T Nation

Genes and Progress

My understanding: endos tend towards fat and ectos towards skinny while mesos are in between. The latter seem to make up most muscle men and also appear to gain easier.

I often hear Frank Zane brought up when it comes to ectomorphic builders. But, while he’s extremely well-defined, he never looked huge, and it took him a great long while to get where he got.

How much does one’s genes have to do with how effective their workout is and how fast they gain? There are plenty of success stories, but so many of them are about mesomorphs, I’ve noticed.

I’m an ectomorph and expect progress to come harder for me than it would for the typical “jock” body type.

What opinions do you guys have on the relationship between genetics and progress?

don’t worry about things you can’t change.

yes genetics have a role in your progress, but why worry about it?

train hard and you’ll make progress no matter what genetics you have.

What’s your height, weight and wrist size? Just out of curiosity.

I agree with shizen.

I certainly don’t worry about it, it just crosses my mind often. The common weight training wisdom seems best suited to the mesomorph. I’d like if most muscle-building literature more easily applied to me, but as it is, I feel largely on my own.

Don’t get me wrong, though – I love my virtual inability to get fat. That biology has its trade-offs, is all.

Height: 6’5". Weight: 200-210. Wrist: dunno, though I seriously just looked for a tape measure. BFP: ninth percentile. Believe me, I’m very much an ectomorph.

My general athletic aptitude is fairly high and I’ve always SEEMED stronger than my peers. Really, I’m just weight training to better conform to society’s image of “strong guy.” That’s why I’m going for hypertrophy before anything else. Pretty vain, when you think about it…

I believe genetics may determine your potential for making progress in the gym, but I also believe that most people don’t even come close to this maximum potential.

Overall it seems too many people blame lack of progress towards their goals on genetics when in reality there is often some other aspect of diet and exercise that is lacking.

For an ecto, your weight and height actually aren’t that bad. A lot of untrained ecto’s tend to have a BMI more around 20, but yours is in the 24-25 range. Overall don’t worry about genetics too much. Eat a lot and lift often and you’ll make lots of progress.

[quote]Goggleman wrote:
I certainly don’t worry about it, it just crosses my mind often. The common weight training wisdom seems best suited to the mesomorph. I’d like if most muscle-building literature more easily applied to me, but as it is, I feel largely on my own.

Don’t get me wrong, though – I love my virtual inability to get fat. That biology has its trade-offs, is all.

Height: 6’5". Weight: 200-210. Wrist: dunno, though I seriously just looked for a tape measure. BFP: ninth percentile. Believe me, I’m very much an ectomorph.

My general athletic aptitude is fairly high and I’ve always SEEMED stronger than my peers. Really, I’m just weight training to better conform to society’s image of “strong guy.” That’s why I’m going for hypertrophy before anything else. Pretty vain, when you think about it…[/quote]

That’s average weight. What were you before training?

Recovery capacity and work capacity seem to be lower for true ectos. That’s what I’ve read anyway. You can always find out yourself by experimenting.