Table Of Contents

Getting The Most From This Manual………………….....…………………………………………………… 5 Meet The “Muscle Nerd”.............................................................................................................. 7 “Cycling” Your Training.............................................................................................................. 10 Introduction...................................................................................................................................... 11 Meet The “Ectomorph”................................................................................................................. 14 7 Reasons Why Your Hardgainer Genetics Suck!……………….......................…………….. 16 A Hardgainer Reality Check……………….......................…………………………………………………… 28 Hardgainer Nutrition................................................................................................................... 33 Insulin And The Hardgainer.......................................................................................... 34 Protein.................................................................................................. ................................... 35 Dietary Fats............................................................................................................................ 37 Carbohydrates.................................................................................................................... 38 Nutrient Timing................................................................................................................... 40 DON’T Count Calories!...................................................................................................... 44 Hydration................................................................................................................................ 47 Hardgainer Training................................................................................................................... 48 The HPX Workout................................................................................................................ 49 Progressive Load Training............................................................................................. 61 Sub-Failure Training......................................................................................................... 65 Carb Cycling.......................................................................................................................... 68

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Table Of Contents (Cont’d)
Sample Workout................................................................................................................. 74 Sample Training Log......................................................................................................... 75 Sample Workout Explanation....................................................................................... 76 Hardgainer Supplements......................................................................................................... 79 “Must Have” Supplements............................................................................................. 81 “Should Have” Supplements........................................................................................ 93 “Nice To Have” Supplements........................................................................................ 96

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Important Legal Notice
The information presented is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. This publication is presented for information purposes only. CQC International, LLC, nor any of the subsidiary websites, publications, or any media resources, nor any other website providing information, either known or unknown produced or recommended by CQC International, LLC or its subsidiaries, assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered required practice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed legal health practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any diet, exercise, or training program. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained herein is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The contents of this publication are fully protected by international copyright law. Any other posting or distribution without written consent from the author will be a violation of copyright law and violators will be prosecuted to the full extent.

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Getting The Most From This Manual
If you flipped over to the Training Journal and bypassed this part of your guide, then you have a LOT to learn about building muscle! Besides, it wouldn‟t do you much good. You see, you‟re probably used to seeing simple workout guides that tell you to “do this exercise for this many reps and this many sets”. Forget it! That‟s for “beginner” trainees who tear out the pages from this month‟s muscle mag and take it to the gym as their “plan”. Unfortunately, this is an all too familiar reality for most of the lifters out there. Buying five bodybuilding magazines and pouring through their pages trying to dodge the glitzy supplement ads in your search for that one “magic bullet” that will FINALLY help you slap on some new mass is the equivalent of trying to ask someone for directions in New York City. You‟ll get SEVERAL different opinions on how to reach your destination...and you‟ll STILL end up in the ghetto desperately seeking the right way to your goal. Well guess what...that‟s all about to end RIGHT HERE...RIGHT NOW! You see, too many people have been brainwashed into thinking that if you bust your butt in the gym and force feed yourself endless cans of tuna, you‟ll build muscle. But as you‟ll see from this program, there are SEVERAL elements of the muscle building process that MUST be addressed if you want to move past your “BEGINNER” rank and move up to fight with the big boys! And to help you get started as quickly as possible, I‟ve broken everything down in a simple step-by-step process so you‟ll be able to understand every element of the advanced strategies I‟m about to train you in. In fact, I‟ve added a few extra little “tools” to help you along the way...

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A Word From The “Nerd”... Hey there! Yep...that‟s me on the left and after completing my books, I always like to go back through and make sure I‟ve covered every single point I needed to. And when I do, I ALWAYS find several areas where I feel a little “extra emphasis” is needed (or just a great stop to crack a joke or two)! So from time to time you‟ll see my smiling face pop up just to add a comment or two (or 50) to be absolutely sure you understand the material and how to implement it you‟re your own program for some SERIOUS RESULTS!

Ok, I think that about does it and if you‟re ready to begin your hardgainer training then I am… Let‟s get started!

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Meet The “Muscle Nerd”!
Short of bringing my “pocket-protector” to the gym, the nickname given to by my sadistically cruel gym buddies is actually probably well deserved. I was the “geeky guy” at the gym who would always be seen sitting on the weight bench, hunched over my handy little notepad, scribbling down every last detail of my workout and results to be able to scientifically analyze what WORKS…and what was a complete waste of time when it came to building muscle while burning fat. Laugh if you must… ...but it was these notes that lead to some of the most remarkable discoveries in natural bodybuilding. In fact, my discoveries have made such a dent in traditional thinking about how to build muscle and burn fat that even some PRO BODYBUILDERS are using my programs leading up to their stage competitions! But my true passion ISN‟T about taking care of stage monsters in tiny thongs. It‟s the “Average Joe” who‟s busting his butt day after day in the gym and doesn‟t have the benefit of a panel of doctors, nutritionists, and trainers to keep him on track. That‟s where I come in…and fortunately I have the background to kick you in the ass to get you to your goals! You see, what you may NOT know about me is that I spent 10 years serving my country as a leader in the U.S. Army‟s light-infantry. As a leader in several infantry units, I‟ve trained soldiers all around the world…in 4 feet of snow; in drenched clothes in the freezing rain; under the searing heat of the desert sun; slicing through vines and elephant grass in jungles; neck-deep in swamps…you name it!

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And ironically, besides actual combat training, I‟ve also received specialized military training as a Master Fitness Trainer and “Weight Control Specialist” where I discovered some of the most advanced training concepts ever devised. My follow-on career after the military has led me on a never-ending search for the true “secrets” of fitness and the yet-to-be-discovered breakthroughs that lay out there, just WAITING to be revealed. And I‟ve made it my goal to not only unearth the most cutting edge advancements in the scientific world of muscle building and fat burning...but also to SHARE them with my loyal clients who have found my programs to be so powerful. Here‟s a look at some of my other programs based upon my research...

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Other “Muscle Nerd” Programs...
Combat The Fat
The ULTIMATE FAT BURNING GUIDE to show off your new muscle! Discover how the training techniques of the U.S. Military can take you step-by-step to 6-PACK ABS!

www.CombatTheFat.com Optimum Anabolics
If your goal is to BUILD MUSCLE...Optimum Anabolics has proven to be the ULTIMATE MASS BUILDER on the planet over and over again! The "before & after" pictures speak for themselves!

www.OptimumAnabolics.com Homemade Supplement Secrets
For the serious athlete who uses supplements, find out why you should NEVER buy your supplements “off the shelf”! Learn how to easily MAKE YOUR OW N SUPPLEMENTS and save up to 98% while making formulas that are even BETTER than the name brands!

www.MakeYourOwnSupplements.com Advanced Mass Building
The program that shocked the mass-building world! Designed to thrash every muscle fiber in your body and ignite a musclebuilding FIRESTORM that will dramatically increase STRENGTH and SIZE in the shortest time possible!

www.AdvancedMassBuilding.com

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Perfecting Your Training Cycles
The following is a sample of a powerful year-round training cycle using products I‟ve specifically designed for each phase.

Jan – Mar: I slow down on mass building and start to burn more fat while continuing to build muscle. Optimum Anabolic’ s natural
hormone “triggering” is a great choice as it does double duty for building muscle and burning fat. I also sometimes slip in a muscle-specific specialization program (like Underground Chest Training Secrets) to bring up lagging body parts.

Apr – Aug: I like to stay “super lean” through the summer and start burning fat early to avoid muscle loss at low body fat levels. My
Combat The Fat program takes me all the way through summer at 6% body fat and shredded abs! You can still build muscle...but it‟s NOT your primary focus if you want to get to very low body fat levels.

Sep – Dec: Time for total “mass building” with either Hargainer Project X or Advanced Mass Building Secrets to start stocking up on
some serious muscle again!

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Muscle Building / Fat Burning Cycle
Product: Optimum Anabolics Optional: Specialization Program

Fat Burning Cycle
Product: Combat The Fat

Mass Building Cycle
Product: Hardgainer Project X or Advanced Mass Building

Hardgainer Project X Introduction
The following is an actual forum post I found online while browsing for what others were offering as advice for skinny hardgainers:

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Here‟s another one of my favorites from the same forum...

Now you know why I like to stay away from forums. They‟re FILLED to the brim with knuckle-dragging morons who have no clue what they‟re talking about. Actually, these two “experts” are pretty much just regurgitating what 95% of the other “experts” are touting as definitive “hardgainer” advice. They say that you‟re not training hard enough... They say you just aren‟t eating enough food... They say that you‟re not getting enough protein... They say you‟re not taking the right supplements... Well guess what... They have no clue what they‟re talking about! I‟m no psychic, but my guess is that you‟ve probably already been busting your ass pretty hard in the gym, haven‟t you? I‟m sure you‟ve found that even eating pizzas and milkshakes 12 times a day still leaves you frustrated as you step on the scale only to find that your metabolism has burned off all those extra calories and you‟ve still not gained a pound. And let‟s not even get started on how much moolah you‟ve wasted on miracle supplements that were supposed to FINALLY allow you to pack on some serious muscle, right?

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My guess is that you‟re probably about ready to just give up because, well let‟s face it...you just have a “high metabolism” and you‟ll NEVER look like the other guys down at the gym, right? WRONG! So if you‟re killing yourself in the gym...eating like a pig...and popping more pills than your 90-year old granny…then why the hell isn‟t this advice working for you? Is the answer REALLY that you need to work even HARDER and eat even MORE? NO! My research has revealed that the traditional old “skinny guy” advice hasn‟t been working for a reason. A very good reason! It‟s because you‟re different! Yes...you! Your body isn‟t like the bodies of those idiots in online forums who claim that you‟re not as big as them because you‟re too much of a wimp. In fact, there‟s a LOT about you that‟s different than the average gym rat on a quest to layer on stacks of muscle to strut around the beach during the summer. And understanding THAT is the key to overcoming your challenges! So let‟s dig deeper, shall we?

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Meet The Ectomorph…

Ok first the BAD NEWS... By the time you‟re done with this chapter, you‟ll most likely feel like there‟s just no way in hell you could EVER hope to put on a single ounce of muscle. But the fact is...you probably feel that way already, right? That‟s ok though because I know that you HAVEN‟T given up hope yet or you wouldn‟t have picked up this program now, would you? You‟re placing your anabolic future in my hands and just praying that I have a few answers for you that will help you FINALLY overcome your frustrating genetic challenges.

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And fortunately, I DO have some answers for you that will end that frustration once and for all. We‟ll get into those “answers” soon enough but that‟s NOT the reason for this chapter. You see, in order for me to lead you down the path of finally becoming one of the “head-turners” at the gym, you FIRST must know exactly WHY you‟re a “hardgainer...WHY your genetics suck...and WHY you haven‟t been able to gain weight. This is absolutely CRUCIAL because once you know all these “WHY‟s”, only THEN can I show you why I‟m so excited about my Hardgainer Project X training program! In short, HPX was scientifically designed to absolutely obliterate each of the limiting genetic factors that exist in your body! All of the fathead advice you‟ve been getting about how you simply need to train and eat “like the pros” doesn‟t take into account the critical component that your body won‟t REACT to your training and nutrition the same way “others” do. But now for some GOOD NEW S... I‟ve personally witnessed that using these techniques over an extended period of time, you can actually reverse your genetics! That‟s right...REVERSE your genetics so you no longer have to worry about waking up the next morning with less muscle than you did when you went to sleep! In essence, you‟ll be conditioning your biological structure to hold on to all that muscle that you‟re going to be building. I‟ll explain more about how this works later on but for now, if you‟re ready, I say we begin the “genetic research” into WHY you‟re a hardgainer so we can quickly get to the training, eh? It all begins with 7 Reasons Your Hardgainer Genetics Suck!

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7 Reasons Your Hardgainer Genetics Suck!
Reason #1: Your “Fast Metabolism”
“Metabolism” is a very complex and misunderstood element of your body‟s ability to support a healthy weight...and it‟s developed a bad reputation over the years because it‟s often seen as simply an EXCUSE for why someone can‟t lose weight, or in your case, gain it. After all, how many times have YOU told people “I just ca n ’t gain weight! I can eat all I want but I just have a FAST METABOLISM!”? Well, what others may see as your “excuse” actually has some scientific truth behind it. So let me begin by putting it in a more appropriate perspective...you, hardgainer, have an “Overactive Sympathetic Nervous System”! Big words, eh? Well, let me break it down for you... Your body‟s sympathetic nervous system consists of three sets of glands: your ADRENALS, THYROID, and PITUITARY glands. No need to be Einstein here...just know that each of these glands are ACCELLERATORS of your metabolism because they convert “potential energy” in the body into “outward energy”. In other words, they INCREASE the number of calories you naturally burn off during the course of the day so the more ACTIVE these glands are, the more calories you expend in the way of “outward energy”. A Word From The “Nerd”...

This is why, although it‟s not always the case, a lot of hardgainers can often be more active, and excitable, because their body is constantly looking for an outlet for stored up energy.

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Reason #2: Catabolic Hormone Dominance
Packing on muscle is largely dependent upon your body‟s ENDOCRINE SYSTEM which is made up of all your tiny little “hormone factories” littered around your body. Our hormones play numerous roles in our daily bodily functions and there are some that can HELP us build muscle (called “Anabolic” hormones)...and some hormones that make it HARDER to gain muscle (known as “Catabolic” hormones). You‟re probably mostly familiar with ANABOLIC HORMONES because every red blooded male knows the power of TESTOSTERONE and GROWTH HORMONE in building muscle, right? But building muscle ISN‟T just about BUILDING muscle...it‟s also about not LOSING it after you‟ve built it! In fact, your body actually doesn‟t WANT to build a lot of muscle! Why? One word… …SURVIVAL! You see, since the dawn of time, our genetics have been hard-coded to focus on one simple thing…STAYING ALIVE! And back in the days when we were munching away on roots and clubbing small mammals with sticks, the fact was, we never knew when we were going to find our next root or when the next cute little bunny would cross our path so we could name it “dinner”. In other words, our next meal could have been an hour away…or a WEEK away! And so our genetics evolved to allow us to conserve our energy during times of starvation. Problem is, it takes a LOT more effort for your body to maintain muscle tissue than it does to maintain fat stores. So what do you think is the first thing your body tries to dump when it‟s looking at a week without food? That‟s right…MUSCLE!

