Build Muscle


Getting big despite your genes may seem impossible, but we're about to rewrite your genetic code


We don't want to put too fine a point on this distinction, but there are those among us who find it hard to gain muscle—and then there are hardgainers, practically another species entirely. They're the guys who lift pathologically for months and follow meal plans that make a Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest look like afternoon tea with The Old Maids' Temperance Club, yet they still have little to show for their efforts.

We know this almost diabolical genetic obstacle to size has you this close to blowing up like a thyroid freak and pulling the pins on some mesomorph sitting at the leg-press machine. It can get to a guy. So whether you really are a hardgainer or you just find it hard to gain as a lot of us do, we've got a way for you to outsmart your genes. But it won't be easy, because getting big always requires effort with a capital E.


First, you should already be working your way through one of M&F's mass-gaining programs and meal plans. Once that's in place, beating your genes requires a strict program of supplementation that tells you what to take, how much and when for optimum growth.

We've broken it down like this: To capitalize on your body's ability to add muscle, we present 10 supplements to be taken in various combinations 10 times throughout the day. The key to a bigger you—particularly for hardgainers—is in following this prescription religiously, meaning every day, without fail. Only then will you begin to pack on that ever-elusive muscle mass and shed that horrid hardgainer profile. Genes be damned!

Find the right supplements for your diet and fitness goals at GNC Live Well.