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Help for the Extreme Hardgainer

“You can do anything you put your mind to.” Such is the refrain of motivational speakers — and mothers — worldwide. We don’t mean to undermine such powerful advice, but unfortunately, we feel compelled to say that it’s just not true. For some sad souls, packing on perfectly molded mass is a pipe dream; no matter how hard they work out or how much they eat, their physiques just don’t respond.

The irony is that some people would be happy with a metabolism that strong — it makes fat burning a cinch. But when your body is actively working against your dreams, it’s nothing short of frustrating. Fortunately, there are steps hardgainers can take, techniques that should spur growth. The tips listed here represent your best bet for putting on muscle. However, we won’t say it’s going to be easy. The pursuit of mass always requires ultimate commitment, which, we suppose, is just another way of saying you need to put your mind to it.

1. Eat. A lot.

Overriding that rabbit-fast metabolism requires a lot of food. As soon as a hardgainer’s body blazes through a meal, it turns catabolic, tearing down muscle to feed itself. Therefore, keeping the body constantly nourished can go a long way toward maintaining an anabolic (i.e., muscle-growing) state.

A basic mass-gaining nutrition regimen generally requires consuming 20 calories per pound of bodyweight. That’s the minimum a hardgainer needs. A 150-pound man, then, would eat at least 3,000 calories a day (150 pounds x 20 calories per pound), and as much as 3,300, or 22 calories per pound.

Those calories should be divided into around eight meals per day on workout days and seven or so on rest days: