If you're a hardgainer, you already know that building muscle is not an overnight process. Here, Pauline tells you how to make the most of your time
I created Fighter Diet because I needed a strategy to maintain a ripped body 365 days a year. It's the perfect program for those who don’t eat "whatever they want," but who have a big appetite. Fighter Diet is not a program for hardgainers, like those in serious need of tons of muscle yesterday. Quite the opposite! Why? Well, the foundation of Fighter Diet is a huge intake of vegetables. They fill you up and thus, reduce the ability for you to eat the wrong fattening foods. Also, staying in ripped condition means following a “contest prep" type diet all year round. That is not the best way to pack on a serious amount of muscle, unless you're genetically gifted for it.
So, if you're having a tough time gaining muscle, then there is a different set of rules you need to follow. Do yourself a favor: don't follow a ripped-to-the-bones diet type of lifestyle if you don't have the muscle to back it up with. The “skinny fat” person needs to do the work too, and those types won't make progress if they try to take a short cut by skipping eating right for gaining muscle. If you have a lot of weight to lose, then you usually have more muscle than the average person anyway so you can cut calories more or do more cardio in order to change your body. Here are my top tips for gaining muscle, but just keep in mind that I'm not saying it will make you your leanest:
1. Do not do cardio on an empty stomach. Don’t rely on just branched chain amino acids (BCAAS) either. Eating protein and carb before your cardio, you stop muscle breakdown. Since you should do cardio for cardio fitness, not low intensity cardio, the nutrition consumed before your workout will just help you perform and boost your metabolism.
2. Have a meal or postworkout shake after every training session, be it cardio or weight training.
3. Limit cardio work. You will not gain muscle size in your legs while also do spinning, running, biking or the like 5 days a week.
4. Do not eat too few calories per day. Doing so will disable the muscle-building process. Your body just won't want to grow if you don't give it fuel.
5. Instead of refeeds, make sure you eat a little more than what would be your maintenance every day.
6. Do not forget rest days. That's when your body restores its energy so you can come back stronger and hence, train harder to grow.
7. Do not fear creatine. It does not make you gain fat; it increases your strength and that is what you want.
8. Eat carbs. And I don't mean gorge on rice, pasta, potatoes etc. throughout the day. You need vegetables, but do make sure you include slow-digesting carbs several times a day and have fast-digesting carbs post workout.
9. Focus on compound free weight moves like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, dumbbell shoulder presses etc. Do not start with machine work or high reps looking to get the "burn".
10. Stretch so your muscles have plenty of room to grow. A tight fascia, which is the sheath that surrounds your muscles, will restrict your range of motion so you cannot stimulate muscle fibers 100%.
11. Take your supplements.
12. Do not overdo stimulants. Yes, they help you train with more intensity, but they also increase stress hormones that put muscle gain on hold.
13. Have patience. Let it take time. There is no short cut. If you want quality muscle you can maintain and hold on to, you will need to be patient. Building an excellent body is not a three-month program kind of deal. It's a year after year process.
Fighter Diet, Inc.