The internet is overflowing with articles and blogs on weight loss, YouTube will show you thousands of weight loss programs and diet videos, billboards and TV screens are plastered with advertisements marketing various products and clinics that will help you lose weight- the world seems obsessed over losing weight.
While obesity due to modern lifestyle choices and societal expectations of runway-ready figures are legitimate issues that must be combated, this often happens at the cost of turning a blind eye to a demographic that is struggling to gain weight.
If you resonate with this struggle, fret not- you’re not alone. In fact, there is a considerable proportion of the population who are ectomorphs naturally inclined towards a skinny build and high rate of metabolism.
No matter how much you stuff yourself with food, you never seem to put on the pounds. While your friends may occasionally comment on how jealous they are of your lean build, you may often feel insecure about your figure.
Societal expectations of the ‘ideal body type’ is a double-edged sword that is targeted at making one feel insecure about themselves- if someone is on the hefty side they feel compelled to lose weight, but if you’re naturally skinny, you aren’t left off scot-free either.
If you are a man you are constantly exposed to the ideals of apparent masculinity- a broad chest and powerfully muscled. If you are a woman, your femininity is questioned if you are not well-endowed with ‘curves’ in the right places. In addition, being lean can often lead people to assume you are ‘delicate’ and ‘weak’.
This constant need to match up to a so-called normative idea of an attractive body-type and muscle-build can wreck hell within you and completely ruin your self-esteem. This is when you may find yourself wanting to put on some weight- but it is easier said than done.
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Basics of Gaining Weight
Gaining weight is a complicated, albeit scientific, process if your body isn’t naturally hardwired towards it. On paper, it looks deceiving simple- you need to follow the right diet and workout plan. However, executing this, in reality, requires a considerable investment of time and energy and can often turn out to be quite a trial-and-error enterprise.
1. Weight Gain and Diet
Eating for weight and muscle gain isn’t just consuming large amounts of food mindlessly. While you do need to consume calorie-heavy food such as carbs, fats, and proteins to maintain a calorific surplus in your diet (that is, you consume more calories than you burn), you need to ensure they are the healthy variants. You want to build muscle, not fat- and you definitely don’t want to give yourself a heart disease.
2. Working Out to Bulk Up
When it comes to your workout routine, you need to engage in extensive weight training. Even if you don’t want to shell out on a gym membership, investing in some basic equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, and eventually a barbell weight set, will definitely pay off through your weight gain journey.
3. Nutritional Supplements
Sometimes the weightlifting and a calorie-heavy diet aren’t sufficient to transform your ectomorphic build. You may need some additional support from weight gaining nutritional supplements like protein shakes and weight-gain mixes to see the best results.
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Who is a Hard-Gainer?
A hard-gainer is someone with an ectomorphic build who finds it difficult to put on weight and muscle despite regularly working out with heavy weights and maintaining a calorific surplus in their diets.
As a hard-gainer or ectomorph, your metabolism is extremely fast and your body burns through the fat and carb reserves you have provided through your diet, and moves on to burn muscle mass as fuel. Consequently, putting on weight and musculature is quite the ordeal for you.
Do You Really Need to Gain Weight?
On one hand, the need to gain weight could be fuelled by seeking social validation, on the other, it might be because you are clinically underweight. Both of these are equally legitimate reasons- and while the latter addresses your physical health, the former ensures your mental well-being.
Being Underweight: Medical Concerns
- If you are clinically underweight, regardless of your gender, you will consistently feel fatigued and lethargy whenever you physically exert yourself a bit.
- You might find it difficult to sustain your energy to go about day-to-day activities and keep pace with those around you.
- Being underweight may be an indication of malnutrition or vitamin deficiency as well. You may be stuffing yourself with food to put on weight, but you aren’t eating right and are missing out on key micronutrients.
- Your skin, hair and nails, which are indicators of your overall health, would show warning signs.
- You run the risk of frequently falling sick due to a weakened immune system.
- Since being underweight weakens your immune system, this can lead to infections and other complications if you undergo surgery.
