T Nation

Who would look better?

Obviously we all know that a smart, effective training program along with sound nutrition and proper rest is the way to achieve a healthy, good-looking body.

My question is this:

There are two identical twin males, both 25. Both have about 18% BF and are genetically “average” in terms of being able to build muscle.

One of the twins decides he’s going to begin weight training, but his diet remains that of the “typical” American, high in sugary carbs and saturated fat with frequent trips to fast food restaurants.

The next twin decides he’s going to begin eating perfectly, spreading his meals out to 6-7 daily, with high protein from lean sources, lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. He’s also going to get at least 8 hours sleep a night and drink plenty of water throughout the day. But this twin isn’t going to weight train or exercise at all, aside from the normal day to day stuff like walking in the mall, etc.

Who will look better in three years? Twin number one who weight trains but eats terribly, or twin number two who eats great and lives a relaxed stress-free type of lifestyle?

Twin “B”…

The only real purpose of resistance training, as it relates to physique enhancement, is to force muscular adaptation via the VERY catabolic processes of microtrauma and overload. The growth occurs OUTSIDE the gym…a process that is aided by providing the body with the proper nutrients for growth and repair. Twin “A” is doing the pre-requisite catabolism…but is NOT providing the millieu for growth.

Twin “B” is providing the body with the tools for growth in the form of adequate nutrition and rest. What you must keep in mind is that his muscles, while not being overloaded, ARE in fact being worked; he’s not immobile. While he may not reach his full potential, IN THEORY, he should end up “looking better” than his brother.

Great question! It really made me think!


Common sense tells me twin A.Twin B would not be putting his body under the stress neccesary to build muscle

I would have to agree with terminator on this oneif the person wasn’t being trained then no changes in body comp would come whereas with the training individual given that they both were relatively unexperienced would make positive changes in his body comp since his body is used to the diet and at most hell stay with the same amount of bodyfat…and since hes a newbie hell make good gains when he first starts therefore lowering his BF% cause he has more muscle and a higher muscle to fat ratio given that his fat stays the same cause his body has adapted to the diet and hes been stable 18% for some time…


Okay what does twin “B” do for a living? Is he seditary ( has a cushy office job)? Or does he do labor work (like a construction worker)? I would go w/ “b” if his job is not seditary.

I guess it can be a matter of opinion. Twin A will most likely be bigger but will also have a good layer of padding. Great if you like the ‘shaved gorilla’ look. Twin B will most likely have a thinner, yet more defined look.

I’m wondering why twin “A” doesn’t live a relaxed stress-free lifestyle cuz he eats McDonald’s? He is relieving all that day to day pent up frustrasion an aggrivation that the world desides to occasionally hand us. What exactly do you mean by “better”? I don’t care who you are or what you eat if you deticate yourself to the gym for 3 yrs you might just make some muscle from that bag of quarter pounders with cheese. Obviously twin “B” isn’t gonna make any muscle from taking the ocassional walk in the mall. If we we’re saying 6 months I might go with twin “B” cuz i’m sure he’ll lose some weight but 3 yrs in the gym, twin “B” can’t beat that.

The twin who lifts and doesn’t eat well would look better (more muscular for sure). The man who eats well but doesn’t lift couldn’t really attain too much muscle. A few months earlier I remember this running through my head when my frat house chef was telling me how much fruit he eats, “No one cares if you eat well and don’t even lift.”

well if they both start at 18% and “a” stays on the same diet he is on but trains in a productive manor I would guess that after 3 years he would be under 10% (say he is 200lbs @ 18% that means he has 164lbs lean mass, he only has to add 16lbs of muscle in 3 YEARS 2 get 2 10%, pretty easy). Your example of a fast food diet is not bad for muscle growth, fast food is high in protien and fat, both condusive 2 muscle growth (ex. whopper w/ chz has 35 grams protien and 48 grams of fat, an arby’s beef n chedder has 23 grams of protien and 24 grams of fat)
now if “b” eats the same amount of “good” food he will look the same in three years that he looks now. inside he will be healthier then he was but he will LOOK the same.

Good question though, i can’t believe more haven’t posted on it.

Seeing that the Twins are 25 - you know, that age where many believe you can eat crap, weight train and still look good. I would have to go with Twin A. My first thought would be Twin B, for the exact reasons as Mufasa. However, after realizing that I’ve seen ALOT of “Twin B” types and they look rather, er…“unimpressive” - Twin A wins my vote.

Also, in a year or two, due to his weight training, maybe Twin A could "see the light" and improve his diet. I know this is hypothetical (well, ALL of this is), but it's something else to consider. Another thing to consider? What do we mean by "look better"? A typical, everyday person's idea of looking good or a T-Man or T-Vixen's idea?

Twin A.

Although if they were both really chubby (30%+ of bodyfat) I'd say twin "B".

Though if Twin "B" even started playing around with exercise, he'd catch up to Twin "A" much faster than vice versa. Having a ton of muscle mass does not an impressive physique make, if it's swaddled under a ton of fat.

From a T-man’s perspective, Twin number 1. Patricia makes a great point. How many college age guys eat like shit, and lots of it? They succeed in getting the necessary nutrients for muscle growth, and have the fast metabolism to burn off the huge amounts of unhealthy fats they eat. And like Patricia points out, “who looks better” is totally subjective. What looks better to a T-Nationer, might not appeal to your average sloth.