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Old 11-26-05, 09:26 PM   #1
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What is a hard gainer?

In weightlifting, a hard gainer is someone who has difficulty gaining muscle. Why?

Is there a hard loser, and does being a hard gainer mean you're an easy loser?
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Old 11-27-05, 03:48 PM   #2
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My personal, and thoroughly unscientific, opinion, is that a hard gainer is someone whose pain threshold is lower than for others. The "easy gainer" is able to push harder and ignore the pain or discomfort, while a hard gainer stops prematurely.
That's given they both train the same way and eat properly for their respective sizes.

Given identical workouts, at identical intervals, and with identical nutrition, I think the difference between an easy and a hard gainer would be fairly small.
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Old 11-27-05, 06:19 PM   #3
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a hard gainer is when you over-rotate a half gainer and do a belly flop
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Old 11-27-05, 07:43 PM   #4
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Yeah yeah, you guys are no help. Good try though CdCf.
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Old 12-08-05, 03:48 PM   #5
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Some people do not gain muscle easily. These are the 'hard gainers". It is largely genetics. And hormones. Also how long your limbs are (which I guess is genetic, isnt it? LOL!)
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Old 12-08-05, 04:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by smoke
a hard gainer is when you over-rotate a half gainer and do a belly flop
I figured it had to do with diving off the bike on to the pavement
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Old 12-09-05, 07:35 AM   #7
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Actually I asked someone and they said it all has to do with the mix of fast and slow twitch muscles. If you have more fast twitch and you do heavy weights then you'll build even more fast twitch, and fast. Hard gainers have less fast twitch and more slow twitch.
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Old 12-12-05, 10:08 AM   #8
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A hard gainer is 'usually' someone who has a fast metabolism. Combine with low to moderate appetite. Genetics and natural hormone levels are also important factors.

I have two friends who Iíve trained with for years in the gym. Both have the same type of metabolism. If they stop lifting they lose the muscle weight very fast.
This is what Iíve observed over a few years of lifting with them. Both have the ďlose it fastĒ high metabolism and 6-8% body fat all the time whether or not they lift and work out. But one gains weight very fast when lifting and the other very slow. The major difference is that one has a huge appetite and pounds down everything in site. The guy who canít gain the muscle weight, he thinks heís eating a lot. But if youíd actually count up the calories he just doesnít eat enough calories to pack on the weight.

I mean basically all those things still come down to genetic limitations too. Your calorie intake is just about the only thing you can control that can make a difference, unless you use anabolic steroids to over come that.
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Old 12-12-05, 08:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CdCf
My personal, and thoroughly unscientific, opinion, is that a hard gainer is someone whose pain threshold is lower than for others. The "easy gainer" is able to push harder and ignore the pain or discomfort, while a hard gainer stops prematurely.
That's given they both train the same way and eat properly for their respective sizes.

Given identical workouts, at identical intervals, and with identical nutrition, I think the difference between an easy and a hard gainer would be fairly small.
Proof that this forum should not be taken seriously.
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Old 12-13-05, 12:25 AM   #10
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Hard gainer is a myth.


Some people just have unrealistic expectations from gym work and don't back up thier workouts with the optimal diet and recuperation plan.
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Old 12-13-05, 12:36 AM   #11
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"I'm a real hard gainer. I have trouble adding size and gaining strength even though working my backside off in the gym on an abbreviated program. My out-of-the-gym factors are critical to my progress, even more so than for a "regular" hard gainer. Getting them in order is top priority if I'm to build muscle and might and achieve my goals. I've had to overcome many problems in order to get my nutrition, rest and recovery in good order to promote progress in the gym". Re: University or College Life, and Training

by Charlie Bass
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Old 12-13-05, 08:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ed073
Hard gainer is a myth.


Some people just have unrealistic expectations from gym work and don't back up thier workouts with the optimal diet and recuperation plan.
I agree . . . especially with the recuperation.

Look close enough at a hard-gainer, and you'll find overtraining lurking below the surface.
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Old 12-14-05, 09:17 PM   #13
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There are three body types with one being the "hard gainer" of the three, that is a thin person who has a tougher time putting on muscle. No myth -hard cold facts.
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Old 12-15-05, 08:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MERTON
bs... i went from 130 to 205 in 18 month while in high school.
Then you are not a hard gainer-not all people can gain muscle quickly. Do some research on it and you will find plenty of articles on it-I would look it up for you but you must know it all.
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Old 12-15-05, 08:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERTON
you said skinny people have a hard time gaining weight.. i was just saying that's all wrong.

oh.. perhaps you meant that some thin people have a problem with it.
Not all skinny people but as a general rule hard gainers tend to be slender. http://bodybuildingpro.com/bodytypeinformation.html
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Old 12-16-05, 10:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegster
Also how long your limbs are
How so?

