Building Muscle with Bodyweight Exercises: Tips for Hardgainers (Part 1)

In today’s video I talked about typical signs showing you might be a hardgainer. I also talk about common mistakes people do with their training and diet which can be confusing them into thinking they’re hardgainers when they’re not.

Signs showing that you might be a Hardgainer:

  1. Training consistently for more than six months and not seeing results.
  2. You’ve been training for years and yet no one ever notices (people are surprised when you tell them you’ve been training for so long).
  3. When you wear a t-shirt there’s no sign of muscle tone.
  4. If you’re older than forty-five, I would also classify you as a Hard-gainer since muscle-growth comes harder and harder after this age.

Things you might be doing wrong!

As mentioned above, before you classify yourself as a hardgainer, it’s important to make sure you’re not overdiagnosing yourself. A big number of people mistakenly classify themselves as hardgainers when they’re simply just doing one or a combination of the following mistakes

  1. Not getting enough protein and/or calories. If there’s one thing we know about hypertrophy from sports nutrition, that’s that sufficient protein plays a major role in muscle-growth. To make sure you’re getting enough protein I recommend doing the following: track your protein for three days (use a free app like fatsecret) and make sure you’re getting close to 1,5 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight per day (plus or minus 10grams). That’s 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight for those of you not using the metric system.
  2. Not training hard enough! I’m sorry to tell you so but some of you are just too soft with yourselves! If you don’t even break a sweat, get your heart-beat up or experience muscle fatigue during your workout – you’re probably not putting in enough hard work. Sure, there is a thing such as overtraining, but rarely is this the problem for 99% of people.
  3. Not focusing on Mind-to-Muscle techniques. A lot of people just go through the motions during their workout and never focus on muscle contraction. They’re disengaged from their bodies and only focus on external cues such as repetitions. Especially with bodyweight exercises, getting stronger and building more muscle is not about doing more reps… It’s about doing better reps!
Getting stronger and building more muscle is not about doing more reps… It’s about doing better reps!

And the way to do that is working on Mind to Muscle Connection (MMC) techniques. The best way to get started working on these is by learning how to apply them on the most basic bodyweight exercise – Push ups. Watch the tutorial below and start practising!



Anthony Arvanitakis

Anthony is a motivational personal trainer currently living in Amsterdam, NL. He has a B.Sci in Sports Science and Physical education and is a Bodyweight exercise and mindfulness meditation enthusiast. Learn more about Anthony's story in his recent 5-star book on amazon - Here.