Genetics can have a huge role to play when we are looking to change our body; some people are blessed with good genetics and some people aren’t. But this also depends on what you call good genetics. For some, good genetics may be someone that’s really skinny or slim and doesn’t readily gain weight, but to me, good genetics is someone who has a slightly bigger fame and can put on muscle easily (mesomorph).
I would say I am more the former. I’ve always been the skinny kid and for me to put on muscle, it has always been a struggle. I am what you call an ectomorph with a naturally lean frame with skinny ankles and wrists. I’m not complaining as I am completely at peace with who I am, but I acknowledge this is a potential barrier whilst trying to achieve my goal of adding muscle.
Being an ectomorph has it’s positives because I get to eat lots of food without gaining too much body fat, I naturally fidget a lot and I’m always moving. This doesn’t give me a ticket to eat what I want though, I still need to watch my diet otherwise I’ll feel and look like crap and risk becoming ‘skinny fat’ which is not a great look!
As an ectomorph looking to develop muscle, I need to ensure I’m not doing activities that are counterproductive to my goals such as running long distances, as that’s very catabolic and uses tons of energy. I need to make sure that I am in the gym getting strong and hitting the big compound exercises like the deadlift, squat, bench press, overhead press and the bent over rows etc. These are big movements that hit a lot of muscles and really send that muscle building signal. Another thing is eating a lot of calories, and I mean a lot! This is a big must to ensure I am getting into a calorie surplus to ensure fast recovery and enough energy for my body to grow.
What Body Type Are You?
Ectomorphs have a naturally skinny build and typically fidget a lot whilst having tons of energy, and struggle to put on weight.
Mesomorphs are more likely to put on body fat than ectomorphs but naturally build muscle easier and stay relatively lean, when they are eating well and training. This is a more athletic look and is what most people desire.
Endomorphs naturally move and fidget less than the ectomorphs and although they can build muscle fairly easily, they are also at higher risk of putting on more body fat without too much trouble.
All three body types need to eat well and train smart, but be mindful of your genetics. Ectomorphs and and Endomorphs generally have to watch their lifestyle and work a little harder to build muscle and drop body fat to build a more athletic look than a mesomorph.
Genetics is like a loaded gun, and lifestyle is like pulling the trigger
So just be mindful that the principle for all three body types to get in shape will be the same, but the methods you use to get there will be different.
Follow Bryn’s Body Progress Journal as it unfolds. Comment if you have questions, ideas or motivation to offer.