T Nation

How Many People...


I'm a pretty young guy, and while I know I don't have the best genetics ever that doesnt stop me from eating right, kicking my ass in the gym and living a good life style. However, doing all that there are still hundreds, thousands of guys my age who look as though they are in better shape. I have to wonder how many of these guys actually know how to change their body and do so actively. Do a lot of these young guys just have good bodies, or do a lot of them (doubtful) actually know a thing or two about nutrition and training?

It's frustrating at times to be working my ass off and still not look as good as some of these guys who apparently know so little about training.


I try not to think about it too much. Some people are just genetically gifted and any half-assed training will give them results. I guess people would say I'm lucky that I can cheat on my diet pretty often but still maintain a low bf% (although if I perfected my diet I could look/feel even better). We all have our strengths/weaknesses. I'm more concerned about being the best that I can be, since that's the only thing that's in my power to change.

The ironic thing that bugs me, is when people find out I exercise, and they say "As if you need to lose any weight!!" Well, maybe the reason I look like I don't need to workout is b/c I do!! (Not to mention the other benefits to exercising, not just weight loss!!)


Which should be a huge hint that "knowing a lot about training" doesn't mean you will make the most progress. The first factor is genetics. The next is work ethic. Your knowledge base comes afterwards. No one really cares if you have a PhD in bodybuilding.


As the prof suggests, genetics plays a big part and certainly work ethic does. As asianbabe?from Canada? chimes, why worry, it's about being the best YOU can be.

But also, don't assume that the 1 hour/2-3 times a week you see someone in your gym is all they are doing. Diet of course you don't see, but I know guys who do sit-ups during commercials at night. Guys who go jogging/running later after weights. Guys doing plyo's whenever.....

Workout hard, eat ok, and let the chips fall where they may.


Early on in my career, working at Golds' Gym, I trained this "kid"
(35 y/o) and wondered why the hell he was seeking out the advice of a much younger trainer (me). This dude had it all... unbelievable size AND cuts. I mean not just chest and biceps. Huge quads, hams, tris, lats and calves... EVERYTHING. The kicker is he had NEVER been in a gym before! Had no idea what muscles were specifically called, I mean NO KNOWLEDGE of training or nutrition. But I bet he could fare well in a natural BB contest. Unreal genetics! I had to keep telling myself that while staring at his quads and traps when he squatted (for the first time, mind you!). Did that sound gay?


Wayyyyyy back when I was in university I was dating a ballet dancer who was also a model. She was constantly complaining/commenting that all the other dancers/models were skinnier or prettier than herself.

She was gorgeous and skinny but she was never satisfied with herself. The moral of the story? There will always be someone prettier or skinnier or in your case more cut than yourself.

So forget about all the others. Forget about their "genetics". Enjoy yourself and your "hobby" And above all be happy with yourself.


This used to get me mad and frustrated as well. I used to obsess over the latest, greatest information coming from T-Nation. I wanted to be Arnold. Ya know what? I bought all the supps, began a "bulk" diet, lived a sedentary life in fear of catabolism, and was always unhappy. Moreover, I failed to do the most fundamental thing, which was to work hard.

Just take a look at some the pics people put up in the Performance and Photos Section. A lot of what goes on there can be considered narcissim and unhealthy for the spirit and mind.

Thankfully, Dan John's approach enlightened me and I've become much "looser" in regards to training and nutrition. In almost zen-like fashion, the less concerned I am about becoming bodybuilder, the better I look and feel.

For me, training has become the path to a healthy, fulifilling life, not the answer to my insecurities.

Sure, I weigh under 200lbs, but it beats setting my stopwatch for my next meal while eating lunch.

As the good Prof said, genetics is number one in determining how your body looks and performs. If you don't have great genetics, it'll take you a while to achieve significant results. All you can do is eat well, lift, sleep, and PLAY.


"hundreds, thousands"?
Lonnie, in 20 years, you will have benefitted greatly from what you are doing now, and you'll have a hard time finding that many people "who look as though they are in better shape."


On a side note today...

I was actually greeted by a guy from high school (who I never said 1 word too) and he comes up to me and says "Damn, you got pretty big!", he wanted to know if I did squats and how many calories/protein I ate... So it sounds like some people are on the right track!