Although a certain segment of the population goes out of its way to avoid making progress in the gym, hard gainers – or “hardgainers” (an actual fitness term of art) – find their bodybuilding dreams limited by mediocre genetics. Experts in the field estimate that somewhere between 60 and 95 percent of people are hardgainers.
These figures aren’t all that surprising. In any sport, a few elite athletes set the standard for legions of amateurs. And besides, statistically speaking, most people are average.
I, however, would like to advance a new theory. In my estimation, when it comes to building muscle, the problem is that 60 to 95 percent of people have no idea what they’re doing.
Today at the gym I watched a couple younger guys make an absolute mess of their back workout. They performed sets of t-bar rows and barbell rows with their posture nearly ramrod straight, transforming these excellent mass builders into sloppy bicep curls.
Then there are the folks who turn a simple set of abdominal crunches into a chiropractor’s nightmare. Lying on the floor, they wrap their arms tightly around their heads, and yank their chin into their upper chests over and over. I don’t know which is more remarkable – the 30, even 50, reps per set performed this way, or the ability to spend this much energy on abs without tapping even one stomach muscle fiber. Either way, I urge you people, why don’t you start by trying to execute just one clean crunch – fingers behind the ears, chin up, strong contraction in the abs. Just one.