If you watch bodybuilding and fitness channels on YouTube, then you're likely to find yourself starting to feel a bit inadequate. There are some amazing physiques on there that are almost impossible for most of us to replicate. And even though they're in the business of sharing precisely what they eat and precisely how they train with us, you're likely to find that following that advice exactly still doesn't yield the kind of results that you're aiming for.
The problem, is that these people are genetically gifted. Sure, they work hard at what they do and they clearly love working out – but nevertheless they still have a genetic advantage that allows them to make faster progress than the rest of us.
But here's the good news: you're genetically gifted too. There are no such thing as bad genetics, you just need to know how to take advantage of your body type and adjust your diet and training accordingly.
How to Get Super Ripped
Let's take a look at someone like Jeff Cavaliere from Athlean-X. In case you've never watched his channel, Jeff is a guy who has an incredibly ripped body to the point where he really is a walking anatomy chart. His physique is the closest thing you're going to see to that 'Grecian ideal' and he obviously puts in a lot of work and a lot of intense training to get that way.
But if you watch one of his videos on how he eats breakfast, you'll see that he actually takes in a lot of calories. In a recent video, he showed how he often eats over 60 grams of protein for breakfast in the form of eggs and protein shake. That protein shake will undoubtedly carry a lot of calories, and though he only eats the egg whites, so too will the eggs. He admits that he eats a lot throughout the day, and actually, for someone who eats 60 grams of protein in the morning, his muscles aren't quite as large as you'd expect them to be. Yes they are huge, but at 60 grams of protein for breakfast and training that intensely, you might expect them to be even bigger.
Put simply, if I were to mimic his precise diet and training regime, I would be bigger than he is. At the same time though, I would have a lot of fat on my stomach that would make my abs and all the rest of my musculature much less visible.
What's the point? The point is: Jeff is clearly an ectomorph. He has a fast metabolism and that means he burns fat quickly and has to really work to put on muscle.
Now for most people, this is an excuse and something they use to explain why they stay skinny. Jeff though just works super hard and eats tons and has turned it into an advantage by pushing himself to become super ripped.
I, meanwhile, am a mesomorph. This is lucky, because it means I build muscle fairly easily. I'm not fat by any means, but I do struggle to lose that belly fat especially as I get older. What this means though, is that I can afford to eat a much lower calorie diet and still maintain my size. The same is true for endomorphs, but to a greater extent – a more extreme metabolism requires a more extreme approach.
How to Make the Most of Your Diet
If you need to eat a huge amount in order to gain muscle, or if you need to eat an incredibly strict diet in order to get a ripped stomach, then you should consider this a good thing. An extreme solution might sound intense, but at least it's simple and straightforward…
The first step then is to identify your current diet and to look at the body you have. What is working and what isn't? What does this tell you about the way that you build muscle, or the way that you burn fat? And then how do you go about capitalizing on that type of body in order to make sure you get the results you're looking for?
Building the Right Muscles
The same goes for building muscle. All of us have genetic strong points and weak points. For me, my pes are incredibly strong which I've always been very proud of, but my shoulders have always been rather weak and flat.
The problem is that most people will continue to work really hard on their best muscle groups because those are the areas they enjoy training. I'm guilty of this too: I always work hard on my pecs to the detriment of other body parts perhaps. I stay away from side raises, because I'm not very good at them.
But this is madness. If I were to pretty much leave my pecs alone, they would hardly lose any mass at all. The same is true for my biceps. Meanwhile, I should be putting all my focus on my shoulders which are lacking and that would result in a much more visible change and much more impressive performance in the gym with less effort.
The same is true for you. Stop focussing all your attention on the areas you already excel in, and start focussing some time on the areas that need to play catch-up.
This is why following a program that's worked for someone else won't necessarily work for you. It's also why so many of us waste time on training programs that just don't yield any results. Ultimately we end up eating wrong for our body type and giving equal focus to every muscle group without thinking about where our weaknesses lie.
Next time you're going to start a training program then, it pays to start out with some soul searching to try and discover where your unique weaknesses lie and what you can do to capitalize on your natural genetic strengths.