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During times of “stress”, such as low calorie intake or over-exertion, your body releases CATABOLIC HORMONES to start breaking down muscle tissue in an effort to balance out your energy levels. Now we are all biogenetic individuals, right? So for naturally “athletic” body types (ie. Mesomorphs), their endocrine system is tipped toward the anabolic end of the scale and their body NATURALLY gains muscle with little effort...and they can keep it on with no problems. Unfortunately for YOU, hardgainer, YOUR endocrine system has a higher ratio of CATABOLIC hormones which is why you have such a hard time not only BUILDING muscle...but also holding on to any weight gain you achieve! This is why you get so frustrated when you finally see some gains on the scale…only to find them W ASTE AWAY a week later! But there‟s still another problem… Remember, being a “hardgainer”, your body is completely DOMINATED by your Sympathetic Nervous System, including your ADRENAL GLANDS. Your adrenals are responsible for the production of the hormone adrenaline and are also instrumental in the production of the hormone DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE (DHEA), and are key in the production of the anabolic hormone TESTOSTERONE. All sounds good, right? I mean, any knucklehead who‟s ever opened up a muscle mag can see just based upon the supplement ads that…testosterone = MUSCLE! But unfortunately, your adrenals ALSO manufacture the catabolic hormone, CORTISOL! Cortisol is your body‟s “stress hormone” and is catabolic because under chronic stress, your cortisol levels INCREASE and this in turn DECREASES your production of DHEA The result? LESS production of anabolic hormones like TESTOSTERONE! SO...if your body is experiencing ongoing “stress”, either the type you‟re used to thinking of such as problems at work, in school, at home, in your relationships, and so on,) OR...

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…your TRAINING is too extreme and your body isn‟t given a chance to recover properly... …then you can quickly EXHAUST your adrenal glands, INCREASING your production of cortisol while DECREASING anabolic hormones! On top of this (as if things weren‟t bad enough, right?), high levels of cortisol can ALSO trigger fat storage! A Word From The “Nerd”... Ever heard of “skinny fat guy syndrome? This is when you have a small bone structure…little muscle…but a big old BELLY! It HAPPENS! And I know that some of you reading this know EXACTLY what I‟m talking about, don‟t you?

Reason #3: Poor Neuromuscular Communication
Whenever you make ANY movement, you send a message through your Central Nervous System to your muscles to tell them to do what you want them to do. This includes the “message” you send your body with the intention of how much muscle you need on your frame. Now this message can be as soft as a whisper…or as loud as a bullhorn. The louder the message… the more MUSCLE you‟re telling your body you need to pack on. Unfortunately, even if you‟re shouting at your muscles at the top of your lungs by training like a madman in the gym… …your “hardgainer muscles” don‟t understand what you‟re saying!

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A Word From The “Nerd”... You see, it‟s almost as if YOUR muscles speak a different language. You can go to a foreign country that doesn‟t speak your language and if you‟re trying to ask directions to a bathroom and they don‟t understand you, SHOUTING your question at them ISN‟T going to get them to understand any better. You have to SPEAK their language to get the answer you‟re looking for, right? Same goes with building MUSCLE!

While other body types have a clear communication line between the central nervous system and muscle tissue, YOUR muscles don‟t accept “growth signals” very easily and end up not responding as much as they should from the training “message” you‟re sending them. It‟s like you‟re demanding 10 lbs of muscle and they think you said 1 lb of muscle…so they respond accordingly. What‟s worse (seems like there‟s always a “worse”, eh?), since YOUR central nervous system is easily overloaded, your CNS has a tendency to reach maximum capacity EARLIER in your training than other bodybuilders. This means that you can easily OVERTRAIN a lot sooner and actually begin to increase your catabolic hormone levels at the same time as not communicated properly with your muscles and endocrine system about your “need” to build more muscle.

Reason #4: Type 1 Muscle Fiber Dominance
Muscle isn‟t just plain “muscle”. Your body is actually comprised of several different “TYPES” of muscle fibers (7 to be exact), each with its own purpose and function.

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The two types that we‟re most concerned with when it comes to putting on mass as a hardgainer are called your “TYPE 1” (also known as your “slow twitch” fibers) and your “TYPE 2” (known as “fast twitch” fibers). Type 1 slow twitch fibers have a lot of blood flow and contain more cellular mitochondria (your cell‟s power center) to produce energy for a long period of time but with very little force. This is why they‟re considered more “endurance” focused and very useful if you‟re a marathon runner. Fast twitch fibers are just the opposite because they can contract a LOT stronger and quicker than slow twitch fibers since they contain a lot more Creatine Phosphate to regenerate your muscles‟ energy cycle during short, intense sets. In other words, your Type 2 fibers are your POWER fibers and they‟re your prime movers for HEAVY training like when you‟re going for your 1 REP MAX on a squat or bench press! Now, because of these extreme differences between muscle fiber types, in order to properly target each one for growth, you have to attack them differently in your TRAINING as well. Because of their characteristics, Slow Twitch fibers (Type 1 of which you have a LOT) respond best to HIGHER REPS with LOWER WEIGHTS (or “pumping” type sets of 8-15 reps). Over time, this “pumping” type training forces your muscle fibers to increase in thickness and increase the number, size and density of capillaries to supply more blood to your muscles based on the increased demand from your training. Problem is, this type of training does very LITTLE to stimulate your Type 2 muscle fibers. You see, your fast twitch muscle fibers respond best to very HEAVY weights and much LOW ER REPS (like in the range of 4-6 reps per set). Now when it comes to gaining weight as a hardgainer, BOTH of these muscle fiber types are important and for different reasons. For example, training FAST TWITCH fibers the right way actually creates more micro-tears in the muscle cells which in turn stimulates growth and will help you quickly gain more STRENGTH since that‟s their primary role.

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Also, research has shown that fast twitch fibers are able to withstand the body‟s natural catabolic process better and therefore will stick around longer after you‟ve built them up. But let‟s not discount the value of your Type 1, slow twitch fibers… While 1‟s are more geared toward endurance related sports because of their long term energy production, they also have the ability to aid you in building up your muscles. You see, because of their large blood flow capacity yielding a massive “pump”, high-rep volume training increases oxygen and nutrient uptake into muscle cells while actually working to increase muscle SIZE by expanding the blood pathways for fuller muscles. Cool, huh? But there‟s a little problem here… It‟s true that each person has a body comprised of ALL of the different types of muscle fibers…but different body types have different RATIOS of these two fibers. Some people are built more like oxen and have a higher number of the fastgrowing FAST TWITCH fibers (2‟s). These are your Endomorphs and Mesomorphs and this is the reason why they find it easier to build and maintain muscle. So guess where that leaves YOU… Yep…YOU, my dear hardgainer, have a higher ratio of SLOW TWITCH muscle fibers which is why you‟re built more like a marathon runner than an Olympic sprinter. And THIS is where your major challenge comes in because while Type 1‟s do have the highest long term potential for size increases because of the pumping type training and the continuous increase in blood flow. But your Type 2‟s are perhaps even MORE important because they respond much quicker... …bring you more strength gains which can help you get an even bigger pump from your high rep training... …trigger a larger testosterone release from the specific type of training involved. So what does this mean?

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It means that YOU have LESS of the faster-growing/longer-lasting Type 2 fibers to build stimulate for growth and hormone enhancement. While you would think that all you‟d need to do is just “train heavy” and stimulate what fast twitch fibers you DO have (and this is what many so-called experts have been spouting out for advice), combined with your reduced storage of Creatine Phosphate and poor neuromuscular communication, you never effectively target your Type 2 fibers during your workout. In fact, research has recently proven this as we‟ve now discovered that only about 20-30% of a hardgainer‟s fast twitch muscle fibers are even “activated” in any all-out set! A Word From The “Nerd”... By now you should begin to see exactly WHY the camp of experts who‟ve been stating that the way hardgainers should train is “heavy, heavy, heavy”… …and the camp that‟s been saying you need to go for the “pump, pump, pump”… ...BOTH are missing the boat! YOU are stuck smack dab in the middle of training methods with neither one fully addressing your individual challenge of being able to target BOTH your fast twitch AND your slow twitch fibers. While this is the whole basis for my 4-Week Mass Gaining Cycle I revealed in my best-selling program “Advanced Mass Building” (www.AdvancedMassBuilding.com), in “Hardgainer Project X”, we‟re going to dig even DEEPER into microtargeting your muscle fibers by incorporating a unique training method that is SPECIFICALLY tailored toward your individual challenges. In fact, I‟ve uncovered a unique training system that will allow you to activate BOTH types of muscle fibers…in the SAME SET! More on that as we get closer to your “HPX Workout Guide”!

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Reason #5: Reduced Muscle Protein Synthesis
“Experts” will tell you to back a dump truck up to your kitchen table and have it unload a massive dose of protein straight into your gullet in order to feed your muscle with mass-building amino acids. Well you can take in all the protein you want, but in order for it to actually be used for repair and growth, it has to be synthesized, or bonded, with the muscle cells. You see, amino acids that are broken down from ingested protein all hang out on the outside of your muscle cells waiting for a specific combination of “transport aminos” to come by and link up with. Only in the right pairing are they able to pass by the cell wall and be used efficiently to repair and grow the cells. Unfortunately, the hardgainer metabolism doesn‟t process protein very efficiently and a lot of it goes unused by the muscles and gets flushed out of your system. A Word From The “Nerd”... In fact, if you‟ve ever tried overdosing on protein shakes thinking that the answer to building muscle was more and more protein, you probably noticed saw it got flushed in another way as well… …right down the TOILET! Your body has to do SOMETHING with all of that protein that‟s not getting synthesized, right? Better keep a stack of muscle mags next to the toilet if you go this route…you‟re going to be spending a LOOOOOONG time in your mini-library!

Reason #6: Reduced Recovery Potential
As a hardgainer, your higher risk of adrenal stress also contributes to higher levels of ANXIETY.

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Ectomorphs, in this hyper-aroused state, have an even higher demand for nutrients, energy requirements, and body tissue repair, much of which takes place at night while you sleep. You see, while during the day your body is trying to be “catabolic”, ruled by cortisol and adrenaline, it‟s at night that your body makes the shift to a more anabolic state with a natural increase in testosterone and growth hormone. In other words, this is your body‟s time to rest and recover…and therefore the absolute BEST time to build muscle! But hardgainers, because of your highly activated sympathetic nervous system, suffer more from insomnia and don‟t sleep as DEEPLY, which burdens your ability to maximize growth while you sleep and can quickly lead to OVERTRAINING. A Word From The “Nerd”... This is important because we‟re not only talking about how LONG you‟re able to sleep. We also have to look at the QUALITY of sleep you‟re getting and even the TIME you go to sleep! It all affects your hormone balance and ability to sustain muscle growth momentum.

Reason #7: Acidic System
Your body is largely made up of water which allows nutrients, oxygen, and all sorts of biochemicals to be transported to various destinations. This water can either be “acidic”, neutral, or “alkaline” as measured on the widely recognized pH (potential hydrogen) scale.

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The lower the pH reading on the scale, the more ACIDIC a substance is and the higher the number, the more ALKALINE. The fact is that we can‟t sustain long periods in either too acidic or too alkaline an environment, but our bodies generally operate in a slightly acidic environment and it fluctuates throughout the day based upon several factors including diet and exercise habits. Unfortunately ectomorphs appear to have a higher probability of being systemically more acidic than other body types. Why would this make a difference? Well, if you haven‟t seen the tie-in yet, “acidic” means that a substance, in this case the fluids in your body, lean toward being a mild acid. And acid eats away at things, right? Well that includes living cells in your organs, arteries, and yes…even your MUSCLES! A Word From The “Nerd”... Think of this principle in the same way as acid rain affects a forest. The rain, made more acidic from pollution, soaks into the forest ground and is absorbed into the trees through their root structure. This acid then eats away at the tree from the inside out, eventually devastating an entire forest!

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In fact, having an overly acidic system for long periods of time are now being attributed to most degenerative diseases such as Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and Diabetes. While it‟s in your best interest to look at this problem as a serious health risk, our focus for the moment is on how being acidic robs you of muscle. You see, from the food you eat to even every contraction of your muscles as you lift a barbell at the gym, you‟re constantly creating acid in your body…and it‟s completely NATURAL! Our bodies are actually DESIGNED to buffer out this acidic environment to keep us alive and healthy. Your challenge is that you require MORE buffering than other body types because of your natural acidic tendencies and THIS is yet another reason why you find it hard to KEEP muscle on your body. Fortunately, this is actually quite an easy problem to remedy! A Word From The “Nerd”... Let me guess…you signed up for this program to feel like there was finally some HOPE that you could overcome your genetic curse but after reading only ONE CHAPTER, you now feel that building muscle is an utter IMPOSIBILITY, right? No worries mate! As I said earlier, now that we KNOW the inherent challenges your body type faces with building muscle… …we can blast each one of these limitations to smithereens! In fact, I took into account EVERY SINGLE ONE of these obstacles you face when I designed the Hardgainer Project X program. I‟ve integrated the EXACT training, diet, and supplementation factors necessary to finally help YOU take control of your ability to build REAL MUSCLE…and keep it on as long as you like! So if you‟re ready to join the battle, I‟m ready to lead you! Let‟s get to it…

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A Hardgainer “Reality Check”
If you‟re one of those guys who runs to the newsstand each month to grab the latest pro bodybuilding magazine to search for new photos to use for inspiration then you‟re setting yourself up for a big disappointment. In other words…forget looking like ARNOLD! Schwarzenegger had the perfect combination of superior genetics AND anabolic steroids to create the body that has now become legendary. If you‟re looking for inspiration, pick up a copy of a magazine for “real” men, such as Men‟s Health or other publication that uses natural bodybuilders or male models who are focused on following a non-steroid muscle-building path. When you look at these models, you‟ll see the kind of body that really IS attainable…even for the hardgainer. Lean, ripped, healthy…the kind of body that women W ANT…and other men want to HAVE! So the first lesson as we begin to layout your muscle-building battle plan is to SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS! So naturally your next question is… “How Much Muscle Can I REALLY Expect To Gain?” Science will tell you that it‟s virtually impossible to gain more than 1.5 lbs of lean muscle per month. I know this to be complete B.S.! ALL of my programs have shotgunned WAY past this theoretical limitation, and the results from my testing in this Hardgainer Project X program were no exception. In fact, for the human “lab rats” that took part in my research, the average lean muscle gain was 1.18 lbs per WEEK. Some did better and some did worse, but it appears that those who did the best were the “skinniest” which further proves that the training and nutrition model is custom built for the true ectomorph body type.

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However, I want to point out that your INDIVIDUAL results will of course vary depending upon your own body‟s genetic makeup and the effort you put into the program. For a more realistic goal, set your target at a gain of .5 lbs of lean muscle gain per week. This will yield a gain of 2 lbs per month or 24 lbs a year with continued commitment. A Word From The “Nerd”...

Now my hunch is that you‟re going to blow past this goal, but I also don‟t want you to be discouraged if you‟re “only” seeing an extra 2 pounds per month. For many skinny guys, this is still a MAJOR IMPROVEMENT over what they‟ve accomplished in the past!

