A lot of people work out regularly and vigorously and stick to a healthy diet for a few months without seeing results. They then assume that the reason for this lack of progress is genetic, and go on to label themselves as a hardgainer.
This is incorrect. You can work out seven days a week as strenuously as you can and stick to the healthiest food and you still will not see results in just a few months. Rarely will somebody be an actual hardgainer. It is more likely that they are completely normal but just have unrealistic expectations. Muscle growth is a very slow process and you will need at least a year to achieve noticeable gain. Bodybuilding is a marathon, not a sprint, so make sure to pace yourself as you will not reap the benefits for quite some time.
The other misconception that these supposed hardgainers carry with them is that they can modify their diet to bulk up. Increasing your calorie and protein intake beyond what your body is able to process will not build muscle – it will only make you fat.
When you embark on a journey to gain muscle and lose fat, make sure you know how to keep track of your progress. If you use only the bathroom scales as an indication then you will not be able to tell if the change in weight is due to a difference in muscle, fat or water weight. In addition to the scales, you need to use an instrument that is able to measure body fat percentage, such as a caliper. Ideally, your weight should slowly increase on the bathroom scales, and the amount of fat under your skin should decrease over the months. This means you are losing fat and gaining muscle.
Don’t buy any products that promise faster gains – they don’t work. Once again, there are no shortcuts in bodybuilding. Have patience and enjoy the journey, that’s the only way you’re going to stick with it long enough to see results.