Find Hardgainer Bodybuilding Success with: Tweak and Repeat

May 19, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

The ‘Done for you’ bodybuilding regime is on hold for a day folks! Something else to share with you today.

In fact, this will help you with those up and coming bodybuilding regimes.

Let me introduce you to the concept of

Tweak and Repeat!

A whole lot of ‘tweak’ in fact.

As you may know, the only way to make your muscles explode is by switching up your workout routines and tweaking your exercises. But in reality, the tweaking goes beyond just exercise and routines.

In order to find real bodybuilding success, you’ll have record and analyze many other activities in your life. All of which have a direct impact on your ability to successfully take your muscles to the next level. It really is a bodybuilding ‘life’ affair.

Allow me to elaborate… in detail!


Tweak and Repeat

Your Exercises

Like I said earlier… tweaking your exercises is one of the first things that you will have to do to take your muscles to the next level. You’ll probably have to try many things too in order to find a change that works for YOUR body.


If you are a hardgainer you would naturally want to build for bulk. So your routine may start off with heavy weightlifting routines ONLY. But then you will want to find the right balance when performing,

  • Cardio exercises
  • Bodyweight exercises
  • Weightlifting exercises

All of which are important on the quest to maintain optimum fitness. The default solution would be something like this,

Heavy Weight Exercise Techniques (After initial results)

The name of the game is to shock your muscles for never-ending bodybuilding success. Also known as muscle confusion to some. Here are some techniques:

  1. Supported One Arm Cable Push-downs
  2. Leg Extension Negatives
  3. Incline Dumbbell Rows
  4. Bicep Curls (Laying Down)
  5. 100 Rep Sets
  6. Flex Hard, Hold Hard
  7. Repeating the same exercises in the same workout routine (Once at the beginning, once at the end)
  8. Drop Sets – Lift a heavy weight, perform till failure, gradually strip off the weight, continue and repeat until your muscles die.
  9. Forced Reps – Force yourself to lift more weight with the help of a spotter.

Read these posts for the full explanation.

Shock Body Exercise Variations (The whole series)

Shock Your Muscles with Repetition

Bodyweight Exercises

A mixture of weight assisted bodyweight exercises, suspension training and functional exercises.

You will find a vast array of those in these posts,

Unique bodyweight exercises (The whole series)

Help Me Bulk Up My Long Giraffe Neck!

Unique Backyard Exercises (The whole series)

Unique Functional Strength Exercises

And if you want to take things further, pick up the unique bodyweight exercises ebook (Version 2.0 announcement on the way soon)

The equipment needed can be found on this page, compiled by yours truly.

Bodybuilding Resources

Cardio Exercises

Just two low/ moderate intensity sessions per week. Adjust this number according to your individual goal. Either way, as a hardgainer, you probably won’t ever want to perform more than this number. Doing so really will hamper your muscle building results. Unless you really have stepped out of hard gainer territory!

All of the above is the basics of how to build real strength and muscle. But the you must,

Tweak and Repeat!

What this means is that you need to record what worked in the first few weeks or months. Like… literally. Write it down! ipod touch, iphone, notepad or whatever it is you have at your disposal.

The reason for doing this is that time will pass and you will probably forget some of the key critical moments when found techniques that worked for you. You will then soon stumble upon a day where nothing seems to be going right for you in your workouts.


Losing muscle mass, even though you swear blind that you’ve done nothing drastically wrong for this to happen!

So… you go back to the drawing board, analyse your recorded results from previous weeks, look for patterns, tweak and repeat your findings.

Tweak and Repeat

Your Meal Plans and Digestion Periods

The recommended amount of time to eat and digest your pre workout meal is 2 hours (4 hours to be safe). But you should actually tweak this time period.

The main reason for doing so, is that you want to have as much energy in your body so that you perform the best you can in your workouts. I personally like give myself a 2 hour gap between pre-workout meal and workout session. That’s because I am a human dust bin and I digest food at a frightening pace. But I only found that out from tweaking and repeating (Many, many years back of course).

Just make sure you aren’t attempting any 1 hour digestion time periods. Because you will be,

  1. Sick
  2. Or face a serious stitch in your gut area


Tweak and Repeat

Your Sleeping Patterns

It’s the 21st Century folks! So I know that you don’t get enough sleep already. Life really has become ‘busy’. Unfortunately for you, you have decided to take up bodybuilding. And unfortunately for you, sleep is another backbone factor to successfully building muscle.


(7 hours will do… I’m being generous)

However, all of our bodies work differently. So if you ever do face a decrease in muscle mass, this is definitely one of the areas you will want to focus on tweaking.

Read this post if you have trouble getting enough sleep

5 Reasons Why Training Insane Bodybuilding Will Help You Sleep
Tweak and Repeat

Your Sexual Activity (Too much, Too little?)

If my resources have guided me correctly over the years, then Rabbits are the only other mammals (along side us humans) who have sex for pleasure. All the others do it just to make babies. If you are over the age of 16, then you are probably having sex. Sex is like a drug, so you probably aren’t going to stop anytime soon.

