“Most people fail in life because they major in the minor things.” – Anthony Robbins
“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker
“Clarity is the antidote to anxiety.” – Marcus Buckingham
“We all sometimes sweat the small stuff. We often make mountains of molehills, magnifying issues of little or no importance into giant obstacles and barriers.” – The Quotable Coach
One of the biggest reasons skinny guys stay skinny is because they spend their days “majoring in the minors.” By this, I mean spending your time and efforts on activities that have little or minimal impact on your muscle and fitness results.
With thousands of pages of information on the Internet, us skinny guys can get caught up wasting our valuable time on marginal and unproductive activities. It’s easy to become that guy who is a walking encyclopedia of information. That guy who can analyze the pros and cons of every bodybuilding routine in existence. That guy who can critique the upsides and downsides of every nutritional strategy invented. That guy who knows all the stats, measurements and gear cycles of the Pro Bodybuilders. That guy who could teach a college bodybuilding class about supplementation.
And sadly, it’s often the same guy who looks the same as last year. He couldn’t gain 1 pound of muscle if Arnold showed up at his front door. He’s been in a plateau for months. He knows what works for the rest of the world but has no idea what works for HIMSELF! He couldn’t tell you what training program or diet strategy has proven most effective for himself.
These guys are examples of putting the cart before the horse! This simply means to do things out of order. This saying comes from the olden days when horses were used to pull carts since they didn’t have cars or trucks yet. If you put the cart before the horse you weren’t going anywhere. You are not doing things in the right order!
Until you master THE BASICS, you have no business worrying about anything else!
Stop reading hundreds of different opinions before taking action. Stop following information that is not applicable to your goals and needs. Stop putting every theory under a microscope. Stop losing sleep over the minutia.
Start focusing on what REALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
So – What are the Majors?
1. Lifting Execution! Learn the science of bio mechanics to understand how to move your muscles through a full range of motion. Anatomically, learn what a fully shortened and fully lengthen muscle looks like for each respective bodypart. There is only one muscle building program in existence that can teach you this and it’s Ben Pakulski’s MI40 System.
2. Workout Suitable For Your Goals! If you’re a complete beginner and have not exploited high-frequency full-body workouts then you don’t need to be doing Ronnie Coleman’s 2-hour marathon training workouts. In No Nonsense Muscle Building I teach skinny novices to exploit the benefits of high-frequency, full body routines with variable rep ranges for the first 6-months before even thinking about a split program.
3. Get Your Calories & Macronutrients In Order! Before you even think about various calorie manipulation methods, master a set daily intake. Forget “high days” and “low days” and “carb cycling” etc until you have proven you can hit your daily caloric intake using simplicity! Before you worry about food combining (an advanced technique taught after NNMB), master the habit of eating balanced meals. In No Nonsense Muscle Building, the muscle building diet is based around consuming a balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates with every meal. The easiest way for a skinny guy to hit his goal calories is eating balanced. For instance, 45% carbohydrate intake, 35% protein intake and 20% fat intake. Trying to hit your goal calories with food combining requires an entirely new level of dedication which you must graduate into.
4. Establish A Regular Meal Frequency! Smaller meals at a more regular meal cadence are optimal for skinny guys. Consuming 3,000-5,000 calories in 3 or 4 sitting can be tough on the digestive system and not optimal for absorption. Whether you chose to divide your calories over 4 meals or 7 meals is your choice but ensure it’s not both – make it consistent so you can manage your progress and make adjustments if you’re not growing.
5. Don’t Got Nuts On Supplements… Yet! Over the years I’ve furthered my supplementation strategies but when I first started, ten years ago, the only supplements I used to gain 41 pounds of muscle in 24 weeks were a multi vitamin, fish oils, protein powder and some creatine. That’s it! Don’t panic if you can’t invest a few hundred dollars on supplements (each month). There is more opportunity for gains getting consistent with your calories and macros. As you get closer to your genetic ceiling and more serious, start increasing your supplement budget.
6. Focus On What You CAN Control. There is no point stressing about your genetics, fast metabolism or long limbs. Nor is it healthy to lose sleep comparing your physique to others. Instead of focusing too much on the desired result, focus on the daily habits that will achieve that desired result. — meal preparation, scheduling your workout, grocery shopping, sufficient sleep, listening to your coach, social support and accountability with like-minded trainees. Hypertrophy M.A.X. and Maximize Your Muscle members know what I’m talking about!
7. Time! If you think you’re going to transform your body – I mean dramatically – in 2 or 4 weeks, pinch yourself and wake up! Although extreme muscle growth is possible for novice lifters, muscle building is a long and tedious process for most. Focus on consistent and incremental improvements and you’ll be happy with your results.
Listen – The Minors Do Make A Difference… But Not Until You Get The Majors In Order, First!
Here’s a list of questions I would consider minors if you don’t have the majors in place. Feel free to add a few of your own in the comments below!
- Should I be taking my creatine before or after my workout?
- Is it better to take BCAA in capsule form or powder form?
- Is it better to train 30 minutes or 40 minutes?
- Whey isolate or whey hydrolysate?
- What kind of sugar should I take with my creatine?
- Is it better to pair my triceps with chest or shoulders?
- What should I do if my training partner is growing faster than me?
- Should I eat carbs 2 hours or 4 hours before I workout?
- What if it’s not free range chicken?
- Is it better to do drop sets or rest-pause?
- Should I have my post workout shake right after or wait 15 minutes?
- Should I do shurgs on my back day or shoulder day?
- Is it better to do cardio in the morning, afternoon or night?
- Should I do what [insert name of your favorite pro] is doing, too?
- What’s better for strength? 5×5 or 6×6 ?
- Should I start with Barbell presses or Dumbbell presses?
Remember, these are not bad questions. It’s simply the timing of the question that might not be appropriate.
There is not need to get confused by all the information available. Eventually you will use it all. It’s simply a matter of timing based on your rate of progression. Don’t get caught up in the minors until you master the majors. Al the majors can be found in No Nonsense Muscle Building and once you complete that program, you’ll be ready for my advanced programming.
What habits do you categorize as the Majors? What questions do you consider Minors? Share your comments below! This ought to be good.
100 comments and I’ll upload Mistake #4!
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