I’ve written a number of articles over the years on training and ‘getting bigger’. I am always keen to promote a non-steroid route to increasing muscle mass, and have gone from a tall, stringy child, to a 6’4 225lbs man. I don’t expect to be able to make you taller! I can help in the gaining mass department.
In this series of writings I’m going to offer a step-by-step plan of inspiration to fellow wrestlers, students, bodybuilders and any other athletes wanting to add muscle to their frame. Let’s start with one of the most used excuses/ reasons given for not getting bigger: Genetics. As I always state: I’m not a doctor, and I don’t offer you anything other than credible observations from a great deal of hands on experience.
Lets not unnecessarily over complicate things. It’s enough to know that genetics are basically the body’s pre built ‘programmes’ that determine many of the body’s functions. Genetics will determine eye colour, height and countless other identifiable characteristics. Genetics also play a part in the way your body digests and takes in food. Because of this people find themselves at different ends of the spectrum when they seek to change their bodies muscle/ fat composition.
There isn’t much you can do about your pre-defined height and eye colour short of wearing platform shoes and contacts lenses, but you do have greater control than you may think when it comes to adding muscle and losing fat.
For some, the body burns food at an incredible pace (High Metabolism) and they are easily spotted. These are the people everyone claims to envy – the ones that eat as much as they like and don’t get fat. In truth, these people often look so toned or slim that they appear under nourished. They have great difficulty putting on muscle because the body burns many of the normal everyday nutrients at a phenomenal pace. Since the body doesn’t seem to absorb food particularly well, and doesn’t hang on to the food it does take in, these people often have a pale complexion.
For others, it’s a Slow Metabolism that has the opposite effect. These people can put on weight, but they find it hard to tone up and lose excess fat. This is because the body is slow to burn the energy eaten, and subsequently ends up storing it for a time when the body needs it more.
These 2 ends of the spectrum are very real instances of where Genetics can play havoc with the body building process. But Genetics is no longer a catchall excuse for your body’s aesthetic flaws. There are things you can do to help.
The first thing you have to do is have a good look at yourself and decide whether you’re a High or Low Metabolism person – but don’t fall into the all too common cycle of excuses. If you’re overweight because you eat too much pizza you need to accept it’s your diet that needs looking at first. We’ll get to that later.
If you’ve tried to eat right and exercise hard, but your frame is still slight, and your not putting on any weight, it may be (amongst other reasons) because you’re burning your food intake like there’s no tomorrow. But if you’re finding it hard to lose weight despite eating smart and training, you may be in the Low metabolism group.
It’s a fact of life that the best accomplishments are never easy, and if having the perfect body were easy, there would be no awe factor watching 17 stone wrestlers throw each other around, and there would be no bodybuilding competitions. With that in mind, your going to have to accept that genetics can be an obstacle, but I’m here to tell you that genetics alone will not stop you getting the body you wish for – unless your back on the height thing again!
The first thing you’re going to need to understand is the body’s need for regular protein. Protein is the body’s muscle building ingredient, and comes from meat, pulses, dairy products and other food types. It also comes in strange looking tubs in powder form. Unless you can eat like an elephant, I’d recommend you getting some, because you’re going to need 1.5 – 2g of protein per pound of bodyweight. I’m of the opinion that you cant get eat too much protein. It’s natural, (if you use a good source that supplied whey isolate) and its important to remember that you wont put on your full potential muscle mass without it.
So how can protein help me with my metabolism problems you may be wondering… but you’ll have to wait until next time for that!
Next FUTURE-SHOCK covers Attitude and leads into Diet.