Most hardgainers already know that they are, but for those who need a definition, the term hardgainer in the bodybuilding community refers to a person who has a difficult time adding muscle mass and additional body weight through regular diet and weightlifting. They can be both short or tall, and anything in between, but hardgainers are typically skinny and have a lower amount of muscle mass due to an extremely fast & active metabolism. These are the people that can “eat anything they want without gaining weight” that men and women like me who are prone to gaining weight more easily are jealous of. The funny thing is that they are jealous of us because we can gain weight more easily. The competitive eating world is starting to see more and more hardgainers and bodybuilders attempting food challenges because they then have a reason to eat more calories (to win) which can help add the weight they have been trying to add. All people willing to help #feedthemovement are more than welcome to join the community and the more people involved the better.

As mentioned in How To Expand Your Stomach Using Food, I know a little bit about what it takes to gain weight. Between my junior and senior year high school football seasons, I gained over 100 pounds (45kg). While I did not need every single pound that I gained, I definitely did not gain the weight by eating only salads with vegetables and extra lean chicken breasts covered in low calorie salad dressing. As a hardgainer, if you want to gain serious muscle mass and weight, you need to lift heavier weights while getting plenty of rest so that your muscles have time to repair, recover, and grow. Most importantly, you need to eat and you need to eat BIG. You have very little control over how many calories your body burns throughout the day, other than while you are working out and exercising. You cannot just tell your body how many calories to burn. Many different factors are involved.

You may not control how many calories your body burns daily, but you do have full control over how many calories your body consumes. If you do not eat more calories than your body burns each day, you will lose weight rather than gain weight like you are wanting to do. It is amazing how many people think they eat a lot and don’t understand why they are not able to gain weight, but really they don’t eat any more than the average person does. I have definitely learned that “I eat whatever I want” and “I am a big eater” both mean different things to different people. If you are lifting weights, getting plenty of rest and sleep, and not gaining weight or any noticeable muscle mass, you are not eating enough food and there is no doubts about it. You don’t need to add a weight-gainer shake to your nutrition plan. You need to eat more food and you need to eat more food more often. To eat more calories on a consistent basis, you need to train your stomach to be able to fit more food in it at one time so that you can do this multiple times per day. You should definitely train like you are getting ready for an eating competition by using food, and to make things even more interesting you should attempt a challenge after intense resistance training. Since gaining weight is one of your goals, you get to have the most fun!!

Follow the one week training plan featured in the How To Expand Your Stomach Using Food article. During your large meals, make sure to choose foods that are high in protein, complex carbs, and even fats too. You aren’t going to gain the weight you are wanting by eating foods that you would eat while trying to lose weight. Feel free to order a large meat-lovers pizza or make a really big portion of pasta. Check out the Stomach Capacity Training On A Budget article which references different all-you-can-eat buffets that you can go to so that you save money. Then you can pick what foods you want to eat, and you can eat as much as you want of them. Just don’t focus on the dessert items the whole time. While they are additional calories that will help you consume more calories than you burn, you won’t gain a ton of muscle by eating a ton of ice cream. Make sure to get a lot of protein and complex carbs. Along with getting the excess calories, you are also wanting to increase your capacity, so feel free to drink a few pints of water after you have filled up with food. Continue to build and gradually eat more and more each day as your training week goes on until you are ready to max out on day 6.

Even though you are able to eat more calories during the max out meal simply because your body burns more calories, you need to treat this meal just like everyone else. Your goal is to max your stomach out, but you need to do it with lower calorie fruits and vegetables that are high in water and fiber. You want to be empty 18-22 hours later when you go to take on your food challenge, so you don’t want to fill your stomach with slower digesting meats and other solid foods. For more tips on foods to use during the max out meal, check out Lower Calorie Stomach Training Foods. The main article you want to read though is The 24 Hours Before Your Eating Competition in the Before The Challenge section. Use this week to jump-start your body and get it used to consuming the additional calories that you need so that you can gain muscle mass. Since you burn calories more easily, you won’t be able to gain too much weight in just 1 week. Your stomach capacity will be increased though, so continue on even after your challenge and keep eating more so that you can gain the weight you are wanting. Just make sure to keep lifting and resting too so that the food is being used to grow muscle rather than fat. Also, you have probably already learned this the hard way, but you need to keep eating to maintain the muscle and weight that you gain. If you stop and eat like you used to, your body will continue burning calories like usual, and you will lose weight since you are no longer eating more calories than your body burns. All that weight you worked so hard to gain will subtract much faster than all of the time and effort it took to add.

Thanks for reading about stomach training tips for hardgainers and using!!

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