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SteveHIT

IVE CHANGED THE NAME OF THIS THREAD AS SOUTHBEACH ALWAYS HAS SOMETHING TO SAY TO FUCK UP THREADS, NOW ITS TIME TO PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

LETS SEE YOUR PICS!!!!!!!

http://www.drdarden.com/...pageNo=5#547569

=============================================

The Hardgainer Tag

A good thing gone bad-John Christy

I believe this has become the plague of 21st century weight training. I'll get back to that later.

I want to state that this is not a personal attack on anyone. This is simply my professional opinion based on 20 years as a professional strength coach. The motivation to write this article was specifically stimulated by the information that I am constantly receiving from around the world.

The Hardgainer moniker and the training information that went with it did a lot of good for the strength training world at first. It got trainees away from the pump and blitz, overtraining volume and frequency training methodologies presented by the mainstream muscle media which is proliferated by nonsense training advice from the steroid using bodybuilding fraternity. This fraternity by the way, makes up but a fraction of the people involved in strength training and bodybuilding. And the steroid users have NO IDEA of how to really train. That is to train without using drugs in other words real training.

This Hardgainer training advice, from various sources, pointed out the pitfalls, fallacies and downright lies that were being propagated by the mainstream muscle media. This misinformation was getting trainees nowhere, or at least 'helping' them fall short of what they could accomplish. This was accompanied by years of wasted training, millions of dollars wasted on useless supplements, frustration, and many, many injuries. The sensible Hardgainer training information also got trainees on the right track of training to get stronger to get bigger - instead of the pump and blitz (glitz), oil your body, stare into a mirror, and surround yourself with big breasted females, training advice. This stupidity suggested that trainees train up to six days per week twice per day just plain stupid amounts of volume and frequency. I could go on and on about this but Im sure you get the point.

So, a world of Hardgainers was born trainees who trained for real without drugs, training two to three times per week, on abbreviated programs relative to the nonsense mentioned above which would overtrain a gorilla. They focused on getting stronger on big exercises that produced real world results versus going for the pump by doing five sets of benches, five sets of incline benches, five sets of flies, and five sets of cable cross-overs with little sissy weights that my six year old daughter could throw around. The point is, to be a Hardgainer as I just defined it above, was a good thing it was a great thing.

The Plague

But now, it has taken a turn for the worse. Actually it took the turn several years ago. What was a whole culture of trainees who learned to train in a real, drug free fashion, has become a group of trainees who have gotten brainwashed into thinking that being a Hardgainer means that they have some kind of disease, or that they are some kind of genetically inferior species. What this has produced are way too many trainees who are basically afraid to train or better stated they are virtually paranoid of overtraining or worse yet getting hurt. Now, believe me, I believe in training in as safe a manner as possible. If I didnt I wouldnt be in business as long as I have been. You should try to minimize risk as much as possible but there is always a risk. So, these modern day Hardgainers are now training in a ridiculous fashion once a week, once every two weeks, and some even once a month! AND, they wont do any exercise for more than one work set. They also avoid productive exercises that they have been taught wont work because of their genetics or that they might get hurt. Keep in mind that Im speaking from experience here this is what Ive been hearing from trainees around the world. What is most disheartening to me is that they were taught and now believe that they should set their sites low, that they cant achieve much, due to poor genetics whether they actually have so called poor genetics or not! Accept it and be happy with it is what theyve been told. Yeah, that'll fire someone up to train. Go out and bust your ass for a whole lot of years and maybe youll achieve mediocrity. Pumps me up (sarcasm intended).

So, they limit themselves before they even start. This is sickening and it makes me mad. It makes me mad because Ive personally trained real true Hardgainers and they have produced results that are anything but mediocre. And then there are the many trainees that I have personally worked with who considered themselves true Hardgainers who were anything but and they have produced outstanding results.

What has developed are two categories of Hardgainers, the very few that are true Hardgainers and the other very, very large group who think they are but arent. Let me hit both.

The True Hardgainer

So, what is a true Hardgainer anyway? Well, heres what I think it is, a severely small boned adult whose muscle is mostly composed of Type I and Type II A muscle fibers throughout the entire body. The Type I fibers don?t have the greatest potential for growth but the Type II A have good growth potential, and they can be converted to take on the attributes of the Type II B which have the greatest potential for growth. That?s it that is my definition. Doesnt sound like some kind of diseased individual to me? And so what if you are a true Hardgainer? Are you destined for, at best, mediocrity? In my professional opinion the answer is a resounding NO! Let me ask you just because you have a small bone structure and small muscle bellies why does that limit muscular growth? It may occur more slowly, but does it really limit growth? You may answer well I just wasnt born with a proliferation of muscle cells that have the ability to get bigger and stronger. My answer How do you know? And so what if you are? Have you tried for ten years training properly (not the once every millennium program)? Eating properly? Do you believe the arm chair theoreticians and their theories about muscle growth? No one is even sure how a muscle grows! They are just theories not scientific fact!