Now, HOW are you going to accomplish all of this muscle gain? Well the program I‟ve designed and tested is jam-packed with what I call “Ecto-Anabolic Expanders” designed specifically for stretch the ectomorph‟s muscle-building capacity to levels never before realized! And before we jump into the actual training, let‟s go over a VERY IMPORTANT jumpstart “Expander” that will absolutely make or break your success… You see, if you‟re truly an ectomorph, the first rule of thumb when it comes to your weight gain program is to FORGET about “Build & Burn” bodybuilding programs that suggest building muscle and burning fat at the SAME TIME. Your initial goal is to simply “GAIN WEIGHT”. Yes, that probably means putting on some body fat as well…but not too much. Now that‟s not to say that you WON‟T be able to “lean out” while putting on muscle – it DOES happen to some ectomorphs who have a body type that isn‟t that far off from that of a mesomorph.

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But compositionally, if you‟re underweight (say 10% or lower body fat levels) then you lower your body‟s anabolic capacity…and in order to do this, you NEED to gain some more body fat. Even pro bodybuilders on steroids understand that the best way to build new muscle is to focus on “mass building” FIRST so they have a larger anabolic window to play with and see FASTER and BETTER response from their training before beginning to “lean out” as they get closer to competition season. But don‟t worry…I‟m not going to let you become the “pudgy guy” at the beach. Just like pro bodybuilders, once we slap on some slabs-o-muscle to your frame, THIS is when you can switch your focus to ”fat burning” in order to gradually reveal your 6 pack. Your goal should be reach about 12% body fat to allow yourself that musclebuilding buffer zone and open up your anabolic window. Some of you reading this book may already be here while others will have to STRUGGLE to get there. No worries…you WILL get there and the key is to NOT try to make it happen overnight. Trying to gain too much weight too quickly WILL add more fat than you want and what YOU are looking for is a gradual process that rides right on the edge where you calorie surplus is mainly going to muscle-building with a little left over that gets stored as fat. If you were to try to cut it too close and NOT gain the extra fat, then you‟d most likely short circuit your mass gaining and not optimize your true potential to build muscle.

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A Word From The “Nerd”... Again, I have to make sure you understand that your goal is not to GET fat! 12% body fat is actually pretty lean and if you‟re one of the guys who‟s naturally very, very skinny, this is going to make you look more…well…”normal”. If you‟re already AT or even ABOVE 12% body fat, then you‟ll simply monitor your follow up readings to adjust either your training or your nutritional program accordingly to stay at around the 12% level.

Always remember…our goal is to increase your anabolic window that will automatically allow you to build more muscle. How we get you there is a precise combination of TRAINING, NUTRITION, and yes...SUPPLEMENTATION to help you push your anabolic boundaries wider and wider apart. Nutritionally, you need the right combination of nutrients at the right times and in an amount sufficient enough to fuel your workouts and feed new muscle growth. Training wise, our challenge is to activate your body‟s “dormant” muscle fibers and stimulate growth of lean muscle mass. In supplementation, you‟ll shotgun past all the worthless supplements that are screaming at you to give them a try, promising miracle growth, and learn the best choices that fit your specific challenges. So first, let‟s go ahead and tackle how you‟re going to FUEL all that new muscle growth…

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Hardgainer Project X Nutrition
Most hardgainer articles say that your nutrition is your biggest failure, citing that you‟re simply “not eating enough calories”. There‟s some truth to this, but as we now know, your structural makeup makes things much more complicated than this because it‟s not just how MANY calories you take in, but what your body DOES with them once they‟re inside of you. For example, YOU want MUSCLE...but your body DOESN‟T which is why your muscles, as a “cursed” hardgainer, don‟t SYNTHESIZE protein as well. Unfortunately, all the so called “experts” tell you you need MASSIVE doses of protein but the reality is that this is NOT what causes muscle protein SYNTHESIS so you end up with a lot of WASTED calories. It‟s like dumping a load of bricks onto a construction site but not having any workers around to put the building together! Now, it‟s TRUE that in order to build more muscle, you ARE going to have to create a “calorie surplus” where you‟re taking in more calories than expending on energy because this IS how you gain weight. But if you‟ve ever followed any other “hardgainer” programs before, you may have been brainwashed into thinking that you have to GORGE yourself every 30 minutes with food. You probably ended up feeling like a stuffed pig and felt like a slave to your refrigerator, am I right? Well the answer to a weight gaining diet ISN‟T to stick a feed tube down your gullet and shove a bunch of junk food into your system. It‟s about taking in the right KIND and AMOUNT of nutrients...in the right RATIO...at the right TIME.

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A Word From The “Nerd”...

But I ALSO have a little trick up my sleeve for you that‟s proven to work especially well for hardgainers. I‟ll explain that in just a bit but for now, you MUST understand one thing... For the hardgainer, it all comes down to one word...INSULIN!

Insulin And The “Hardgainer”
Insulin is a hormone excreted from the pancreas in response to the food you take in and its role is to regulate the amount of sugar you have floating around in your blood. For example, when you eat, your body breaks down your food to turn it into “sugar” to be used for “fuel”. In response, insulin stimulates the cells to take in more glucose and use it to produce energy INSTEAD of being stored as fat. The larger the meal, or the more processed foods you consume, and especially the more CARBOHYDRATES you took in, the more sugar that‟s injected into your bloodstream and the more insulin your body produces as a result in order to get rid of the excess sugar. But insulin is ALSO one of the body's most anabolic muscle-building hormones known to man! In order to get rid of excess sugar, the first place insulin likes to store it is in your muscle cells. And along with that sugar, it also takes in amino acids which helps build muscle while avoiding catabolic breakdown of the muscle tissue. Unfortunately for hardgainers, YOUR body is ruled mostly by your THYROID and doesn‟t maximize the use of insulin for this anabolic role.

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A Word From The “Nerd”... This is why endomorphs on the other end of the scale, who are ruled by insulin, gain so much weight in both muscle AND fat! But for YOU, if your blood sugar drops too low, you don‟t produce ENOUGH insulin to be anabolic. Too MUCH blood sugar and once your muscle cells are filled up with the excess, your body will turn it into fat for easy storage.

So our goal in the HPX program is to increase your body‟s sensitivity to insulin in the RIGHT ways so that we can jam pack your muscle cells with tons of nutrition that will feed your muscle growth. And our first step is to talk about the role of each of the macronutrients in this mission since they ALL do play a role. And don‟t worry...this is NOT going to be some snooze-fest because there are actually some surprising revelations for each of these nutrients that I know you‟re going to find interesting. Let‟s start with PROTEIN...

Protein
Protein is known as the “building block” of muscle which is why so many guys have been downing bucket after bucket of protein powder under the misguided notion that “more is better”. The purpose of taking in ENOUGH protein is to achieve what bodybuilders call a “positive nitrogen balance”. Nitrogen is a chemical element found in protein so a “positive nitrogen balance” simply means that the body is taking in more protein than it‟s excreting through sweat and your bathroom activities. Unfortunately, getting enough protein is only PART of the equation and for hardgainers, it‟s also part of the PROBLEM.

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Let me explain WHY... When you consume any food or drink, your body requires energy just to digest and use that food. This is called a food‟s “thermic effect” because it burns calories while it‟s being digested. Of all the macronutrients, PROTEIN is by far the most “thermic”. Also, because your muscles AREN‟T primed to synthesize all that protein you‟re dumping in your body, it‟s being burned up for energy so fast that it‟s jacking up your metabolism more and more... ...completely DEFEATING the purpose of what you‟re trying to accomplish in the first place. A Word From The “Nerd”... This is ALSO why all the expert advice telling hardgainers to consume more and more protein is pretty idiotic! SO...basically we‟ve hit the “too little – too much” puzzle... ...too LITTLE protein and you don‟t have enough maintain a positive nitrogen balance to rebuild muscle and gain mass... ...too MUCH protein and you jack up your metabolism, making it harder to gain mass. What‟s the solution? It‟s simple…

Your goal is to consume just enough of the right KINDS of protein to stay in a “positive nitrogen balance” without having to stuff yourself like a PIG. Now this is most likely going to be LESS than what you‟re used to hearing you “should” be taking in so our next goal is to INCREASE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS to get more USE out of the protein you do take in! We‟ll talk about how to accomplish this in just a bit, but first let‟s move on to DIETARY FATS.

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Dietary Fats
I used to call fats “the most misunderstood nutrient”, but the fact is ALL of the nutrients are pretty much completely misunderstood. But for the hardgainer, dietary fat has some pretty amazing benefits. First, fats make up the STRUCTURE of all of your cells. As you‟re breaking them apart, fats are being used to build them back up stronger and bigger than before you thrashed them. But the key is in the QUALITY of the structure you‟re trying to rebuild because there are GOOD FATS and there are BAD FATS.

Examples Of “Good” And “Bad” Dietary Fat
Avoid At All Costs! Trans-fatty acids (Processed foods; margarines) Limit To 10% Of Total Intake Saturated fats (animal products; dairy) Very Good Source Of Healthy Fat Polyunsaturated Omega-6 fats (plants; plant oils; flax seed oil) Excellent Source Of Healthy Fat Polyunsaturated Omega-3 fats (fish; fish oils; flax seed oil; sunflower oil, safflower oil; corn oil; soybean) (avocados; olive oil; canola oil; nuts; flax seed oil) Excellent Source Of Healthy Fat Monounsaturated fats

Think of it like designing a car... If a car is built with a poor frame which is the foundation upon which the entire rest of the car depends on, its performance will suffer in ALL AREAS. You‟ll try to make a “tight turn” and the entire frame buckles, sending you over the cliff! Same goes for that body you‟re trying to build...

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If you don‟t have cells that are built and functioning properly, how can you ever expect them to live up to the mass-gaining task you‟re about to ask of them? If your cells AREN‟T humming along at peak performance, your efforts in the gym will not only be sub-standard...but sentence your entire weight-gaining program to FAILURE! Next, dietary fat is critical in the natural production of HORMONES, including testosterone...and if you remember, your hardgainer system ISN‟T optimized for natural testosterone release. But studies have shown that dietary fat, in particular monounsaturated fats, have proven to help NATURALLY BOOST TESTOSTERONE LEVELS...and you know what comes with that! The other positive benefit, particularly for hardgainers is that fats contain more than TWICE as many calories per gram than either protein or carbohydrates. That means that you can more easily create a CALORIE SURPLUS by including more fats in your diet without having to stuff yourself with food all day. In other words, you can increase the caloric DENSITY of your meals. And finally we come to the most important nutrient for hardgainers...

Carbohydrates
Carbs generate the most blood sugar in the body when consumed so they trigger insulin release more than the other nutrients. This is why going on a low carb diet works so well for burning off fat...because blood sugar and insulin levels drop resulting in the use of FAT as fuel in the lack of the easily burned sugar. BUT...when done incorrectly, low carb diets ALSO lead to a lot of muscle loss for the reasons we stated before. So remember...insulin is CRITICAL for your mass gaining goals so the opposite of LOW carb is HIGH CARB and this makes up the FOUNDATION of the Hardgainer Project X Diet! In fact, a good 55-60% of your total calorie intake should come from carbs.

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This will ensure that your blood sugar levels don‟t drop so low that you hit that “catabolic zone” where you‟re losing muscle during the day. If you‟ve followed any of my articles, you also know that there are two basic kinds of carbs...;HIGH GLYCEMIC and LOW GLYCEMIC. This is based upon how QUICKLY the carbohydrates are broken down into sugar in your body. The higher a carb‟s “glycemic rating”, the more quickly it turns to sugar and the more insulin your body has to produce. Now there are times when this is a BIG BONUS...but for the most part, eating a bunch of sugary or highly refined foods that are high glycemic ISN‟T recommended. This is actually more important for those people who are trying to LOSE weight so you won‟t hear me talk about this too much in the context of hardgainers However, my recommendation is to still stick with “low to moderate” glycemic carbs for the bulk of your diet.
How I achieve this is by focusing on what I call “DRY CARBS” and “WET CARBS” in specific portion sizes. We‟ll get into “portions” in just a bit, but for clarification, “dry carbs” are similar to what a lot of people have come to call “complex carbs”, ones that don‟t spike your insulin levels too fast and provide you with long-duration energy and endurance. However, many of these same types of carbohydrates fall into a category that I call “WET carbs” and these include ones that can basically be turned into juices. Here are some examples of how I divide carbs into these two categories...

“Dry” Carbohydrate Examples Oatmeal Pasta Whole Grain Bread Whole Grain Cereals Brown Rice Quinoa Sweet Potatoes/Yams Fresh Raw Fruits

“Wet” Carbohydrate Examples Fresh Vegetables (Except for beets and carrots that should be considered “dry carbs” due to their sugar content.)

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(Note: The classifications in the previous chart ONLY apply to the HPX program! Other of my programs, like www.CombatTheFat.com, classify “dry” and “wet” carbohydrates in different ways to accomplish different goals.) A Word From The “Nerd”... Ok, so now that you know more about how each of these macronutrients affect the hardgainer, let‟s talk about how we can MANIPULATE them within our diet to MAXIMIZE your growth potential. As we go through these critical nutrition elements, I want you to remember our goals:     Increase protein synthesis Slow down your metabolism Increase anabolic hormone release; and Maximize insulin response

Each of the elements we‟re about to talk about is DIRECTLY FOCUSED on achieving ALL of these goals and keep you in that “anabolic zone” where you continuously BUILD MUSCLE! And the first thing we have to discuss is...

Nutrient Timing
Making sure that you‟re taking in the right nutrients at the right TIME helps you maintain a positive nitrogen balance as well as maximize your body‟s insulin response for anabolic effects because you‟re continuously feeding yourself the amino acids you need to rebuild muscle as well as maintaining proper blood sugar levels. In order to accomplish this, you MUST eat something every 2-3 hours...no skipping meals!

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But there are also some critically important SPECIFIC TIMES you need to be aware of during the day when your body is in either an extremely CATABOLIC or ANABOLIC state. For example, your body is the most CATABOLIC as soon as you wake up so...

As Soon As You Wake Up...
...take in some PROTEIN and CARBS with VERY LITTLE FAT! Fats can actually slow down your carb uptake and you want the protein and carbs to work fast to decrease catabolism and increase protein uptake in order to jumpstart the anabolic process.

During Your Training...
Now TRAINING is actually ALSO a “catabolic” event because you‟re breaking down muscle tissue and it‟s getting used as fuel. But it‟s also the BEGINNING of one of your most anabolic time periods of the day. When you train with the HPX Workout, you‟re creating an intense “demand” for your body to do everything it can to help deal with the damage you‟ve done... You‟ve wasted all of the stored sugar in your muscles... The muscle fibers have been stretched and broken down... And all of this stimulates a chain reaction of OPPORTUNITY for you to maximize your body‟s anabolic response! A Word From The “Nerd”...

