A New Body Type… The Hardgainer Mesomorph

October 22, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

  • Analysis of the hardgainer
  • In defense of the hardgainer

The phenotypes in question…

Typical Ectomorph

•    Definitive “Hard Gainer”
•    Delicate built body
•    Flat chest
•    Fragile
•    Lean
•    Lightly muscled
•    Small shouldered
•    Takes longer to build muscle mass
•    Slim

Typical Mesomorph

•    Athletic
•    A strong hard body
•    Hourglass figure (Female)
•    Rectangular figure (Male)
•    Mature muscle mass
•    Muscular body
•    Good posture
•    Builds muscle mass easily
•    Gains fat more easily than ectomorphs
•    Thick skin

Now, I have kind of mentioned one key point before (On this post)

But I’ll re-quote

People are neither ‘just tall’ nor ‘just short’, there are many variations of body types!

•    Long legs vs. short legs
•    Long arms vs. short arms
•    Long torso vs. short torso

And all kinds of other variation’s

This is where we introduce one of the many variations of body types.

The hardgainer mesomorph

A body type that shares traits of both an ectomorph and mesomorph body type. In fact, I would place a strong bet that this is the body type of those who call themselves ‘hardgainers’


Well… hardgainers are individuals that struggle to build muscle mass, yes. But a core reason for that is because they simply don’t eat enough food. So quite frankly, they would still put on weight if they follow a good nutrition plan and without any weightlifting workout activity.

However, the results won’t come nowhere near as fast as a typical mesomorphs body type. Hence the body type hardgainer mesomorph.
But if you are an extreme ectomporph ‘hardgainer…

  • 6′ 6″
  • Super long limbs
  • 3/4’s of your body is legs

There is still hope. Just be consistent and follow the advice I gave in this post

The Top 8 Reasons Why You’re Scrawny And The Other Dude Is Not!

But what other traits does the hardgainer mesomorph have compared to your common hardgainer?

Let the analysis begin…

#1 Tends to suffer from chicken leg syndrome

(Because legs are naturally long)

Regardless of what kind of hardgainer you are, the first piece of evidence that you look at to determine whether you call yourself a hardgainer or not will be by looking at your legs. And in most if not all cases, the hardgainer will suffer from chicken leg syndrome to some degree. Unfortunate as this is, you’re just going to have to get those legs into action and work those drum sticks.

  • Resistance training
  • Sprinting

To keep it simple. But read these posts for more on that…

Chicken Legs Syndrome (part 2) How to beat it?

How Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers Can Save The World!

#2 Shoulders Are Big And Wide

Typical hardgainers have droopy shoulders, which adds to their ‘puny’ appearance. Hardgainer mesomorphs don’t. Which is sometimes why they get confusing looks from outsiders. ‘Is that guy ripped underneath those clothes or not’?

Either way, the big shoulders are a bonus as they are arguably the most important muscle group that will determine how others will perceive you… when fully clothed.

#3 Has to work twice as hard

Ok, hardgainers are just under eaters, that we do know. However, the hardgainer mesomporh still has to work twice as hard as a typical mesomorph to get the same results.

  • Nutrition x 2
  • Resistance training time period for the same results x 2 (However, this is body part specific)


  • Easy to build = Chest, shoulders, abs.
  • Hard = Calves, Quads

… In general

So I guess that is the true definition of a ‘hardgainer’.

#4 Has to work twice as hard to bounce back

Now, a hardgainer mesomorph has it quite good, as long as they…

Eat well

Train insane


They get to build supreme strength to muscle mass ratio while achieving the ultimate goal of developing supreme muscle definition (Which is why I call being a hardgainer a gift rather than a curse).

However, when the tables are turned and when life goes on a downward spiral…

– Relationship break ups
– Stress from work
– long term injury
The curse then comes into play, because once you lose your core muscle mass (Unless you have developed solid mature muscle over time, in which case you will lose less), it becomes twice as hard to get back to the place that you were once at. (PAINFUL!)

As we know, we all struggle from time to time to maintain the body of our dreams. But the above scenario is a prime example of why most hardgainers get called (And call themselves) hardgainers. Because they will face the same ups and downs as everyone else, but everyone else has the advantage of recovering much quicker from non weightlifting activity. Therefore, they will look slim and lean for most of their bodybuilding life.


However, I am putting some things into place in the upcoming program that will help with that.

OK, where is your proof.

Myself… and even hardcore ectomorphs who worked their asses off and eventually became ‘huge’. Because to this day, they will still struggle with many of the points that I’ve mentioned above.

My tip

  • Place a strong focus on building your bodies weak areas
  • Get a tailor made wardrobe… it helps. Read these posts to learn more about that.

Why Hardgainer Bodybuilders Need Tailor-made Wardrobes
Why Hardgainer Bodybuilders Need Tailor-made Wardrobes (Part 2)

#5 Hardgainer mesomorphs are strong

Most definitive hardgainers aren’t naturally strong. They are weak as ****. This is not the case with the hardgainer mesomorph. The hardgainer mesomorph is naturally strong. Arguably stronger than most common mesomorphs/endomorphs.

This is where some people make the mistake of associating size with strength. Which of course is far from the common truth. A LOT of lifters that are ‘huge’ are functionally weak. So in a comparison of true strength, the hardgainer mesomorph has an advantage over his/her meso/endomorph peers.


#6 They don’t have to worry about fat

Of course, we all have to worry about our body fat % to some degree. But the hardgainer mesomorph has to worry about this the least. Of course, the ultimate winners are definitive ectomorphs, but who wants to be one of those? :S this is the game of building the ultimate body and feeling and looking like 1 million dollars.

Any how, unlike the common mesomorph, the hardgainer mesomorph really doesn’t have to worry about putting on fat, as the struggle and emphasis will mostly be to put on muscle mass. In my view, that is the perfect  situation to be in. After all…

Building Muscle For Bulk Is Un-sexy/ Build ‘Ripped’ Muscles Instead

To Conclude

So there you have it. The human body is much more complex than just your common three body types.

  • Ectomorph
  • Mesomorph
  • Endomorpth

The variations are many, and the hardgainer mesomorph is a clear example of that. I’ll probably analyze some other body types in the future, but for now, understand that in regards to human body types, it’s not just black ink and white paper. It’s a colorful affair.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Build it... Wear it right

Build it… Wear it right

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