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Are You Really A Hardgainer?

Now Is the Time to Rethink Your Beliefs About Your Ability to Create a Great Body

A hardgainer can be defined as a person who has an incredibly difficult time developing an admirable body. It's a person who simply can't build the muscle or lose the bodyfat he wants'no matter how hard the training or how good the eating. Hardgainers believe they can produce only minimal results'despite investing a maximum amount of effort, knowledge and time.

If I had a nickel for every time I've heard a person refer to himself as a hardgainer when talking about his ability to build a great body'well, you know the rest of that saying.

Some believe that nothing has any value until it's compared to something else. By that standard, your ability to build a great physique can be measured only by comparing it to someone else's.

Let's reexamine your current ideas about your inability to build a great body'and create a new set of empowering beliefs that will launch you to a higher level. My goal is to have you use your mind more effectively to bolster your training efforts. After reading what I have to say on the subject, you'll begin to enjoy the physique-enhancing process at a much higher level'without the frustration that you may be currently experiencing.

First you need to answer a few important questions.

'Who's your standard of comparison when you call yourself a hardgainer?

'What exactly qualifies you as a hardgainer?

How do you benefit by labeling yourself a hargainer?

What do you think happens to your progress after you've convinced yourself that you are a hardgainer?

Who's Your Standard of Comparison?

You're a hardgainer compared to whom? Are you comparing your ability to develop your physique to Mr. Olympia or that genetically superior person who just happens to work out in your gym?

The truth is that most people on the planet would be considered hardgainers compared to the genetically elite. Just consider this though: Maybe the reason someone else has a better physique than you has nothing to do with anything that you're doing wrong'maybe the other person is just doing a few more things right.

Is it possible that you're not giving the people with better physiques the credit they deserve? Could they know more than you do? Is it possible that they've worked harder, were more focused and paid the price for a longer period of time than you? The quadriplegic who's lying in a hospital bed for the rest of his life'that guy's a hardgainer, not you. Could it be that you're just comparing yourself to the wrong people or have the wrong perception of yourself?

What Exactly Qualifies You as a Hardgainer?

What does it mean to be a hardgainer? Does it mean every single one of your bodyparts has a hard time growing? Or does it mean that just a couple of them won't grow? Is it really that those body'parts don't grow at all? Or is it just that they don't grow as quickly as you'd like them to?

With the bodyparts that have been growing slowly, have you done everything to get them to progress? Really? Have you tried a dozen different strategies yet'or just a couple?

I can see how diagnosing yourself as a hardgainer is a convenient way of explaining why you haven't yet figured out the many complexities and challenges of building a great body, but it may not necessarily be true in your case. Even if the idea contains a kernel of truth, it may not be as limiting as you think. You more than likely aren't being fair to yourself when you label yourself a hardgainer.

How Do You Benefit by Labeling Yourself a Hargainer?

Human beings don't do anything unless some benefits are associated with it. There must be some benefits to labeling yourself a hardgainer, right? What are they? C'mon, think about it for a moment.

The path of least resistance, or the easiest thing to do, is to believe that we have it just a little bit tougher than the next person. We tend to want to believe that we need to work much harder, be more disciplined and be more knowledgeable to earn what we have'unlike the other person who has a great body without putting in the effort that we must put in.

It's easier on your ego when you believe that everyone else has an easier time of building muscle, losing bodyfat and looking good.

Average people give average effort'but spend a lot of time trying to convince themselves and others that they're really giving 100 percent. Average people in the gym complain about being hardgainers instead of appreciating their gifts and focusing on ways to improve the areas that offer the most challenges. Average people in the gym are convinced that everyone who has a better physique than they do must be taking illegal drugs.

ALLI have the feeling that you want to be more than just an average bodybuilder. Am I right?

In my opinion, adopting the mind-set of the average person is tremendously disempowering and takes the control of your bodybuilding destiny out of your hands. That way of thinking may make you feel better in the short run, but it won't help you earn the physique you want.

As you use so much energy avoiding the pain of feeling a little inadequate at times, you prevent yourself from stepping up to the challenge, raising your standards and seeing what you really can accomplish with your physique by taking your efforts to the next level.

And believe me, there's always a next level. You can always add a few more pounds of muscle, drop a few more pounds of bodyfat or look just a little better. The people who really enjoy the bodybuilding process are the ones who strive to become the very best they can be. The challenge comes from within. They assess their gifts'and exploit them. They assess their weaknesses'and gracefully camouflage them. They work on weaknesses and strive to improve on them. The people who experience the most fulfillment in what they do are the ones who avoid comparing themselves to others.

Why would anyone want to assume the disempowering identity of a hardgainer? Could it be that doing so sets up a can't-lose situation? The ones who achieve measurable gains win. The ones who don't can say they don't make progress because they're hardgainers. In other words, it's not their fault.

The bottom line is that you really don't benefit in the long run from calling yourself a hardgainer.

What Do You Think Happens to Your Progress After You've Convinced Yourself That You're a Hardgainer?

Do hardgainers get the very most out of their efforts and abilities? I really don't see how they can.

How would a hardgainer approach his training? Does he attack it with confidence and certainty? Does he feel that the next strategy or method he tries will launch him into a new level of growth? Is he excited about getting to the gym because he feels his hard work is going to pay off in a big way?

Or does a hardgainer believe that regardless of the methods he tries or regardless of the amount of effort he exerts, he can achieve only minimal results? Is a hardgainer willing to continually 'bang his head against the wall' under these conditions? Is a hardgainer more likely to say that anyone with great development must be on drugs?

Your progress will be greatly diminished if you convince yourself that you're truly a hardgainer.

The Body Can Achieve Only What the Mind Can Conceive

Haven't you already been surprised with the physical development you've achieved so far? Do you also expect to improve greatly in the future? The body can achieve only what the mind can conceive. Maybe you'll continue to surprise yourself and get better and better. Maybe you'll get so good that you'll eventually convince yourself that much more is attainable than you currently think is possible.

By no means am I claiming that everyone can build a championship-caliber physique. I certainly un'derstand that genetics plays a big role in building a great body. What I am saying is that we can all achieve amazing results by raising the standards of what we expect from ourselves.

It will be extremely difficult to raise your standards and expectations when you've labeled yourself as a hardgainer.

Remember, you won't start getting big until you start thinking big!

Editor's note: Visit Skip La Cour's Web site at Take your physique to the next level by ordering Skip La Cour's new DVD 'Packing On Muscle! Max-OT Style.' The two-disc four-hour training, instructional and motiva'tional DVD includes a complete week of training (explained in great detail and jam-packed with perceptive insights), exercises not included in the training week, instruction and video footage of cardiovascular training, inspirational training segments, assorted detailed and unique 'next level' tips, contest footage and a one-hour nutrition seminar. If you want to pack on slabs of muscle in the shortest period of time, this DVD is for you. It's only $49.99 (plus $8.50 for shipping and handling'total $58.49; international orders add $17.50 for shipping and handling'total $67.49). Order online at Credit card orders call (800) 655-0986. Or send check or money order to Skip La Cour, 712 Bancroft Road #259, Walnut Creek, CA 94598. IM

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