If you are a hardgainer then too much sex will most likely hamper your muscle building efforts. It will do a great job of putting you to sleep, yes. But my advice would be to treat sex like a workout, and have a post workout snack prepared. Especially if you are in one of those honeymoon period relationships, where sex just seems to happen from mildly touching each other.

Like I said, sex is like a drug, and you probably won’t be able to put it off purposely (And you shouldn’t). But just make sure you don’t hump away religiously like rabbits do, otherwise you really will fade away to nothing!

Sex can be a good thing.

Maintaining muscle mass while having sex

Just tweak and repeat to find how sex can work for you around your muscle building endeavours.

Tweak and Repeat

Your Workout Duration

Common workout duration practices are as follows:

Weight gain = 45 minutes

Weight loss/ Endurance = 1-2 hours

As a hardgainer you will obviously want to go for the first, with weight gain. Although I’ve stated 45 minutes, you can tweak your workouts to find what works best, in terms of durations. But make sure that you consider the type of workouts you do. Don’t act like a robot when gauging workout time. The key thing you want to do here is fix your,

  • Mind set
  • Attitude
  • And goal

… in stone.

As long as you keep those the same in each and every workout that you do, the rest should work itself out.

The short version…


No. of workout days/ Rest duration period

This is another thing that you will need to tweak and repeat. If you are lacking in results then it could be too many or too little no. of days that you workout.


Less equals more as a hardgainer!

Especially in the early days of working out. You will want to keep short rest periods between sets, and longer rest periods between your workout and non workout days. Rest is vital for building muscle in the early days. However, as time goes on your body will change and you will have to change your routines based on that change. You will suffer from loss of muscle mass and reach a plateau at times (Read plateau busters for some solutions). But follow the tweak and repeat rule to ensure that it is not a regular occurrence.

Tweak and Repeat

Your Alcohol and Marijuana (Weed) Consumption

Stay-Fit Bug survey results say: 50% of you drink alcohol

This really isn’t bad thing. This shows that you aren’t a bunch of boring bodybuilders and that you like to break the rules.

I didn’t find out how many of you smoke weed, but from what I have learned is that for some, it improves performance in a weightlifting work. But for others, it completely wrecks it.

Read this post for more on that: Should you smoke Marijuana if you workout?

Either way, you really do need to gauge how much you consume of these sacred substances. I don’t smoke at all myself, but I do drink alcohol on occasion. But I really do try to avoid multiple binging sessions as this really does wreck the workout flow of things.

You see, when you drink alcohol in excessive amounts it damages your muscles and dehydrates the body, which leads to a lack of water in your muscles. Water is the very thing that your muscles need in order to grow and be maintained. So you may find that you feel a lot thirstier after working out after a few weeks of drinking on the binge.

Drinking water is the natural thing to do when this occurs, but unfortunately this won’t decrease the levels of dehydration that mass alcohol consumption would have caused.

So watch your consumption rate. Tweak and repeat to find out how much is good/ bad for you. Knowing that information really can save a lot of heart ache, and you can continue to break the rules confidently.

More on drinking alcohol and working out here: How to drink alcohol and workout effectively
Tweak and Repeat

Your Level of Partying

Partying can be a good thing, depending on what kind of partying that you do. Remember, this whole bodybuilding game is all about having fun with it. That’s a key way to ‘stick to it’ for the long haul.

Partying in general is seen as a bad thing when it comes to focusing on work and results, as partying is associated with sex, alcohol and drugs. But partying doesn’t have to be a bad thing in this game.

Remember this post?

Working Out is Boring! Lets Just Dance

Taking up any of the dances mentioned in that post can be great as a part of your bodybuilding lifestyle, and it neither of them have the stigma of drugs, alcohol and sex attached to them.

Tweak and Repeat?

Well, I don’t think you need to with these dances. But in terms of actual partying… too much would be bad for anyone, including you, as most of the partying that you do will be partnered with alcohol consumption. The sex part doesn’t have to be a bad thing ;). So make sure you gauge your self buggers.


Adapt this to your OWN bodybuilding map (Learn how here)

”What may work for me may not work for you”

This is something I mentioned in my recent video (check the sidebar) >>>

”Too much sex might be bad for you but good for me”

”Eating 1 hour before a workout may be good for me, bad for you”

Because of this, everything I mentioned above will prove meaningless unless you adapt it all to your own body and lifestyle. So you have to even tweak this ‘tweak and repeat’ post.

It might sound like this bodybuilding life is one big old tweak by the way I’m carrying on, and in a way it is.

Who remembers this song; Aaliyah try again R.I.P

Whether you have or haven’t heard it before, use that principal. Try again and again until you get things right.

Once you do find that formula, continue the process, because that formula will change with time.

How do you tweak the aspects of your own bodybuilding lifestyle?

Did you face much trial and error?

See you in the comments .

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