With consistent exercise and proper nutrition you can greatly alter your body composition, gain muscle and lose fat. However, there is one thing you can not change no matter how dedicated you are; your genetic makeup. Your genetics play a pivotal role in the way your body reacts and adapts to change. They can help you make great progress in short amounts of time or they can greatly hinder your results.
Genetics play a role in every aspect of training. Some genes can allow athletes to heal quicker from exercise than others. This is a huge advantage and allows for more frequent training sessions. More training in shorter amounts of time, leads to better results. Other genes allow for more muscle hypertrophy than average. Leading to bigger and fuller muscles with less effort. Genes also control the amount of power each muscle fiber is capable of producing. Some people are lucky enough to be more explosive without any training at all.
A lot of people tend to use the excuse that they have bad genetics; but everyone has an advantage in one way or another. If someone is genetically built for power lifting or bodybuilding then it is unlikely they will become a marathon runner or endurance athlete. No one is good at everything and in the same regard everyone is good at something.
What you have to focus on is the person in the mirror. Never compare yourself to others. Hone your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Just because it is harder for you to achieve results, does not mean that it is impossible. Push through the plateaus and never give up. If you are ever curious what type of genes you may have, we offer genetic testing here at Dare U Fitness. In the meantime, you can get a rough idea of what kind of genetics you have by determining your body type.
Working with Your Body Shape
Everyone on this planet has a body that is completely unique. Some people are short and broad while others are tall and lanky. Certain people have a hard time losing weight, while others struggle to put it on. We are all very similar yet at the same time, vastly different. These characteristics are determined by what type of body we have.
There are three main body types, ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph. The ectomorph is someone who has longer limbs and a very lean physique. Endomorphs have a thicker frame and wide hips. Mesomorphs have a more athletic build and broad shoulders. Most people tend to be a blend of body types with one being the most dominant.
Your body type will directly impact how easy or difficult it is for you to reach your goals. An ectomorph will have no issues staying lean do to their accelerated metabolism. However, if there goal is to gain muscle then they will have a very hard time putting on weight. Most basketball players and marathon runners are ectomorphs. Endomorphs can put on muscle easier than ectomorphs and tend to have more overall mass. They may start off with a more stable foundation but they also gain excess fat the easiest. The majority of football players on the offensive and defensive line are endomorphs. The mesomorph body type gains muscle mass the easiest while gaining less excess fat than the endomorph. Mesomorphs tend to be less capable of long bouts of exercise due to their explosive nature. Bodybuilders, power lifters and sprinters are all good examples of mesomorphs.
Your body type does not restrict you from reaching any specific goals, it just changes the way you have to approach them. Ectomorphs need to work really hard to put on muscle mass. Their calories need to be high above maintenance and their workout sessions need to consist of heavy lifting with little to no cardio. They will benefit most from a strength training program. If you are an ectomorph who wants to stay lean and gain endurance, it will come more naturally and won't require as much effort. These people will benefit more from aa interval training program.
Endomorphs are going to have a more difficult time keeping fat off. They have to be very strict with both their diet and cardio regimen. Keeping their calories below maintenance is crucial. Endomorphs struggling with their weight will benefit most from an interval training program. If they want to gain muscle they will still have to keep their calorie intake low and keep some form of cardio in their routine. The endomorphs in this category will benefit most from a cardio/strength training program.
Mesomorphs that are trying to gain muscle won't struggle as much as the other body types. All they have to do is maintain a slight caloric surplus and lift weights with little amounts of cardio. They should focus on a strength training program. If a mesomorph wants to gain athletic performance and endurance they may have to work harder than if their goal is to just gain muscle mass. Eating maintenance calories and following our cardio/strength training program will help them reach their goals.
No matter which body type you might be, if you are increasing or decreasing the amount of calories you are consuming, you should only modify your diet by a few hundred calories in either direction. In the coming weeks, once you feel as though your body is no longer making progress with the caloric change, increase or decrease it another couple hundred calories. Extreme caloric changes in your diet can lead to weight gain and excess fat since you are either eating much more than usual or so little that your body enters starvation mode, slowing down your metabolism.
In the end, no matter what your genetics say about you, don't let it stop you from reaching your full potential!
Written by: Jonathan Khanoyan