If training is the hard part of bodybuilding and resting is the easy part, then eating should be the fun part. Yet for most hardgainers, eating is simply an exercise in frustration.

They carefully follow a champ’s menu, measuring their oatmeal and weighing their skinless chicken breasts, but still struggle to gain even a pound. The problem for the thinnest hardgainers is that they’re eating like a bodybuilder, but weighing in like a model.

If this sounds familiar, you may need some good old-fashioned bulk (i.e., muscle and  fat). If you struggle to gain any  size at all, you should strive to look like the burly “before” photo in supplement ads before chiseling down to the “after” shot. Achieving this is not easy, nor is it quite as tasty as nightly dinners at Krispy Kreme.

You must accumulate just enough fat to keep your metabolism stoked and your strength levels rising. Gains of soft tissue should only fuel greater gains of hard tissue and never become an end in itself.

Still, extreme ectomorphs can’t eat lean and clean and maximize mass. If you struggle to pack on any pounds and you currently have little visible muscle or fat, you need to eat big to get big.

Adhere to the following eight bulk-up rules, and we’ll even through in a free meal plan! Remember, this is the fun part!

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