Well, your next question would logically be how big and strong can I get? My initial response is Lets find out and Im confident its much bigger and stronger than many so called authorities would have you believe. But I assure you that if you buy into the mindset that as a Hardgainer, if you train real hard for ten years maybe just maybe youll achieve a 15 inch arm all youll do is train incorrectly and eat poorly for ten years and maybe all youll achieve is a 15 inch arm. You just wont have the motivation to do what needs to be done. And dont ever underestimate the power of being motivated. All you will have done is limited yourself mentally, killed any real burning incentive that you had to train, and youll never produce the 16 1/2" to 17" inch arm, the double bodyweight squat, or bench press with one and half times bodyweight, that you should have had. Im telling you, that you should dream big, train smart, eat right, and find out where you actually end up instead of trying to figure it out ahead of time and shooting yourself in the foot before you even start.

The non Hardgainer Who Thinks He Is

As I stated above most trainees are not true Hardgainers. Let me take that further almost all the trainees around the world are genetically regular they are neither true Hardgainers nor genetic superiors. As a matter of fact most trainees are a little bit of both. Boy that statement really throws a wrench in labeling someone! Everyone has a bodypart(s) of their body that grow muscle more easily than other parts of their body. You may have a proliferation of muscle bellies in your back and not nearly as many in your pecs; this is my case but you wouldnt guess it now if you saw me. Also, everyone has a lift or lifts that they get very strong on more easily than other lifts. And if you want to try to figure this thing out via how big your bones are forget it! You may have small boned wrists and big boned knees. You are a combination of what is known as somatypes. So, almost every trainee is part Hardgainer or part genetic freak! So, what the heck should we label you? How about Regular.

Here is a great real world example of what Im talking about. I had a gentleman come in to train with me from out of the country. Before he came in he assured me that he was a true Hardgainer. From all the reading he had done he believed that he wasnt destined for any further improvements in strength or development. He was busy telling me every genetic reason under the sun why he couldnt succeed. He was going on about his wrist size, to the length of bones, to the physical characteristics of his parents and grandparents, to an in depth analysis of somatyping. I could have sworn that we were going to get into the structure of his DNA next. Well, when I laid eyes on this guy I about went in my pants. He was 5?10 and 240 pounds too much fat but plenty of muscle! My first thought was this guy has been severely brainwashed. A Hardgainer my butt!

Way too many regular trainees are killing potential results because they consider themselves Hardgainers. They are on such a limited training program, along with poor eating and recovery habits which will produce, at best, very little in the way of results.

The Real Reasons why youre Not Getting Results

There are two reasons

1. You are a true Hardgainer (remember this breed is very rare) and due to your belief system Im not genetically suited to achieve much youre either not motivated to do the things that are necessary to achieve significant results, or due to what youve been taught as proper training for a Hardgainer youre not on a productive program that has you doing the things that are necessary to achieve significant results.

2. Youve been training incorrectly, and eating incorrectly, so you have received little in the way of results, and this, of course, makes you a Hardgainer, which is not accurate, so you now under train and under eat and continue to be under-dedicated. What a viscous cycle.

What to Do

Start by not labeling yourself anymore. Just consider yourself a regular trainee with great potential. Then seek out real training advice for non steroid using trainees. To go into specific training advice is beyond the scope of this chapter. Read the chapters Designing Your Training Program and How to Eat to Get Big (from my book REAL STRENGTH REAL MUSCLE) to learn how to do things right. Dont just read these articles, study them. Once you know what to do then make a commitment to do everything right train properly and consistently, eat properly to gain muscle, get in shape (cardio wise), and work on your flexibility.

In Summary from My Gut

If you have a muscle and if the rest of your bodies processes are okay, you can breathe okay, heart works okay, can eat and digest food okay, etc., then that muscle can get much bigger and stronger. Yes, its that simple and dont let anyone tell you any different. By all means dont let anyone steal your dreams. Youve been hammered with be realistic in your expectations as a Hardgainer, dont expect too much for youll be let down and just end up going nowhere. Well, Ive got one for you, BE UNREALISTIC then, versus what youve been taught as a Hardgainer, DREAM BIG but BE SMART along the way. No one has accomplished anything remotely great by thinking small. And Im not living in fantasy land by giving this advice and Im not asking you to join me there. As a matter of fact Im knee deep in reality land working daily in the trenches as I have been for 20 years now, and feel that I have a pretty good handle on what can and cant be done. You can do much, much more than you think you can.

