I’m An Endomorph! Am I Screwed No Matter What??
It’s true that we do have bodytypes, whether it be endomorph, ectomorph or mesomorph (a gross oversimplification of things, but hey). It’s true that genetics do of course play an important role in our fitness journey’s, otherwise, how would you explain freaks such as Ronnie Coleman? It’s true that many of you reading this may be endomorphs yourselves.
BUT, just how much of a problem is being an endomorph? Today, I’m going to answer that for you. Yes it’s a problem, but is it really worth paying any attention to?
Endomorph’s tend to gain weight very easily and lose it with difficulty. This means that they gain fat easily and tend to struggle to lose it. But what many endomorph’s fail to realise is that also means that you gain muscle more easily than others, which can make you reach your muscle and strength goals far faster than others might.
Ectomorph’s, conversely, tend to stay very lean and lose weight easily, but struggle to gain weight. So although you may be jealous of them for their lower levels of body fat, they hate you for gaining muscle rapidly. See? Nobody has it perfect.
So yes genetics play a part in all of this. Of course they do. But, should you just accept that you’re an endomorph and there’s nothing you can do about it? No. Here’s why:
My brother is an endomorph. He was a big, fat heavy baby, always had enormous legs as a child, and had a natural tendency to be round and chubby. Any glance towards any of my other family memebrs that share similar genes to him will confirm the same. One side of my family is very “large”, whilst the other is smaller.
The large side of my family consists of multiple people who are seriously overweight, have big bone structures and have a rounder overall shape to them. One of them now struggles to walk (in his seventies) but it’s purely due to bodyweight (i.e his own fault).
Tragically, he used to be a professional Rugby payer when he was younger, and his twin brother, a Cricket player. Both unfortunately gained a shit-tonne of weight when they stopped, and could have done with a blog like this. Anyway, my brother resembles them very closely. He’s fully aware of the natural tendency to end up like that.
However, all three of them managed to achieve the following (despite their strong endomorphic tendencies):
- Single digit body fat
- Extremely high levels of cardiovascular fitness
- At least a 1.5 times body weight bench
- At least a 2.5 times body weight squat
Which is kind of impressive. All three of them, I repeat, are serious endomorphs, yet managed to achieve legitimate single digit body fat levels…hmmmmmm…..
Couple this with what I’ve managed to do in terms of completely changing my body’s set point, which has been proven in terms of hormonal regulation, energy levels, and most oviously of all, hunger (I really struggle to eat enough to gain weight now, despite being a greedy sonofabitch my entire life).
Granted, I’m not an endomorph, but the point is that all of this shit is changeable. You can manipulate anything and everything if you really want to. I mentioned in this article multiple reasons why I don’t have sympathy for fast/low metabolism people.
If anyone was to see my younger brother in the summer when he’s single digit body fat, they would not think: “Oh congratulations, this guy’s clearly an endomorph who overcame the odds and got shredded. Nice work.”
No, they wouldn’t even notice it. He’s just another “lucky” shredded guy, when the fact is that is definitely not the case. I can assure you he was a fat bastard baby from the word go. If anything, I have it easier than he does genetically for getting lean. I would argue that lifestyle and appetite regulation (environmental factors) are significantly more important for losing fat.
Although these three body types are real, and that we do all have genetic tendencies, my brother, grandfather and great-uncle all prove something very, very important:
Unless you were unbelievably unlucky, or unbelievably gifted in the genetics department, using your genetics to justify a lack of progress simply goes down on my list of excuses. We already have enough of them these days. Environmental factors are more important when it comes to weight loss, and I’ve written about this before, multiple times.
It all comes down to: “how badly do you want it?”
Sure, your genetics may be a pain in the ass at times, but everyone is capable of losing fat. Everyone. To say otherwise woud be to say that it’s impossible for you to starve to death. Let’s throw you out into the wilderness in Russia and see what happens then.
Finally, to counter the “oh but your brother, grandfather and great-uncle were all younger so it must be age that causes fat gain” argument, firstly, read the above articles I’ve linked, especially the body fat set point series. Do that first.
Adding to those articles, let’s look at these two guys. My great-uncle (the Rugby player) gained a shit load of weight at around age 33. My grandfather gained a load (even faster than my great-uncle) at age 40-ish. They were twin brothers. There was a seven year gap between them gaining their respective weights. It doesn’t appear to be genetic.
Plus, if we look more closely, they were the ages at which they had stopped playing their respective sports (give or take 18 months).
Therefore, it’s nothing to do with age. In fact, I would go as far to say as when they stopped playing, they stopped giving a fuck about their diets, which is what really caused them to gain weight. Not just stopping the sports (although that is important too), what it really was was not caring what went into their mouths, as they were no longer focusing on sports performance.
Point is, stop using your age as an excuse, as it’s usually just that. Your actions are always the most important factor. It’s your life, and it’s in your control.
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