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Review of "Hardgainer Project X"
eBook By Jeff Anderson "The Muscle Nerd"

Training to build muscle mass is one of THE primary reasons people get into training.

Yet in different people, the same programs will bring drastically different degrees of success. Some people look at a weight and just start piling on muscle and strength. Not so for everybody, though.

I'm sure you're probably familiar with the term "hardgainer"....basically, it's used to describe people who have a hard time gaining muscle (ok, not exactly a brilliant deduction, but that's what it means). I'll be referring to this term throughout the review here.

This is the target audience Jeff Anderson is writing for in his new "Hardgainer Project X" manual. And I do have to say, he has done an excellent job analyzing the physiological reasons why certain people have a tough time gaining muscle.

Even better, he's also addressed each one of those physiological reasons with nutrition and training advice designed to overcome those problems.

Let's take a closer look and see if his approach holds water...

I'm going to go through a bit of Jeff's reasoning here and give you my thoughts on the validity of a few of the reasons he puts forward.

Reason #1 - Your "Fast Metabolism"

Though this might sound a bit trite (after all, metabolism is always a buzz word that is frequently misused), Jeff delves a little deeper to explain that "fast metabolism" basically means "overactive sympathetic nervous system"...which means the adrenal, thyroid and pituitary glands (which control metabolism and energy production) are more active. More active means more calories burned in everyday activities. Definitely a valid reason holding back muscle growth.

Reason #2 - Catabolic Hormone Dominance

Cortisol is another buzzword that is often misused but is a critical component of muscle-building, in the way that it basically STOPS muscle-building. Hardgainers tend to have higher levels of cortisol and, combined with the activity of the glands described above, tend to react poorly to overly intense or high-volume training.

Simply put, the ratio of testosterone to cortisol needs to be fixed in order for a hardgainer to progress. This point is very true as well.

Reason #3 - Muscle Fiber Dominance

It's a fact...some people have greater numbers of endurance fibers (Type 1) compared to power-oriented fibers (Type 2). When you have more Type 1 fibers, you're going to have a tough time building muscle - this fiber type doesn't grow very easily or respond very quickly.

VERY valid reason.

Jeff includes 4 other reasons for "hardgainer syndrome" in his book (I won't dig into those right now)...suffice to say, he's done his research and his reasoning does make sense.

So the next key is...drum roll please...does his training program sufficiently address these reasons...enough to promote muscle gain in a person who has extreme genetic disadvantages to building substantial muscle.

The Hardgainer Solutions:

The nutrition section of this book is going to be an eye-opener for many people. It goes beyond the standard "eat more protein and calories" advice that you generally see in magazines and books. Jeff has done his research and has really put together an elegant nutritional approach, taking advantage of your body's hormonal reactions to specific foods.

This is NOT all about quantity...ok, it's a little about quantity, but it's about WHAT and WHEN you eat. I like his approach with this...very doable and makes good sense.

When it comes to training, Jeff has done a nice job of keeping the specific limitations of the hardgainer in mind...training only 3 days a week is a big step because training too frequently (no matter how much you enjoy) WILL kill progress, even in non-hardgainers.

What really jumps out is Jeff's interesting explanation of a technique he calls "neuromuscular bridging."

And honestly, THIS section really stands out to me because I hear echoes of Escalating Density Training in it...managing fatigue and not pushing yourself to failure on every set. He fully explains his reasoning in the book itself.

The way Jeff uses it in his program is very good. I can definitely see the potential benefit of his take on the volume vs intensity debate. It's certainly a technique I can get behind and I'm glad to see it in his program.

The other thing I like to see? Jeff's focus is on total workload on each training session and improving that total workload to the next training session.

In the book, you'll also find excellent information on how to adjust the program to your own needs. Just as not everybody gains muscle easily, every hardgainer isn't the same either...some will need less or more, depending on how their body reacts to the training and eating.

I have to say, overall, Jeff has done a nice job with the training program...we don't agree on absolutely everything (if we did, it would be a boring world, that's for sure) but there is plenty in it where we're right there on the same page.


No muscle-building book would be complete with out a section on supplements. What I really like about Jeff's approach is that he has a firm handle on what supplements CAN actually do for you...they don't GIVE you results...they can somewhat boost your body's ability to recover and build from the proper training and eating you're already doing.

To "supplement", as it were. Imagine that.

His list of recommended supplements is good - nothing radical...all based on sound science and research.


If you're a hardgainer, looking for an effective approach to building muscle, this is an approach I can recommend.

Bottom line...very good program.


Learn more about the "Hardgainer Project X" program.

Click here to see the "before and after" pics of Jeff's human lab rats (he put 6 guys through the program to test it out before releasing it - the results are impressive!).


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