I hate the word hardgainer. Don’t get me wrong: I understand that everyone has different genetic gifts as far as bodybuilding is concerned, but that word seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. Why would you want to label yourself that way and enter such a limiting belief system?
Every training challenge is an opportunity to find a better way of doing things. Sometimes it just takes more experimentation to find the right food combinations, training system, intensity, volume, workout frequency and supplements to match your own needs.
In my view, bodybuilding is about discipline. It’s about overcoming challenges and turning them into opportunities. It’s about pursuit of a goal and a dream. It’s about wanting to accomplish something great. It’s about setting a standard of excellence for yourself that will carry over into other areas of your life. That’s what makes bodybuilding a sport and links it to all other sports.
Intention is essential in accomplishing something. Let’s say you intend to gain 10 pounds of muscle this year and you calculate that you’ll need to take in 3,000 calories a day over six meals, 500 calories a meal. So your intention is to eat a 500-calorie meal six times a day every day. That intention keeps you on target.
On the other hand, if you label yourself a hardgainer, you may be inclined to skip a meal every other day. Well, guess what? That’s 500 calories times 182 missed meals, or 91,000 missed calories a year’91,000 missed opportunities to grow. Hardgainer or flawed approach? Blast your workout with a clear intention that today, as always, you’re going to add at least one rep to what you did last time or you’re going to add a little weight to the bar. Check it out: If your intention is to get at least one more rep than last time, then training to failure isn’t enough, is it? Why? Because you could fail right where you did last time’and you’d think you had a great workout. If you intend to get at least one more rep, then you’ll do it, no matter what. If you work your back once a week, that means you’ll get 52 opportunities this year to add a rep or increase the poundage. Tell the hardgainers to get out of your way: You’re after greatness, and they’re wasting valuable iron. Better yet, encourage them to join you. Hold yourself to a higher standard. Intend to achieve greatness, and you will.