"Hardgainer Routine - The Land of the Genetic Giants and Super-Responders"

ARE you a genetic giant and super-responder? Mike Mentzer's hardgainer routine holds the key.

Are You a Hardgainer?

HEAVY DUTY author and bodybuilder Mike Mentzer would stress the crucial role of genetics for the hardgainer.

But how do you know if you are a hardgainer and non-responder regarding exercise?

We can answer this question by examining someone from the opposite end of the potential spectrum - the genetically gifted easy gainer and elite super-responder.

Photo courtesy of ezioman

The Land of the Genetic Giants

For our example, we will turn to the 1950s and one of the strongest, most muscular men to ever walk the planet. Capable of dipping 434 pounds, "The Biceps from the Bronx" Marvin Eder is an elite easy gainer, and sits astride the summit of super-responders.

So what makes Marvin Eder genetically superior? The answer is quite simple. Eder would happily train everyday AND recover from his efforts: in short, Eder was in command of the most remarkable recuperative abilities coupled with a fantastically strong and heavily-muscled physique.

This combination saw Eder quickly develop his body to such a degree, that in his first year of bodybuilding competition he placed second in the AAU Mr. America Junior division, and won the North American and New York Junior titles. He would reach these lofty heights by literally working his muscles into the dirt with up to 7 hours of gut-wrenching training, then return the very next day to repeat his efforts. Because of such genetic talents, Eder never trained "light" and would often train several times per day.

In the spectrum of genetic potential, Eder was a giant.

Hardgainer Routine Rescue

Now how does this compare to the typical hardgainer?

  • Mike Mentzer would discover how even a super-consolidated hardgainer routine won't deliver gains without adequate rest. This realization led Mentzer to conclude that any results were at the mercy of overtraining - because of this, he would have his hardgainer clients reduce volume, frequency, or both.
  • Yet even a hardgainer workout plan of five exercises performed every 72 hours became too much for some of Mentzer's students. This led Mentzer to reduce training volume and frequency to just three exercises performed every 96 hours, and in some cases, even less.
  • In very extreme cases, super-consolidation hardgainer training was the only way to guarantee gains. With a program comprised of just two exercises, the routine is trained just once per week or every 168 hours.

Heavy-Duty Hardgainer Tips

So why do hardgainers fail to respond when compared to super-responders like Marvin Eder?

The exhaustive stresses of high intensity training are simply too much for someone with average or worse recuperative abilities, and can, in some cases, actually lead to a loss of size and strength.

But don't think this means hardgainers have no potential for growth. It just means to realize it, you must train appropriately.

In summary, the harder a gainer you are, the less room for error you have in your training.

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