Q: Two years ago when I was 16 I decided to dedicate 10 years of my life to building a physique like Jay Cutler’s. I’m copying his training methods. Although I’m fully committed, and I train hard, eat well and sleep a lot, I’ve made little progress. How close to his physique do you think I can get?
A: When I was a teenager, I made a similar commitment. Arnold, Frank Zane and Sergio Oliva were among the biggest names back then.
I speak from experience. You can be dedicated to imitating Jay’s training, but unless you’ve inherited freakishly long muscle bellies and the other qualities required for building huge muscles, you won’t get even close to what he’s achieved. After his first two years of bodybuilding Jay had made tremendous progress. That you haven’t, despite your commitment, indicates that you’re a typical hardgainer, not a genetic phenomenon.
The years 16 to 26 cover a pivotal period that can shape your future. Your primary concerns over that period should be to get well educated and stay healthy. Make bodybuilding your main if not sole hobby, but keep it in perspective in the context of your overall life.
There’s an irony here. If you train the way a hardgainer should rather than how a pro bodybuilder does, you’ll make much better progress than you’re making now. The strategy I’m proposing not only will be good for your life as a whole but also will help your bodybuilding.
Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the new 638-page opus on bodybuilding Build Muscle, Lose Fat, Look Great, available from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 447-0008, or www.Home-Gym.com.