- Osteoporosis, or weakened and degenerating bones, is a serious side-effect of being underweight which can slowly creep up on you as you grow older. Bone degeneration also makes you susceptible to fractures. Though this can affect both genders, women are especially susceptible.
- Anemia is another common comorbidity of being underweight which can be a serious cause of concern for women.
- Underweight women may suffer from irregular menstruation, and in extreme cases, their fertility may be affected.
- If you are underweight, you also run a higher risk of being affected by sarcopenia, or muscle wasting due to advanced age.
- The connection between being underweight and susceptibility to dementia is an all too real prospect that often goes unacknowledged.
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The Psychological Impact of Being Underweight
Psychologically, putting on some weight if you are too skinny can help you boost up your self-confidence and improve your view of self. If underweight, one often becomes overwhelmed by societal expectations and develops depression or anxiety. Gaining weight can be an avenue of reclaiming your mental peace and working through the depression and anxiety.
Here’s my transformation, in case you were wondering.
Typically, we are warned against the ills of obesity, but there is a sore lack of awareness regarding the dangers of being underweight and just how fatal it can prove to be in the long run. In fact, studies conclude that being underweight exponentially increases your chances of an early death, reportedly more than even obesity does.
Why Should You Go With an Online Program?
The internet is a treasure trove of information, and you will find thousands of articles and videos on isolated techniques and exercises to gain weight. However, this becomes a problem because you are left to your own devices to prepare a ‘program’ or routine that will work for you.
Pitfalls of Crafting a Workout Routine from Scratch
As an amateur, this is a tough spot because weight gain, and fitness in general, requires a considerable amount of trial-and-error. Without professional guidance, it is very likely that you will make a lot of mistakes along the way to perfect your routine- mistakes which may prove to be costly.
2. Expectations vs. Reality
Creating a fitness routine for yourself involves a lot of time and effort gone into tonnes of research- but they may not give you your desired results. You may not be able to reach your desired weight goals, or do so within the anticipated time frame. Given the amount of energy you have put into constructing your routine and implementing it, this can be very demotivating indeed.
On the internet, it is very difficult to differentiate between misinformation and credible information until you have faced the brunt of it yourself. Without the experienced discerning eye of a professional, you can easily fall prey to misinformation and end up wreaking havoc on your body.
Benefits of a Weight Gain Program
This is where a credible online program crafted by a professional comes to your rescue. There’s an array of such verified programs that have been tried, tested, and attested by professionals and satisfied clients.
Having a bulking program for ectomorphs ensures that you get all your information from a single platform and have a clear idea of what you can realistically expect. Establishing specific goals also allows you to track your progress effectively.
All in all, an online weight gain program will help you maximize your efforts in the right direction without having to waste your time trying out a bunch of different things that may confuse your body.
Best Weight Gain Programs to Try
There are a bunch of raved about weight gain programs out there for hard-gainers. Whatever your lifestyle or gender may be, there is a program out there that can help you achieve your desired goals. However, it is important to cross-check their legitimacy to ensure they are the right partner to safely coast you along your weight gain journey.
I have researched and tried out a multitude of these programs to figure out which ones work best for hard-gainers and help make your decision process easier. These programs are some of the safest, best-rated and most successful ones available.
Here are the top 5 tried and tested weight gain programs for hard-gainers so you can have a pick of the lot based on your individual requirements:
Who is it For?
The Bony to Beastly Program is the perfect weight gain program for men who are just starting out on their fitness journey. Tested and perfected over the course of years, this is an all-rounder holistic bulking guide for ectomorph males.
The basic tenets of this program involve intense weight lifting, the right calorie-surplus nutritious diet, and ‘quality sleep’- which yield brilliant results when followed meticulously. They promise an impressive 20 pound gain over the course of 20 weeks if you follow their thrice-a-week 1-hour workout sessions. It comes with a 90 day full refund policy!
Why Should You Go for It?
As part of the Bony to Beastly Program, you will receive a detailed workout plan as well as a book of bulking recipes to help you experience an organic but extraordinary transformation. The goal of this program to gain lean muscle and bulk up in the right places- your chest, shoulders, and arms, fix your posture and feel comfortable in your own skin, and improve your nutrition levels.
