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Become An Ex-Hardgainer: The Huge Gainer Challenge

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Hardgainer? You’ve come to the right place – The 90 Day Huge Gainer Challenge.

I guarantee this challenge will make you bigger. I guarantee this challenge will make you stronger. You don’t have to pay any money for a top secret workout, and there are no e-books involved. You will not be required to purchase any miracle supplements, nor will you need to live in the gym or use special equipment.

Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. So right now you have 2 options:

  1. Try the Huge Gainer 90 Day Huge Gainer Challenge.
  2. Ignore the advice on this page, continue to fail, fall prey to more scam artists trying to sell you miracle solutions to a problem that can be fixed in 4 easy steps.

Step 1 – Use The Huge Gainer Challenge Workout

The Huge Gainer Challenge Workout requires you to:

Workout. Workout 3 times per week. Choose between one of the following options:

  • MWF – Workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • TTS – Workout on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
  • WFS – Workout on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
  • TSM – Workout on Thursday, Saturday and Monday.
  • FST – Workout on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday.

The workout is:


  • Squat 3 sets (25 reps)
  • Bench Press 3 sets (25)
  • Dumbbell Row 3 sets (25)
  • Barbell Curl 3 sets (25)
  • Weighted Sit Up 3 sets (45)


  • Deadlift 3 sets (15 reps)
  • Overhead Press 3 sets (25)
  • Dips 3 x Max
  • Barbell Calf Raise 3 sets (45)
  • Side Bend 3 sets (30)


  • Squat 1 set (20 reps)
  • Dumbbell Bench Press 3 sets (25)
  • Barbell Rows 3 sets (25)
  • Dumbbell Curl 3 sets (25)
  • Weighted Sit Up 3 sets (45)

Workout Notes:

Warm up. Use an appropriate number of warm up sets. Warm up sets should prepare the body for the heavier sets to come without fatiguing or taxing the body.

Squats. Workout C features one set of squats with a goal of 20 reps. This will require a lighter weight than you are using for squats during Workout A.

Calf Raises. You can use whichever form of calf raise you prefer.

Weighted Sit Ups. Weighted sit ups might feel easy to you. Try not to add weight more than once a week. If you achieve 45 reps during Workout A, continue to use the same weight for Workout C, and add weight the next time you perform sit ups again during Workout A.

Machines. Do not swap in machine versions on any exercises. No exceptions!

Step 2 – Perform Absolutely No Cardio

I repeat, NO cardio. You think you’re a hardgainer? It’s time to take the steps necessary to get results. If you do have to run, make it for the buffet table. You can only run, swim, sprint or bike if:

  1. Survival. You are being chased by a bear.
  2. Duel. You are racing to beat someone to the last Dorito, burrito or donut.
  3. Boom Chicka Wah Wah. A Playboy Playmate asks you to catch her.

This is not a joke. If you truly believe you are a hardgainer then we need to conserve every possible calorie. In addition to the no cardio rule, make every effort to:

  • Sleep. Sleep at least 8 hours per night.
  • Sleep some more. Take naps.
  • Chill. Instead of building an addition to your home on your off days, relax and take it easy. Put your feet up, rest, recover, eat and take another nap.
  • Relax. Do whatever it takes to live low stress during the challenge.

Step 3 – The Huge Gainer Challenge Eating Plan

You have one eating goal during the next 90 days:

To eat 4000+ calories per day.

If  you read this and immediately started worrying about your precious abs, you have already failed. Having a six pack or razor sharp abs isn’t important if your arms are 9 inch pythons.

Stop panicking. You will not turn into a sumo wrestler in 90 days. In fact, if you truly are a hardgainer you have a super high metabolism and probably won’t gain much fat at all. But you should gain muscle and strength at a rapid rate.

Don’t even think about skipping this step. Eating is just as important as training. Here are some tips to help you eat right are reach 4000 daily calories:

  • Protein. Eat at least 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours. At minimum you should eat 180 grams of protein each day.
  • Fat. Eat at least 30% of your daily calories from fat. It will be virtually impossible to eat enough if you focus on protein and carbs.
  • Carbs. Make sure to eat at least 3 servings of quality carbs each day, if not more. Quality carb sources include oatmeal, rice, whole grain cereal and bread, and quinoa. You can also eat fruits and veggies.
  • High calorie foods. The most important.