Now most “experts” tell you that immediately AFTER your training, you should take in a large amount of protein and high glycemic carbohydrates...and they‟re RIGHT. But they‟re completely MISSING SOMETHING in my opinion...

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In order to MINIMIZE CATABOLISM AND provide your muscles with IMMEDIATE support to begin the recovery process, I‟m recommending you take in some high glycemic carbs and protein DURING your workout! Did you get that! DURING YOUR WORKOUT! Why? Well…why WAIT?! Hardgainers already have extremely catabolic SYSTEMS so if training is a “catabolic EVENT”, then your muscles need IMMEDIATE help in recovering from the stress and “damage”. A Word From The “Nerd”... If you have my “Homemade Supplement Secrets” program (www.MakeYourOwnSupplements.com), you can use my personal recipe in there called my “During Workout Power Potion”. This contains some advanced nutrients for creating a total “anabolic cocktail” to help you power through your workout AND stimulate fast recovery and growth! If you DON‟T have “Homemade Supplement Secrets”, then the main thing you need to know is…

Make up a “workout drink” comprised of water, about 20-50 grams of sugar (preferably a combination of dextrose and maltodextrin) and about 10-15g of Branched Chain Amino Acid powder. The next key time to consume your nutrients is about 30-60 minutes AFTER your workout.

After Your Training...
Ok, I know what you‟re thinking... You just had a high protein, high carb “meal” DURING your workout, right? Well, actually, in order to make sure you‟ve soaked up enough protein and to keep your insulin levels HIGH during this all-important period, I recommend hardgainers actually take in TWO of these meals!

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One DURING your workout and the other about 30-60 minutes AFTER your workout while adding in about 20-30 grams of healthy dietary fat. This meal can either be WHOLE FOOD (such as some chicken and rice with almonds, tuna sandwich with canola mayonnaise, etc.) or in the form of PROTEIN SHAKE while throwing in some dietary fat like 20-30 grams of canola or flax oil. This will help you maintain a positive nitrogen balance while supporting your body‟s natural hormonal response during this incredibly anabolic window of opportunity you have. And the last time we‟ll talk about is...

Right Before Sleep...
Ok, so you‟re about to go into a 6-8 hour fasting period at night while you sleep. Your metabolism slows W AY down during this time so this helps you survive the fasting... but it‟s ALSO the time that your body does most of its work in actually BUILDING the muscle you‟re trying to pack on! Fortunately, your body uses body fat as its primary source of fuel while you sleep so you don‟t need to worry too much about losing muscle...but you DO need to provide it with the building blocks it needs to CREATE that new muscle. So about 30-60 MINUTES BEFORE BED, you want to take in some PROTEIN with just a SMALL amount of carbs to feed your muscle gains through the night. A Word From The “Nerd”... Ideally, try some cottage cheese with some fresh fruit mixed in. Another option is just cottage cheese or yogurt with PROTEIN POWDER. Have a sweet tooth? Try making sugar-free pudding and adding protein powder to it!

Or, if you want a real treat, try

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The Rest Of The Day...
You got the “big events” out of the way with your meal planning so for the remainder of your day, just fit in your smaller meals every 2-3 hours and don‟t worry about “counting calories”. The best way to do this is to take in about 3 or 4 “solid” meals and 3 or 4 “liquid” meals each day, dividing them up appropriately based upon the specific events we just discussed and your own personal lifestyle and agenda. A Word From The “Nerd”... The best times for your “liquid” meals are the times when your body either needs FAST ABSORPTION of nutrients, such as when you first wake up, during your workout, after your workout (though our “after workout” meal can be either liquid or dry really since you‟ve already supplemented during your workout) and in between your solid meals as “snacks” so you don‟t feel stuffed.

Now...how to do this WITHOUT “counting calories”...
Let‟s face it...”counting calories” SUCKS! Plus, it really doesn‟t work since you have to take into account each food‟s “thermic effect” and deduct it from your overall calorie intake. In other words, it‟s practically impossible to get accurate and who the hell wants to spend their life enslaved to a calculator? Fortunately I have an easy solution for you! Basically, you‟ll need to simply learn how to “eye” your food in the form of “servings”.

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A Word From The “Nerd”... Now, I‟m not all that worried about “percentages” of nutrients like everyone likes to break your diet into because for ectomorphs, you just need to plain EAT at this point! But for those of you who are “nerds” like me, you‟re looking at a nutrient ratio that‟s about 55% carbs – 25% protein – and 20% fat. But if you‟re OLDER and can‟t handle carbs as easily OR are a “fat- skinny” hardgainer who has a slight muscular frame but are over 12-14% body fat, then I recommend a 40-40-20 split instead.

Now here‟s how to “eye” your servings... This is a relatively EASY thing to do and you don‟t even need a SCALE or measuring cup to do it because I‟m going to show you a SIMPLE way you can use a handy set of tools you carry around with you everywhere you go... ...your HANDS! By using your hands as visual “portion-meters”, you can determine how much food to place on your plate without having to worry about “over-thinking” it. Here‟s what I mean... 1 “Serving” of protein is about the size of either a balled up FIST or the palm of your outstretched HAND. So let‟s say you want “one serving” of PROTEIN for your meal and you‟re looking at a chicken breast for dinner. Well, all you would do is put on your plate enough chicken so that it‟s about the size of your hand and that would be how much you would eat. Same portion sizing goes for CARBOHYDRATES since they both have the same number of calories per gram (4 calories per gram of either carbs or protein). So a sweet potato the size of your FIST would equal ONE SERVING of carbs. Fats work a little differently...

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Because dietary fat has over TWICE as many calories as either protein or carbs, a serving size is much LESS. For FATS, you will use EITHER your THUMB...or a HANDFUL. A Word From The “Nerd”... Let me make this clearer... If the fat you‟re consuming is a “LIQUID” (such as olive oil, canola oil, butter, salad dressings, or canola mayonnaise), you would use a portion that is about the size of your FULL THUMB. The one exception to this is if you are COOKING with the liquid in which case you would use an amount of oil equal to TWO THUMBS. However, if the fat you‟re consuming is a “dry” fat, like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc., then you would simply grab a FULL “TIGHT” HANDFUL of them and that would equal one serving. Sounds simple enough, right?

So since carbs and protein both contain 4 calories per gram, you can simply make your “regular” meals using a carb serving about TWICE the size calorically of your protein serving if you follow the “skinny” version or make them EQUAL if you‟re the latter version. Add in a serving of dietary fat and you‟re done! But again...you don‟t need to worry about weighing everything out at this point. It‟s just too time consuming and tedious and if you get frustrated, you‟ll quit and then you‟ll lose all that muscle you‟ve put on. Just make sure you‟re eating! Better to err on the side of caution right now and eat TOO MUCH rather than not enough. You‟ll soon “learn” how your body responds to food and you‟ll be an expert in how YOU need to eat to continue to grow.

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Hydration
This is by FAR one of the most overlooked “anabolic factors” that hardgainers completely screw up. Your body uses WATER as a medium for cellular chemical reactions and that INCLUDES building muscle and helping cells with nutrient uptake. Without enough water (no...SODA POP does NOT count as “hydrating” yourself!), your cells will force you to RETAIN water so you‟ll just look “puffy”...make you more TIRED...decrease your performance in the gym...and sabotage your muscle recovery. BUT... when you‟re properly hydrated, your cells will actually increase nutrient uptake, getting HARDER, and giving you a bigger, more “cut” appearance. Your goal is to shoot for about a gallon of water a day but to make sure you‟re taking in just the right amount WITHOUT having to escape to the bathroom every 5 minutes, you want to monitor the color of your URINE. You want your urine to be a PALE YELLOW...not dark and NOT completely clear.

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Hardgainer Training

Yeah, I know… …THIS is what you‟ve been waiting for, isn‟t it? The “magic workout” that will instantly transform your puny muscles into awe-inspiring mountains of granite, right? Well, get ready for something completely DIFFERENT! You see, knowledge really IS power...and as we go through these workouts, you‟ll quickly see how we use the knowledge we now have about your specific training obstacles to zero in with LASER LIKE PRECISION on your muscles in a unique way that will finally allow you to blow past poor genetics. No more worthless time spent in the gym! No more “marathon workouts” some steroid-juiced pro told you worked for HIM on his way to 320 lbs! No more “one size fits all” training program! This workout is designed JUST for those guys whose genetic disposition has given them the finger all these years and made it nearly IMPOSSIBLE to pack on any weight! The impossible has just become POSSIBLE my friend...so let‟s jump right in and kick some ass, eh?

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The Hardgainer Project X Workout!
The Hardgainer Project X workout is designed to overcome the specific genetic barriers that make “regular training” so imperfect for the Ectomorph body type. Before we jump into the actual Workout Guide and send you off to the gym, let‟s break down the entire workout, why it‟s so different from other programs, and EXACTLY why it‟s going to break that “hardgainer curse” once and for all. Let‟s start with taking a look at some of the important structural components, including:
 Training Frequency  Training Session Length  Exercise Selection  Number of Sets  Timing Your Training

…and then we‟ll get into the strange (but powerful) workout structure for your actual workout day, ok? Great…let‟s get started!

The HPX Workout – Training Frequency
The usual 5 days of all-out, balls-to-the-wall training regimen overloads your body to the point that it simply CAN‟T recover at a level that allows you to build up muscle mass. Instead, your body adapts to the thrashing by HALTING muscle growth as a “survival mechanism”. Therefore, the HPX Workout uses a 3-DAY a week training structure to ensure that you have plenty of recovery time to support lean muscle growth. Any more than that and you could be setting yourself up for a long, long vacation in the “Overtraining Zone”!

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However, I also know that many of you wouldn‟t be caught DEAD “only” going to the gym 3 days a week. No worries... If you feel that you absolutely MUST hit the local iron jungle every day, then there ARE options for you to train...just NOT in “strength training”! On your days off, you have the option to do some “LOW INTENSITY CARDIO” to help increase your overall fitness and burn off a little bit of body fat. Do NOT do any “high intensity” cardio work like “interval training” with sprints! This WILL count toward your strength training because it works your muscles to a higher degree and this is what you‟re trying to avoid at all costs. A Word From The “Nerd”... Basically, just do some light jogging or hit the rowing machine (or other cardio exercise) at an intensity level that allows you to breathe through your nose the entire time without having to gasp for air. This should keep you at an appropriate heart rate to avoid stressing your body too much and hijacking your muscle gains.

In the HPX Workout, I recommend spacing out your workouts with at least ONE DAY in between your strength training days to spread out your muscle targeting over the entire week. This isn‟t a hard and fast rule – you need to decide your best schedule for lifting – but I‟ve found it to work best in this way.

The HPX Workout – Training Session Length
Studies have shown that extended workouts that are very intense have a natural rise and fall in the production of your body‟s anabolic hormones like testosterone.

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For the “average” person training in the gym with an intense workout, I recommend NOT training longer than about 60 minutes. After then, your testosterone starts to plummet and your levels of the muscleeating/fat-storing hormone, cortisol, begins to rise. That‟s NOT good news! For the hardgainer, I recommend an even shorter workout when possible. 30-45 MINUTES is about as long as you can afford to train and fortunately, that‟s exactly how I‟ve structured your workouts so it‟s a complete “no-brainer”! Worried that this isn‟t long enough? DON‟T BE! I have a surprise coming up for you that will show you how I‟ve been able to SHORTCUT the training formula that will allow you to get MORE done in less time WITHOUT short-circuiting your body‟s ability to access the “Anabolic Zone”!

The HPX Workout – Exercise Selection
Isolation exercises (that use single-joint movements like dumbbell flyes, tricep kickbacks, etc.) have their place. But especially for the hardgainer, COMPOUND EXERCISES (that move through more than one joint like the bench press, squats, etc.) are the King of all exercises for packing on mass. Compound exercises (I actually prefer to call them “power” exercises) recruit the largest number of muscle fibers while triggering a higher level of anabolic hormone release. Remember…for hardgainers, fiber recruitment is a real challenge and compound exercises are great for Type 2, fast-twitch fiber activation. For these reasons, the foundation of the HPX program consists of compound movements…with a twist.

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The HPX Workout – Number Of Sets
When it comes to Hardgainer training, more is NOT always “better”! The way I‟ve designed your workout plan, you‟ll only be targeting “smaller” muscle groups (shoulders, arms, chest, abs) with just 2 compound sets per workout. Your LARGER upper body muscle groups of the back get more attention because they can take more punishment due to the size and function of these muscles. Limiting the number of sets you do, avoids the common overtraining that frustrates hardgainers…but the WAY you‟ll target these muscles using the strategy I‟ll reveal will allow you to get in there DEEP and get all the stimulation you need to trigger growth!

The HPX Workout –Timing Your Training
With your “fast metabolism”, you need to do everything you can to try and slow it down as much as possible. This is where you can learn a little something from my clients who are trying to LOSE weight! You see, with my “overweight” clients, I instruct them to train as EARLY as possible in the morning because it jumpstarts their metabolism to burn more calories throughout the day...the EXACT OPPOSITE of what YOU want to do, right? Therefore, one of my “Insider Tips” is to train later on in the EVENING if possible!

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A Word From The “Nerd”... Ok, I realize that this may not be an option for many of you...and that‟s OK. This is NOT a “deal breaker” if you can‟t train later in the evening or even if you can only train first thing in the morning. Don‟t be afraid that you‟re not going to be able to get maximum results. It‟s just one single tip that can make a difference IF you can fit it in. If you can‟t, you may simply have to take in a bit more calories during the day to help balance things out, ok?

Another benefit of training later is that the two times during the day when you experience the greatest natural increase in your body‟s Growth Hormone, is at the end of your training and about 30-60 minutes into your sleep cycle. By training in the evening, you may be able to “tag team” your exercise with sleep to maintain a heightened state of overall GH secretion. But a word of caution here... Exercising IMMEDIATELY before going to bed, for some people, can cause restlessness while in others, it may help you sleep better. Just be aware of your body‟s own response to training and adjust appropriately if you‟re able to train in the evening. Worst case scenario, just train about 1-2 hours before bedtime and that should be enough time to relax to the point where you can go to sleep easily.

Training Day!
Ok, let‟s get into the real MEAT of your workout, ok? Remember...with your body‟s reduced neuromuscular communication, the typical bodybuilding routine doesn‟t effectively activate your central nervous system to stimulate growth.

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And with a lack of Type 2 muscle fibers, you have a reduced capacity to take advantage of the type of heavy training that allows you to stimulate these fast growing fibers. So how does the hardgainer overcome the challenge of targeting the fastgrowing Type 2 muscle fibers while getting MORE growth from their predominant makeup of Type 1 fibers? The answer lies in my unique 2-phase approach of what I call... ...Neuromuscular Activation and Neuromuscular Bridging! Here‟s how it works...

