Hardgainer: Slow Down My Metabolism? What Training Program?

A conditioning specialist in Scottsdale, Arizona. He holds a Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Science. His articles will help you!
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Hardgainer: Slow Down My Metabolism? What Training Program?

I stumbled onto Bodybuilding.com and found your page and enjoyed what I read! I have a question for you. I'm 5'11" and weigh 165 pounds. I'm currently a junior in college and in HS I ran long distance while weighing 140 pounds. When I arrived in college I decided that I wasn't going to run for the team so I decided to focus my athletic career on weightlifting and I've been hooked since. I have the problem where it is difficult for me to gain any weight due to my fast metabolism.

What I'm trying to do is bulk up some more. I eat 3-4 meals a day in an effort to try and slow my metabolism down a little. My breakfeast is usually eggs with tortillas and salsa. Lunch is usually tuna or chicken or turkey sandwiches and dinner is usually tuna, enchildadas or other Mexican foods. I have a low percentage of body fat 10% and when I ran my fat was around 6%. I also have taken protein shakes and Cell-Tech and one point or another to try and help me. I work out 6 times a week with 5 days upperbody and one day lower body. I do 3 different exercises for each muslce group, like for chest I do: bench press, incline bench, and butterflyes as an example.

What would you be able to recommend to help someone like me who has difficulty gaining weight due to a fast metabolism who wants to gain more size but realizes results won't come overnight but is willing to put the effort in at the gym?

If you are eating 3-4 meals to slow down your metabolism then that is your first mistake! If you are saying you are a "hard-gainer" then you must be eating as much as possible. When you eat too little your body will use your muscle as another source of fuel and energy, not a good idea. Secondly, you will negatively affect your recovery from your training. It is well known that if you are not successfully recovering from your training then you are not going to make any real type of progress and it is only a matter of time till you overtrain. You should have a goal of eating 5-7 times a day!

Why are you training your upper body so much? If the theory of working a muscle will simply make it grow then we would see a ton of guys working their biceps 20 times a week and women training their legs about the same amount. It simply does not work this simplistically. You would be much better off training with a four day split that promotes equal work between the upper and lower body. I have outlined such splits in previous Q & A posts so please look them up.

Also, try to train muscle groups you would normally ignore. In my opinion many do not train the upper back or hamstrings as hard as the more "showy" muscles. A workout can be very simple just utlizing more compound lifts emphasizing the bigger muscle groups. At the very end of the workout you can train in isolation some ofthe smaller muscle groups (i.e. biceps).

Try some of these tips and let us know how your body grows.

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