Step 4 – Push Yourself On Every Set

This is called progression. Failure to push yourself on every set will be disastrous. Remember to use good form at all times, and to listen to your body. Never push yourself if you feel a strain, pop or a pain.

Follow this rule on EVERY set. If you fail to follow this rule on every set you are NOT doing the 90 Day Huge Gainer Challenge. You are performing some made up light weight version of the challenge that will result in epic fail. Here’s the rule:

Push yourself on every set for more reps. When you reach the rep goal total for the 3 sets of an exercise, add weight the next time in the gym.

It really is that simple.

Notice that for each exercise listed in the Huge Gainer Challenge, you will find a number in brackets. It looks like this:

Squats 3 sets (25 reps)

The bold number in brackets – in this case 25 reps – is the rep goal. Perform 3 sets of squats and do as many reps as possible on each set. Add up the total reps for all 3 sets, and if the number is 25 or greater, you add weight the next time you perform squats.

Here is the amount of weight to add per exercise:

  • Squats and Deadlifts – 10 pounds.
  • All other exercises – 5 pounds.

What follows is an example of a lifter that FAILED to reach 25 reps for his 3 sets of squats. He will stick with this same weight the next time he squats because his rep total was only 20 reps.

  • Squats Set 1 – 185 pounds x 9 reps.
  • Squats Set 2 – 185 pounds x 6 reps.
  • Squats Set 3 – 185 pounds x 5 reps.

Here is an example where out lifter REACHED 25 reps for his 3 sets of squats. He will add weight the next time he squats because his rep total was 25+ reps.

  • Squats Set 1 – 185 pounds x 11 reps.
  • Squats Set 2 – 185 pounds x 8 reps.
  • Squats Set 3 – 185 pounds x 6 reps.

The Huge Gainer Challenge

That’s it. That’s the complete challenge. Run it for at least 90 days. Once you realize how effective it is, you will most likely run it much longer than 90 days.

Again, here are the parameters of the challenge:

  1. 90 Days. Run the challenge for at least 90 days.
  2. Workout. Use the Huge Gainer Challenge Workout and DON’T miss any workouts. You miss a single workout and you fail the challenge. Come on, it’s only 36 workouts!
  3. Cardio. No cardio, no exceptions.
  4. 4000 Calories. Eat 4000+ calories per day, no exceptions. You are NOT allowed to guess your food intake. Yes, you must count every calories. If you don’t you fail the challenge.
  5. Progression. Push yourself on every set, and add weight according to the parameters of the program. If you do not push yourself on every set, you fail the program.

You can do this!

Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw is the founder of Muscle and Brawn, and a powerlifter with 30+ years of experience. Steve's recorded a 600lb squat, 672lb deadlift and a 382lb bench press.
Steve Shaw

Latest posts by Steve Shaw (see all)

  • Andrew Oct 13,2015 at 8:39 am

    I think the easiest way for hard-gainers to eat more is to DRINK their calories. Mix 8 ounces of fruit juice or raw milk with 3 tablespoons of coconut oil + 30 grams of protein from chocolate casein protein powder. That’s about 750 calories right there. Drink 2 to 3 or those shakes every day and you’ll easily consume 4000 calories (along with your regular meals). Another trick is to drink a tall glass of raw milk with every meal. Raw goat’s milk is even better, since it is more easily digested. Just remember that drinking your calories is far easier than eating them. When you get ready to cut, just remember to stop drinking so many of your calories.

  • Jim Sep 5,2013 at 8:17 pm

    Who is the author of this article?

  • James Aug 27,2013 at 1:35 pm

    Will the progression of weight hurt my my joints and tendons, because I am 14 years old, and still growing?
    Also, will this cause hypertrophy in muscles? As well, I was wondering if someone why age could achieve a pump, as I have yet to achieve one.

    • Mick Madden Aug 27,2013 at 2:42 pm

      Progression of weight is an integral part of hypertrophy. When done properly, using good form, it should not cause issues. Take your time, learn the exercises and don’t rush to progress until you feel confident with each lift.

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