Phase 1: Neuromuscular Activation
In the first phase, your goal is to “wake up” your central nervous system and prepare your body for a targeted attack that digs deep into your muscle cells with the most efficiency. Without “activation” (the way “normal” workouts tell you to train), you waste a lot of time working out with poor CNS stimulation. Therefore it takes you LONGER to get to the point where your body is in an optimized state to use your training for muscle fiber stimulation and growth. In normal training programs, by the time a hardgainer has fully activated their CNS (if it ever even happens), they‟ve already begun reaching the point where their body has to quit or risk severe overtraining and LOSS OF MUSCLE! However, using the method I‟m going to show you, you can jolt your sleepy central nervous system with a giant blast of fiber-stimulating power that‟s like getting out of bed and slamming 10 shots of espresso! This method actually consists of 2 STEPS...

Step 1 – Core Stabilization
To prepare for the work ahead, it‟s first necessary to tighten and stabilize your body‟s “core” muscles around your abdomen and lower back. This is a precautionary set to avoid injury as well as help you generate more power in the next phase.

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It doesn‟t take all that much effort to do this and you don‟t want to spend a lot of time on “core exercises” that really don‟t do much in the way of building mass. All it amounts to is one single superset of 12-15 reps of an ABDOMINAL exercise followed by a single set of a LOWER BACK exercise. A Word From The “Nerd”...

Don‟t worry about taking notes or trying to “figure it out” yet. The Workout Guide I‟ll provided you with in just a bit will lay everything out for you in step-by-step detail. Sets...reps...rest periods...it‟s all in there!

After this quick “set up”, it‟s on to the next step...

Step 2 – Neuromuscular Activation (NMA) Supersets
These sets of exercises are the bedrock of every single workout you‟ll be doing. They are what truly primes your body‟s central nervous system to allow your targeted exercises to “communicate” better with your muscle fibers and stimulate them the way they need in order to grow. The difference in your neuromuscular communication with “regular” training when compared to MY method of training is the difference between trying to talk to someone at the end of a football field versus standing next to each other with bullhorns! Here‟s how it works... Basically, you‟re going to use the “Grand Poo Bah” exercises that are PROVEN to work the best at stimulating your body‟s CNS at the very BEGINNING of your workout. These are LOWER BODY exercises that recruit the most muscle fibers and call for an all-out effort from your upper body to help out as well.

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A Word From The “Nerd”...

You‟ll see the full lineup in the companion Exercise Tables in the upcoming Workout Guide, but basically, we‟re talking about exercises like SQUATS and DEADLIFTS.

So immediately after your Core Stabilization sets, you‟re going to do 3 SETS of one of these lower body exercises with a goal of hitting 12-15 repetitions...but NOT going to muscular failure! If you were to go to failure on these exercises, you would be DOOMED to blowing out your CNS in no time and end up putting a halt to your mass building. But by using a high volume set of repetitions and stopping just short of failure, you effectively recruit a giant number of muscle fibers while jolting your anabolic hormones through the roof! All it takes is 3 SETS to lay the groundwork for the next phase of your workout...Neuromuscular Bridging.

Phase 2 – Neuromuscular Bridging
Ok, THIS is where things get interesting! My latest invention of “neuromuscular bridging” could perhaps be the most cutting edge revelation to ever hit the bodybuilding world when it comes to rescuing hardgainers from a life of puny-ness (if that‟s even a word)! Remember...your predominance of Type 1 muscle fibers means that you have less Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and Creatine Phosphate (CP) in your muscles to help you power through heavy weights that will get to your faster growing Type 2 muscle fibers. “Good” hardgainer programs try to overcome this by getting you to “lift heavy” with lower reps to take advantage of the small amount of ATP and CP that you do have.

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This would make a lot of sense...if it weren‟t for your poor nerve-to-muscle connections which are HORRIBLE at responding quickly to the explosive power needed for this type of training. By the time you hit failure at 4-6 reps, only about 20-30% of your Type 2 muscle fibers have been tapped into! PLUS…you‟ve done practically NOTHING for your Type 1 fibers that require a higher repetition range to fully activate! So what‟s the solution? Well, I‟ve uncovered a technique that allows you to USE your primary muscular structure of Type 1 fibers to build a “BRIDGE” that slowly stimulates your Type 2 fibers so that at the end of your set, your 2‟s get hit with a whopping 5 rep set with a “perceived workload” equal to the SUPER HEAVY SET they‟ve been waiting for! AND...your Type 1‟s still get that HIGH VOLUME “pump” they need to maximize capillary density and increased blood and nutrient flow for accelerated growth as well. Here‟s how it works... What I‟ve done is manipulate a variation of an advanced bodybuilding technique known as “rest pause”. Forget how this technique is usually performed because it‟s just as worthless as other advanced techniques when it comes to training for hardgainers. My method works MUCH better! Ok, so following your Neuromuscular Activation sets, your central nervous system is in an “excited” state and aching for some intense training. For your next phase, you‟ll begin conducting 5-round sets of 5 repetitions separated by 10 second intervals using just 50% of your “1-Rep Max” (1RM = the maximum amount of weight you can lift for one repetition). So let‟s say that your 1RM for the Incline Bench Press is 150 lbs. You‟ll load the bar up so you‟re lifting about 75 lbs for your Bench Press on “chest day”. You‟ll begin by knocking out 5 repetitions and then racking the weight for a total of 10 seconds where you‟re not exerting your muscles at all.

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A Word From The “Nerd”... This is VERY, VERY IMPORTANT! Don‟t just rest in the “top” position of the movement (like pausing at the top of the bench press with the weight hovering over you). You must COMPLETELY rest your muscles for this 10 second rest period by racking the weight so you‟re not exerting ANY energy whatsoever.

At EXACTLY 10 SECONDS, you begin your next 5-round set before once again racking the weight for another short 10 second rest. Do this same exact thing for your next two sets but on your very LAST set (after your 10 second rest), you‟ll do as many repetitions as possible with the goal that you‟ll hit exhaustion at about your targeted 5 reps. A Word From The “Nerd”... Now you may go longer than this or even a rep or two short. That‟s OK. 5 is your “target” but your real goal is to completely FRY your muscle fibers on your last set! If you can go beyond 7 or 8 reps, then you were probably using too little weight and can adjust on your next sets of the exercise.

Here‟s what happens during this method of training... Your first few sets of 5 reps won‟t feel like you‟re doing much work at all but in reality, you‟re slowly increasing the “perceived workload” on your muscles as they begin to call upon more and more muscle fibers. Remember...YOUR muscle fibers don‟t respond as quickly as other trainers because of poor nerve-to-muscle connections.

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Your initial “Activation” foundation set your muscle fibers up in an excited state and now, by slowly increasing the workload within such a short period of time, your “Bridging” sets take the “activation” further and further into your targeted muscle groups like your chest, back, shoulders, and arms. When you rack the weight for each 10 second interval, your body begins to IMMEDIATELY regenerate your ATP and CP stores, allowing you just a bit more energy for your next 5-rep set. By the time you‟ve reached your LAST 5-rep set (of the total 5 sets), your muscles “perceive” the workload as being SUPER HEAVY to allow the Type 2 muscle fibers you‟ve been trying to reach (which are now in a HIGHLY activated state due to the prior 4 sets and are fresh with some regenerated ATP power) to get totally BLASTED. The result at the end of these 5 sets is a set of Type 2 fibers with maximum microscopic “damage” and pumped up Type 1 fibers! AWESOME! Then it‟s on to a solid 2-MINUTE REST PERIOD to fully regenerate for the next exercise in your superset based upon your Workout Guide where you‟ll follow the exact same formula for your next “5 sets of 5 reps”. You‟ll follow this same format as prescribed in the HPX Workout Guide, until you‟ve finished the prescribed number of supersets. Then, just to “thank” your Type 1 fibers for their assistance, you‟re going to end with an immediate “PUMP SET” of about 20 reps of an ISOLATION EXERCISE for your target muscle group. This helps to finish off your primary muscle fibers (based upon your own muscular structure) which can handle a longer duration of training while increasing blood flow and activating a “lactic acid response” that stimulates natural release of Growth Hormone at the end of your workout. That‟s all there is to it! But I realize that it can get a bit confusing just by reading it so in a minute, I‟ll take you through a sample workout day with you to make sure you see how the HPX Workout Guide is structured and you know the proper sequence of events, ok?

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But first, there‟s another important element of HOW you‟ll progress within the HPX program...and it goes against ALL I‟ve ever preached about AVOIDING in my previous programs! Boy am I gonna catch HELL for this one...

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Progressive Load Training And The Hardgainer
Ok, I‟ve always been sort of a rebel when it comes to training philosophy. I frankly don‟t have much respect for trainers who simply regurgitate the same old dry advice they were taught in their textbooks without challenging their theories and applying some serious personal research and common sense to the mix. That‟s why I‟ve been snubbed by so many “experts” for my stance that in order to continue to grow, you do NOT need to follow the long-held belief that you must continually add more and more weight to the bar each time you lift. Known as “Progressive Load” training or “Progressive Overload”, it‟s what most trainers have been preaching since they got their home study course diploma proclaiming them an “expert”. Well, if you‟ve ever read my Optimum Anabolics program (www.OptimumAnabolics.com) then you know that it‟s my humble opinion (OK, so I‟m NOT so humble) that your muscles couldn‟t care LESS about the actual weight on the bar...they CAN‟T READ NUMBERS! All they care about is your PERCEIVED workload and getting ripped apart so they can repair themselves bigger and stronger than before. But I‟m about to take an even BIGGER risk by contradicting my own hard and fast rule in this area... ...but with GOOD REASON! You see, there IS one little benefit to Progressive Load training that will help the hardgainer! Because I believe that your training should be fully CUSTOMIZED to your own personal body, you can USE Progressive Load as a way to actually MEASURE your body‟s ability to stay in an anabolic state! Let me explain... Each person has a different recovery capacity and time that they can stay in an anabolic “growth state”.

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Normally, I tell my clients to track their progress through taking their body fat measurements and making note of their specific increases in muscle. However, hardgainers ARE more challenged in that your body reacts MUCH QUICKER in reaching a state of overtraining and you can‟t afford to wait the extra week to see what changes in muscle growth have occurred from your training weeks. So to provide you with a faster “measuring stick” for what stage of growth your body is in and to avoid overtraining, the HPX program uses Progressive Load as a way to MEASURE the total amount of weight you‟re lifting for your targeted muscle groups. You‟ll do this by multiplying the number of REPETITIONS you do of an exercise by the amount of WEIGHT you‟re using for a “Total Load” for those sets. For example, if you lift a weight of 100 lbs for 25 reps (your 5 sets of 5 reps), then you‟ve essentially lifted a total “load” of 2,500 lbs (100 x 25) at the end of your sets, right? At the end of your workout, you‟ll simply add up the “Total Load” for each of your working sets and come up with a “Total Workload” for your completed workout. Then, in the NEXT WEEK when you go to use this workout again, you‟re going to be using the EXACT SAME EXERCISES as you did the previous week! And your goal is to INCREASE your “Total Workload” from the week prior! You can do this by adding the smallest addition of weight to the bar from the previous week and being able to do the same number of reps (which, when multiplied will result in an increased workload)… …or you can keep the SAME WEIGHT you used the previous week and find that you‟re able to do at least ONE MORE REPETITION than you were able to in your last workout (which will ALSO result in an increased workload when multiplied at the end of your training).

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A Word From The “Nerd”... I just want to make sure you understand how to accomplish this “progressive load” goal here… Using just one set as an example, let‟s say that in my previous week, I was able to do 26 reps (5+5+5+5+6) of a Standing Military Press using 65 lbs…a total workload of 1,690 lbs (26x65). The next week, I would either attempt to either hit my target of 25 reps with 70 lbs (which would result in 1,750 lbs workload)…OR…do at least one more repetition using the same 65 lbs (27 reps of 65 lbs would equal 1,755 lbs workload). The only difference from this sample is that for the HPX workouts, your goal is to increase your total workload over your ENTIRE WORKOUT, not just one set as seen in this example.

As long as you‟re seeing an increase in the Total Workload week after week and you don‟t have any extenuating circumstances that may have screwed you up (like you haven‟t eaten much before your workout or you didn‟t sleep the night before, etc.) then you can safely assume that your body is still in the “Anabolic Zone”. BUT...once you come to a week where 2 OUT OF 3 of your workouts for the week do NOT show an increase in Total Workload (even if it‟s the exact SAME as the previous week‟s)... ...that‟s your sign that you‟re probably reaching the OVERTRAINING ZONE! This may take you 3 weeks…6 weeks…12 weeks to reach this point. There‟s no way to tell how YOUR body will react to the training. But whenever you DO reach this “plateau”, your next step is to finish out the week you‟re in and then take a much needed “recovery break”.
Another point at which you would take this break is if you were able to go a FULL 6 WEEKS of steady progress. In this case, your body is in need of a change of direction so this too will trigger your “recovery period”.

What do I mean by a “recovery period”? Well, this is NOT a chance to lay off the training altogether! Remember...for the hardgainer, your body would like nothing

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more than to get rid of all that muscle you‟ve just spent so much effort putting on, right? This is where “Sub-Failure Training” comes in!

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Sub-Failure Training And The Hardgainer

Once you‟ve hit the “Overtraining Zone”, you can‟t bully your way out of it as a lot of magazine articles and 13-year old forum posters would have you think. Fact is, your body simply CAN‟T train hard all the time...and this is ESPECIALLY true for hardgainers. So the answer is to CYCLE your workout intensity levels from time to time to allow your body to “catch up” in its recovery and be ready to move you to the next level of gains. Done correctly, reducing your training intensity for a short time will actually allow you to lift MORE weight and see MORE gains once you go back to your jacked up workouts, even allowing you to start with a higher weight than the one that stalled your training previously. There are many ways you can cycle your training to accomplish the same task, from taking time away from your workouts to completely changing the type of training you‟re doing. However when it comes to hardgainer training, there‟s been ONE WAY that I‟ve found to work better than all others... ...”Sub-Failure Training”! Sub-failure training is simply what you‟ve come to use during your lower body sets of your HPX workouts...basically stopping just about 2-3 reps short of muscular failure for any given exercise. This still provides SOME stimulation for your muscles, but isn‟t the massively damaging level you normally hit them with. The result is you sending a message that you DO need your muscles to maintain the mass you‟ve already put on without overtaxing your CNS and ability to recover from the thrashing you‟ve already dealt them. This works much better than simply taking time completely away from your training because for the hardgainer, your muscles are looking for any excuse they can come up with to ditch the new muscle mass.

