Does THIN Genetics determine Muscle Growth?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 28, 2007 9:47 PM GMT
    I come from a very thin family (mother's and father's side). I have been working out 3 to 4x's a week for the last few months. I was 118lb and now am 130lb and am getting defined. I see these guys who are my height and have killer bodies. I have always been told that I would never be as defined as them and I could never be as big as they are. I am not looking to be huge, think of Ryan Reynolds in "Ammityville Horror"or Brad Pitt in "Troy". Is that all BS or is there some truth to it?
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    Apr 28, 2007 11:35 PM GMT
    Google on "somatype."

    There ARE general indicators of your potential. Smart training, and calories, can overcome some of it.

    I'm what's known as a meso-endo. I weighed 175, at 5'5", and had the fifth highest strength index in my high school at 16. I look at weights and get bigger.

    If you have small bones (small wrists in particular), you'll never be an imposing figure. However, you can make yourself more "hunky" by eating and lifting.

    If you are an extreme ecto-meso, you'll never be real bulky. I'm not sure that's not all bad.

    Seems like the skinny guys wanna' be thick; the thick guys wanna' be ripped, and so on.

    You'd do well to identify your somatype and to work with it.

    There is tons of info on training techniques for various body types.

    Eat, first, and foremost. Rest. Don't train like a moron. The rest will follow.
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    Apr 29, 2007 1:03 PM GMT
    It's all genetics. you can't reach any further than what your genes allow. Its sad but its the truth. But it is important to know that every guy can build muscle and look good you might just not be able to get as big as you want
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    Apr 29, 2007 1:22 PM GMT
    Chuckystud looks awesome, and he's 100% right. I'm a skinny guy - graduated HS @ 140. I've got wrists that can't be more than 7" around, total ecto. Would I like to be 190 and jacked? Sure...never going to happen (@ least not naturally). That's ok, though - just do the best you can with the structure you've got. You'll look way better if you work on proportions than trying to get huge...

    Eat as clean as you can, lift as hard as you can, rest as much as you need. Maybe hire a good trainer - made all the difference for me. Good luck.
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    Apr 29, 2007 9:03 PM GMT
    actually somatype classification is outdated from the 40s and no longer used so don't wory too much about that. Although genetics do play a role, like the post stated above, with training, you can gain muscle. When I first started in one summer I went from 145 to 165 and dropped my overall bodyfat. And I was pretty thin before, so thats saying something. I also had a trainer, so it probably helps to know what you are doing.
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    Apr 29, 2007 10:58 PM GMT
    It is not if you are skinny or not as a kid. It is the genetic gift of having a higher percentage of type two muscle fibers in your body. The body types aka mesomorph, endomorph, and ectomorph are poor predictors of muscle growth it is more of a starting block and then your muscle genetics take you from there.
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    Apr 30, 2007 2:04 PM GMT
    And...thinking a bit further...we all know who has what types of muscle fiber, and how training specificity and body type influences all that. I guess you just weren't thinking clearly.

    That gets back to what is common sense 101. If you're destined to be skinny, you might gain some weight / gain some muscle, but, you'll still be disposed to being thin. That's just how it is. Fat folks can get thinner / gain muscle / lose weight, but, like it or not, they still have a disposition to go a certain.

    Do some more research. I think you'll find fiber types are influenced more by training specificity, and sport chosen, than you originally stated.

    In my 31 years of observation, I've seen academia make a pile of what was clearly mistakes. E.g., AAS have no influence on sports performance (right, SIC). AAS are very dangerous (not really). Lactic acid causes soreness (no, it's micro tears). Low HDL causes you to drop dead (nope..studies say just the opposite in active populations). So on and so forth. Ever see a movie called "Reefer Madness?" Academia would do well to be more honest, and...more humble. The media would do better to stop with sensationalism and to be more broad in their research.
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    May 16, 2007 5:13 PM GMT
    Personal experience:

    177lbs at 6'1... finally. For the longest time I was between 159 and 162, just could not get past a hurdle.

    Regular training, alternating my workouts to work different groups, diet, and sleep (the most important) for the past 4 months have given me more of the "body" people go for.

    Genetics does play a big role in how you will be shaped as you grow, but that does not mean you can't make the best of what you got. I fully agree with a statement made above: "Proportion". You see guys in adds for gyms, or promoting something and they look great. Most of them are 5'5 to 5'9. I have met them. It is all in how your weight is displace.

    Also, recommended by my trainer, take a week off after a few to let your body rest. You will notice a difference when you go back to training. The weights will feel better, and you will see some good results.

    Just remember to stretch, for health reasons, plus the long lean muscle look. It saddens me when I see a big muscle man not being able to touch his toes because he is so tight. Not attractive.
  • vince_the_cyc...

    Posts: 126

    May 16, 2007 9:05 PM GMT
    You might like the book Scrawny to Brawny by Michael Mejia and John Berardi.

    It has some great information for slimmer guys, including eating plenty of healthy food, getting plenty of rest, and focusing your training on lifts that incorporate large groups of muscles.

    In my personal experience, I had a bit of trouble getting started growing muscle. I spent a year or so lifting plenty, but didn't see much growth. I figured it was just a result of my slim frame.

    After reading Scrawny to Brawny the single biggest change I made was to my diet. I started eating about 3500-4000 calories of healthy food a day, which included 2 CytoSport weight gainer shakes, plenty of protein and healthy carbs.

