the mindset of more must be better. Their current training regime isn’t producing the results they want, so they think that they have to train harder, do more and rest less in order to make the gains. That is a BIG mistake. All successful muscle pumpers do just the opposite – rather than training more when they reach a sticking point, they a in order to allow their body to rest and recuperate.

A muscle is over-trained when it is trained so often that it doesn’t get time to fully recover from the previous workout.

The body requires time to restore the chemical balance of the muscle cells, clear out the residual waste products, and restock the depleted stores of glycogen. But another factor is even more important: Time is needed for the cells themselves to adapt to the stimulus of the exercise and to grow. After all, bodybuilding is all about making muscles grow. So, if you over-train a muscle, forcing it to work too hard too quickly after the preceding exercise session, you will not give it a chance to grow and your progress will slow down.

Different muscles recover from exercise at different rates. The biceps recover the fastest. The lower back muscles recover the slowest, taking about a hundred hours to completely recuperate from a heavy workout. However, in most cases, giving a body part 48 hours’ rest is sufficient, which means skipping a day after training a muscle before training it again.

Basic training involves only medium levels of intensity, so the time necessary for recovery is shorter. The harder you train, the higher the level of intensity. Another important factor is that trained muscles recover faster than untrained muscles. So the more adept you become at bodybuilding, the faster your recovery rate will be and the more intense your training can become.


Most people don’t appreciate how much food you need to eat to gain pure muscle mass. Eating may sound like a lot of fun, but consistently getting the basic ingredients of muscle building nutrition into your system in the amounts that will make a difference is challenging, to say the least. Unless, you provide your body with the building blocks of muscle food, you will never build a quality physique.

There are three basic nutrients that you need to build muscle and lose fat:

Protein: Protein, composed of various amino acids, provides the building blocks for muscle tissue. It is also a compound of all organs, and is involved in the structure of skin, bones, and tendons as well as being involved in many bodily functions.

Carbohydrates: Carbs provide fuel for energy, and are, in fact, the body’s primary and most easily available source of energy. All carbs are sugar, molecules containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and oxygen synthesized by plants through the process of photosynthesis, using the energy from the sun, or by animals through the process of glycogen synthesis.

Fats: Fats are the most energy dense of the three macronutrients. Fats, which can be found in both plants and animals, are insoluble in water. Fat is the most calories dense of any nutrient. A pound of fat contains about 4,000 calories, as opposed to 1,800 calories stored in a pound of protein or carbohydrate.


If you’re a hard-gainer, then you have probably tried every training program that is out there. Most of them have likely done very little for you. The reason could well be that the foundational theory upon which they have all been based is wrong. It is wrong for the average trainer but it is doubly wrong for the hard-gainer. That theory maintains that in order to get bigger muscles you have got to life heavier weight. In other words, to get big you must first get strong.

A lot of people believe that if they train to get strong, then they will build the physique that they want in the process. For the vast majority of people, though, this is like putting the cart before the horse. You should train for muscular development first, and the strength will come as a result of the development.

The misguided nature of people’s thinking when it comes to building muscle is reflected in the age old question that bodybuilders get asked, “How much can you bench?” This question pre-supposes that a person’s one rep maximum has something to do with the quality of their physique. Yet, one rep max strength has no place in a bodybuilding program.

Too many guys are obsessed with the weight on the bar. As a result they use sloppier and sloppier form. They end up training so as to recruit other muscle groups to help the target muscle to lift the weight. This is the opposite to what effective training does – isolate the working muscle group. For instance, a guy might load up the weight on a barbell curl to such an extent that they have to swing their lower back, thrust from the hips and throw their whole body into the lift. The biceps end up doing very little work.

Remember that the muscle cannot see how much weight is on the bar. All it knows is how hard it is being worked. The weight, then, should never be the end in itself. It should simply be a tool that is used to work the muscle. Increasing the weight is only one way to work the muscle harder and, as we shall discover, it is not the most efficient.

Rather than focusing on how much weight is being lifted, your attention needs to be directed to how much stress the working muscle is under. The key is not how much you can lift, but how hard you can work the muscle. Unlike a power-lifter or a weight lifter, your goal is not to simply move the weight from Point A to Point B. Your goal is to use the tool that is the weight to maximally work the muscle through it’s full range of motion.

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