As a boy growing up, the word “skinny” was always a 4-letter word.
Skinny connotated a sense of “weakness” and being unhealthy. It meant being boney and not filling out your clothes. Just the word itself sounded harsh and ugly. I hated being referred to as skinny, but after awhile I began to think that there wasn’t much I could do about it. After all, it was genetics. Right? So I continued through high school with the pants that were too baggy, the shirts that were too big in the chest. Thankfully I was never really picked on, but I knew what others thought. I was skinny.
At 18, I went off to college at 6’1″ and about 140 pounds dripping wet. I was perfectly healthy too. Never had any health issues, ate like a horse, loved beer, all the usual stuff. But I couldn’t gain weight — at all. People would always say “you need to eat a cheeseburger”, but the fact of the matter was I could eat a cheeseburger and a large pizza and sure, I’d probably put a pound or two on in those hours that followed but it’d burn right off the minute I started exercising. To say I had a fast metabolism would be an understatement.
My outlook on my physique began to change when I took a sports nutrition course my sophomore year. It introduced me to the word “hardgainer”, or, that individual who has trouble putting on weight and thus, muscle mass. I began to learn that the secret to a successful weight lifting regimen was 75% eating habits. You could lift all day long but if you ate the wrong things your “gains” would be diminished, if you really saw gains at all. I began to see the human body as a machine, and that you had to feed it the right “fuel” to get it to do what you want.
And thus began a long journey of trial and error for me. I knew the basics of the hardgainer workout plan and the challenges I faced. I knew I had to put on fat to add muscle. The magazines that advertised putting on powerful, lean muscle with absolutely zero fat were lying. So I started trying different things and eventually made serious headway.
Thankfully, nowadays there are more weight training plans specifically designed for the hardgainer. You won’t have to go through what I did, when most “how-to” guides were written as if all our bodies are of the same size, shape, and genetic make-up.
But where can you find this information? The bookstore? Library? In workout magazines?
The answer to all those questions is, of course, yes. But the easiest and most efficient way of searching for anything we need is to first check the internet. And now there’s a free website that breaks the best weight training plans down for you with a list of sites and other resources to check out.