Dream Big it'll give you the motivation to accomplish BIG things.

http://www.realstrengthrealmus...
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

About 5 or 6 years ago when I first came to this site, I definitely had it in mind that I was a Hardgainer.

After sharing stories and experiences with many of the good folks here over the years, I realized that I was a fairly regular Joe.

John's whole notion of not painting yourself in a corner is a great reminder.

Thanks for that article.

Scott
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wolfpuppy

Ontario, CAN

In all seriousness, a very good article, and all too true.
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Bastion

Steve,

Thanks for sharing another John Christy Gem!. His book is my favorite (and I have a small library of books and videos) Due to the fact that he was a straight shooter and told it how it is in plain english.

I used to have the "Hardgainer mentality" due to the fact that I have never and will never use drugs to achieve strength and size. I used to train without much expectation and would be almost in shock when someone would compliment me. It's easy to have that mentality when you are constantly reading about and looking at drugged up genetic marvels, who really don't have a clue as to how they really even achieved their physiques. Most of them just follow the leader and get great results regardless of what they do in and out of the gym.

I now believe that true hardgainers are about as rare as genetic marvels. I think most of us are somewhere in the middle. Us natural trainees just have to be much more aware of what we are doing in and out of the gym.
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Turpin

HIT27 wrote:
Steve,

Thanks for sharing another John Christy Gem!. His book is my favorite (and I have a small library of books and videos) Due to the fact that he was a straight shooter and told it how it is in plain english.

I used to have the "Hardgainer mentality" due to the fact that I have never and will never use drugs to achieve strength and size. I used to train without much expectation and would be almost in shock when someone would compliment me. It's easy to have that mentality when you are constantly reading about and looking at drugged up genetic marvels, who really don't have a clue as to how they really even achieved their physiques. Most of them just follow the leader and get great results regardless of what they do in and out of the gym.

I now believe that true hardgainers are about as rare as genetic marvels. I think most of us are somewhere in the middle. Us natural trainees just have to be much more aware of what we are doing in and out of the gym.


Very good post & gets to the crux of the `Hardgainer` mentality ie; comparing ones self with the drug users in muscle magazines.
Or reliance on others published literature ( even HIT stuff ) to tell them what they should know themselves in terms of when/when not to train.

I believe forums such as this are invaluable for hearing from likeminded people , who can share their experiences & knowledge on `real life` training issues first hand.

T.

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SteveHIT

HIT27 wrote:
His book is my favorite (and I have a small library of books and videos) Due to the fact that he was a straight shooter and told it how it is in plain english.


I also have a small library LOL! And I've also just ordered: Ken Leistner-The Steel Tip, Mark Berry-physical training simplified, The Bradley J steiner Collection and The Dellinger Files :)

Its between his book and Beyond Brawn for me. I like the way John had a positive attitude to what 'real' people can achieve, and all the real world experience to back it up.

HIT27 wrote:
I used to have the "Hardgainer mentality" due to the fact that I have never and will never use drugs to achieve strength and size.


I respect that, I have never and will never touch them either.

I read all Stuart Mcroberts books early in my training so I had the hardgainer mindset. I remember my arms pumping to 16" and I thought they wouldnt get much bigger because of what I had read, they now pump to just over 18" and Im still growing-so what John says is so true, you really dont know what you can achieve without giving it all you've got.
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SteveHIT

I'm resurrecting my old, hard copy, snail mail, postman
delivers it to you monthly newsletter, The Dinosaur Files.

So I'm really excited about bringing back the Dinosaur Files. And
judging from your email responses I know you're excited as well.

You'll be hearing more about the Dinosaur Files newsletter and how
to subscribe to it later in the month.


---------------------------------------------------------------

I got this from Brooks Kubiks email list recently, I believe Dr. Ken Leistner, Bob Whelan, Bradley J. Steiner etc wrote for the old dinosaur files, so It will be a good magazine for motivation, and info for drug free lifters.
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Bastion

Awesome!..
Dr.Ken, Bob Whelan, Brooks Kubik, Bradley Steiner etc..This should be good!. Hopefully The Dinosaur Files can take over where Hardgainer left off.
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dhitquinn

Great article Steve great contributions to this site

Dave
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SteveHIT

ddhitquinn wrote:
Great article Steve great contributions to this site

Dave


Thanks
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southbeach

stevehit wrote:
HIT27 wrote:
His book is my favorite (and I have a small library of books and videos) Due to the fact that he was a straight shooter and told it how it is in plain english.

