The Solution For Every Hard Gainer - Part 2!

Gaining muscle while staying as lean as possible has been the goal of most people for as long as I can think of, even before my time there where people trying to gain as much muscle as possible while staying lean. Learn how to gain lean mass here.
Note: This is part two, click here for part one!

Another excellent and highly enjoyable method of relaxation is getting a massage every week, I like to get one every Friday but even if you can only get one every second Friday do it. Get your girlfriend/Wife/Partner/lover to give you one if you don't want to get a professional to do it for you, consider it intimate time for the both of you before you die.


Now we are down to the nitty gritty this is the main problem 'hard-gainers' have. I know one guy who used to live with a friend of mine and every night he would go in to his room, and pump up his chest and biceps because the ladies "liked it". He ended up using so much energy that his muscles ate themselves and he has been forever skinny.

Throw out all of the isolation movements and say hello to heavy compound movements. It makes perfect sense that the more weight you can lift the bigger and stronger you will get.

Why do I see in every other gym people doing the opposite expecting the same results form heavy lifting and eating? I can guarantee that if you follow the program that I out line in this book you will easily gain 10-15lbs of solid muscle.

The exercises you will be doing are as follows:

  1. Bench press
  2. Deadlift
  3. Military press
  4. Saxon Side Bends

As you can see it is a simple looking routine but it will help you become big and strong very quickly. You will be doing the above exercises in he above order. Now is where I throw you a hand grenade and see how you react. You will be doing a total of 20 bench presses, 50 deadlifts, 25 military press and 25 Saxon side bends.

The volume is high and it will help you to enjoy your food. You will get so big in fact that you will have federal agent thinking that you are using steroids. The military press and Saxon side bends are more for rounding out the body and adding symmetry to your physique.

Let The Pain Begin

Those were the exact words that I said to one of my clients, he laughed thinking that I was going to take it easy on him (he was the test pilot for this routine). The next morning I get a phone call Tim is swearing at me, complaining about how much pain he is in. I told him to shut up go back to sleep and I will see him the next day at the gym.

Here is the training program in all of it's purity:

  1. Bench press - 20 x 1
  2. Deadlift - 10 x 5
  3. Military press - 5 x 5
  4. Saxon Side Bends - 5 x 5

Click here for a printable log of this workout!

Again I will say that it's deceptively simple aint it? The good news is that out of the week you will only be training for three days, so you can still enjoy your last days. As you can see there is no direct arm, calf, leg work that is because you will get plenty of work from the above exercises, you wont need any direct work.

There are fine points for every exercise and it is important to know what these are so as to maximise your time in the gym. As I have said earlier this approach is a high volume approach and will give you more solid muscles, you will also produce more testosterone and GH, which will help keep you lean.

The Exercises

The Bench Press: - View Exercise

The bench is a compound movement that uses most of the upper body muscles. There are probably better ways to isolate the pectorals, triceps, and deltoids, but nothing works them better in unison.

As Jack Reape stated in his article the bench press "is an ideal beginners' lift as it is not hard to do, just hard to do well". Get a wide grip and press straight up from your touch point to lockout.

Wide Grip

Close Grip

Perfect Grip

The widest grip you can legally use is best. The touch point where the bar touches the "chest" is between the nipple line and the sternum. Squeezing the knurling as hard as possible with your hands. Twisting your hands like you are breaking a broomstick will add more tension which makes you stronger. Now start with you pressing.

The Deadlift: - View Exercise

This exercise is hardly seen in the gyms today, you may see some fitness model wanna be doing straight legged deadlifts while looking at his butt in the mirror, but this is not how you will do it. The deadlift has been given a bad name in magazines but it is really the number one full body exercise that will lend itself to heavy poundages and a ripped physique.

Stand facing a barbell. Have your feet facing the way they would if you had just landed from a jump, you should have the barbell above the centre of your feet. Using your eyes try and look all the way over your head - almost as if you were trying to see what was happening behind you - take a deep breath, this will increase your Intra Abdominal Pressure (IAP), which will help you to lift the dead weight off of the floor with out IAP the weight will stay glued to the floor and if you could pick up a weight it would hurt your back.

Keep a tight arch in your lower back and keep your shoulder back don't round them down or let them drop this will help you become a human crane. Remember that you need to use all of your body to do the deadlift correctly; it cannot be stressed enough that you must remain tight.

Keeping all the weight on your heels, your IAP high and a good arch in your back will help you use your legs in the lift, don't look down as many people do or you will be lifting only with your back and that means you are taking away power from your lift by not using your legs, they are prime movers and shouldn't be neglected, you know this already so I will move on.

When you are going to grab the bar you should avoid just squatting down and picking up the bar, you will not be capable of lifting as much weight as you are capable of lifting. Make sure your body stays tight and keep your arms straight and locked. To lock your arms and make them super hard just flex your triceps as much as possible, this will result in huge tricep definition can you say horse shoe?

To keep your body tight you should imagine that you are a tight spring that is being loaded with a heavy weight, it works and coupled with the IAP you will have turned your body from powder to pillar. While squatting down to grip the bar push your butt back while keeping your knees slightly bent, imagine that you are moving an object like a chair or even better you are trying to sit back into a chair that is a bit to far behind you.