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SO...once you‟ve reached a point of stagnation in your training results where 2 out of 3 workouts in the week result in NO GAINS or even a LOSS in your “Total Workload”… …OR …you‟ve gone 6 FULL WEEKS of continuous progress… …you‟ll then SWITCH THE EXERCISES YOU DO...but do NOT go to “failure” on ANY of your training sets! NONE! Just reduce the amount of weight you use in order to try to target the same amount of reps as usual, but you should find that you still have about 2-3 repetitions left in you once you reach that target. At that point, you want to put the weights down and move on. (Oh...and don‟t worry about recording your training workload data. It‟s not important during this cycle as long as you‟re NOT going to failure.) You‟ll continue in this sub-failure training mode for a period of 3 FULL WEEKS to allow your body sufficient time to recover. Then, at the end of this cycle, you‟ll move on to a completely NEW set of exercises from your HPX Exercise Tables and start the whole process over again, taking your “working sets” to failure, and recording your workload data, increasing your targets each week until the next time you see progress halted for 2 out of your 3 workout days, moving back into your sub-failure training cycle again. You can continue this training pattern over and over again to continue to “leapfrog” your gains further and further while you build more and more muscle!

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A Word From The “Nerd”... One special note here... You‟ll see in the following pages that I‟ve included a Tracking Log for the amount of weight you‟ve used for each exercise. When you DO cycle back to a specific exercise, my recommendation is to START at either the last MAX W EIGHT you used for that exercise or even progress UP by adding the smallest increment weight adjustment you can add. Following your sub-failure training, you should have increased in strength enough so that the last weight that gave you problems and initiated your plateau, is not EASIER to lift due to your current mass and strength gains. Challenge yourself and give it all you‟ve got!

Ok now there‟s one teeny weeny little detail that I‟ve not yet filled you in on. Ok, actually it‟s a GIANT WHOPPER of a detail that is going to absolutely BLOW YOU AWAY and SKYROCKET your gains! Are you ready? Ok...here it is...

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Carb Cycling And The Hardgainer
Those of you who are familiar with my Optimum Anabolics program (www.OptimumAnabolics.com) discovered my unique method for using “protein cycling” to greatly increase protein synthesis in your muscles while naturally triggering a massive dump of anabolic hormones. This discovery of mine revealed that the body‟s ability to adapt to “mini-crisis” with hormonal response and a resulting “overcompensation” based upon missing nutrients for extended periods of time, can be used to our advantage in our goal to build muscle. Well a friend of mine, Nick Nilsson, took on this same challenge when it came to periodic restriction of CARBOHYDRATES to see how the body responds. What he discovered was nothing short of AMAZING...and a variation of his experiment has earned a well-deserved spot in the Hardgainer Project X program! A Word From The “Nerd”... Nick is a great buddy of mine and I‟ve tagged him with the reputation as the “Mad Scientist” of the bodybuilding world. His insane experiments have resulted in some incredible discoveries that continue to push the limits on what the human body is capable of. I highly recommend checking out ANY of his programs at www.ScientificMassBuilding.com!

You see, when your body is deprived of certain essential nutrients, it MUST find a way to adapt. Now we‟ve already discussed the importance of CARBOHYDRATES in the hardgainer diet, right? Well, let‟s take a look at what happens when you RESTRICT your consumption of carbs for a short period of time...

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Without this important “fuel source”, your body must find other means to power the body throughout the day and especially during your workouts. As a result, your output of insulin decreases, along with your stored muscle glycogen levels, and there‟s a great reliance on body fat for fuel. This is why “low carb” diets work well for those people who are trying to burn body fat. Unfortunately, many dieters also lose important muscle mass while following a strict low-carb diet because they often don‟t TRAIN their muscles to send a message to their body that they NEED to hold on to it. That‟s a NINJA DEATH BLOW for the hardgainer and NOT what you want to have happen, right? But there‟s actually a way to USE this strategy in a way to GREATLY increase your hardgainer mass-building efforts...

Using Carb Cycling In A 3-Week Sub Failure Cycle:
If you‟ve hit a plateau in your training where you‟ve had 2 of your 3 workouts with no progress or a decrease in progress, you enter a 3-week sub-failure cycle, right? Well, during your first 2 W EEKS of your sub-failure training week, you‟ll maintain your regular diet schedule. However in the 3RD WEEK, right before you go back to training hard again, you‟re going to go on a LOW CARB DIET! The easiest way to do this is to simply limit yourself to ONE CARB SERVING per day that‟s the size of your FIST (a good, simple measurement of about a 30-40 gram serving.

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A Word From The “Nerd”... These carbs can be foods such as breads, rice, potatoes, cereals, beans (black, pinto, etc.), legumes, and such or any FRUITS. These are the foods that break down into sugar much faster and your goal is to limit this as much as possible during this week. But it‟s not necessary to worry about the carbs that are in your other foods such as milk, cottage cheese, fresh vegetables.

Using Carb Cycling In A 1-Week Sub Failure Cycle:
Remember…if you‟ve trained for 6 weeks and have seen steady progress each and every week, then you‟ll take a 1 WEEK sub-failure cycle in your training. This entire 1 week period will be your carb-deprivation cycle. Now in BOTH cases, it‟s best to consume this single serving IMMEDIATELY after your training when your body needs it the most so you avoid too much muscle breakdown at the point where you‟re most vulnerable. For this week, your goal is to get your muscles so STARVED for carbs by depleting your glycogen stores that when you re-introduce a high amount of carbohydrates, they‟ll pack away as much glycogen as possible in order to OVERCOMPENSATE for the “trauma” they just went through. The result is a GIANT mass gain in a very short period of time and INSANE POWER in the gym to start your next round of workouts when you go in and excite your body‟s central nervous system again with your HPX W orkouts!

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A Word From The “Nerd”... Imagine you were lost in the Sahara desert with no food or water for a week. Then, all of a sudden you come upon an oasis with a crystal clear waterfall, fresh water, and fruits hanging from every tree. You‟d gorge yourself as quickly as possible, soaking your insides with gallons of water and stuffing yourself with food as fast as you could shovel it past your lips, wouldn‟t you? THAT‟S how this method works with your muscles‟ glycogen stores! In fact, pro bodybuilders use this method about a week before they get ready to step on stage for a pose-down. After a very low carb diet, they load up on carbs right before a contest so that when they finally hit the stage, their muscles are stretched to the seams with the additional stored glycogen and they look RIPPED and SHREDDED!

Ok…enough talk! It‟s time for you to put all this knowledge to good use and kick some ass in the gym! The following pages will provide you with the step-by-step Workout Journal you should print out and take to the gym. As you begin to become familiar with the training strategy, here are some important notes you need to know…

Some Special Training Notes:
 You‟ll notice on “Sho uld e rs & Arms Da y” , your final set of an

ISOLATION exercise targets your TRICEPS! This is entirely by design since our goal is to build MASS and your triceps are by FAR the largest muscle group on your arms.

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Most people prefer to target their BICEPS, thinking that this will make them look bigger…and this is completely the OPPOSITE of how they should be training for more arm mass.
 As you‟ll see from your Training Guide, “Bac k Da y” supersets “pulling”

exercises with “rowing” exercises for 3 total supersets. This is due to your back being such a large muscle group and requiring function-specific targeting to hit all the muscle fibers.

“Che s t Da y” uses a bit of a different approach as well… Rather than use the same exercise for your chest for all of your sets, your first round uses an UPPER CHEST attack while your second set hits your LOWER CHEST. While all chest exercises hit the entire chest, I‟ve found this strategy to work best because it ensures you‟re hitting as many of the fibers as possible.

 For your ABS, the amount of weight you‟ll use for your workload calculations

on exercises such as Knee Raises will be HALF OF YOUR BODYWEIGHT. So if you weigh 150 lbs, consider each rep you do as lifting 75 lbs each time. This isn‟t exact, but it gives you a consistent figure to work with each training session. Then, either keep trying to do one more rep each workout or add a small amount of weight to your ankles (either with ankle weights, holding a dumbbell between your feet, etc.) in your next week‟s workout.
 The actual Workout Log is setup for you to print out and easily use to track

your weekly progression. It‟s structured with 6 weeks of your Day 1 Workout Log sheets followed by your Day 1 Tracking Log and then 6 weeks of your Day 2 workouts, Tracking Log, and so on. This is to allow you to easily view the previous week‟s exercises and amount of weight used in order to plan your current workout‟s progression, either by adding a bit more weight, or seeing how many reps you need to attempt in order to do better than the last week. I‟ve chosen 6 weeks of Workout Logs only to get you started. Again…you may only train 2-3 weeks before you reach your peak and need to transition to your sub-failure cycles and not need the other weeks‟ Logs that are included. OR…you may need 12-18 weeks before you plateau, in which case

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you can simply print out more Training Logs to keep slipping into your notebook as you go beyond the 6 weeks that are included. A Word From The “Nerd”... Ok…time to really dig into the training so let‟s go through a SAMPLE WORKOUT so you can see how all of these factors play out on the gym floor with some serious iron in your hands! Just take a quick peek at your BLANK Training Log sheets and then use the sample Log and Tracking sheets on the next pages to follow along on what your workouts should look like…

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Sample HPX Workout
Day 1: Shoulders & Arms Week:

1 .

Neuromuscular Activation Phase
Exercise Core Table 1 Table 2 Set 1 2 3 4
(Use same exercise for all sets)

Weight

Target Reps 12-15 12-15 12-15
(Stop 2-3 reps before failure)

Rest Periods 1 Min

Exer-Ball Crunch Reverse Back Extension Curl Squat

45 N/A 95 95 85

NM Activation

Table 3 or 4
(Alternate each workout)

12-15
(Stop 2-3 reps before failure)

2 Min

5

12-15
(Stop 2-3 reps before failure)

Neuromuscular Bridging Phase
Exercise
 10 second rest between each 5-rep set  2 minute rest before each superset (except no rest before last 20-rep “pump” set

Set 6 8 7 9 10 11 13 12 14 15

Weight

Total Reps X X X X X X X X X X

Total Load

Table 5 Bridge 1
Reps = 5-5-5-5-AMAP

Standing Military Press
(Use same exercise for both sets)

Table 6
Reps = 5-5-5-5-AMAP

Dumbbell Shrugs
(Use same exercise for both sets)

Table 7
Reps = ~ 20

Cable Lateral Raise Barbell Curl
(Use same exercise for both sets)

45 40 55 55 15 45 45 70 65 45

26 25 28 25 19 27 24 24 26 21

1170 1000 1540 1375 285 1215 1080 1680 1690 945
11,980

Table 8 Bridge 2
Reps = 5-5-5-5-AMAP

Table 9
Reps = 5-5-5-5-AMAP

Overhead Rope Extension
(Use same exercise for both sets)

Table 10
Reps = ~ 20

Rope Push Down

Total Workload =

Training Notes

Gym is less busy after 2:30 so I think I’ll come then from now on. Used overhead cable next to pulldown machine which reads “heavier”.

Total Workload
13580
(W eek 18)

- SAMPLE -

Weekly Workload Tracking: Shoulders & Arms

- SAMPLE -

13500
(W eek 17)

N/A
(W eek 16)

13140
(W eek 15)

13050
(W eek 14)

12238
(W eek 13)

Progress halted in Week 5 (def: if 2 of your 3 training days shows no progress within the week); switch exercises and do 3-week “SubFailure Training” cycle; last week is “carb deprivation”

12200
(W eek 12)

12005
(W eek 11)

11450
(W eek10)

N/A
(W eek 9)

Continuous progress for 6 weeks; switch to 1 week “Sub-Failure Training” cycle with “carb deprivation”

N/A
(W eek 8)

N/A
(W eek 7)

12500
(W eek 6)

12730
(W eek 5)

12465
(W eek 4)

12200
(W eek 3)

12150
(W eek 2)

11980
(W eek 1)

Week 4

Week 6

Week 8

Week 3

Week 7

Week 9

Week 5

Week 2

Week 1

Week 10

Week 11

Week 13

Week 16

Week 15

Week 12

Week 17

Week 18

Week 14

Sample HPX Workout Explanation
Ok, follow along with me on the sample Workout Log from the previous page and let me walk you through a sample day in your workout. To make things easy, each of your days lists the sequence of your training sets in the order they should be used (in the “Set” column). So your first set begins Phase 1 by working your core with a set of Exer-Ball crunches holding on to a 45lb dumbbell until you hit failure at about 12-15 reps. You rest for 1 minute and then do one set of Reverse Back Extensions, again reaching failure at about 12-15 reps. You would then rest 2 minutes before beginning your first set of your Neuromuscular Activation sets, which I‟ve chosen to be Curl Squats for this example. My first set (using 95lbs), I begin doing my sets and when I start to feel that I only have about 2-3 reps before I‟m going to reach muscular failure, I rack the weight and rest for 2 full minutes. Remember, it doesn‟t matter how many reps I do for these sets and I‟m not recording this number. As long as it‟s within 12-15 before I rack the weight, that‟s perfect. After 2 minutes, I do my 2nd set of Curl Squats using the same exact format. Same goes for the third set after my next 2 minute rest only you see that I‟ve adjusted the weight I‟m using in the Workout Log in order to make sure I‟m hitting the right target reps on my 3rd set. Once these three sets are finished, it‟s on to Phase 2 – my NM Bridging Sets… First, I‟ll hit the shoulders and begin with the Standing Military Press. I calculate my 1 Rep Max (1RM) to be 96lbs for this exercise so I use about 50% of that as my working weight, 45lbs in the sample Workout Log. Picking the weight up, I do 5 reps, lifting FAST (1-2 seconds) on the concentric phase of the movement where I‟m lifting the bar up in the air, and doing a slower 4-second descent for the negative (eccentric) phase of each rep. After 5 reps, I completely RACK THE WEIGHT so I‟m not holding it up at all. I wait about 8 seconds and then I pick up the weight again so I‟m ready to do my next 5 reps set at exactly the 10 SECOND mark.

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After 5 reps, I rack the weight again for another 10 second rest. I do this again for my 3rd and 4th sets and toward the end of my 3rd set, I can start to feel my muscles straining more…that‟s a good sign! Finally, on my 5th set, my goal is to do AS MANY REPS AS POSSIBLE, which “should” be at or close to my 5 rep target. As it turns out (looking at the sample log), I was able to do 6 reps on my last set so in TOTAL, I did 26 repetitions for this first exercise (5+5+5+5+6). I then rest for a full 2 MINUTES, taking this time to relax my muscles and maybe break out the calculator to add up my “Total Load” for that last set (in this case, 1170 lbs). Ok, it‟s been 2 minutes and I‟m ready for my next set (“Set 7” in the Workout Log) within this superset, which I‟ve chosen to be Dumbbell Shrugs, using 50% of my 1RM, or 55lbs. I follow the same exact format as my first exercise, using 5 sets of 5 reps until my last set in which I try to do as many as possible. In this example, I was able to do 8 reps on my last set for a total of 28 reps which I‟ve recorded. I again rest 2 full minutes and then switch back to my first shoulder exercise, the Standing Military Press (“Set 8” in sequence) to begin my next round for this superset using the same format. “Set 9” (my last set of rounds for the Dumbbell Shrug) come next in the sequence and once I‟m done with my NM Bridging sets, rather than take a 2 minute rest, I IMMEDIATELY jump into a 20 rep “pump set” of Cable Lateral Raises to finish off my shoulders. THEN I take a 2 minute rest in preparation for my next exercises, in this case for my ARMS on Training Day 1. Following along with the sample Workout Log, I‟ve followed the same exact format as I did for my shoulders only I‟m supersetting exercises between my BICEPS and TRICEPS. At the end of my workout, I simply add up all of my “Total Load” numbers for each of my sets and this gives me my “Total Workout Load” (in this case, I lifted a total of 11,980 lbs). I record this number on my “Weekly Workload Tracking Log” (see sample) for my Shoulders & Arms day and in the next week, my goal is to use the SAME EXERCISES I just used, but try to INCREASE my “Total Workout Load” from the previous week.

