Dear Skinny Fat Ectomorph,
As self-sworn leader of the Skinny Fat Ectomorph Brohirrim, I have something I need to tell you: I fail. A lot. Sometimes, I neglect the very advice I give you. It’s contradictory. It’s fraudulent. And you can hate me for it. I’ll understand if you do. But know that it’s in your best interest.
I write to prevent your failure. 11 Training Tips for the Skinny Fat Ectomorph, Solutions for the Skinny Fat Ectomorph Part I – The Basics, Solutions for the Skinny Fat Ectomorph Part II – My Story, Solutions for the Skinny Fat Ectomorph Part III – Programming and Training, and the soon-to-be Solutions for the Skinny Fat Ectomorph Part IV are all written so that you don’t experiment. Experimentation is scary because it might not work.
But it’s my job to fail. And it’s your job too.
Not once. Not twice. But as much as possible. Because that’s the only way you learn. Sure, you can “read” what I write. But I know what I know because I’ve repeatedly fail since 2006.
Hell, in January I started a breathing squat routine. I was psyched. Four weeks into it, I had to quit because my foot couldn’t handle it. Now I’m getting back into my “old and reliable” program, and most of lifts are down. I lost two months of training. One from the breathing squat program. The other from taking my time to regain my strength.
Yeah, I program hopped. I clubbed the baby seal. And I did it right before I explicitly told you not to. But I did it because, well, I’m stupid. But this stupidity is what allows me to chastise you for program hopping, because I know what it does. And I just proved to myself, once again, that it hinders progress. That’s all. But the only reason I’m so passionate about it is because I’ve experienced the failure many times over.
When it comes to learning, the goal is to fail. You can only repeatedly fail if you’re consistent. And if you’re consistent, you haven’t quit. That’s what’s most important. Use the cheat codes below to create a solid base, but allow for wiggle room and experimentation. (Try not to let your failures lead to month long setbacks.)
Everything that’s done can be undone. If you’re trying to lose fat, just go try something. If you end up an emaciated Ethiopian, you failed. But at least you know what not to do next time.
Your past and hardships are going to cultivate you. Your failures are what make you who you are. Few people understand this. And it’s why writing this series is time consuming and difficult. People only highlight current success and what’s working “right now.” But what’s working “right now” may only be working because of what was done in the past.
So here are some failing cheat codes. They are general rules to follow that make everything else arbitrary, and encourage experimentation.
For training, stick to the Big Six. Never stop doing these six exercises: squat, deadlift, chin-up, barbell row, barbell curl, and incline press (or push press). Everything else, let it fly. Fail. Adapt. Repeat.
Nutritionally, here are general rules. If you want to gain weight, and you’re struggling, eat more. If you want to lose weight, and you’re struggling, eat less. More carbs, less fats, and enough protein on training days; less carbs, more fats, and more protein on rest days. Fail your way to specifics. Fail your way to success.
If you want to conquer skinny fat syndrome, I dare you to fail as much as I have. If you do, and use the cheat codes above, I’m afraid of the things you can accomplish.