This will recruit your hamstrings to a higher degree, which will result in more power and a harder contraction when you are trying to lift the weight off of the ground, don't let your knees move forward, the closer your shins are to vertical the better.

Keeping your triceps flexed grip the bar (without looking at it, keep your eyes looking towards the ceiling), you can adjust your grip just don't look down, don't spend too much time trying to get a perfect grip as you shouldn't hold your breath for too long, just let go of the bar and start again.

When you are gripping the bar use a staggered grip, this will allow you to hold onto the barbell better.

Ok its time to pull. Remembering everything that you have learned, slowly rip the weight off the round. Do not actually pull the bar; forget your arms just think of them as steel cables that are holding the weight. Remember that you are a crane now, a Russian study by Sokolov that you lose a he 40% of your strength by trying to pull with bent arms, another reason why you should keep your triceps flexed.

When you are lifting the bar it helps to think of pulling the bar towards you rather than straight up. By the time you have pulled the barbell towards your knees, your legs and especially your shins should be vertical.

You have heard me say over and over again that IAP should remain high, to maintain this keep your ABS and GLUTES highly flexed. Once you have the bar at knee level drive your hips forward while maximally flexing your butt, at the same time shoot your shoulders back while keeping your chest high, as if you are an old school Venice beach bodybuilder, remember how they used to walk around with their chests out? This visualisation will help you maintain correct posture.

Once you are finished you should have the bar hanging by your thighs while standing straight, don't lean back as it is unhealthy for your spine, to avoid this problem try and flex your glutes as hard as possible.

Take a quick breathe inhale again and head back down, not at an exaggerated pace, push your butt back quickly - remember the sitting in the chair trick - let the bar almost fall back to the ground. Stay on your heels through out the entire movement and do not look down. Make sure that you let go of the weight when it has reached the ground, this is important for re-setting your deadlift groove, if you ever try powerlifting you will see that they let go of the bar after every rep.

Military Clean & Press: - View Exercise

Why is the clean and press such a good exercise? Well, like I have already stated, you work so much of the body with the one clean and press that it gets rid of the isolation crap that has been thrown upon the general public/strength training community. You are working a ballistic movement and a grinding movement. If you can recall, you need both of these movements to become strong. Also, it is natural for us to press something overhead after we have cleaned it. You will find that it is a very natural movement and we should treat it as such.

The clean draws it's name from the requirement to bring the weight to the shoulder in one clean movement", remember that for the safety of your wrist you need to keep your wrist in a neutral alignment (keep it straight), swing the dumbbells from between your legs and shoulder it once you are midway through he swing. Remember that this all has to be done in one clean movement, once the dumbbells have reached the shoulder dip slightly to absorb the shock. Do not lean back (this is very important for back safety) and expel some air.

Now when you have the dumbbells at your shoulder level keep your whole body tight and coiled like a tight steel spring. I mean your body should now be a solid rock. Press the dumbbells up keeping your ABS, GLUTES, LATS and LEGS very tight. Press the dumbbells with everything you have. Remember that you should use power breathing and raise the dumbbells slowly (if the weight is good and you are using high tension techniques then the lifting speed will take care of itself).

There are two keys to remember when pressing the dumbbells:

  1. Push yourself away from them.
  2. While you keep the weight of your body & the dumbbells on your heels try and push the floor away through your heels.

Saxon Side Bends: - View Exercise

This exercise was a favourite of old-time strong man Arthur Saxon, what you do is grab to light dumbbells (to start off with) get them above your head in any fashion and bend from side to side. Obviously there are a few finer points but I promise you will get a cut up/sinewy midsection form this drill.

The only fine points are that you have to keep your arms the same distance apart so keep you arms close to your ears, flex your arms very hard and once you have bent over as far as you go you will need to squeeze your glutes for maximal safety.

Putting It All Together

With all of the drills try and add 5lbs every workout once you cant add any more just stay at that weight for the rest of the thirty days.

The most complex chart you will need to have is as follows:

(Deadlift set x Reps x poundage)

    10x5@50%1RM + 5lbs
    10x5@50%1RM + 10lbs
    10x5@50%1RM + 15lbs
    10x5@50%1RM + 20lbs
    10x5@50%1RM + 25lbs
    10x5@50%1RM + 30lbs
    10x5@50%1RM + 35lbs
    10x5@50%1RM + 40 lbs
    10x5@50%1RM + 45lbs
    10x5@50%1RM + 50lbs
    10x5@50%1RM + 55lbs

The Last Word About Training

In the morning after your sleep and take 500mgs of vitamin c and two 8oz glasses of water, have a warm shower and after the third minute of the shower turn all the water on to cold just to wake yourself up, stay under the cold water for 15-30 seconds. Now go and train, eat about 15 minutes after your training.

Enjoy the rest of the day and don't do anything you don't have to, unless you have no job then keep kind of active but rest a lot, after your training and first meal you may even want to go for a 30 minute power sleep to help produce GH.

About The Author

Simon Forsyth is a freelance journalist and strength trainer; with over 9 years in the strength-training world he knows what he is talking about. He is available for group and private training sessions for more information about Simon's services contact him on:

Note: This is part two, click here for part one!

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