The Importance of Genetics

GENETICS...Genetics will determine (among other things) if a person’s body type is Endo-, meso-, or ectomorphic, and what an individuals ratio between slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibers, known as muscular composition, is. Genetics are also a weak excuse, since the above mentioned factors only influence a persons physical capability and appearance up to 25%. On the other hand, an individuals nutritional intake, exercise, and mental/spiritual state will influence physical capability and appearance up to about 75%. I mention this to remind you just how much you really are in control of determining your health and physical appearance.

Now I would like to answer a question recently sent to me by Maria C. She is 31 years old, 51" and weighs 97lbs, and except for during her pregnancy, Maria has never weighed over 100 lbs. She would like to know what to do to gain weight.

Before I continue, I want to mention that if you are looking to lose weight, this article can still be of interest to you. I am certain that the weight you want to lose is in form of body fat. Well, in Marias case, the weight gain is in form of muscle, and putting on muscle increases your bodys requirement for energy (your basal metabolic rate). This in turn can assist you in reducing your body fat when combined with other weight (fat) reduction factors, which. I will discuss in detail in a future article.

Stick to the basics. In order to gain muscle your workout routines should focus on the basic exercises, which include squats, bench-press, pull-ups, military press, dips, and barbell curls. These exercises focus on increasing strength and bulk of the appropriate major muscle groups. For individuals with very lean body types, the squat (either with a barbell or on a machine) is the single most effective exercise to gain muscle and develop a solid base of strength/power. The development of this strength/power base will further enhance the growth and strength of the other muscle groups.

More is not always better. Although your workouts must be of adequate frequency, duration and intensity, if this exceeds your ability to recuperate you run the risk of over-training. When you train you need energy during the workout and afterwards in order for the muscles you have exercised to recover and grow. If you are not able to recover adequately, you will experience muscle loss instead of muscle growth. This happens much too often and generally has a negative impact on an individuals physical and mental state of well being. So, if you notice an increase in fatigue, injuries, frequency of illness, loss of appetite or loss of motivation; the first thing you should do is reduce either the intensity, the length or the frequency of your training. If the symptoms continue, your nutritional intake may also be insufficient. This I will continue in my next article, where I will discuss some of the nutritional requirements that are important and necessary to achieve muscular growth.