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As you‟ll see in the sample Tracking sheet, I was able to accomplish this for a total of 5 weeks. In Week 6, I DECREASED my Total Workout Load and, as depicted in the Tracking Sheet, decreased in at least one of my other two workouts for this week as well. This is why the Tracking Sheet shows a transition to my 3-week SUB-FAILURE TRAINING cycle (Weeks 7-9). As I made this transition in Week 7, I‟ll switch exercises completely to change things up. Also note that Week 9 is a CARB DEPRIVATION WEEK, right before jumping into the next cycle. Which brings us to Week 10 in this example when I begin my next ramp-up and back into going to full muscular failure, trying to continue making progress each week with my Total Workout Load as I did before. In the sample Tracking Sheet, I show that I was able to make steady progress for the full 6 weeks of training. Rather than pressing on, because I was able to go for 6 weeks WITHOUT seeing a decrease in Workout Load, I again change exercises completely and move into ONE SINGLE WEEK of sub-failure training AND carb deprivation. At the end of that week, it‟s back into a full-blown, all-out program with my new exercises, striving for continuous weekly progress.

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Hardgainer Supplement Secrets
I wonder how many of jumped straight from the Table Of Contents to this chapter. C‟mon…be honest! Probably a pretty good number of you because the fact is, hardgainers are a HUUUUUUGE section of the supplement market! After all…who better to market magic powders to than the scrawniest, most frustrated Joe‟s willing to dig deep into their wallets for a scrap of hope? Yes…supplement companies LOVE hardgainers! Hey, no one‟s blaming you for getting hooked on flashy ads in the muscle mags. We‟ve ALL been there. In fact, we‟re actually PROGRAMMED to believe that pills and powders have “special powers” since we allow doctors to prescribe us all sorts of pills that we have faith will cure us of any and all biological problems. And besides…we can all see how the addition of anabolic steroids can create INSANE muscle growth in pro bodybuilder mutants, right? Science is ALWAYS trying to come up with the shortcut and when you‟re a hardgainer and facing the prospect of a looooooong drawn out mission of trying to pack on even the slightest amount of muscle, a pill sounds like a much better deal when it‟s promising you 40 lbs of muscle in just 12 weeks. So with all the hype that‟s out there, I know that one of the most debated topics related to building muscle is… …“Are supplements REALLY necessary?” There are “experts” on both sides of the aisle who say that yes they are...and no they aren‟t. My personal friends who are fitness trainers and fall into the “you don‟t need supplements” camp ALSO happen to actually TAKE supplements so they don‟t have a very convincing argument when you‟re doing the opposite of what you preach. Besides, EVERYONE who‟s in this game is hoping for the next “big thing” to hit.

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And I have a confession to make… When I first started out as a bodybuilding coach, I too was one of the ones who downplayed the role of supplements. Mostly because I had personally purchased every last bottle, bag, eyedropper, tub or liquid muscle potion I could get my grubby little weight gloves on…and yet was STILL as frustrated as ever with my lack of gains. But as my research and testing advanced, I started to see the REAL purpose of supplementation and once I discovered how to PROPERLY add certain powerful supplements to my program…I became a HUGE FAN! But the lesson I try to convey to my clients is that there‟s a reason WHY they‟re called “supplements”. It‟s because they only offer a SUPPORTING ROLE in achieving you fitness goals. “Proper Supplementation” Progress Map

“Over-Training” – No Progress
Training Intensity & “Support”
Proper Supplementation Proper Exercise Proper Diet

Anabolic Zone
Proper Diet Proper Exercise Proper Supplementation

“Under-Training” – No Progress
Time The role of supplements are to help you push that “anabolic zone” wider and wider by zeroing in on the RIGHT supplements in the right amounts at the right TIMES. Each supplement plays a different role and the key is to find the best combination for YOUR body depending upon your specific challenges and goals. For example…

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…some supplements are designed to give you MORE ENERGY in the gym …some help you RECOVER FASTER from your workouts. …some support CELLULAR FUNCTION to help you increase overall performance such as in sports. …some help you BURN FAT faster. …some are tailored to “naturally” jack up your HORMONES. Pick a “problem” and there‟s a supplement for it! Fortunately, we already know the “hardgainer challenges” so we have a great foundation for prescribing the right supplement plan to help you achieve your goal of building more muscle. And all without making your wallet cry out for “MOMMA”! What I‟ve done is divided your supplement program into 3 categories in order to help you ramp up without breaking your bank account.    “Must Haves” ”Should Haves” “Nice To Haves”

First let‟s talk about the “Must Haves”; those supplements that in my opinion are absolutely CRITICAL to you reaching your goals.

“Must Have” Hardgainer Supplements

Protein Powder:
I thought I would get the obvious out of the way first. Well actually, you would THINK this is an obvious area and probably skip right by this section, right? But stick around…I may have SURPRISES for you! First, the reason WHY I recommend protein powder is because in order gain weight, you know that you‟re going to need to take in more calories.

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If you were to try to do this with plate after plate of chicken and rice, you‟d fell like a Sumo W restler throughout the day. Instead, it‟s much easier to DRINK your calories than it is to EAT them and PROTEIN SHAKES are the easiest way to add “food” to your day‟s meal plan without feeling bloated. But the coolest thing about protein shakes is their VERSATILITY! You can jam these things with whatever you need to make a complete meal. You can “spike” them with other complimentary supplements. They travel well to work, school, the gym...anywhere. AND…they‟re ABSORBED FASTER than “normal food”. A Word From The “Nerd”... Now this last one is a VERY important one for the hardgainer! Remember, protein is the most “thermic” nutrient so when you consume chicken, fish, beef, etc. some of those calories are going to be burned up just in the digestion process, right? But since protein shakes are absorbed much quicker, you have less “thermic effect” and you‟re able to maximize your calories and create a weight-gaining surplus much easier! In fact, I have MORE to say on this when we get to the TYPE of protein powder to use. It‟s controversial since it blows an “expert myth” out of the water…but it‟s time you learned the TRUTH! Read on…

Now one of the common misunderstandings about this supplement is the difference between a “PROTEIN POWDER” and a “MEAL REPLACEMENT POWDER” (MRP). They are NOT the same thing! “Protein powder” is simply that…straight up PROTEIN.

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Sure, the manufacturer may throw in a sprinkling of other supplements to try to get you to pay more for it, but there should be very little carbohydrates or fats in it. On the other hand, “meal replacement powders” contain a complimentary mixture of carbohydrates and dietary fat in order to simulate a more “balanced” meal. Unfortunately, sometimes these added nutrients aren‟t the right kind and you end up getting a bunch of sugar added to the mix that WILL jack up the calories and help you gain weight…but a LOT of it will be right around your waistline! My advice is to AVOID meal replacement powders! You can very easily add your own carbs and “good fats” to a blender and make your OWN meal replacement shake that will work much better. Plus it‟ll be a lot CHEAPER because you‟re not paying extra for all the sugar the supplement company included in the MRP. Now, let‟s talk about the various TYPES of protein and which ones you should be taking… Protein powder can come from several different sources, such as milk, egg, soy, or even hemp. Each has its ADVANTAGES and its LIMITATIONS when it comes to muscle building. But the most common and the most misunderstood are those proteins that are derived from a “milk” base. You see, companies have basically split milk down to try to carve out the most potent sources of its protein and have experimented with doing all sorts of funky stuff to it. This research and processing has resulted in the creation of such proteins as:        Casein protein Whey Concentrate Whey Isolate Ion-Exchange Whey Cold-Filtered Whey Hydrolized Whey And I‟m sure that science will be coming up with more versions!

Now the major debate over which protein source works best for building muscle takes place over the source‟s DIGESTION RATE and its BIOAVAILABILITY, or how well it‟s absorbed into the body for use by your muscles.

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On the LOW end of the spectrum for example, CASEIN PROTEIN “gels” in the stomach so it breaks down the slowest but is said to remain in your body longer, providing a slower feed of amino acids for muscle growth. On the other end of the spectrum, HYDROLIZED WHEY digests very rapidly and is said to burn out faster as well. (The other forms of protein fall somewhere in between these two low- and highend protein sources.) Now if you pay attention to most “hardgainer experts” out there, they‟ll tell you to use CASEIN as your PRIMARY supplement choice. The theory they use as their foundation has been that the proteins that are digested faster and absorbed quicker (like whey proteins) are best used for immediately AFTER training when your body needs it most. But SLOWER digested proteins, like casein, should be used the rest of the time in order to provide a longer term “feed” of amino acids to your muscles for sustained growth. Of course! this makes total sense, right? WRONG! A Word From The “Nerd”... Ok, this is one of the parts of the HPX program that I warned you about… I‟m about to blow one of the most common hardgainer myths out of the water and piss a LOT of personal trainers off. But once you know the truth behind protein research and how it affects the HARDGAINER, you‟ll know EXACTLY why this is so important.

Recent studies have shown that HYDROLIZED WHEY, the fastest absorbing protein there is right now, DOES digest very quickly and floods the bloodstream with powerful amino acids to support muscle growth. But while experts had initially believed that fast DIGESTION equaled fast ELIMINATION…a study out of the Copenhagen (Denmark) Muscle Research Center may reveal a SHOCKING insight...

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You see, researchers discovered that out of all of the proteins, whey protein hydrolysate not only had the highest availability of amino acids (meaning your body uses more of what you ingest)... ...but it ALSO had the highest availability of amino acids during the entire 3 HOURS AFTER CONSUMPTION! A Word From The “Nerd”... Now this is actually HUGE news for the hardgainer! While proponents for casein protein are in love with the fact that casein takes longer to digest, this actually works AGAINST the hardgainer‟s goals! Think about it… Since protein is the most thermic of nutrients, the longer your body takes to digest the casein, the more CALORIES you‟re burning in the process. This ends up making it HARDER to create a calorie surplus to get you to your goals! And besides…while supporters of casein claim that because casein digests so slowly that it can feed your muscle for up to 7 hours later, my response is… …SO WHAT?! Your meals aren‟t 7 hours apart!

Ok, so now that we know that the HIGHER a protein‟s quality, the more available the amino acids are for muscle synthesis… …and that these amino acids are actually more readily available even at 3 hours AFTER you‟ve consumed them (just in time for your next protein meal)… …which protein you should use actually becomes a NO BRAINER! Well, almost… Based upon what we know, HYDROLIZED WHEY is the KING of all proteins when it comes to muscle building!

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But I‟ve tested hydrolyzed whey and frankly, I‟ve found it to be pretty damned NASTY. It actually „cakes up” more in liquid…it doesn‟t taste as good AND…it can be VERY EXPENSIVE! But the real “take away lesson” here is that the HIGHER the quality of protein you use, the more amino acids you‟ll have available to be scooped up when your muscles need them for repair. Therefore, my recommendation is to buy a WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE as your protein powder choice. It‟s more economical, quickly absorbed, and it tastes great. As for OTHER protein sources, you may find a version that best fits with your lifestyle. For example, if you‟re lactose intolerant (although this isn‟t usually a problem with Whey Isolate because most lactose is removed), an EGG or SOY based product may work best for you. If you‟re a VEGETARIAN, a soy based product not only works great, but has other HEALTH benefits as well. A Word From The “Nerd”...

I definitely recommend a soy protein ISOLATE if you‟re going to go this route. It‟s better absorbed and besides helping you build muscle, soy helps protect against cardiovascular disease and can protect against colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer!

Now, on to the next supplement…

Boring Old Multivitamins/Minerals/Antioxidants:
Yeah, I know…not a very sexy topic, right?

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But all those biological functions you take for granted that are designed to help you build muscle, jack up your hormones, burn off any 6-pack-hiding fat, and give you energy all happen with the help of vitamins and minerals! Now in the good old days, eating a balanced meal would have taken care of giving you what you needed. Unfortunately this isn‟t really the case any more. First of all, with the type of training you‟ll be doing in the gym, you‟re asking your body to go above and beyond “normal” activity levels. This induces more “STRESS” than normal on the body because you‟re asking it to build more muscle and are taxing your recovery systems. But the saddest part is that the QUALITY of our food has degraded so much over the years because of poor production standards and overprocessing that strips away so much of the healthy nutrients our foods originally possessed. A Word From The “Nerd”... Don‟t worry, I‟ll spare you my “save the planet” speech. But it‟s a real tragedy how the food industry has lured our population into thinking that TV dinners called “Healthy Choice” are actually “healthy” and highly processed, high-sugar cereals are shown in cartoon commercials to kids calling it “part of a healthy, balanced breakfast” simply because they sprinkle in some vitamins! Give me a break!

Bottom line is, get yourself a good multivitamin, multimineral, antioxidant supplement and take it EVERY DAY for the rest of your life.

Creatine Monohydrate:
When you train in the gym, your body‟s primary fuel source for the beginning of any set you do is Adenosine Triphospate (ATP). I‟ll try and avoid getting too “scientific” on you but ATP is basically three phosphate molecules bonded together to provide a rapid energy source and as your muscles are working, ATP loses ONE of its phosphate molecules as it‟s helping you power through your lift.

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In order to replenish this fuel supply, it needs to look for another phosphate molecule in the muscles and this is supplied by a pool of CREATINE PHOSPHATE that you have naturally stored away. As the extra phosphate molecule is picked up, it recharges your immediate energy stores, creating a constant cycling of losing a phosphate molecule and picking one back up. At some point, you‟ll run low on creatine phosphate in your muscles and this is where your energy begins to drop and you feel fatigued. Obviously, the more creatine phosphate you have stored in your muscles, the LONGER and HARDER you can train, right? Well, herein lies the problem for HARDGAINERS! As we discussed earlier, Type 1 muscle fibers DON‟T contain a lot of creatine phosphate like your Type 2 fibers do. And since the ectomorph body is mostly made up of Type 1 fibers, that‟s a HUGE problem when it comes to fueling your workouts! A Word From The “Nerd”... This is especially important because remember your Neuromuscular Bridging sets... Having that creatine phosphate available for immediate resupply during those 10 second rest periods is CRITICAL for you to be able to push on and dig deep into stimulating your Type 2 fibers in your last few sets.

