The word ‘genetics’ is thrown around all the time in the fitness community. People love to point out the fact that we are all different. Yet, most of the time people don’t use these discussions to build others up and impress upon others that building a healthy life is possible. No, most of the time the people calling for attention to genetics are doing it because they don’t work hard themselves. These people operate under a different narrative from successful people. They view the world in scarcity mode, where the fact that others are living the life they want means that they are being slighted. This is obviously complete garbage.
I never considered myself to have the best genetics. All that I knew how to do was to start working out and see what happened. I have continued to put in work towards developing my physique and I continue to see results. It blows my mind. Every single year I look back at the past year and think “wow, my body has come so far, I barely even recognize myself.” And then, before I know it, a new year has passed and I am saying the same thing about my current body. It never ceases to amaze me. Know one thing: if you put in effort daily towards something that matters, such as fitness, you will see incredible results.
At the end of the day, some people have better genetics than others. That is why some people play professional sports and some don’t. I am not going to hide the fact that people progress at different rates. However, now that I have said that, does that change anything for your situation? Clearly, it does not. You are who you are and you have what you have. If you make the most of what is in front of you, massive improvements will follow. It doesn’t matter if the guy next to you put on twice as much muscle as you did in the same time; the only important thing that matters is that you put on 10 pounds of shredded muscle. That is going to benefit you, not looking around to others and complaining that they have an unfair advantage over you.
A lot of the time, people say that “life isn’t fair.” I don’t believe this at all. On a daily basis you will have ups and downs. Good things will happen for you and then bad things will happen to you. The bad things often originate for reasons that you can’t control. That’s fine. However, over the long run your life will be the average of how you decided to spend your time. If you squandered the opportunity before you, you will be displeased to find at the end of your road that you wasted an awesome gift. However, if you see the chance to put in hard work every day, and you act on those thoughts, you will reap more results than your current state of mind can even imagine.
If you are new to the lifting game, the most important thing for you to focus on is the development of constructive habits. It isn’t cool to talk about like the latest arm workout or how to push your bench press number 20 pounds in 30 days. However, it is largely going to determine whether you will succeed at building the body and life that you want. I will go even further and say that it will probably mean the difference between you succeeding and failing in life. If you can’t buckle down and form good habits for exercise and going to the gym, you probably won’t be able to do it in your career or relationships either.
Buy in to what you are doing and what you have visualized. Understand that this is going to require your time and resources. Your returns will come down to your level of investment. If you take the time and money to start going to the gym daily, buying fitness books, buying coaching, seeking out help, and generally going for it, you will increase your results tenfold. This is because both consciously and subconsciously you are deciding that this change is worth everything you have to offer. Once you realize how much time and money you are investing into lifting and working out, it will keep you accountable for what you have done so far.
On top of buy-in, you need to find some sort of community or commonplace of those who are also trying to better themselves with lifting. The easiest place to start is to find a friend who is also interested in changing their life with fitness. You will be able to hold one another accountable. It also just makes the entire process more enjoyable when you have someone else to workout with and talk about fitness and strength-related topics.
Ultimately you are going to need to love going to the gym for what it is: exercise. If you hate your life from the time you step into the gym to the time you get to drive away and see it in your rear-view mirror, you’re probably going to get chewed up and spit out. Right now it may seem like a crazy idea, but you will reach a point where you actually enjoy the burning sensation in your muscle and the feeling of being hungry. This is because you will have gotten to a point where you have created a positive mental associated with otherwise unappealing events such as not being able to eat a huge slice of cheesecake. Watching yourself change in the mirror will be enough to keep you going once you start seeing the results, but before that happens you just need to learn to be grateful for the process.
If you are young you will especially benefit from training. You will be able to take advantage of many variables that will all contribute to you making gains faster. First off, your central nervous system (CNS) is more sensitive and works at a higher pace. This is crucial for strength endeavors where your ability to recover on a day-to-day basis will largely determine how quickly you build muscle mass. On top of that your tendons will have more elastin, which is a protein that helps give your muscle an elastic-type property. This helps you to produce more force with the elastic effect of your muscle contracting at the transition between concentric and eccentric movement. Basically, this is just a fancy way of explaining the help that you get from “bouncing” a lift such as bench or squat.
The best part about it if you are young is that your testosterone is going to be higher. You will sleep stronger and produce more growth hormones at night. This plays in to what I call the exponential effect. In short, the efforts that you put in now will multiply by a factor of squares. If you haven’t started to truly take action towards your fitness goals in an aggressive manner while I have been crushing it, I will be that much farther. Not only that though, my efforts will be much more focused. What this translates into is powerful. From here on out, every day that I spend in the gym will be much more effective than yours. You will never be able to reach me on a day-to-day basis because I have already been killing my workouts and know my body twice as good as you know yours.
The bottom line is: start yesterday. The best time to plant a tree was 15 years ago. The second best time is right now. Wherever you are in life at whatever age, you should go for it now. Start instituting those changes that are going to make you a better person for the world of tomorrow.