Recently, I’ve been told that I must have good genetics to be able to be as lean as I am while eating the foods I do. I have been dexa scanned at 6.2% just before my first body building competition. Let me tell you that due to flexible dieting, I have been able to do this as EASILY AS POSSIBLE but that does NOT mean it is easy. I started dieting in April at 87kg and I weighed in on the 14th September in a glycogen depleted state at 75.5kg. Fully glycogen replenished I was sitting around 79kg. It has been slow and steady fat loss during that time to preserve as much muscle mass as possible.
So here is a bit of history about myself and how “good” my genetics are. In high school, I was very active playing basketball whenever I had a spare minute basically. I also ate a lot and didn’t really give much thought to what it was going in my mouth as long as it was tasty. I don’t know why I remember this exactly but I was about 13 years old and stuffing my face with something just after coming home from school and my Mum said “You don’t see any fat basketballers in the NBA”. I was a little tubby but not terribly overweight.
When I was 16 I came to the conclusion that I was too short and too slow to play basketball so I quit. I was still a little active but no where near as much. I continued to eat what I normally ate and over the following years I would eventually balloon out to a hefty 95kg. At 5’8″ I would estimate I was about 30% body fat.
7 years ago I lost a lot of weight (too quickly and without resistance training) and a fair chunk of that was muscle. I hit a low of 67kg! I started proper strength training approximately 5 years ago now. I started with full body training 3x a week and I did not miss a session unless I was sick. I have now consistently trained between 3 and 6x a week for about 5 years. The only time I have skipped training is if I have been on holiday or sick. I am CONSTANTLY trying to improve. I work damn hard in the gym.
On the nutrition side of things, I am a numbers man (I’m also an accountant) and I like to track macros. During the last 7 years since first losing weight, I have track macros for nearly all of that time. I don’t find it difficult at all so I’m happy to do this. I have had a few breaks for holidays and for some self experimentation but for the most part I am tracking macros and hitting the numbers.
The tallest person on my mother’s side of the family is about 5’6″. That side of the family would be considered “solid”. My mum is 4’11. My father’s side would be considered “string beans”. My dad is 6’6″ and all of his brothers are over 6′ also. I tend to take after my mum’s side a little more at a moderate 5’8″.
So when I get told that my mass, body fat percentage and strength are due to “good genetics”, it is quite the slap in the face. The people around me know how hard I work. Yes, some people are winners in the genetic lottery but it doesn’t mean they end up strong and shredded without putting in some work somewhere along the way.