And finally, one of the other big benefits creatine can provide you is its ability to increase MUSCLE CELL VOLUMIZATION! You see, creatine actually has the added attribute of STUFFING your cells with more fluid and this will make you APPEAR “bigger” and more muscular. This is also one of the reasons why you‟ve heard you MUST make sure that you drink enough WATER throughout the day. Supplementing with creatine can dehydrate you as it soaks up water from your body PLUS the more water you take in, the “bigger” you can look because your muscle cells will have all the fluid they need to be packed in tight!

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So the basic goal here is to supersaturate your muscles with as much creatine phosphate as possible and THAT is why creatine supplementation is so important for the hardgainer! A Word From The “Nerd”... Now it‟s easy to get confused with all the different kinds of creatine you can find out there…Creatine Ethyl Ester, Micronized Creatine…”special super secret delivery methods”...blah blah blah... These are mostly ploys to get you to pay an arm and a leg for some hyped up bottle of cheap powder. Don‟t fall for it! All you really need is just straight up creatine monohydrate. Take in about 3-5 GRAMS before your workout and another 3-5 GRAMS after your workout and this will keep your creatine phosphate levels topped off nicely.

L-Glutamine:
The positive effects supplementing with the amino acid l-glutamine was first realized in the treatment of burn victims in hospitals. You see, l-glutamine makes up approximately 60% of the free amino acids in your muscle tissue. Because burn victims are confined to bed and unable to move as their wound heal, they would naturally experience a lot of muscle LOSS due to inactivity. Doctors found that supplementing with l-glutamine helped victims AVOID this loss of muscle tissue. That‟s great news for hardgainers who are used to seeing even the most meager muscle gains disappear in the blink of an eye due to their extremely CATABOLIC constitution…and this is where supplementing with l-glutamine can really help you out!

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As an ANTI-CATABOLIC, you‟ll find that you have a strong ally in holding on to the muscle you create as a result of your HPX training and nutrition. In addition, we now know that gutamine has a positive effect on your body‟s IMMUNE SYSTEM as well as your ENDOCRINE SYSTEM to help you maintain testosterone and growth hormone stores! But here‟s even one more benefit that‟s especially helpful for hardgainers... Recent research is finding that supplementing with L-glutamine can ALSO increase the MUSCLE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS which you now know is a real problem for guys with your body type! PLUS...glutamine is very ALKALINE so it helps maintain your body‟s pH balance to keep you from getting too acidic…which is ANOTHER problem for hardgainers! A Word From The “Nerd”... Now can you see why I‟ve listed l-glutamine as a “MUST HAVE” supplement for hardgainers? I recommend taking 1 GRAM of glutamine before each meal you take in order to reduce acidic response and increase protein synthesis...and 2 GRAMS immediately BEFORE and immediately AFTER your training sessions to buffer lactic acid and help avoid muscle loss due to training.

MELATONIN:
If you‟ve ever heard of melatonin before, it most likely was as a natural “sleep aid”. And it‟s true because melatonin is an natural hormone in your body that does regulate your sleep patterns and as we age, our bodies manufacture less and less of it. For the hardgainer, this is an even BIGGER problem because your body type often times struggles with getting enough restful sleep, right?

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But this is just ONE of the reasons I‟ve included it in my “Must Haves” supplements for ectomorphs! You see, melatonin actually plays a HUGE role in your body‟s overall hormone balance, your immune system, and even in your cognitive (mental) abilities. And since hormone balance is ALSO a problem for hardgainers, you MUST understand that you can‟t even TOUCH your other hormones without first ensuring that your natural melatonin levels are in balance. This is one of the reasons why melatonin is actually a great natural GROWTH HORMONE enhancer! But not everyone has to take melatonin. Our natural production levels begin to slow at about the age of 25 so here‟s my advice… If you‟re 25 or older, go ahead and add this to your daily supplement schedule in the doses I‟m about to give you. It‟s completely safe and natural and your body will thank you for it (and so will your wallet because it‟s CHEAP). If you‟re UNDER 25, then evaluate your quality of SLEEP at night and use this as your barometer for whether you may want to add this. If you find your having problems with your sleep patterns, then go ahead and begin taking this supplement on a regular basis at the smallest dosage shown in the chart below. ALSO…if you have a job where you work the “graveyard shift” (like from 10pm – 6 am), then realize that you‟re ALREAD screwing around with your body‟s hormone balance regardless of your age! Since your natural sleep rhythms have been programmed since the beginning of time that “night” is when you‟re supposed to be asleep, you mess with your melatonin production BIG TIME! In other words…you NEED to supplement with melatonin!

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Here‟s the dosage levels:

Melatonin Dosage For This Formula: Age: Dosage: (Male) Dosage: (Female) 25-30 1.5-3.0 mg .25-1.0 mg 31-40 2.0-5.0 mg .5-3.0 mg 41-50 2.5-7.5 mg 1.0-4.0 mg Above 50 3.0-9.0 mg 2.0-5.0 mg

And the LAST “Must Have” supplements for hardgainers we‟ll talk about are…

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s )
Branch Chain Amino Acids are the bottom line basic components of protein and the most readily used by your body in the repair and rebuild process for new muscle growth. And for hardgainers, they are an absolute MUST because not only do they boost protein synthesis, but they ALSO lower cortisol levels in your body that are trying to eat away at all that new muscle tissue. As you may recall from earlier sections, muscle breakdown is a BIG problem during your workouts. This is why I prescribe taking 10-15 GRAMS of BCAA‟s DURING your workouts to help you avoid muscle being used for “fuel” while stimulating faster muscle recovery and growth. But I also recommend taking some BCAA‟s a few other times during the day when you need it most… For example, take in about 1 GRAM FIRST THING IN THE MORNING and again RIGHT BEFORE BED, the two other times when protein synthesis and cortisol control are critical.

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A Word From The “Nerd”... Now do NOT buy this in capsule form or as a tablet. It‟s a big rip off! Buy it in bulk and it will be MUCH cheaper and last you a lot longer. My preferred supplier is a company at www.PureBulk.com. I‟ve been ordering from them for a LONG time and all their bulk supplements are pharmaceutical grade…and CHEAP! I‟ve also worked it out that if you order ANY supplements from them, just put the word “musclenerd” into the coupon code area in the checkout section and they‟ll knock off an extra 5%.

Ok, now were on to the “Should Have” supplement listings…

“Should Have” Hardgainer Supplements

These are those supplements that can be very helpful, but if you don‟t have the money for them, this is where I would skim first. And the first one is one you probably wouldn‟t expect to be on the list...

Psyllium Seed Powder:
Psyllium seed powder is a powerful dietary fiber supplement and the main ingredient in many over-the-counter products geared to help you overcome constipation. Now you‟d think that getting more fiber is something just for little old ladies, but the fact is that because of your overly refined diets, hardly ANYONE gets enough fiber these days! But here‟s why Psyllium can be especially helpful for the HARDGAINER… If you don‟t get enough fiber, then the food you eat doesn‟t work its way through the several feet of digestive tract.

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Instead, it gets plastered to the sides of your colon and intestines like spackle on a wall. After a little while, that gloppy spackling decays and releases toxins into your body and these toxins can do all kinds of nasty damage to your health from reducing energy levels and performance to causing disease. But one other problem with this layer of caked on putrid, rotting matter stuck to your digestive tract is that it ALSO lessens the amount of NUTRIENT ABSORPTION you get from the food you consumer! And since I‟m asking you to possibly EAT more food, you‟re going to want to get as much out of that food as possible, right? Now eating fibrous fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to get in a recommended 24-30 grams or so of fiber…but not many people actually do this. So if you need a little extra help, psyllium is a great addition! For one thing, when the psyllium combines with water in your stomach, it bulks WAY WAY up! From here, it works its way though your digestive tract and acts like a broom to clean out your “pipes”, removing that rotting, decaying matter with it from the sides of your intestines and colon while extracting pockets of toxin-loaded sacs that could have caused you harm. A Word From The “Nerd”...

Here‟s the math… Cleaner pipes = better nutrient absorption + more energy + better health + less body fat + MORE MUSCLE!

To use psyllium correctly, start with 1 – 2 teaspoons a day (once in the morning and once in the afternoon) added to some water, juice, or your protein shake. Drink it QUICKLY because it will begin to bulk up not long after it hits liquid. Then IMMEDIATELY drink at least 8 OUNCES OF WATER...and keep drinking plenty of water throughout the day!

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A Word From The “Nerd”... This is VERY important! If you don‟t drink enough water, the psyllium will constipate you and cause cramps as it moves through your system. As it is, you‟ll probably experience some cramps anyway, but as long as you‟re starting with a smaller dose and drinking lots of water, then don‟t worry about it…it‟s just working its way through and expanding your colon to clean it out. Again, the key is to start with no more than 1 teaspoon at a time and drink water ALL DAY LONG!

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) + Fish Oil:
Both of these supplements are great daily additions because they help regulate cell function, create properly structured cells, and aid in the ability to build muscle and burn fat. Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a naturally occurring free fatty acid found mainly in meat and dairy products and fish oil is another form of essential fatty acid that‟s a powerful addition to the hardgainer supplement profile. How so? Well, BOTH of these “good fats” are what we call “nutrient partitioners”. That means that they help you regulate fat and protein metabolism by literally STEERING the nutrients you take in into MUSCLE rather than turning into FAT. This also helps to reduce your natural CATABOLIC challenges to help you hold on to that muscle! In addition, FISH OIL also provides your body with essential fatty acids that your body can‟t manufacture itself and creates a solid cell structure to build the rest of your body on.

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A Word From The “Nerd”... Remember...you‟re only as good as your foundation! Having a solid cell structure that‟s working efficiently gives you the cornerstone to build quality new muscle at breakneck speed! It‟s not a very “sexy” supplement…but all that new muscle WILL be sexy!

I recommend you take 1 gram EACH of CLA and Fish Oil 3 times a day with your meals. And finally we come to your…

“Nice To Have” Hardgainer Supplements
Now some of you are going to be tempted to jump right into these and blow right past the other “Must have‟s” or “Should Have‟s” because these have much more allure. DON‟T! These only come AFTER you‟ve committed to the others. The first one is an “old school” supplement used by bodybuilders back in Arnold‟s stage days…

Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil (MCT Oil):
MCT Oil is a FAT…but it‟s digested DIFFERENTLY than other fats. For one, they MCT‟s CANNOT trigger fat storage no matter how much you take! Weird...but TRUE! Also, they produce a LOT of energy and are burned very quickly, so when you‟re training it actually SAVES your muscles from being broken down for fuel. All you need to do is take about ONE TABLESPOON by itself about 20-30 minutes before weight training as an anti-catabolic.

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Digestive Enzymes:
Digestive enzymes typically come from either pepsin, papain, or papaya and help to break down nutrients from the food you eat into usable energy. But research has ALSO found that enzymes improved the absorption of amino acids and increased nitrogen retention. In fact, in a recent clinical study, respondents who consumed digestive enzymes with their meals showed an INCREASE IN PROTEIN SYNTHESIS with free amino acid levels up by 100%...branched chain amino acids (BCAA's) by 250%...and nitrogen retention by 32%! All that is good news because it can DRASTICALLY increase your body‟s ability to grow more muscle! Plus, for hardgainers there‟s ANOTHER big benefit... Since protein uses up more calories in digestion, enzymes can SPEED UP the process thereby reducing the "thermic effect" of ingested proteins. This helps you better maintain a caloric surplus for weight gain AND get better synthesis from the smaller amount of protein you ARE taking in! A Word From The “Nerd”... VERY cool, huh? I would have put this supplement into the “Must Have‟s” except that it‟s kind of hard to find and it can get a bit pricey. Is it worth it? Hell yeah! But lay the foundation first and then add this powerful hardgainer supplement later on.

L-Arginine:
The amino acid L-arginine has become VERY popular over the years because it‟s what‟s called a “VASODILATOR”.

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That‟s a cool fancy way of saying that it helps you maintain that “pumped up” feeling you get from the gym by increasing blood flow throughout your body. This is good because as we‟ve discussed, I‟m a firm believe that the pump DOES make a difference when it comes to building bigger muscles. So the LONGER your muscles can stay pumped, the better you can “program” those muscle fibers to increase their capacity for future gains. But what a lot of people don‟t realize is that l-arginine is ALSO a powerful GROWTH HORMONE RELEASER! A Word From The “Nerd”... Hopefully you have a copy of my program called “Make Your Own Supplements” at www.MakeYourOwnSupplements.com! In it, I cover this powerful supplement in great detail as it‟s a mainstay in so many of my personal supplement recipes. Since it has so many applications, timing your intake to make sure it integrates with all of your goals is important. However, for the purposes of this program, I‟ll just share my recommended dosage without going into all the other times this supplement can come to your aid in gaining more muscle…

For dosage, you‟ll want to take in about 1-3 GRAMS RIGHT BEFORE GOING TO BED to maximize your body‟s natural release of growth hormone while you sleep. Oh, one more thing… There are several different types of l-arginine on the market these days from straight l-arginine to l-arginine alpha ketoglutarate, -ethyl esther, etc. While I‟m not always a proponent of seemingly more “advanced” versions, this is one case in which I DO recommend the ALPHA KETOGLUTARATE version of larginine. It‟s the most potent so you can use about half as much as regular l-arginine and it‟s really come down in price so it‟s very economical. If you do use the AKG version, split the dosage in half so you‟re taking from .5 to 1.5 grams at night.

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“Testosterone Boos ters ”:
You wanted sexy? You got sexy! Testosterone boosters are some of the most expensive supplements you‟ll ever find on the market. NOT necessarily because they WORK...but because guys WANT them the most! Look, we‟re not stupid! We know that pro bodybuilders on steroids have MASSIVE amounts of testosterone as a result… …and we know that TESTOSTERONE BUILDS MUSCLE, right? PLUS…we also now know that HARDGAINERS don‟t have an endocrine system that produces or uses testosterone as well as naturally muscular mesomorphs. But I have a problem with setting you up with testosterone boosting supplements that you pick up from … The problem is that you‟re messing around with the endocrine system and all the expensive supplement companies know they‟d get sued if you screwed this up. SOOOO...the amounts they put in their supplements are pretty worthless. This is actually more of a science to do this right and way too intensive to add to this program. If you‟re truly interested in following this path, then I urge you to get my “How To Make Your Own Supplements” program and look at my recommendations because I have my own PERSONAL TESTOSTERONE BOOSTER RECIPE in that program as well as a GROWTH HORMONE RECIPE that really DOES work. Again, you can learn more at www.MakeYourOwnSupplements.com!

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