Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sticks vs XL- Starting from different body types to achieve your goals

I have a comparison to make. I want you to tell me if you fit into one of these two categories:
1. Skinny person trying to gain muscle mass (Sticks)
2. Beefy person trying to gain muscle mass (XL)

Now these two individuals by no means encompass every individual due to several variations of other body types and goals out there, but I wanted to look at these two in particular. I will try to exclude any specificity of gender in this analysis.

Sticks says they have tried everything to gain muscle mass. Sticks is eating before bed, drinking a protein shake, training their upper thighs off (where their butt should be). Sticks has tried split routines, body building routines, power lifting workouts, and, dare I say it, even CrossFit to put on some size or have any noticeable muscle definition at all. Sticks tests their body fat percentage and it remains low.

XL eats as if they are a Kentucky thoroughbred racing at the Kentucky Derby. XL has their pre-lift drink, during lift shake, and post-workout recovery drink… PLUS six meals a day. XL is happy that he/she is gaining weight and out-growing their clothes, but how can XL be sure at least some, preferably most, of the weight gained is muscle. XL assumes a calorie is a calorie and loads up on sugary food and drinks and very few vegetables and fruits. XL also never tests their body fat percentage.

Sticks assumes they are eating enough, as does XL, but what is the caloric density of the foods they are consuming and how many calories really are coming in and going out? XL says they lift really hard, but don’t need cardio because that is for sissies. How many calories are both of these individuals actually consuming and expending?

Sticks could have a huge meal, but really not notice they don’t eat much for the remainder of the day. If they were to meet with a dietician after keeping a food journal they could get a better idea of what they are putting into their body. XL needs to also meet with a dietician and HONESTLY estimate how many calories they are burning. Yes XL lifts a heavy amount of weight for an hour and a half for four days a week, but what are they doing the other days or throughout any of the days.

Do either of these individuals bust their butt in the gym, but work a sedentary job or drag for the rest of the day? With the variations in your metabolic rate even accurately keeping track of the minutes worked out and other activities, you are still getting a range of calories burned, but a range is better than a guess.

Sticks needs to accurately look at how many calories he/she is consuming daily and see how those calories are spread out through the day. XL needs to figure out how many calories he/she is expending and adjust his/her eating accordingly.

I am not a dietician so it is out of my scope of practice to delve too far into specific nutrition information so please consult a dietician for specific nutrition information and a personal trainer for exercise routines. Unless a dietician has a Kinesiology background and possibly a personal training or strength and conditioning certification, they should not be telling you what to do in the gym or at home. Your personal trainer could tell you what he/she eats, but beyond that they shouldn’t be giving you any advice. One profession is doing the other profession’s job and that shouldn’t happen unless the individual is qualified to do both parts.

Good luck to Sticks and XL in their body transformations.

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