Here’s my complete review on Bony to Beastly Bulking Program.
Who is it For?
The Bony to Bombshell Program is a great bulking program for women looking to shape up and gain some strength.
This is the women’s counterpart to the Bony to Beastly Program, and therefore has few of the same basic principles- working out with weights, the right calorie-surplus nutritious diet, and ‘quality sleep’. The Bony to Bombshell program is tailor-made for women to gain weight and bulk in the right places to enhance their femininity and attractiveness.
Why Should You Go for It?
The program helps you increase your waist to hip ratio to give you a more hourglass silhouette, build your glutes and thighs to look more shapely, and improve your posture.
This lauded program incorporates all the research on the subject up to 2020, and offers you the ideal weight gain program for women through the Bombshell Workout Guide and the “Easy-Curves Recipes” eBook.
Who is it For?
Dr. David Reuben’s Quick Weight Gain Program is a popular guide that helps you gain weight in under six months, and is a good bulking program for ectomorphs according to the reviews.
With a scientific understanding of nutrition providing the base to this program, it is not only easy and accessible, but also completely safe for practically all demographics- across gender, age, and lifestyle.
Why Should You Go for It?
Dr. David Reuben, who is a nutrition expert and physician, has put his years of experience into building this program that provides a holistic weight gain solution which is scientific, ingenious, effective and educational.
Who is it For?
The Bony to Beastly Intermediate Bulking Program is, as the name suggests, an intermediary program. Targeted at men who have some experience in lifting weights, this program elevates your bulking journey to the next level.
The Intermediate Bulking Program is extremely flexible in structure, and you can pick the exact number of days you are available to work out per week, the muscle groups you want to focus on building, targeted exercises to counteract specific weaknesses, and so on.
The program incorporates general strength training to develop strength and endurance, with a targeted bulking program for skinny guys that will help you gain a lot more muscle mass on your shoulder girdle, upper back, arms, and neck than a beginner’s routine.
The end result is a conspicuous increase in overall bulk, strength, and improved posture that culminates towards a powerfully masculine aesthetic physique.
Why Should You Go for It?
This powerhouse program is acclaimed for delivering on its promises, and helping destroy gaining-plateaus that ectomorphs are so susceptible to. The Bony to Beastly Intermediate Bulking Program for skinny guys guarantees results within four months even if you practice at least 80% of the program diligently.
Who is it For?
Building chest muscles can be notoriously hard for some ectomorph men. Even when you are following a weight gain program religiously and noticing prominent results on your arms and shoulders, your pecs can prove to be particularly stubborn. The Bony to Beastly War Chest Program is the perfect solution to this problem, and a great bulking program for ectomorphs.
This 18-week chest workout program compiles the perfect exercises to stimulate your chest for growth and recovery and ensures you sail through without facing gaining plateaus.
The program includes three full body-workouts each week that focus on the chest extensively but ensure you maintain the muscle tone and strength in the rest of your body.
Why Should You Go for It?
The key feature of this program is that it educates you about the chest anatomy and why your chest might be so frustratingly difficult to grow, and walks you through how to overcome the issue.
You can attempt the program right at home with dumbbells if you do not have access to the gym. The illustrated guide is extremely user-friendly and ensures you see maximum results even when all else fails.
Concluding Thoughts: Invest in the Right Program for You
You might feel skeptical about the need to invest in a weight gain program online. That is understandable, considering these seem to be quite expensive at first glance and there is already so much free information on the topic floating around online. However, the structure and convenience of a tried-and-tested credible program created by professionals can never match up to isolated weight gain attempts.
Don’t Let Your Efforts go to Waste
You may be faced with medical complications and side-effects from a poorly structured workout routine and diet, which can prove to be a hefty cost to pay.
Add to that the nutritional supplements and shakes you might be experimenting with- they are quite expensive as well and may not yield you the expected results.
Make a Smart and Educated Investment
In fact, the cost-benefit analysis will always come out in favor of a single weight-gain program that addresses your weight-gain goals and concerns.
Once you find the right weight-gain program for your goals, it will be a smooth sail to becoming your best self. This initial investment will yield you exemplary results and end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.