What if you have bad genetics?
You might have noticed by now that I’m a fan of Bruce Lee. What I love most about Bruce is that he was quite ahead of his time. Even though he was a master in everything he did, Lee would always focus on perfecting the basics and simplifying what was too complex. That is the problem with most people – they forget to focus on the basics. My core value is to struggle for close to perfect results in the basics and screw the rest. Another huge influence on me is Dan John. Although I have never met him, I still consider him to be one of my mentors. His book, “Never Let Go” changed my life. I should probably read it again now that I’m thinking about it… Even nowadays, when my progress hits a plateau, I know I have been neglecting the basics. This is one of the most simplistic, but also the greatest insights, I have gained training these last couple of years.
I might have developed a better than average physique, yet I don’t consider my results something out of anybody’s reach. People around me tend to say things to me such as, “I just have good “genetics,” or “I don’t need to train hard to stay or get in good shape and that’s why my home-workout is so effective.” Yes, there are people who have to work harder than the average population to achieve the same results. And yes, there also are people with good genetics who work less for achieving the same goals. Personally, I belong to the average population when it comes to exercise genes. Most of us unfortunately are not the unique snowflake we think we are, either that’s being gifted with a perfect six-pack from the fitness-fairy or cursed by the evil diet-witch with broken metabolisms.
The sum total of the life you have been living till now is what has made you what you are. Accept it and instead of complaining that you want to make a change, take action.
As an athlete, I was always the typical guy in the team who trained the hardest, following my coach’s advice to the letter. Still, I had average results and ended up not having a chance when competing with the pair of guys on my team who were blessed with great genetics. I never had that, and just like most of us, I have always worked hard for my results.
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As to body composition, that’s another excuse I have been hearing all my life.
Things like you eat all you want and still stay ripped and it’s in your genes to stay skinny are excuses I have heard from people around me all my life. Talking is a lot easier than doing. Because I heard this one so often, I started believing that I am probably blessed with good body composition. I thought that I could probably eat a bit more than others without gaining as much fat. When I started this project and delved deeper into the field of nutrition and exercise, I decided to test this theory. The basic reason people gain weight is because they consume more calories than they burn (duuuh).
So, for three and a half months I tracked my calories to extreme detail and kept close watch on my weight. I ate the exact amount of calories my body burned according to a very accurate formula for tracking caloric needs. Besides clean foods, my diet also included stuff like ice-cream and chocolate up to 15% of my total caloric intake. Results? After eating the exact amount of calories my body required for three and a half months, I gained…two hundred grams! Two hundred grams is an insignificant amount of weight and means that my weight remained stable. This simply confirms that I belong to the typical average male of my age and I do not have magic metabolism. Trust me, I wish I did…I’d be probably eating a bucket of ice-cream while writing this paragraph.
The years that followed my accident took a great a toll to my body. Being in and out of hospitals for five years, being operated on a total of thirteen times, consuming huge amounts of antibiotics all those years and being in a stressed and depressed mental state for so long was detrimental. From being in fantastic shape as a competitive athlete, I ended up becoming what people call skinny fat (lack of muscle tissue in combination with excessive fat). My whole body looked weak and sick and my stomach was constantly bloated. The good thing out of this experience was that I was able to start building my physique from scratch and I can give you an unbiased picture of my progress and results.
Along the way I made a lot of mistakes, but I also learn a great deal from them. I have made several adjustments in the training programs I have today in my book and I believe that you can make even more progress using these programs in their current, perfected state.