Muscle Building Plan for Hardgainers

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Trouble putting on weight? Check out this workout for hardgainers

Putting on muscle is not as simple as people think. It sure sounds easy in practice, as most just say to eat a lot and throw some weight around. If that was the case, construction workers would be the size of the Incredible Hulk. Or anyone who does manual labor for a living. I’ve always told my personal training clients that building muscle is more difficult than losing bodyfat. It can make things worse if your genetics don’t want to allow you to build muscle. In that case you’re what we call a “hardgainer.”

It some cases, a guy who labels himself a hardgainer usually just has his priorities out of order. You’re not a hardgainer if you don’t eat enough food. I’ll save you a headache right now: if you don’t know how much you’re eating, then you can’t label yourself a hardgainer. You’re also not one if you don’t get enough sleep, drink plenty of water – you get the idea by now.

However, there are some out there who work hard and their diet in line but still can’t build any muscle. If that’s you, then I have a very simple workout plan that can do wonders for you.

Enter the 10/8/6/15 muscle building plan. I wish I could take credit for it, but the workout is about as old as dirt. And I’m not. It has it roots alongside other classic workout plans like 5 x 5. It’s actually pretty easy, as a workout would look like this:

Set 1: 10 reps @ 60-70% 1RM

Set 2: 8 reps @ 65-75% 1RM

Set 3: 6 reps @ 75-80% 1RM

Set 4: 15 reps @ 55% 1RM

Muscle hypertrophy – the scientific name for building muscle – occurs in different zones. 3 sets of 12 reps is different than 4 x 6. Both will build muscle but the 10/8/6/15 plan has you covered in several different areas. So you get to go a tad heavy with your set of 6 but then you cause a rush of blood to the muscle with a high rep set of 15-20 reps. This set of 15+ reps creates what we call a pump; or where your muscle swells up with fluid from doing a bunch of work. Doing a few sets of push-ups is great for creating a nice pump before throwing on your swimsuit and going poolside. But too much pump work means you’re not getting any heavy work. It’s the sets of 8 and 6 reps that can build tonus, or what people commonly call “toned.” So you can see how the 10/8/6/15 protocol is the best of both worlds.

You’ll always be a hardgainer if you only use this method for your biceps. Try using this plan with a back squat and you won’t have much energy left to do anything else. And this is good, because compound movements like squats, bench presses, and chin ups will add much more muscle to your frame than leg extensions.

So if you struggle to put muscle on, the 10/8/6/15 plan might be your cure. It’s so effective that people might stop calling you skinny and start thinking you’re the Incredible Hulk.

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