I can see how longer limbs may make it "look" like someone has less muscle gained over a period of lifting, but the overall mass gained wouldn't change (and might even be greater, given the original # of fibers in the first place)
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Old 12-18-05, 06:18 PM   #17
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Leverage. That's all it is. If you had a pole and were going to lift a bucket of water with it, would a shorter or longer pole lift more weight? The person with shorter limbs can push more weight and subsequently gains more muscle mass. I am a personal trainer. My 15 yr. old is 5'10", 197 lbs. and benches (one rep max) 285. His 24 yr. old brother, 6'5", 210 benches (one rep max) 225.
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Old 12-18-05, 07:39 PM   #18
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Easy gainer, easy loser here. I can do just about anything I want with my body Just gotta get my cardio system in on the game, and I'll be set. 3 years ago I was all muscle at 5'10", 255, I'm now 6'0", 205, with probably another 15-20 lbs to lose to reach my optimum.

Moral of the story, hard gainer, in my mind, probably equals hard loser.
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Old 12-19-05, 01:27 PM   #19
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whenever i go to the gym i see a lot of losers.
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Old 12-19-05, 02:26 PM   #20
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whenever i go to the gym i see a lot of losers.
oh, your gym has mirrored walls too?
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Old 12-19-05, 03:13 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
whenever i go to the gym i see a lot of losers.

They're drawn like moths to a flame....
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Old 12-19-05, 03:46 PM   #22
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I gave up my health club membership long ago in a dispute with the owner. I wanted the stairmaster machines placed on the first floor. He wanted them upstairs with the rest of the equipment.
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Old 12-19-05, 05:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IpedLnpadL
Leverage. That's all it is. If you had a pole and were going to lift a bucket of water with it, would a shorter or longer pole lift more weight? The person with shorter limbs can push more weight and subsequently gains more muscle mass. I am a personal trainer. My 15 yr. old is 5'10", 197 lbs. and benches (one rep max) 285. His 24 yr. old brother, 6'5", 210 benches (one rep max) 225.
You're wrong.
While it's true that leverage plays a part in how heavy someone can lift, the actual stress on the muscle doesn't have to be different because of that. The muscle is doing the work, and longer limbs just mean the weights at the end of them have to be lower.

Think about it...

Let's say you and a friend set out to curl a dumbbell. Your friend has forearms that are 0.40 m from elbow joint to the centre of the dumbbell's mass. Your forearms are 0.35 m.
And the distance from the muscle attachment point to your elbow joints is 0.05 m for both of you.

You can see that for your friend, the mechanical advantage for his biceps is 1:8, while you have 1:7.
If both your muscles are capable of resisting a force of exactly 1500 N, he will be able to hold a 19 kg weight, while you'll be able to hold 22 kg. So, you lift different weights, and you appear to be stronger, but in reality, your actual muscles are equally strong.
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Old 12-19-05, 05:53 PM   #24
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Well, we agree to disagree. You are wrong about the end result. The shorter levered person will gain much more readily. If the same force is being exerted on both a long lever and a short lever, the short lever will be able to do more work/lift more weight. That's basic physics. Go to a weight room and look for all the lanky bodybuilders. I have been in this business 20+ years, I have a bit of experience, I'm not just making this up.
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Old 12-19-05, 06:08 PM   #25
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We're talking about different things.
If you really do understand basic physics, you'll realise that in my example above, the actual force the muscle is subjected to (which is what determines how hard the muscle has to work, and thus how good a workout you get) is equal in both cases.
The shorter-limbed person will lift greater weights, yes, but the nominally weaker of the two could very well have stronger muscles. The muscle itself won't know the difference! You can simulate this for yourself by placing a dumbbell in your hand, and curl it until failure. Then, after resting properly, get a dumbbell that's around twice as heavy, and curl it resting halfway out on your forearm (hold it in place with your free arm). You should end up at around the same number of reps, and you'll feel just as tired in your muscle, provided you've done it correctly.

That skinny people (who also tend to be long-limbed) gain muscle more slowly, is most likely genetic, and has nothing at all to do with leverage.

Another thing, a given amount of muscle mass, and a given amount of muscle mass gained, will look proportionally bigger on a person with shorter limbs. Another factor to consider...

Only if actual muscle strength, and actual lean muscle mass gained, are measured, statements like yours can't be made.
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