Where you stand in the spectrum of potential

Dividing a random sample of drug-free weight trainees into degrees of "hardgainingness" cannot be done accurately because of the difficulty of specifying, identifying and then quantifying with consistency the characteristics of "gainingness." But for the purpose of getting at least an approximation, here are some suggested figures.

At the "hardest" end of the gaining spectrum are the near-zero gainers who, for reasons of health or extreme structural problems, find it almost impossible to gain (but not impossible if they train properly). ^ey number fewer than 5% of any random sample from the training masses.

At the "easiest" end of the spectrum are the super easy gainers who have phenomenal genetics and fantastically-responsive bodies. ^e phenomenally blessed—the genetic freaks, and I am not using "freaks" in a pejorative sense—number much fewer than i% of the whole training population.

^e genetic freaks have a blend of bodytype, muscle insertion points, neuromuscular efficiency, muscle belly length, muscle fiber type and number, tendency for leanness, and recovery abilities that give them a tremendously responsive body. For competitive bodybuilding there are pivotally important aesthetic factors that are also genetically determined. See brawn for a detailed discussion on how genetic freaks are assembled.

Behind the extremely responsive easy gainers are the "regular" easy gainers who are able to gain to some degree on most programs, though they do not have the talent to become fantastic unless pumped to their jowls with chemicals. ^ere is a considerable number of these easy gainers, perhaps as many as io% or so of a random sample of weight trainees. It is this group that provides gyms with most of their successes. But these successful trainees use programs which are training suicide for genuine hard gainers. Many trainers and coaches belong to the category of "regular" easy gainers. But these easy gainers often have a body part and an exercise or two they struggle in, rela tively speaking. While easy gainers typically adhere to conventional training routines, and often gain well from them, they gain far more when they adopt programs like those described in this book.

Near-zero, easy and extremely easy gainers total about 15% of a random sample of trainees, leaving 85% or so who are "regular" hard gainers that get nowhere using popular routines. (^ese approximate percentages are strictly for a drug-free population. Drug use would distort the percentages.) Hard gainers have a lot of potential for growth, but to realize it they must train appropriately. ^e harder a gainer you are, the less room for error you have in your total exercise, rest and nutrition program, and the more educated you need to be. ^is book will educate you.

^ough "hard gainer" is a well used term in the bodybuilding world in particular, and also used in this book, it is actually a misnomer. Because hard gainers are the majority it would be more accurate to call them "normal" gainers. As it is, the term "hard gainer" implies a condition that is abnormal.

Whatever genetic potpourri you have been dealt is all you are going to get. Whatever shortcomings you may have, you have to live with. Rather than spend time complaining about your genetic fate, pour your energy into achieving your genetic potential. An average or even a less-than-average potential for bodybuilding, if achieved, is stunning to an untrained person, and respected by almost any trained individual.

Focus on achieving your potential, not on comparing yourself with ideals. Apply yourself intelligently and you may discover that what you thought was a modest potential is actually a lot more.

If you are consumed with the achievements of others, enviously look at the natural talents of a gifted but tiny minority, and bemoan your own genetic fate, you will never deliver the consistent and savvy dedication needed to do what will satisfy you most of all—the achievement of your own full potential for muscle and might.

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