I get a lot of guys asking how they can gain muscle and/or lose fat. They’ll say they’re “hard gainers” and thus, have a very hard time gaining any muscle.
Then they tell me they’ve tried everything and nothing works.
For example, they’ll eat more food and they do gain weight, but it ends up being mostly fat.
Or they are exercising too much and they cut back, to allow more recovery and let the muscle grow, but then end up again getting fatter with very little muscle growth.
They’ll try heavyweights, lightweights, low or high reps, and all sorts of different workouts trying to gain muscle, but nothing seems to ever work.
Or if it does, it’s temporary and something stressful happens in their life and they quickly lose all the newly gained muscle.
And thus, they feel very frustrated and hopeless. They feel like giving up.
Of course, there are correct ways to do all of this and I’ll show you how in future articles.
I Feel Your Pain…
However, I totally understand and relate to “hard gainers” because I was the same way.
When I first started working out, I was 6’1” and only weighed 145 lbs. Obviously, very light.
After a year of working out, instead of gaining weight, I actually lost 15 lbs. I only weighed 130 lbs. I was basically anorexic.
I did all the wrong things and I’ll tell you about them all in future articles, so you don’t make the same mistakes.
So, I totally get it and I feel your pain.
However, the good news is that after years of trying different diets, workouts, supplements and so forth, I very slowly gained a little bit muscle each year to my current weight of about 205 lbs at 6’3”.
Of course, that’s still not very big. I wish I had another 10 lbs of muscle. But, it’s big enough for my genetics and the fact that I’m natural and almost 50 years old.
Now, I’ll get deeper into this topic and all that I’ve learned, in future articles, including my workouts, diets, and supplements.
Learn How To Relax!
However, today I want to talk about a topic that is rarely spoken about when it comes to gaining muscle and/or losing fat and that’s – controlling stress, worry, and anxiety.
I’ve noticed over the years that “hard gainers” and people who have difficulty gaining muscle and keeping it, tend to have a lot of nervous energy.
They worry more, feel more stressed, have anxiety and aren’t very good sleepers.
They’re not typically, “easy going” people. They tend to be more Type A personalities.
And, this is my own problem as well, something I still deal with to this day.
Why It’s Important?
And the problem is when you have worry, anxiety, and stress, your body’s cortisol, and stress hormones go up. This eats away at your muscle and increases body fat.
At the same time, high-stress hormones, such as cortisol, decrease anabolic hormones such as testosterone.
So the imbalance in these two hormones alone causes muscle loss and fat gain at the same time. This is why some people are called, “skinny-fat”.
Also, the ratio of testosterone to estrogen changes and you become more estrogen dominant. And higher estrogen levels cause more anxiety and worry.
Additionally, anxiety, worry, and stress cause other hormonal and chemical imbalances, such as high insulin levels and decrease neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
When dopamine and serotonin drop, so does your happiness, drive, and emotional well-being. Ironically, there is also an increase in anxiety because of this.
So my point with all of this is that hard-gainers, generally have more anxiety and worry more. This causes negative hormonal and chemical changes, which causes more anxiety and worry.
And all of this makes gaining muscle and losing fat very difficult – regardless of how perfect your diet or exercise program is.
How To Fix It
So the solution here is you need to learn to relax more. Don’t think the worst all the time. Don’t fly off the handle and freak out. Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future.
Try to live in the moment. Have more gratitude and appreciation in your life, instead of expectations.
Try to meditate if you can or just put aside 15 minutes daily to go for a nice walk or close your eyes and clear your mind.
And make sure you get better and deeper sleep. This is a big game changer and will allow you to gain more muscle and lose fat easier.
And yes, this is all easier said than done. It does take time, practice, and making new habits.
But it’s well worth it. You’ll look and feel better.
Of course, we all need help, especially at the beginning.
It’s time you discover a special formula I use about an hour before bed, that helps me relax. It dramatically decreases my tension, worry and any feelings of stress and anxiety.
It improves my hormones, cortisol, serotonin and dopamine levels.
And best of all, it helps me get a deeper and better sleep.
All of this translates to better recovery, improved hormones, and thus, more muscle and lower body fat.
And you can use this formula any time you’re under extra stress or have anxiety.