Hard Gainer?

Are you working hard for a pound of lean muscle mass on your frame? Tired of hearing about all the weight some bodybuilders gain just a few days post-contest?
Are you working hard for a pound of lean muscle mass on your frame? Tired of hearing about all the weight some bodybuilders gain just a few days post-contest? Well, I'm sure I'm not the only one involved in this disciplined lifestyle of a sport called "bodybuilding" with hard gainer syndrome. Some of our peers might say we're blessed or lucky to have such fast metabolisms, but oh what I wouldn't give to be over 200 pounds in the off-season and diet down to a ripped and full 190 at show time.

Over the short eight years I've been training, I've finally come to grips with the fact that I'll never be a Joe Weider "freak." Although I've proven I am a successful middleweight and light-heavyweight competitor, I still can't quite reach the heavyweight division. My mother and father were not exactly supporting any cat walks. In fact, to my knowledge, they never even set foot inside a gym.

But, through destiny, bodybuilding has become a huge part of who I am and what I do.

I am thirty-three years "young" now and have recently started a profession as a personal trainer. On September 16, 2000, I will have competed in my twelfth bodybuilding show. Obviously, weighing just 180 pounds, I am proud to say I am a lifetime drug-free bodybuilder. I have competed in both NGA and NPC shows, and have managed to consistently maintain one of the top spots in my weight classes. And even though my dreams of being a huge weight gainer may never come true, I know the world of bodybuilding still holds many more opportunities for me to grow in every aspect of my life.

In my next article, I will include more details on my experience with working out, recovery time, sleep and most importantly, nutrition.

~Mark Tilden
Meridian, Idaho