Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.
A hardgainer is someone who struggles to gain muscle, no matter how hard they exercise or what they eat. We usually associate the word with a skinny guy who forgets to eat or burns through everything he does eat thanks to his furnace-like metabolism. In fact, there are many more reasons why you might think you belong to this category. For example, if you’re a trans guy and you aren’t taking testosterone, you may feel like a hardgainer compared to cis men.
I’m a bit of a hardgainer myself, but I’ve been able to make some good changes to my physique regardless. The biggest lesson I have learnt so far is that making gains is definitely possible, but it might not happen the way I think it “must”, based on what other people have accomplished. It only happens the way that’s right for my own body.
In this article, I’m going to outline my experience, issues, and solutions, hoping to help other small guys and girls out there with their own fitness journey.
A healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy to pursue. Exercising and eating well can be expensive, time-consuming, and tiring. Worst of all, it’s pretty frustrating when you dedicate your time and energy to it, only to see small or no improvement.
Ideally, you’d hire a professional to do the heavy lifting (not literally, I’m afraid) and pick the best programme and diet for you. In truth, many of us lack the funds for a personal trainer and have to resort to random workout programmes and nutrition plans that either overwhelm us or prove fruitless. A few lucky individuals may find the perfect physical activity and diet, but a lot more simply decide “this fitness thing” isn’t for them after all.
Nothing can substitute in-depth professional knowledge, but a basic understanding of your strengths and weaknesses can give you the tools to assess whether a certain fitness class or food choice will give you the results you’re looking for.
Although each body is unique, some of us share common physical characteristics, such as a propension to store more fat or more muscle mass. Taking these elements into account along with similarities between bone structures, scientists have defined three body types or somatotypes: the ectomorph, the endomorph, and the mesomorph. No one is 100% one type, but rather a combination of all three, with one of them being predominant.
For this reason, the science behind somatotypes can’t provide a perfect analysis of your own individual body. Nevertheless, understanding your somatotype can be a great starting point to select a workout programme and a diet you’ll want to stick to instead of a “too much pain and no gain” one you’ll abandon the next day.
A personal trainer who likes bodybuilding, superheroes, and bread.
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