    I started seeing visible muscle growth, and I've been able to progressively increase the amount of weight I lift on a monthly basis (something I hardly ever managed to do eating 2500 calories a day).

    Good luck! With determination you'll get there.
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    May 17, 2007 5:14 PM GMT
    It's in the calories Dudes.
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    May 24, 2007 7:24 PM GMT
    Genetics, potential based on wrist size or god knows what, even looking at your (possibly sedentary, or non-weightlifting, or not nutrition conscious) family members cannot be blamed for less than ideal gains.

    I know plenty of people who if they had used some vague indicator of potential or their starting size would not be where they are today in terms of physique development. There are many misconceptions and myths in the fitness/bodybuilding world, "potential" in vague terms being one of them.

    I will not deny that everyone has a genetic limit, but with proper training, diet, recovery, hard work, and years of putting in your time, you can achieve the body you desire.
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    May 24, 2007 7:28 PM GMT
    Vince in Chicago, I love that you recommended a book by John Berardi. He is a nutritional genius and knows a lot about eating and training for optimal body composition. He started as a skinny guy and competed in bodybuilding at around 210, and he is average height. He is one of those people who "looked like he had no potential" when he started and is now ripped.
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    Jun 01, 2007 2:22 AM GMT
    What chuckystud said!

    The way I've come to look at it after two decades of lifting is your body is your body. There's your body that never works out, and your body that works out a lot, but it's still your body.

    I work hard at the gym, and more importantly, I try to work smart. I've got good definition, a reasonable body fat percentage, and I get complements, but there's nothing I could ever do (short of turning my butt into a pin cushion and wrecking my liver) to get really huge.

    The biggest challenge most people face, whatever your goals are, are the plateau periods. They really suck, and not in that good way. But the great thing about lifting is if you make it a part of your life, you'll see good results. The key is not to get frustrated by setting unrealistic goals.

    All the best,

    Drew
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    Jun 02, 2007 11:41 PM GMT
    hi everyone... I'm new here so... hello!
    lol, i just have a question for anyone who can help me with... my body is slim skinny type, i been working out for like 8 months and things are going well. in the first 4 months, i started using those protein shake and keep drinking it everyday, i gained so much weight and my friends started to realize it. but after a while, i stopped using it since i didnt like the flavor, since then i lost all the weight i have gained. since then, if i kept going to the gym like 3 or 4 times a week, my body getting bigger, but if I'm too busy with school and work, and not going there for like a week, i losing all the weight... is it normal at all? I feel like a balloon... sounds funny but... true... any advice? so do i have to keep going to the gym more than 3 times a week to maintain the weight i want? thank you!
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    Jun 28, 2007 11:29 AM GMT
    ^^^ you stopped drinking the shakes because you didn't like the taste?..... the point of drinking the shakes isnt the taste, its the protein. Try a different shake if you didnt like the one you were using. Also, working out isnt like getting teeth whitening where you go and its done, its more like brushing your teeth, you have to do it often to keep it up. Also, not going to the gym for a week and you lost all the weight? damn! how much weight?
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    Jun 29, 2007 5:17 PM GMT
    Oh wow, there is a lot to be said on this topic. There are three basic, different body types: the Mesomorphs, the Endomorphs, and the Ectomorphs. Read up on each of them.

    Then there is the fact that there are muscles for endurance and muscles for short-term power. You want a workout which will work the power muscles. Depending on your body type and genetics you may have a higher percentage of one over the other.

    Then there is diet. Protein, Protein, Protein. There are many places to go online to find good diets that you will enjoy.

    There is also the frequency of your meals. 5 meals a day in smaller portions and working up to larger ones is a way to start.

    You will also want lots of rest.

    I am an ectomorph. We have the metabolism of 80 men. I can eat anything I want and it takes forever for my weight to change. I went to college the scrawniest guy you've ever seen. I started eating right, and going 6 days a week for at least an hour working nothing but weight training. Some days I replaced weight training with swimming for relaxation or when I got frustrated from not seeing results. My workouts have changed since then. I only work out three times a week now because of my career. Anyway, it took a while, but eventually I went to 160lbs, and now I'm at 170. I've seen before and after pictures of ectomorphs who have gained plenty of muscle mass, so there really is no reason to be discouraged by slow results. And there is no reason to think you're at a disadvantage. If anything when you get where you want to be in a few years you will be the guy who can eat whatever he wants while all the mesomorphs and endomorphs are still dieting to stay cut and not so thick.

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    Jun 29, 2007 6:10 PM GMT
    I know I'm an endomorph, because I can gain weight quickly and have trouble metabolizing and losing body fat. Genetics does play a major part in determining your gains and lack there of, but it isn't the only factor.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2588

    Jun 30, 2007 2:54 AM GMT
    As both your parents are thin,then you`ll find it harder than the average guy to put onweight/muscle mass.No BS,genetics does play a role in determining our body size.In fact,it shapes our entire bodily form.How far it shapes our minds....now that`s the really interesting question!Still,there are things you can do to bulk up,like get enough calories per day,eat plenty of protein,and weight train.These will all get you bigger than you might have done,and tone you.Genetics probably sets broad limits on what we can achieve physically,but the environment/lifestyle has a role to play as well.
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    Jun 30, 2007 3:41 AM GMT
    http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/body-types-ectomorph-mesomorph-endomorph.html

    I'm an ectomorph when it comes to putting on muscle. But, my skeletal structure and fat gaining ability are definitely mesomorphic.