I also have a small library LOL! And I've also just ordered: Ken Leistner-The Steel Tip, Mark Berry-physical training simplified, The Bradley J steiner Collection and The Dellinger Files :)

Its between his book and Beyond Brawn for me. I like the way John had a positive attitude to what 'real' people can achieve, and all the real world experience to back it up.

HIT27 wrote:
I used to have the "Hardgainer mentality" due to the fact that I have never and will never use drugs to achieve strength and size.

I respect that, I have never and will never touch them either.

I read all Stuart Mcroberts books early in my training so I had the hardgainer mindset. I remember my arms pumping to 16" and I thought they wouldnt get much bigger because of what I had read, they now pump to just over 18" and Im still growing-so what John says is so true, you really dont know what you can achieve without giving it all you've got.


any larger your arms will need their own zipcode ;-}
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kurtvf

The harder I train and the better I eat, the better my genetics get!
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southbeach

kurtvf wrote:
The harder I train and the better I eat, the better my genetics get!


i couldn't train any harder. by better eating do you mean more?
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SteveHIT

southbeach wrote:
i couldn't train any harder.


You could squat and deadlift :)
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

southbeach wrote:
I couldn't train any harder.




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SteveHIT

coachjeff wrote:
southbeach wrote:
I couldn't train any harder.


LMFAO!
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southbeach

stevehit wrote:
southbeach wrote:
i couldn't train any harder.

You could squat and deadlift :)


Been there done that. The deadlift is OK but that squat is ridiculous. But neither are as hard or as painful as a single set of leg extension to oblivion and back.

steve i have my doubts you ever TTF. If you ever did you've long forgotten.

You think you take your set of squats TTF? You don't even get close to TRUE TTF. i would BET on that!
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SteveHIT

southbeach wrote:
Been there done that. The deadlift is OK but that squat is ridiculous. But neither are as hard or as painful as a single set of leg extension to oblivion and back.


Oh dear. You prove time and time again that you have no right to an opinion on the subject of training.

southbeach wrote:
You think you take your set of squats TTF? You don't even get close to TRUE TTF. i would BET on that!


Yawn!

Stop training for the burn and the feel in a certain muscle. Train for results.
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southbeach

stevehit wrote:


Yawn!

Stop training for the burn and the feel in a certain muscle. Train for results.


that's the dumbest thing i've heard here in a long time.

and just what is "result training" and why can't you feel it? LOL
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SteveHIT

southbeach wrote:
and just what is "result training"


Its training that produces results, you're actually supposed to get bigger and stronger from your training. Didnt you know?
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southbeach

stevehit wrote:
southbeach wrote:
and just what is "result training"

Its training that produces results, you're actually supposed to get bigger and stronger from your training. Didnt you know?


It's ridiculous because it's a circular argument. "Train to get bigger and you'll get bigger from your training". And somehow this is harder but you don't feel it as much? ROFL

steve, stop while your behind dude.

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SteveHIT

southbeach wrote:
And somehow this is harder but you don't feel it as much? ROFL

steve, stop while your behind dude.


I said "Stop training for the burn and the feel in a certain muscle"

you do you leg extensions to feel the pump in your quads.

Squats and leg presses a far superior even if you don't feel the same pump.

Get it now idiot?
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southbeach

stevehit wrote:
southbeach wrote:
And somehow this is harder but you don't feel it as much? ROFL

steve, stop while your behind dude.


I said "Stop training for the burn and the feel in a certain muscle"

you do you leg extensions to feel the pump in your quads.

Squats and leg presses a far superior even if you don't feel the same pump.

Get it now idiot?


I feel an ACHE in my quads that I never felt during a squat. You tell me that means nothing that I feel the muscle being worked? How is YOUR set harder and more productive if you don't FEEL IT in the muscle? You should feel greater TENSION in a muscle if you are truly producing that state right?
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SteveHIT

southbeach wrote:
I feel an ACHE in my quads that I never felt during a squat. You tell me that means nothing that I feel the muscle being worked? How is YOUR set harder and more productive if you don't FEEL IT in the muscle? You should feel greater TENSION in a muscle if you are truly producing that state right?


Im saying building up to big weights in the squat will do more for your quads than pumping your quads with leg extensions.
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fbcoach

Steve....GREAT ARTICLE!!
Now I know why you are always finding similarities in my philosophy as John Christy's. I know I don't have his exprerience or expertize, but I can see the similarities myself. To me..it's just plain ole common sense:)
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